Cyclerides.com Weekly Update
9/10/08
 

Greetings Riders,
 
Well, Riding season for those of us in Arizona is now upon us. Weather forecast for the Valley for the next 10 days is highs in the mid to upper 90's. Hallelujah! What that means is that we can go for some rides with perfect weather in the higher elevations and come back home without getting roasted on the way in. By this time of year I generally have trouble waiting for that perfect timing, so last weekend we left home around 7:30am for a little 200 mile loop for breakfast at the Skull Valley Cafe and was home by noon. If you are a fan of Chicken Fried Steak and scrambled eggs for breakfast, you've got to try it there. It was a great ride and scratched my itch for a few days. The bike now has 2250 miles on the new motor and is running great. Can't wait to take advantage of the upcoming riding season.
 
Not only is riding out of the Valley going to get good, so are the bike nights around town. Evening riding will soon be just perfect. I will be adding more next week and will review them all in full. One that is re-opening this weekend is Western Trails Ranch with both day and night activities. See full information below.
 
Readers Rides 2008 Photo Gallery: I know a lot of you have great photos from rides this Summer. Share them with the rest of the Cyclerides.com family. Add them to the Readers Rides 2008 Photo Gallery. Just email me a picture of you or your bike next to a sign or landmark to share with everyone. Email to info@cyclerides.com. Click Here to View photos already sent in.

Women Who Ride Photo Gallery. Ladies! Send in your photos on your bike to be added to the Women Who Ride Gallery. Click Here to View photos already submitted.
 
I got off track a little over the last 3 weeks with articles on Extended Warranties, Break-In Ride to Flagstaff via the back roads and a little 1600 mile ride to Ouray, CO in between. But there were still over 290 photos from those rides, so if you missed any of them, click on the links to catch up. But this week, I'm going to pick up where I left off a month ago with our ride over the Sierra Nevada's. You might remember from past articles I was very impressed with the riding in this area and have actually placed it in my top 10 of places to ride. 

Sonora Pass to Yosemite National Park 

This week I am picking up from spending the night in Sonora, CA ready to ride over the beautiful Sonora Pass and then down to the Tioga Pass to spend the night in Yosemite National Park. This is kind of funny, but as motorcycle riders we tend to seek out the oldest beat up looking place to eat breakfast when on a ride. Not sure why, must be the nostalgia of it all. Another thing we tend to do is seek out these out of the way places to ride to or quirky things to see. Maybe we really do want to see the World's Largest Ball of Twine in Cawker City, KS. or the World's Largest Frying Pan in Rose Hill, NC. But maybe it is just an excuse to go out of our way to make our ride a little longer.
 
Whatever the reasons, we got sucked into that scenario and rode 50 miles out of our way to see the Longest Covered Bridge in California. It was one of those things that seemed like a good idea at the time, (I mean there is only one Longest Covered Bridge in California and we were about to see it), but when you got there it just didn't live up to the hype. We finally rolled into Knights Ferry, CA and found the bridge. It was pretty neat, I took some pictures since we did make the effort, but I think we could have ridden those 50 miles in the opposite direction and not affected the overall enjoyment of our trip. But we are motorcycle riders and that is the kind of things we do to extend our rides. In case you were wondering, this is the Longest Covered Bridge in California.
 
Once we had taken care of that bit of trivia, we were on our way back to the Sonora Pass, Hwy. 108, to enjoy some awesome riding. The was our 3rd pass in the last 2 days and one that we had done before. Like the other two, this one had its' own personality as well. A characteristic that you will soon discover is how steep the road can be. You will see a sign that you might never see again alerting you to a steep winding narrow road and a 26% grade. One our favorite stops along the way is the old Strawberry General Store that is just fun to soak up some nostalgia. The Sonora pass is a really nice road that features a few twisties, but for the most part it is comprised of long sweepers around the granite and sandstone rock along the way. At 9624 feet in elevation at the summit, it was the highest one that we had traversed, but that record would soon fall that same afternoon.
 
There was still plenty of snow on the ground in late June, but riding weather was beautiful in the low 70's. A must stop along the way is the viewpoint for Donnell Lake. It is a short walk down to the viewpoint for a fantastic view of the lake. And of course, you must do your customary picture by the "Pass "signs so that you can send it in to Cyclerides.com for the Readers Rides Gallery. Coming down the East side of the summit is beautiful as you will wind through the granite outcroppings and the trees on your way to Hwy. 395 that you will follow South to Hwy. 120 which will take you to Tioga Pass and Yosemite National Park. 

