Saturday, May 12 is the day for me to explore Icehouse Road. I've heard of this road on several forums, and have been looking forward to running it. Looking at the map, the reputation of the road as it runs from Pollock Pines to above Union Valley Reservoir appears to be well-founded.
Organizing the ride is Steve on his K1200RS, along with Dave on a K1200S, and Gale, who owns a "Taxi" but decided to make the run on his Duc.
I'm riding my GT, but with a spanking new set of Ohlins shocks, out for their maiden voyage.
After the meet and greet, we start for the Sierra passes, heading west on 88 over Carson Pass, where we stop to enjoy the view and put on some extra layers.
The sun was shining, the sky was blue, the roads dry, and traffic light... perfect conditions for a great ride in the Sierras.
Over Carson Pass, we reach our first turn: Mormon Emigrant Trail, which should take us to Highway 50. This is another new road for me, and I'm eager to explore it and learn the turns, dips, and rhythms that gives each road its own personality.
I quickly find out that the personality of this road is cold, closed, unwelcoming.
Time for Plan B: Omo Ranch road, which is further west on 88. We'll take this to Fairplay, then take Sly Park Road up to Highway 50. Omo Ranch road is very twisty, but is very narrow and is in poor condition to take at speed.
Dave leads us through the forest to Omo Ranch
Followed by me, Steve, and Gale.
We ride through the forests and small towns of the Sierras, finally arriving at Highway 50 and Sly Park Road. We stop and quickly Steve gets sidetracked by a desire to get free cookies and lemonaide at a local yard sale. We convince him that a real lunch would be more filling.
Steve agrees, and leads us to St. Pauli Inn, which features German food. This fact is very appropriate for the riders of Bavarian bikes, although I think Gale was looking for Italian today.
While we are ordering, we are joined by FletchTech and his SO. He had is Orient Blue GT painted over the winter, and it looks great.
After lunch, we stop nearby for gas, which unfortunately is 87 octane. The station is out of midgrade and premium. Fortunately we are at altitude, which will lessen the potential of engine knock.
Fueled up, we head for Icehouse Road. The reputation is well-deserved, and we ride at a good clip on a fabulously twisty and smooth road. We encounter the occasional trialer with boat or off-road jeep on the way. This area is popular with Jeepers, as its on the Rubicon Trail. The reservoirs also attract boaters and campers. We reach a scenic pullover to reassemble the group.
We continue on Icehouse Road until the intersection with Wentworth Road. This is another excellent section of twisty road seemingly built with motorcycles in mind.
Wentworth road takes you into Georgetown, which is overrun by the cruiser crowd. We park our bikes under the shade of a tree and enjoy the view. Georgetown is also the home of Fletchtech, so we will be leaving them here.
From Georgetown we head for Placerville and Highway 50. We follow this road back to Lake Tahoe and our homes around Minden, Carson City, and Reno. Riding along the east shore of Lake Tahoe, I make my way home. As I take Spooner Pass down into Carson Valley, I encounter a young couple on a sport bike running at an elevated pace. I follow along behind them, enjoying the lean angles and feeling of speed as we drop into Carson City. From here, I find my way home, looking back on a most enjoyable ride.
More pictures at: http://rhhall.smugmug.com/gallery/2838242/1