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Where did you Ride this Weekend

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Where did you Ride this Weekend

Old 10-14-13, 10:28 AM
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Where did you Ride this Weekend

We had another weekend climbfest in the San Gabriels this weekend. The route was one of the biggest (longest sustained) climbs in SoCal, starting at about 500 feet at Encanto Park and heading up to 7900 feet at Dawson Saddle. Now that the FC508 is in my rear view mirror, there was nothing to train for, so it was just a pleasant fall climbing ride.

We started kinda late ... about 8:30, but had a good group going out.



It was a little chilly at the start, but with the climb, we warmed up quickly. The woman at the front here is a heck of a climber. First in her age group on a some competitive climbs, so she earned that polka-dot bike and clothes.



Down to the last detail.



She was easy on the eyes and a hoot to chat and ride with. After a quick stop at the kiosk for some water, we headed on up, up, up. Not sure if the "V" stands for victory, peace, or vomit here.



Along the way, we passed a LOT of deer hunters. All in camo, rifles over their shoulders, binoculars ... trying to spy out some venison.



We passed the closed gate onto the rocky part of Highway 39 and headed on up to Angeles Crest Highway. To be honest, I'm not thrilled about this part of the climb. The scenery is nice, but it's flanked by a rocky hill that drops sharp rocks onto the highway and they can really do a number on your tires. In a group of about 20, it's pretty guaranteed that in this 5 mile section, someone will get a flat, and they're also likely to slash a tire. I was Ok with turning around if there were as many rocks as usual, but since it looked pretty clean, up we went to Islip Saddle and the Angeles Crest Highway.

It was now getting pretty chilly and windy, and even though we still had 1400 feet to go, I donned my windbreaker. Some snow about too.



Finally Dawson Saddle. And here we are:



Great views from up there, down into the Antelope Valley. Here is the queen of the mountains:



Flippin beautiful bike, eh? She made the climb look easy too.

Now, you know it's cold when you'd MUCH rather keep going up than descend, but at 7901, Dawson Saddle was the top, so at this point, we put on what clothes we had and started descending down. It was cold, but not terribly so. And by the time we got to the bottom section, the rocky part of Highway 39 had taken it's toll. One flat and one slashed tire.

We had a funny moment too. With all the hunters and all the equipment about, you had to wonder how the deer had a chance. But while Stefan was waiting for us down at the first gate, a deer casually walked within several yards with him, paused to look around, and went on his way.

The lower part of Highway 39 has new pavement and is really curvaceous. It is a GREAT descent:





It was getting a little late in the day, so we just headed off to the bottom. Flippin beautiful day for a ride. And when we got to the bottom, the guy that took most of these great pictures, opened up his truck and had roasted chicken sandwiches, drinks, and fruit for us. We had a little tailgate party there, and it was SWEET. Great day!

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Old 10-14-13, 12:11 PM
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I rode the Bass Lake Double on Saturday while Victor and friends were riding up Hwy 39 to Dawson's.

The ride went well. Had a tooth-ache so had to visit my dentist on the way up to Clovis. She said nothing to worry about
so I took off in the Insight and arrived in Clovis in time to have dinner with my friends Linda, Keith, Jeff, Peter, David and Andrew. Italian food, very good for pre-Bass Lake double.

I shared a room with Linda and we set the alarm for 2:45 since she wanted to be on the course by 3:30. Breakfast and prep went well, so we were on our bikes, on the course, bright head and tail lights lit up . . . and took off spot on 3:30. We joined a group of three, two women and a man (who was from Cambridgeshire, I later found out). The first 80 miles are pretty flat so we stayed with this group until the 2nd checkpoint (by which time it was quite sunny), and the Fresno bike club had transfer bags so we could send our warm clothes up to the Bass Lake checkpoint #4. Very organized, with each riders name and number on the bags..

In went the jacket, toe warmers, long finger gloves, arm warmers and knee warmers, no worries. Linda had started talking to a guy she met (Churchill was his first name) so I felt okay abandoning Linda (she doesn't climb as well as I do anyway) since she was about the same climbing speed as Churchill.