When you look on the map you will see that Yosemite National Park covers a huge area of the western Sierra Nevada mountains in central California. It has many lakes, meadows, forests and granite summits with Alpine scenery as far as you can see. Riding through Tioga Pass you will be amazed at the size of the granite monoliths that seem to surround as you serpentine your way through the forest to Yosemite Valley where you will be greeted by El Capitan. At the center is Yosemite Valley, and what might also be called the focal point of the park, is a half-mile deep depression carved by glaciers during the last ice age, which now has soaring 3,000 foot high domes and many powerful waterfalls, including three of the world's highest. 
 
This is almost a surreal experience when you get your first look at El Capitan and these giant granite monoliths followed by the incredible waterfalls that seem to surround you as you ride the loop on the valley floor. Lodging is available right in the park. It is an excellent place to see wildlife including bears, but usually is expensive and full if you are trying to get something on a moments notice. We tend to stay just out of the Park gates along a beautiful flowing river at a place called Yosemite View Lodge. It is reasonably priced for the area and has all of the amenities that you will need including a couple of restaurants.
 
If you were to follow the same route as we did, the Sonora Pass, Hwy. 108 is about 80 miles from Sonora to Hwy. 395. It is then another 42 miles South to Lee Vining where you will then turn back West on Tioga Pass Rd. which is Hwy. 120 for a 70 mile ride through Yosemite National Park to Yosemite Valley. This is only 192 miles total, doesn't seem like much, but it will take most of the day as you make stops to enjoy the scenery and wander your way through this absolutely beautiful landscape that is perfect for travel on a motorcycle. These 4 mountain passes, including Carson Pass, Ebbetts Pass, Sonora Pass and Tioga Pass that criss cross the Sierra Nevada Mountains that I have described over the last couple of weeks are what I consider a must ride for any avid motorcycle tourer. The good news is that if you live in the Arizona area, you can make this trip over a long weekend and a couple of extra days.
 
Click Here for Google Map of the area.
Click Here For 130 Beautiful Photos.
 
Useful Links:
Covered Bridges of California counties.
Sonora Pass
Yosemite National Park
Wikipedia Yosemite National Park 
 


Highlights This Week 

Friday, September 12th
Guns and Hoses, Police Department vs. Fire Department Boxing Matches.
Fort McDowell Casino and Felko Promotions would like to welcome all bikers to come out on
Friday September 12 for the Guns & Hoses Charity Boxing Event.
 

Saturday, September 13th.
Hacienda Harley-Davidson 30th Anniversary Celebration.
Make plans to attend the big 30th Anniversary Celebration Party at Hacienda Harley-Davidson
from 10am - 9pm. FREE BBQ and enjoy Live Music in the Beer Gardens.
 
Saturday, September 13th
Western Trails Ranch Re-Opens!
One of the largest Biker Venue's in the Country re-opens
Saturday September 13th. JoAnn's New Economic Plan for the Recession-FREE FOOD,
 


 

Bike Nights This Week 

Wednesday Nights 

NEW!
Bike Night at the Skybox
. This is a brand new bike night in Glendale. The Skybox Bar and Grill is hosting a bike night at 17035 N. 67th Ave. The Skybox is your basic neighborhood bar and grill that has been around for years. It is large and has plenty of Booths For Dining, Big Screen TV's, Pool Tables, Shuffleboard, Electronic Darts, Games, Music and of course a Horseshoe Bar to get to know your neighbor. There will be $2.75 Beers, 2 for 1 Well, Wine and Bottles, $1.00 Sliders, and plenty of motorcycle parking out front. They are in the process of getting an outdoor patio added that should be done in the next 60 days. If you are looking for that basic ride by and hangout bike night, give the Skybox a try starting Wednesday September 17th at 6pm -  Close. Just North of Bell Rd. on 67th Ave. 

Thursday Night 

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 locationThe 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. 

This Week 

Friday, September 12th
Guns and Hoses, Police Department vs. Fire Department Boxing Matches.
Fort McDowell Casino and Felko Promotions would like to welcome all bikers to come out on Friday September 12 for the Guns & Hoses Charity Boxing Event. 
This outdoor event will bring together the valleys toughest fire fighters and police officers together in the ring to benefit a great charity, The 100 club of Arizona. This charity benefits families of fallen officers and fire fighters and could use your help in supporting this great cause. We hope to see a lot of the valley riders supporting this event. Tickets are on sale now at the casino and online at www.badboyfights.com. Tickets start at just $20 and the doors open at 6:00 pm. Mark it on your calendar and we hope to see you all out at the Fort on Friday September 12th. Ft. McDowell Casino is located on Hwy. 87 just 2 miles N. of Shea Blvd. Click Here for Flyers. 

