Well, you have seen a lot of pictures of my Road Glide over the last couple of years positioned for some nice photo ops. Those were nice, but TAKE A LOOK AT IT NOW. Yep, not the photo op I wanted to take. Was riding it last Friday on some errands when the engine started missing out real bad, the oil pressure went way up, then I heard a loud thrashing sound coming out of the engine area. Sounded like there was a bolt floating around in my crank case. Unfortunately, my prognosis was not far from the truth.
Fortunately I was about a half mile from Arrowhead HD, so I pulled into there. Come to find out, the crank position sensor broke off and started a chain reaction of bad things that ended in the entire motor, including the cases being ruined due to bearings being shredded, etc. Even the oil pump gears got sheared off. The only thing good left on the motor was the heads. So, needless to say, Old Yeller, just 74 miles shy of 40,000 miles, is going to be down for a while till we get this sorted out. Just glad it didn't happen in the mountains of California. We were planning on going to Durango the end of the month, so I don't know if that is going to happen. Here is the really bad news. No extended warranty. Ouch!
With that being said, I think I will move on to recalling happier times when my bike was running perfectly traversing the Sierra Nevada mountain passes in central California. When I left you last week we had called it a night in Carson City, NV. When I was a kid, it was a given that my Dad would have the TV show Bonanza tuned in every Sunday night. You might remember at the start of that program there was a map that burned out at the beginning with Virginia City right in the middle of it. (Click Here for 36 sec. Bonanza Intro Video) Combined with the dialogue in the show, I was always intrigued by Virginia City making it a place that I've always wanted to visit. Must have thought if I went there I would run into Hoss or Little Joe walking down the street.
Since it was only 15 miles away, we decided to fulfill my childhood
dream and take a ride to Virginia City for a quick look. As it turns out, the town was so interesting that we ended up staying there for over
2 hours walking the wood plank sidewalks, having
breakfast and soaking up the history of one of the oldest cities in Nevada and the site of the Comstock Lode
silver strike in 1859. Virginia City could also be considered the birthplace of Mark Twain, as it was here
in 1863 that writer Samuel Clemens, then a reporter on the local Territorial Enterprise newspaper, first used his
famous pen name. As is the case with a lot of the old mining towns in Colorado and Nevada, the history of Virginia
City is really interesting and a lot of the original buildings from the late 1870's are still there. It is kind of a Tombstone or Jerome on steroids.
If you are in the area I would highly recommend making a visit.
Nevada is obviously famous for legal gambling, but it is also famous for legalizing the world's oldest profession. On the way back we decided to ride by another famous landmark in the area known as the Bunny Ranch and the Kit Kat Guest Ranch. I had never seen one of these "houses of ill-repute" in person before, so since the sign said it was just off of Hwy. 50, we decided to take a ride through the parking lot and see what these places looked like. I have to admit being a little disappointed in what I saw. Instead of the seeing the 2 story house with Dolly Parton in the porch swing on the covered patio out front, these places were more like a minimum security prison with iron fencing and gates protecting what looked like a bunch of barrack type buildings stuck together. Guess you can't believe everything you see in the movies.
After checking one more thing off of my list of things to see, we were on our way back to Lake Tahoe to finish up the Southeast corner of the Lake and make our way to Ebbetts Pass National Scenic Byway. Now that I have a few miles in front of me to just reflect, I realized that this was day 5 of our trip. It was already half over and I was just getting used to the idea of being a free spirit. I don't know about you, but on these trips I tend to break them up into sections.
The first day is the excitement of hitting the road, knocking off some miles and getting to your first destination. You still have some thoughts of things you should have gotten done before you left and maybe even a couple of things you will have to finalize on the road. Day 2 you start to leave the real world behind and embrace the journey that you are on. Days 3 and 4 you are completely enveloped in life on the road, the scenery and the experiences that you have encountered. Day 5 of an 8 day trip you realize that you are on the downhill side of your time away from your usual routine but slip into denial to try and stretch it out a little longer.
That is where I was at on this morning. I knew we were half way done with this fun fest, but I refused to be sucked back into the real world prematurely. Putting those thoughts out of my mind, I turned my attention to what would be the next 70 miles of great riding over Ebbetts Pass and another crossing of the beautiful Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. As you intersect California Hwy. 4 from 89 that you took South out of Tahoe, you will soon realize that this is not the type of road that Carson Pass was. Ebbetts Pass is much more intimate with more twists, turns, inclines and narrow unmarked roads for much of the way. The asphalt is in great shape, just more narrow than you would be used to. But that is what makes it extremely enjoyable.
Of the 4 passes, I think this was my favorite of them all. It was beautiful, quiet and less traveled than the rest. You will pass through a couple of small communities, a couple of beautiful lakes, cross over Ebbetts Pass at 8730 feet and be treated to many vistas and granite outcroppings along the way. And of course, that perfect spot for a photo op that puts you there. Just take your time and enjoy this gorgeous 76 mile stretch of highway through some of the most picturesque beauty that California has to offer on Hwy. 4 known as Ebbetts Pass between Hwys. 89 & 49. As you reach Hwy. 49 you will come to a small town called Angels Camp. We then turned South on 49 for a stop at the Jamestown HD dealership before calling it a day in Sonora to be ready to start the Sonora Pass the next morning.