Big climbs were next, up to Pine Flats Lake, around the lake (lovely scenery) to a short steep little mother called Maxon. No problem, geared down, but then I got a flat on the rear . . . large nail, the kind with the spiral shaft. Fortunately for me, one of the SAG motorcycles pulled up quickly, helped me change the tube, plus he had a floor pump, so really, all good.

Except that all the riders I'd passed on the lake climbs went past me as I was dealing with the tire . . . but once I got back on
the bike I was able to pass them all (and more) so no harm done, really. Probably only cost me ten minutes fixing the flat, maybe less. From there on I hammered as much as possible, passing more riders before I got to the lunch stop at Aubrey school. Great lunch there, a lovely girl insisted on filling my bottles for me; so too a custom made sandwich, chips, grapes and desert. While I was enjoying lunch, my friend Jeff Nickolls pulled up (he's also from Whittier).

Great guy, very friendly and he knew the area around Bass Lake. Jeff and I took
off together and stayed together (pretty much) all day. He is a better climber than I am so he pulled away from me on the Bass Lake Powerhouse climb, but on some of the long climbs that followed I could see him way ahead, so he wasn't more than three or four minutes ahead of me into the Bass Lake checkpoint. We refueled there, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, refilled my bottles (had to do it myself this time!) with water and Perpetuem (liquid food). After un-packing the aforementioned bag (stuff into jersey pockets) Jeff and I headed out around Bass Lake, pretty much the whole perimeter, before heading onto the main road, then a right turn to go down the Powerhouse climb.

We were number 20 and 21 out of 129 riders into the Bass Lake checkpoint, so really ahead of the game, plus as we headed down Powerhouse
there were still riders on their way up, i.e. about an hour and a half behind us. This was about 3:30PM so Jeff and I decided that our goal should be to finish in daylight. Not easy with still 70 miles to go but whatever, worth a try!

Still had the 6 mile Aubrey Climb to do (it had been a fun descent on the way out) before a short stop at Aubrey school (give our
numbers, re-fill bottles, take off . . . After Aubrey a short ride down SJ&E road (named after a long gone railway) to Toll House Rd. which had a few short climbs (for awhile) before becoming a constant descent for about ten miles. Lots of curves so lots of fun and Jeff is at least as good at descending as I am, so we stayed together all down Toll House.

Next up was Nicholas, with a lot of short brutal climbs, then a bit on the highway to a (cross traffic) turn on Old Millerton Road. Here
we were riding directly west with a very bright sun in our eyes. Often we couldn't see the road well at all due to the sun. We both had sunglasses on but when it's that direct . . .not much help. Fortunately not many motor vehicles on Old Millerton Road! This was followed by another cross-traffic (also uncontrolled) left turn onto a main highway with a beautiful bike lane.

Checkpoint #6 is the Filipino staffed checkpoint, always a party with great Filipino food (and music and bright lights); quite the show really. Jeff and I cut it short though. I had a Mountain Dew while he sampled a bit of the food choices, but five minutes and we were gone (after making sure the guy with the clip-board had gotten our numbers). From there it was serious hammer-time, as fast as we could go back into Clovis. We didn't quite make daylight though, stopping at the turn onto Minnehaha to turn on our lights andchange glasses. That done it was an easy ride, mostly slightly downhill,. to the finish at 7:01 PM.

Andrew and Peter finished about 8:30, David about 9:00 but Linda didn't finish until almost 11:00 PM. She'd had quite the adventure
but found a nice woman to ride with who was her speed (or slightly slower) so that worked well. Overall a great double century; beautiful course, great folks at all the checkpoints, a very well marked course (we didn't really need to look at our route sheets) and really, a totally excellent and well presented event by the Fresno club. They even had a full meal at the finish (I went back to my motel, showered and changed before going back to eat) with excellent: chicken, tri-tip beef, salad, curry lintel, bean salad, maybe more that I've forgotten. Great stuff though. I hung around while my friends came into the finish . . . except for Linda. Keith and I waited until 10:00PM and then gave up and went back to the motel.