Saturday, September 13th.
Hacienda Harley-Davidson 30th Anniversary Celebration. Make plans to attend the big 30th Anniversary Celebration Party at Hacienda Harley-Davidson from 10am - 9pm. The day will include something for everyone including a Huge Tent Sale where you can save up to 75% on select merchandise. Stop by and see the unveiling of the New 2009 Harley-Davidson motorcycles. Throughout the day there will be Fashion Shows, Live Music, Raffles, 50/50 Drawing, Tirvia Contest and FREE BBQ. There will also be Patron and Budweiser Beer Gardens for you to enjoy. Don't forget to sign up to win a new 2009 Harley-Davidson. Ride by for some FREE BBQ and enjoy Live Music in the Beer Gardens while getting some great deals on the HD Merchandise and picking out your new 2009 Harley. Hacienda HD is located at 15600 N. Hayden Rd. in Scottsdale, AZ. 480-905-1903.
 
Saturday, September 13th
Western Trails Ranch Re-Opens! One of the largest Biker Venue's in the Country re-opens Saturday September 13th. JoAnn's New Economic Plan for the Recession-FREE FOOD, Chili, biscuits & gravy, spaghetti, etc.  We are open Friday's 10am to Midnight, Saturday's 10am to Midnight, & Sunday 10am to 8pm.  Opening Day kicks off with a MMA meeting, new Northwest District, from 7pm to 8pm, all are welcome.  From 7pm to 8pm, during the meeting Domestic Beers will be $2.00.  Live Music from 8pm to Midnight, Saturday, September 13th, featuring NINE TO ONE, no cover charge.  FREE Chili all weekend long.  Friday afternoons we have "The Old Man's Club" from 12 to 4 in the afternoon, horseshoes, card playing, chess and checkers.  Friday Nights are Game Night - Blackjack from 7 to 9pm, then Roulette 9 to 11 pm , door prizes will be awarded, no money involved, this activity will be lots of fun.  For all details log onto Westerntrailsranch.com or call the Ranch stupid question hotline (623) 521-0367 for more information.
 
Saturday, September 13th.
1st Annual 9-11 Motorcycle and Car Ride. Event held in Tucson. Entrance Fee $10.00 per vehicle – Ride Pins to the FIRST 120 Paid Entrants Ride begins at American Legion Post #59 750 N Grande (Grande one block south of Speedway) to American Legion Post #109, 15921 S. Houghton Rd. SHOW YOUR PRIDE AND FLY YOUR FLAG There will be a Bike Swap Meet, Food, Drink, 50/50 and Live Band. Funds collected from the ride are donated to the American Legion Legacy Scholarship Fund for the Children of our Fallen Warriors from the War on Terror September 13, 2008 Staging begins at 2:00 p.m. Ride starts promptly at 3:30 p.m.
 
Sunday, September 14th
2nd Annual Ridenow Powersports Golf for Kids. For you golfers that want to take a morning off from riding, you can still help the cause by participating in the RideNow for Kids Golf Tournament to raise money for The Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation. Tournament takes place at Whirlwind Golf Club, 5602 W. North Loop Rd., Chandler, AZ. Registration fee is $125 per person that includes 18 holes of golf, cart, range balls, lunch and a chance to will lots of prizes. Space is limited. Click Here for more information or call Susie Vincent at 480-755-5398. For more information and to register online go to www.cyclerides.com/golf . Contributions are fully tax-deductible. Registration deadline Wednesday, September 10th.
 
Sunday, September 14th
5th Annual Breast Cancer Bash. Proceeds from this event benefit Komen for the Cure. Registration starts 9am at the Steelhorse Saloon, 1818 W. Bell Rd. in Phoenix. T-shirt and Ride Pin to the first 150 Riders. $20 Single, $25 Double. Live Music at last stop starting at 4pm. More information contact "G", 623-262-7101. 
 
Sunday, September 14th
2nd Annual Poker Run to Benefit Autistic Children. There will be 2 starting points for this run: 1. KJ's at 59Th and Bethany Home and the Moose Lodge at Cotton Lane and Yuma Rd. Sign in 9am to 11am. Stop 2. Chuy's at 97Th Ave and Camelback Rd. Located in the NE corner of shopping plaza. 3. Fat Boyz Bar and Grill in Youngtown. 4. The Mineshaft in Wickenburg 5. The Tin Top in Tonopah. Directions to each stop will be given when card is drawn. Last card drawn at 6pm. Cost for this run is $20.00 for Rider and $30.00 for Rider and Passenger. Free ride pins to the first 100 sign ups. Ride will include meal at the Tin Top. For those that like to do long runs this one is it. 50/50, Raffles, High and Low Hand.

