May 10th, 2009

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Long riding day

Long day yesterday:

Got new tires put on the motorcycle in Reno. Bought a new riding jacket while waiting. It was on clearance, but now I see that the $199 price is actually retail for the current model of that same jacket, and the one I got was missing its removable vest liner, I realized later. Anyway, it has armored elbows and shoulders, so it's nice. Only a pad on the back though. It is not waterproof (indeed it is designed to let air flow through it, thus water would flow through it too) so I will have to buy a proper rain outersuit when the snow season comes along again (it never really rains here, I have discovered -- only snows).

Being a warm day (now just about noon), I put my leather jacket into my backpack and wore just my T-shirt and the new jacket, but then headed over Mt Rose -- altitude over 8000 feet, above the snow level. A bit past the summit, I stopped by a flat snow-covered field where a lot of people were stopped, and put the leather jacket back on under the new jacket 'cause I was getting a bit cold. Although the ground is still covered in snow over the mountain (which I knew; I can see it from my house), the road was dry except for a few places where snowmelt creates little streams of water.

Then I continued on to the eastern shores of Lake Tahoe. It's blue. Very blue. And clear. There was a slight delay as a big cruiser motorcycle had crashed and the NHP were on the scene directing traffic around it.

When I hit Highway 50, I decided against turning right to South Lake Tahoe and instead went to Carson City. I checked out the neighborhood where our business will be moving south of the city, and the shopping in the area. Then I headed down to find the Minden-Tahoe Airport. Sure enough, a lot of gliders were on the Tarmac. I already knew of Soar Minden, which offers glider rides (I've been tempted; it's only $155 for a 35-minute ride), but it seems there is another glider-rides business there too, called Soaring NV.

Then I went up to the site of the defunct Champion Motor Speedway. The track itself is still there, and there are no fences to keep one out. I'll have to bring my camera and go out there again. The land was sold to a developer in 2005 (despite good attendance, as I understand it) who apparently underestimated the cost of removing the track, and thus is sits.

After that I took S Virginia St up through downtown Carson City and followed on back home. Realizing that it was after 4 p.m., it was a quick grab of my camera and verification of directions before heading back out to Fallon in order to see the opening night of racing at Rattlesnake Raceway. It's about an hour and a half by the quick way, and 15 minutes longer by the more interesting way, according to Google. I took the more interesting way because long highway riding feels longer than long twisty riding.

So I went over Geiger Summit to Virginia City (what a difference two months make; the place was very busy and active now), continuing along to east Carson City, then east on 50 all the way to Fallon. That's still a lot of highway running, so I was glad to get there -- just past 6 p.m.

Fan of the movie Cars will get a kick out of one of the videos I will post eventually from the track. A bunch of the Bomber Stock drivers have made up their cars to look like cars from the movie -- including a tow truck racing painted up like Mater (complete with teeth). They even have eyes in the windscreen areas.

On the way back, I decided to shorten the highway running by cutting through a road called Six Mile Canyon Road which connects to north Virginia City from east of Dayton -- six miles of twisty hilly road with nothing but wilderness around you. As I suspected, it took a longer time chronologically, but psychologically it made the trip seem easier. I got home at quarter to 2 a.m.

I keep seeing new road signs around here. By my house, there's a picture sign warning of wild horse crossing. Near Incline Village on the way to Lake Tahoe, there's a picture sign warning of bear crossing.

Maybe I can use Google Maps to create a map of the exact riding path I took, to show just how much riding I did!