Linda came in about 11:30 but I was sleeping so I barely heard her. Keith and I enjoyed the motel breakfast (Best Western) while Linda
slept in a bit. The drive home was uneventful, not too much traffic coming into Los Angeles. The Insight got 65 mpg on the way up and I refueled on top of The Grapevine, so I landed here at home with 81.2 mpg. That's not going to happen often!

Okay, so there's the ride report. Now you know what it's like to ride a double! This was CA double number 60 for me. Oh, and I forgot to bring my Garmin but here is the data from Jeff's, so it should be pretty similar: https://connect.garmin.com/activity/389519964

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Old 10-14-13, 01:21 PM
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Are you guys trying to make the rest of us in fly-over country just feel bad?

Anyway, both write-ups are great. Looks like a good time was had by all.

I rode in Floyd Park Saturday and Oxmoor Woods Sunday. No pictures, but as mentioned in another post I almost got run over by a herd of Hello Kitty bikes.
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Old 10-14-13, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Dudelsack View Post
Are you guys trying to make the rest of us in fly-over country just feel bad?

Anyway, both write-ups are great. Looks like a good time was had by all.

I rode in Floyd Park Saturday and Oxmoor Woods Sunday. No pictures, but as mentioned in another post I almost got run over by a herd of Hello Kitty bikes.
C'mon down ... we'll hook you up.

Great write up, Rick! I've only done the Bass Lake Double once, but had a great time, once we got out of the flats and into the hills. I still remember that Filipino food fest. Yum.

Oh BTW ... here's a pix of the tire carnage:

Attached Images
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Old 10-14-13, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Dudelsack View Post
I almost got run over by a herd of Hello Kitty bikes.
Now that is scary!

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Old 10-14-13, 01:51 PM
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Aw, don't encourage him.

You know why there aren't any pictures? They were all dressed like this:

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Old 10-14-13, 02:28 PM
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Nice looking Colnago in polka dot color . I would never have the guts to order that color since I am a very slow climber .
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Old 10-14-13, 02:31 PM
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I did the Great River Ride out of Westfield, MA. Goes through many of the hill towns in the Berkshires. 300+ riders every year on the Sunday of Columbus Day Weekend. They have 30, 64, 88 and 109 mile rides (the 30 is, I'm told, hilly but no monsters, ,the longer rides are another story. I did the 64, hope to do the 80 next year. Don't think I'll ever be fast enough on those hills to do this 100+ miles in daylight!) We had a beautiful day for it. Started out a bit chilly but warmed up some. I left my arm and leg warmers on, but plenty of people rode in shorts and short sleeves.
Each year they change the route a little. There is a big long steep downhill about 15 miles into the ride (I got up to 44.8 mph, and that is with having to brake for cars in front of me). On the way back, about 18 miles out, I started noticing houses that looked familiar, and then I saw a car just like mine for sale in a yard, and knew we were headed back up that hill! My riding partner almost cried. Fortunately, we turned off before we really hit the long steep part.
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Old 10-14-13, 05:30 PM
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With so many thread choices in which to post my weekend rides, I chose the "seat sniffer". I overcame my concern about sniffing seats when I saw the polkadot bike. How bad can he be if all those climbers ride with him?

I did the time crunched version of the 39/2 climb. I climbed up Kings Mountain road which starts in Woodside, CA and climbs 4.1 miles to the top of Skyline Drive at 6% average grade. The ride over to the climb was punctuated by slowing for numerous riders on horses on the side of the road and horse crossings. A woman on horseback asked me if I would pick up a horseshoe that was on the side of the road turned up with nails protruding. Sure. I stopped and put the shoe on the side of the road nails down. The woman said she would note the location and pick it up later.

I looked at the Highway 39 connector road on Google Earth and it looked rough. I get why it would cut tires. I have done the GMR climb so I am familiar with the terrain and views - nice climbing area.

Rick, you are a bad ass stud muffin. Keep it up.
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Old 10-14-13, 06:54 PM
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No mountains here, but I'm starting to find different places to ride with hills. With the wind down here and the hills, sometimes it feels like mountains.
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Old 10-14-13, 09:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Hermes View Post
With so many thread choices in which to post my weekend rides, I chose the "seat sniffer". I overcame my concern about sniffing seats when I saw the polkadot bike. How bad can he be if all those climbers ride with him?
Lol ... thanks, I think.

