|From Magniac: |
I would count the WCM Sierras Tour as a resounding success. We had a great group of people, everyone got along well with each other, and had many good times in the evenings together (with a little beer) to relax after fantastic days of riding spectacular roads. Too many superlatives, you say? Not so. It really was a super week.
Keith did an amazing job of planning and printing out itineraries for the week, including maps for everyone of the planned routes showing the roads, complete with gas and meal stops. He also took on the grueling job of riding drag (not to be confused with riding IN drag) so that no one would be left behind, and also so that he could take videos of the riders in front of him. His hardest work, however, was in the weeks and months beforehand: helping choose the hotels, planning the routes, figuring out gas and meal stops, making sure the roads and mountain passes would be open and clear, keeping the website updated, etc. “Thanks, Keith” seems to be totally inadequate. I got the easy job, ride leader, which just meant I got to ride in front.
We got a little bad news just before the event. Deb from Canada had an accident with her Magna, and broke her arm, so she and Ian couldn’t make it. Also, my wife, Val, slipped and badly sprained her left ankle, making shifting impossible, so she had to sit this one out also, although she was able to drive the car (automatic trans) up to Tahoe to spend Wednesday and Thursday nights with us, hobbling around the motel. Except for the two nights Val was with us, it was a “boys’ week out”.
We rode east over Sonora Pass, west over Tioga Pass, made a loop through Yosemite Nat’l Park, and saw the giant redwoods at Calaveras Big Trees State Park. We went east over Ebetts and Monitor passes, and west over Daggetts Pass (Kingsbury Grade), rode along the shore of Lake Tahoe, and finally saw some traffic as we came through Reno. We experienced elevation changes from under 2,000 ft to well over 9,000 ft.
There was only one accident to mar the ride. A Vulcan went down on a left-hander, getting into the dirt and low-siding, going down a 6-foot sloped embankment. The bike suffered some damage to the front fender, left side turn signal, highway bar, and saddlebag. Fortunately, the rider was not seriously injured, but had a really good bruise to his left hip. Both he and the bike were able to continue, and we finished the ride without further incident.
The big fire at Lake Tahoe was going full bore when we arrived. It was a major disaster, burning over 3,000 acres and hundreds of homes. We detoured to the other side of the lake for our Thursday ride through a little of Northern Cal, coming back by way of historic Virginia City, Nevada. One of the more fortunate locals, George, whose home was spared, rode with us Thursday and Friday.
We said our farewells to some riders on Friday morning who decided to head back to Southern Cal via hwy 395 instead of going to Jackson, on hwy 49. Probably a wise choice, as it knocked the better part of a day off their trip home. Joe left with them on his way back to Michigan. More people split after our lunch at Mel’s in Jackson, leaving the rest of us to ride back to our starting point in Sonora. More left from there, so Keith, Walt, and I had a relaxing pizza dinner and spent the night, making our separate ways home on Saturday.
It was a terrific week, and I would like to thank all the riders who attended for making it a positive and memorable event. I hope we can all get together again soon for another.