18 June 2011 – Just A Nice Saturday Evening Ride
Hey there, everyone Time for a few pics from another great day of riding
Yes, this is from Saturday’s ride and no, there isn’t really anything from Sunday. Riding in the wind isn’t something that’s really fun. It’s even less fun when the winds are gusty. My MSF instructor says she won’t ride in anything over 35 MPH and wile I know there are many who do, it’s something I’m still getting used to and I’d rather be called a wimp than end up in a ditch or something. The winds in Las Vegas today were something like 25+ gusting to 30 MPH and they were higher outside of town. Some of the palm trees looked like Dr. Seuss characters being blown by a hair dryer I elected to go for a couple of very short rides to grab some food and sodas so I could still enjoy being on the bike without trying to deal with the gusts at freeway speeds
Riding my motorcycle has been a real blast I don’t get too much riding in during the week due to just not being in the mood for it and being mentally fatigued after a long day on the phones at work, so I take what I can get on the weekends. I didn’t sleep too well Friday night (or last night), so I got a bit of a late start on things – some time around 1500. I figured a nice ride up on Mt. Charleston sounded fun
The wind wasn’t bad at all – just a bit of a breeze, but I felt like a bit of a “warm up” on some lightly traveled surface streets would be nice. I found that I could make it all the way to the access road for Mt. Charleston without getting on the 95 which was nice. The first stop on this little trip was up at the ranger station parking lot. The road isn’t that twisty and I really wasn’t all that tired, but there was an open restroom.
That info board tells the story of a plane crash on Mt. Charleston back in the 1950′s. A cargo plane involved in the U-2 project (then known as Aquatone) going from Lockheed’s plant in Burbank (now the Burbank airport) to Groom Dry Lake (now known as Area 51) never made it to its destination. The men on board may not have been in direct combat, but they were still warriors in the Cold War. There is much more info available at coldwarmonument.org. Rest in peace.
Click here for a map of the location where this photo was taken.
The temperature had been noticeably cooler at the ranger station, but it really continued to drop as I gained altitude. This picture was taken near the Las Vegas Ski and Snowboard Resort and I’m pretty sure it’s over 9,000 feet above sea level. I’m guessing the temperature was somewhere around 50° which is quite a bit less than the 100°+ I’ve gotten used to riding in. My shirt and jacket still had a bit of sweat on ‘em and I have to tell you that I darn near froze my tail off while riding 35 MPH or so! Of course, I loved every solitary second of that freezing as it was a rather refreshing change from the heat in the valley
Some people were initially worried that the 650 wouldn’t be powerful enough for me. I don’t know where they got that idea – especially after the riding I’ve done with this bike. As an example, the drive to where this picture was taken (click here to see a spot nearby – I forgot to push the button on the Spot while taking the picture) has quite a climb in elevation. I live at about 2500 feet above sea level and this place is 9000+ feet above sea level. There were a few times I had to down shift to maintain speed up the grades, but so what? The highest speed limit up on the mountain is 40 MPH and I had no problems maintaining or exceeding that
The air became noticeably warmer rather rapidly as I descended back toward the desert floor. My destination was Indian Springs, NV which was rather easy to reach. Even crossing the southbound lanes of Highway 95 was easy. I wanted to get a picture of my bike with a military jet and this was the closest one I knew of that I’d have close access to without going on an Air Force base.
This airplane is an F-84F Thunderstreak which was donated to the town of Indian Springs back in 1976 as a bicentennial gift from Nellis AFB. That’s why 1776 is painted on the rear of the fuselage It had been in a rather sorry state due to weather and vandals the last time I saw it, but thankfully it’s recently been restored I even found a nice video about the plane and restoration here
Click here for the location where this pic was taken.
I headed home from Indian Springs via Highway 95 and was truly thankful for my Cramp Buster (more on that later). Cruising along at 70 to 80 MPH was a piece of cake for the V-Star and it’s 650cc engine and I could tell there was plenty of speed still left in the bike if I’d wanted to use it I also got to have some fun riding at those speeds with a mild but gusting crosswind. I say fun because it’s nicer than what I’d truly like to say. No, it wasn’t ever really that bad, but I could feel the wind pushing me around a bit and while it was controllable it wasn’t something I’d try to go out and do on purpose most of the time.
As you might have noticed, I mounted the windshield a little while back It’s been a love/hate thing so far. I love not having the wind blast pushing me back at highway speeds and either having to hold onto the grips or lean forward the whole time. That part’s great. What’s not so great is that some of the turbulent air coming off the top of that windshield hits me in the head and gives me a bit of helmet buffeting and wind roar. It’s not too bad, but still rather noticeable. I was looking at the mounting points where the windshield mounts connect to the mounting bracket that’s attached to the forks and I noticed that there are three holes with the center and top currently in use. I plan on switching to the lowest and center mounting holes which should raise the windshield about 6″ or so and may solve my problem
That’s all for now, but there’s going to be more soon! I might even post some pics of exotic and remote locations
Have fun everyone
4 comments to 18 June 2011 – Just A Nice Saturday Evening Ride
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