I suppose I should explain the moniker.

As you know, it's typical for a seat to be provided with a new bike, and also typical that the seat is replaced by one more to the riders liking. When that happens, I throw the original seat in a box for possible later use or to give it away to someone who needs it.

I found myself needing a new seat for my commuting bike and picked one out of the box. Riding it into the office, I was surprised how good it felt ... good enough for a much longer ride. I wheeled the bike into my office still thinking about it. But to be sure it would work for longer rides, it had to be leather. Vinyl just doesn't breathe enough for long rides. So how to confirm that it's leather? Only one way ... sniff it.

So I leaned over and did just that.

And right where I did, one of our employees walked up behind me and into the office door. It was Isabelle ... a 70ish, frail Japanese woman who always regarded me as more than a little bit quirky. She caught me in the act.

She stopped dead in her tracks, stiffened up like a board, twirled in place and walked briskly away. OMG.

"But I was sniffing my seat!"

That made matters worse. No matter how many times I tried to explain it to her, she always said "It's none of my business and don't want to talk about it."

Sniff just one seat ...
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Old 10-15-13, 05:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Biker395 View Post
Lol ... thanks, I think.

I suppose I should explain the moniker.

As you know, it's typical for a seat to be provided with a new bike, and also typical that the seat is replaced by one more to the riders liking. When that happens, I throw the original seat in a box for possible later use or to give it away to someone who needs it.

I found myself needing a new seat for my commuting bike and picked one out of the box. Riding it into the office, I was surprised how good it felt ... good enough for a much longer ride. I wheeled the bike into my office still thinking about it. But to be sure it would work for longer rides, it had to be leather. Vinyl just doesn't breathe enough for long rides. So how to confirm that it's leather? Only one way ... sniff it.

So I leaned over and did just that.

And right where I did, one of our employees walked up behind me and into the office door. It was Isabelle ... a 70ish, frail Japanese woman who always regarded me as more than a little bit quirky. She caught me in the act.

She stopped dead in her tracks, stiffened up like a board, twirled in place and walked briskly away. OMG.

"But I was sniffing my seat!"

That made matters worse. No matter how many times I tried to explain it to her, she always said "It's none of my business and don't want to talk about it."

Sniff just one seat ...
Lesson: Always sniff one's seat behind locked doors....at home.
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Old 10-16-13, 07:48 AM
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I was on the ride with Biker395 but my group started a little early because I am old, fat, and slow. Strangely, most of them didn't catch me untill the top of Hwy 39.
I skipped the climb to Dawson Saddle because my friend Edina had already been up there and she wanted to go back down, her car-pool friend had already descended.

I didn't want her to descend alone but she flew through the rough section where I worried about my tires. She waited for me once the road smoothed out but when I slowed to chat with another lady, she took off, hitting 50mph+ on the wind blown descent. This is where I worried about my life. 50mph is fast when there is no wind and I just wussed out. So much for chivalry.
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Old 10-16-13, 09:10 AM
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I rode the trainer this last weekend as it was raining continuously.
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Old 10-16-13, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by big john View Post
I was on the ride with Biker395 but my group started a little early because I am old, fat, and slow. Strangely, most of them didn't catch me untill the top of Hwy 39.
I skipped the climb to Dawson Saddle because my friend Edina had already been up there and she wanted to go back down, her car-pool friend had already descended.

I didn't want her to descend alone but she flew through the rough section where I worried about my tires. She waited for me once the road smoothed out but when I slowed to chat with another lady, she took off, hitting 50mph+ on the wind blown descent. This is where I worried about my life. 50mph is fast when there is no wind and I just wussed out. So much for chivalry.
You know what that means ... you ain't that old, you ain't that fat, and you ain't that slow!