Once again, I was a busy shutterbug shooting over 300 pictures along the way and posting 150 for you to view. There are several pictures of the old buildings in Virginia City and lots of Ebbetts Pass. It wasn't hard to do as there was a beautiful shot around every turn. I think you will enjoy all of these photos.
Click Here to View Photos
Click Here for the Cyclerides.com Google Map of our route.
Virginia City. A step back in time.
Virginia City from Wikipedia.
Ebbetts Pass National Scenic Byway.
Ebbetts Pass from Wikipedia.
Highlights This Week
Saturday, August 16th
Chester's Harley-Davidson Ride With Us to Ft. McDowell/Saguaro Lake.
Now this is the time to take a ride to higher elevations. Ride with Chester's
on a 160 mile round trip to Payson and Mazatzal Casino for lunch.
Saturday, August 16th
Bikini Contest to Crown Miss Arrowhead Harley-Davidson 2009.
It's Summer, It's Hot, It's time for a Bikini Contest! Ride on over to Arrowhead HD
for a good old fashioned Bikini Contest to see who will be crowned
Miss Arrowhead Harley-Davidson 2009. Contestants wanted, see below.
Saturday, August 16th
Buddy Stubbs Harley-Davidson and Miller Lite Summer Evening Blockbuster Party.
We are all looking for something to do on a Saturday night.
Finally, the Summer event you have been waiting for!
Someone will win a new Harley-Davidson that signs up that night. See below.
Bike Nights This Week
Chandler Harley-Davidson Bike Night at Tilted Kilt Mesa. Stop by the brand new Tilted Kilt in Mesa for Thursday Bike Night sponsored by Chandler Harley-Davidson. Sit out on the spacious patio or the cool inside. No matter where you are there will be the Tilted Kilt girls there to wait on you. Enjoy great food and drink, Door Prize Drawings, Music and 15% off your entire ticket on Bike Night. The NEW Tilted Kilt is located at 1910 S. Gilbert Rd. in Mesa. 480-507-5458.
Chester's Harley-Davidson Bike Night at Dos Gringos Mesa. Ride by the New Dos Gringos Mesa located on the northwest corner of Greenfield and Baseline in Mesa. Dos is sure to make an impact and add some flare to the east valley. Enormous patio, complete with its own outdoor bar and separate dining areas on each side. Dos is a casual neighborhood hangout with great food and cold cervezas. Feel free to dine at one of our four tops, relax at one of the booths lining the edge or just belly up to the bar. Click Here to View. There will be drink and food specials and Raffles and Fun from Chester's Harley-Davidson. Ride with Chester's from the dealership at 5:30pm every Thursday located at 922 S. Country Club Dr. in Mesa. 480-894-0404.
Hooter's Thursday Bike at Peoria location. The parking lot will be blocked off and it will be a night for MOTORCYCLES. Ride by Hooters in Peoria every Thursday night for Prizes, Giveaways every 1/2 Hour, Specials and of course great service by the Hooter's Girls. Enjoy $2.00 Bud and Bud Light Pints and $5.00 Bombers as well as those tasty Hooter's Wings. Sit on the huge outdoor patio and watch your favorite sporting event or inside with TV's every where you look. Enjoy this perfect riding weather with a ride to Hooter's this Thursday. Plan to check out the first night. 16550 N. 83rd Ave. just South of Bell Rd. 623-776-0123.
The Bike Night At The Billet Bar. Voted "BEST BIKER BAR IN PHOENIX" by New Times. There is no better place to watch all the Bikes ride down Scottsdale road than from The Billet Bar Patio. The Billet is ALWAYS packed with bikes Every Day. Stop by and take a look at the New Flamed Booths on the Paradise Patio. The new bars front and rear provide spacious seating, fresh air atmosphere, perfect temperature and courteous staff. The food is amazing and always the latest in cold libations await. You can sit at the back bar and watch your favorite TV on any of the seven big inch televisions. Play pool, listen to the latest music and socialize. The front patio seats over 75 people and is perfect for people watching on Scottsdale Rd. The Billet Bar is located on 3752 N. Scottsdale Rd. Check it out this Thursday night and all weekend long. Info: at 480-941-1876. Click Here for the New Billet Bar Page with pictures.
Saturday, August 16th
Chester's Harley-Davidson Ride With Us to Ft. McDowell/Saguaro Lake. Now this is the time to take a ride to higher elevations. Ride with Chester's on a 160 mile round trip to Payson and Mazatzal Casino for lunch. Chester's Ride With Us is quickly becoming a popular event every month at the dealership. Riders from all over the valley make their way to Chester's for these rides. This is a good opportunity to ride with some friends that you haven't met yet. Saddle up with Chester's Harley-Davidson for this 160 mile round trip ride to Payson for lunch. Ride Starts and Ends at Chester's located at 922 S. Country Club Dr. in Mesa. Registration from 8:30am - 9:00am. Kickstands up at 9am. This is a FREE ride for ALL riders. Call 480-894-0404 to Pre-Register by August 13th to reserve your spot.
