US 93 and Miles of Miles

I recently had an opportunity to go visit my son and his family in Boise ID.  I decided to explore US 93 which, for me,  started north of Las Vegas and conveniently dumped me off on I-84  a couple of hours south of  Boise.  (US 93 technically starts in AZ, but since I was coming from the Los Angeles area it was easier to head north and start from here.)

US 93 is a long, lonely highway.  Because the weather was so inclement, the weapon of choice was my 2013 Subaru Outback.  With temps in the low forties, and howling wind, riding Bikeopotamus seemed an unwise decision.Add to the mix that the already volatile weather was getting worse and lack of support if I encountered a breakdown, put me solidly behind the driver’s wheel for this trip.  BTW, the Outback is an awesome vehicle for exploring!  But, I digress….

Since US 93 is so isolated, a few tips for the rider, in no particular order are offered.  Bring water, a fully charged cell phone, and some food.  Make sure your tires are in good shape before you depart.  There are no motorcycle services, to my knowledge, Let someone know where you are going.  There are several sections where fuel is in short supply, yet gas if available especially if you have the range of Bikeopotamus:

Bikeopotamus at the River

Most motorcycles don’t rock 350 miles to a tank,  so get gas accordingly-there are several towns along the way, as well as major stops in Ely, and Elko NV.  Another tip is, stay on US 93 and head east when it splits off for the “Alien Highway.”  This section of US 93 is very scenic and a great diversion is to continue northeast into the Great Basin National Park.  Extremely rugged and remote, it is the least visited of all our National Parks, and it is a beautiful as it is remote!  Oh, and one final tip…you can pretty much go as fast as you want, but within ten miles of any town, slow down.  Wells, NV is a great place to get a Performance Riding Award, though I haven’t personally had the pleasure!

So, your bike and tires are in good shape, you have lots of water, a patch kit, a cell phone and some food….here is where you’ll be going:

IMG_6007

 

IMG_6011

IMG_6015

When you are ready for a break from all the awesome exploring there is to do, Ely NV makes an accessible spot for a night’s rest.  Get off US 93 and take Aultman Street  ”downtown.”  As you enter the downtown area look for the Best Western at 930 Aultman Street.  A few blocks up is good Chinese as well.  Check in, and go check out some pretty good Chinese food at “The Happy Garden” on Aultman.  The hotel directly across the street from the Chinese restaurant serves a great steak, but way too much cigaret smoke inside for me!

Fed, rested, and restored you can continue north on US 93 or turn west on US 6 for more incredible riding.

IMG_6031

Have fun!

Steve

 

Baby’s Got New Shoes!

I’d heard lots of good things about the new Heidenau K60 tires, so when my last pair of Shinko 705 Radials wore out, I thought I’d give them a try.

I’m not an expert on tires, but with about 300K of riding underneath my saddle, I’ve got my opinions.  In a few words,  I really like them.  They are plenty sticky on dry asphalt for my 8/10s riding style, and on the unpaved stuff they inspire confidence.  Last weekend I took my riding partner for a nice spin through the local mountains, which involved some graded gravel roads.  The KC60s inspired confidence, with less tracking and “wandering” around in the sandier sections.  I’ve yet to try them in the rain…hey, this is So Cal, what is “rain?”  I’ve heard they are a bit squirrely in the wet-this wouldn’t surprise me as they seem pretty stiff.  I guess I’ll find out when I take them to the Pacific Northwet this summer!

IMG_6020_2

Mileage is great so far.  Here is a picture of the rear with 3K miles on it.  The front tire looks brand new.  I’m confident these tires will take me about 10,000 miles this summer.  And no, I’m not as ghostly white as the pic indicates!  LOL

P1060527

The only “con” so far?  This is nit-picking, but they are fairly noisy on the asphalt and they have a tendency to “walk” around on the rain grooves.  Really no issues other than these!

So far, I’ll recommend the Heidenau K60 to anyone who rides an “adventure style bike.”  Good handling, great mileage, and confidence building off the pavement.  I’ll post up a few more comments when I’ve put a few more miles on them.

Keep it between the ditches,

Steve

Fall in SW Utah

In the fall, there is no better place to ride than SW Utah.  Lucky for me, the fall colors are only about 600 miles from my house, and with that in mind, I headed to Torrey, UT a couple of weeks ago.  My purpose was two fold: one, a group from www.bmwsporttouring.com was there, and two, the colors were in full bloom!

If you are planning on heading up, I suggest a straight shot up I-15 to Cedar City, then east on UT 14.  This will take you to Cedar Breaks, Brian Head, and then Panguitch, UT.  From here, hop over to Utah 12 and take it over the mountains through Red Rock Canyon, the Grand StairCase near Escalante, and over the mountains to Torrey.  When in Torrey, I suggest the Boulder View Inn as a great place to stay.  Susan, the innkeeper, runs a tight ship-the rooms are large, clean and pretty good views of the surrounding foothills.  You won’t be disappointed!  At the other end of town (the whole thing is walkable in 25 minutes) is “Slackers,” a burger place with killer chocolate malts and good simple food.  Very reasonable for the area-you can get a malt, burger, and fries for less than $10.

Here are a few pix.  Enjoy!

Burgers reign at Slackers, and the shakes are great too!

On UT12 heading off the summit down toward Torrey…

This makes a great three day ride from the LA or Central Coast area.  Riders that have a bit more time may elect to visit Zion or just hang out in Torrey or Escalante for an extra day.  The riding is magnificent.  Hope to see you on the road soon!