Sunday, September 14th
Thank-A-Vet Poker Run. Event to benefit Operation Freedom Bird. Money is used to send Approximately 50 veterans each year to participate in a four-day healing visit to the Vietnam Veterans War Memorial in Washington D.C. Sign-In from 10am -  Noon at Chandler Harley-Davidson located at 6895 W. Chandler Blvd. Run ends at Graham Central Station, 7850 S. Priest in Tempe. More information call 480-496-6800. 

Next Week 

Saturday, September 20th
Bikers Bay Glendale Grand Opening Party. The Bikers Bay Glendale location is ready to continue the Bikers Bay experience... Personal customer attention, the convenience of "Ride In - Ride Out" service and the highest quality work at the valley's newest and largest bikers bay location. To celebrate this new store we are having a Grand Opening Party and asking you to join us in the celebration. There will be Free Food, Live Music, Vendors and Prizes. Stop Saturday, September 20th from 10am - 3pm at 5670 N. 51st Ave., Just S. of Bethany Home Rd. For more information call 623-842-8580. www.mybikersbay.com
 
Saturday, September 20th
3rd Annual Wheels of Grace Unity Ride. We at WOG are committed to unite together Christians, starting with the Motorcycle Ministries who have the same vision, through an event that we are organizing called the “WOG Unity Ride!” The ride, consisting of all M/M Patches (representing all denominations) will be a visual statement to the world that demonstrates that bikers are living out John 17, united as One! Join us for the Phoenix Ride. Begins at Southwestern College, 2625 E. Cactus Rd. in Phoenix. Registration from 7am - 9am. $10 per rider, plus 1 toy per bike. Ending location: Chandler Harley Davidson, 6895 W. Chandler Blvd., Chandler. Enjoy Food, Fellowship and Bands. Click Here for more information.
 
Sunday, September 21st
1st Annual Veterans Motorcycle Fund Raising Meet N' Greet. Proceeds benefit The Fisher House. Tickets $18 Per Person (Includes Lunch) Special Events and Contests include a Motorcycle Rodeo ($10 entry) Dart Toss, Ring Toss, Keg Push, Wennie Bite. Motorcycle Show, Tattoo Contest. Brunch 9am - 1pm, Rodeo 11am - 2pm. Lunch 1pm - 3pm. Motorcycle Show 3pm - 5pm. Giveaways and 50/50 throughout the day. All takes place at the VFW Post 7968 in Apache Junction, 725 W. Apache Trail. Click Here for more details. 

Upcoming Events 

8th Annual Rocky Point Rally
For those of you that have been inquiring about the Rocky Point Rally, it is going to happen and their web site is being updated now. If you are going, I would suggest getting your rooms reserved now. A lot of the rides and activities that have been done in the past will be done this year. Most activities will be at Playa Bonita or on the Malecon this year. One little event that I heard about is that Mogollon will be doing a concert ON THE BEACH Saturday night behind Playa Bonita. That will be fun! http://www.rockypointrally.com/ 

Extras 

You might have seen me using "The Spot" satellite tracker on our trip to Durango and Ouray. Here is a Cyclerides.com reader named Lanny that is on a 5 day trip to California and up the PCH. Since we are not fortunate enough to be on a ride ourselves, I guess we can virtually watch Lanny. Click Here to follow his travels. I still have a few of these units left for the cheapest price that I have seen, $129. Click Here for more information and to buy or email me for more information. info@cyclerides.com 

Cyclerides.com Classifieds are now FREE! Just put 1234 in the credit card blanks and add your Bikes or Parts.
Click Here to add or view.  
 
You would have to think the pucker factor might have been pretty high for this pilot. Didn't quite get it back to square before touching down. Click Here to View.
 
This is a 911 call that is absolutely hilarious! I don't even know how to set it up. I laugh every time I hear this one. Click Here to View.
 
This one is amazing. I had no idea birds were this smart. Click Here to View.
 
Regardless of which side of the political fence you are on, I would encourage you to watch this short video to the end. This kid has just gotten back from Iraq and has a video message to Obama. It is sobering and will make you think. Click Here to View. 

Until Next Week,
Blessings and Safe Riding To All,
 
Barry Caraway
"The Road Is Yours - Take The Ride"
www.cyclerides.com
info@cyclerides.com
 

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