Saturday, August 16th
Bikini Contest to Crown Miss Arrowhead Harley-Davidson 2009. It's Summer, It's Hot, It's time for a Bikini Contest!
Ride on over to Arrowhead HD for a good old fashioned Bikini Contest to see who will be crowned Miss Arrowhead Harley-Davidson 2009. Watch the girls perform on stage to the music of their choice as they try to impress the judges to earn the $500 First Place, $300 Second Place or $100 Third Place money. There will be 2 rounds. First round will include a question to show personality and public speaking, 2nd round the contestants will be given an AHD T-shirt and a pair of scissors to design, cut up and model. Winner will represent AHD for the at RideNow and other events like Bike Week. Bikini Contest starts at 12 Noon with the finals at 2PM. Enjoy Floats & The S.S. Wiener! Rootbeer floats & hot dog cart returns with Brian at the helm from 11am - 2pm. Enjoy DJ Music and More. Want to be a guest Judge for the Bikini Contest? Judge selection will be at 12 Noon. Bike Wash from 10am - 2pm. First come first served. While you are there you can take a look at the new 2009 model Harley's that are arriving daily. 20% off Men's HD Beach Wear and Towels. If you would like to compete in the contest, call Dan Herrera at 623-247-5542 or email Dan at firstname.lastname@example.org . Arrowhead HD is located at 16130 N. Ftn. Ctr. Dr. in Peoria. Just South of 83rd Ave. and Bell Rd.
Saturday, August 16th
Buddy Stubbs Harley-Davidson and Miller Lite Summer Evening Blockbuster Party. We are all looking for something to do on a Saturday night. Finally, the Summer event you have been waiting for! It all takes place Saturday, August 16th from 6pm - 9pm. To celebrate, Harley-Davidson's 105th Anniversary, Buddy Stubbs Harley-Davidson, Phoenix's Premier Harley-Davidson dealership and Miller Lite will be giving away new motorcycles on August 16th. Come enjoy the huge cooled Miller beer garden in the North parking lot, great Live Music by Breakdown, and your chance to win a motorcycle: Everyone who signs up that night gets a chance to win. If your key starts it, you'll ride it home! Really! Everyone has the chance to win a brand new VROD that night. Admission is free. Lots of parking and fun. You will also be able to check out the new 2009 models! See you there. Call 602-971-3400 for more information. 13850 N. Cave Creek Road, Phoenix, 85022. www.buddystubbs.com.
Tuesday, August 19th
Gabrielle Giffords Biker Meet and Greet. Congresswoman Giffords from Congressional District 8, has invited all Motorcyclists and constituents for a Meet and Greet (no charge) in Tucson, next Tuesday August 19th, 7pm-9pm at Club Congress inside the Congress Hotel (520) 622-8848, 311 E. Congress St. Tucson, AZ 85701 to discuss bikers rights and issues and her new role as a leading member of the newly formed Federal Motorcycle Caucus. Also, Guest Speaker Falco of the "Art of the Motorcycle".
Sunday, August 24th
Pink Ribbon Tour Kick-Off. Join Dave Graybill and the Guardians of the Ribbon at 10:00 A.M. at Arrowhead Towne Center. Firefighter Dave Graybill and crew are looking for support from the motorcycle community as they begin their 2 month tour across America spreading the word about breast cancer awareness. The firefighters are looking for hundreds of motorcycle rider volunteers to escort them to Westgate City Center and on to Tucson. Come and check out the firefighters in pink suits, the pink ribbon fire truck and the 10 ft. stainless ribbon before escorting the "Men in Pink" out of town as they begin their "Cares Enough to Wear Pink Campaign". Riders are encouraged to wear pink proudly and donations will be accepted to help with fuel costs. Ride to honor a loved one who survived breast cancer, to remember one who didn't, or to encourage those women who have recently been diagnosed. To read more about Dave's vision from start to finish, to see pictures of the truck before and after as well as pictures of Governor Janet Napolitano with the truck, visit Dave's website at www.pinkribbontour.com. Click on "See It" and "Read Dave's Blog". For additional information, contact Dave at 602-380-8714 or email@example.com.
Cyclerides.com Classifieds are now FREE! I
have opened the Cyclerides.com Classifieds up for free. Now you can add all of your bikes and parts that you would
like to sell at no cost. Until I get the system changed, just put 1234 in the credit card and expiration spots.
Here to go to the classifieds to place your ad at no charge.
Or go to www.cyclerides.com and click the link on the left.
This operation looked like it was going pretty well at first. But I don't think they finished their pre planning before undertaking the task. Click Here to View.
Here is one of those videos of a comedian that starts you out slow but by the end you are laughing out loud. Love the Barney Fife reference. This is hilarious. Click Here to View.
Here is one of those performances that will have you mesmerized for 3 minutes. How do they think of this stuff? Good music too. Click Here to View.