I'm with you on those descents. 35 MPH is plenty fast enough and tops for me. And flying through that rocky section is a singularly bad idea.
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Old 10-16-13, 10:12 AM
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My second year at the Tour de Scottsdale. 70 miles, and not too much climbing. Sorry no photos, but here's a YouTube link to a video a friend took of the ride. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wXcm93kDCu8

There were over 1,000 cyclists riding either the 30 or 70 mile route. Large fast groups the first 10 miles. I found myself getting dropped from the group I was trying to hang onto at about the 15 mile point and rode the next mile alone - until I passed a guy just getting back on his bike after fixing a flat. I call him my angel since he pulled me along at 28 mph for the next 6 miles. I offered my thanks to him as we approached the bottom of a climb where I knew I would not be hanging on any longer.

The ride up Dynamite was easy, as was the 9 mile ride down into Rio Verde. The next 5 miles have always been mentally tough for me, usually riding it alone and often a head wind. This year I was in a group of a dozen bikes which made it an easy ride thru the rollers and into Fountain Hills.

This is where the group seemed to disintegrate as several people stopped at the aid station, and I found myself riding the last 15 miles to DC Ranch alone.

It was a fun ride - although I'm still sulking over the fact that I was 7 minutes slower this year. My wife rode the 30 miles and improved her time - go girl!

Lunch with friends after the ride - who could ask for more.

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Old 10-16-13, 10:15 AM
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Whoa ... that is a lot of people in that video! Looks like a bicycling version of the 405. I'll be the scenery was fab.

Wait a minute ... someone was pulling you at 28 MPH for 6 miles? That's really hoofing it!
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Old 10-16-13, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Biker395 View Post
Whoa ... that is a lot of people in that video! Looks like a bicycling version of the 405. I'll be the scenery was fab.

Wait a minute ... someone was pulling you at 28 MPH for 6 miles? That's really hoofing it!
The TdS is a gorgeous ride - especially since we're not from around here.

Your weekend ride also sounds like an amazing area to ride. I need to retire so that I can get to ride more of these places!
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Old 10-16-13, 11:47 AM
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I rode a 110k hilly ride with a friend last Friday, rode a flatter 200k on the tandem on Saturday.
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Old 10-16-13, 12:27 PM
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I was in Phoenix for the weekend. We had a club ride from north Phoenix to the TV Towers at South Mountain park. Add in my ride to/from the start and I had 77 miles on Saturday (at a slow pace). I had a solo ride to NE Phoenix/Scottsdale on Sunday for 28 miles. Great weather for rides.
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Old 10-16-13, 12:31 PM
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Ever done that climb to the top of Mt. Lemmon? I have relatives down there in Tucson, so I took advantage of that last year. What a nice climb!

There was a bike club from Phoenix who was doing the climb at the same time, and they shared their water and food with me.
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Old 10-16-13, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Biker395 View Post
Ever done that climb to the top of Mt. Lemmon? I have relatives down there in Tucson, so I took advantage of that last year. What a nice climb!

There was a bike club from Phoenix who was doing the climb at the same time, and they shared their water and food with me.
One the clubs I ride with has ridden Mt Lemmon in September in both 2011 and 2012. I rode it in 2011, and would agree it is a great, but challenging, climb. I hope to ride it again.
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Old 10-21-13, 10:12 AM
  #23  
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I did a couple of rides over the weekend. The first was a birthday celebratory ride. Poor thing ... she has no friends. I'm the idiot in the back in the victory pose.



We took off from Mulholland, rode up Old Topanga and Fernwood, for a great view of the LA basin.



From this spot on a clear day, you can see pretty much all of Los Angeles from one point. To your left, the Valley, to the right, downtown LA, and the Miracle Mile:



We headed down Piuma to the bottom, then turned back up again for a ride to the top:



All the natural scenery was beautiful ... especially these guys. The birthday girl is on the right there.



After that, we convened for a BBQ ... with LOADS of Vietnamese food. Oy, was that good. See those leaf-wrapped thingies? I made an ass of myself trying to eat those as if they were wrapped in grape leaves. Them's banana leaves, and let me tell you ... not pierceable by human teeth. When eaten the way they should be (unwrapped for the inside) they were quite delicious.



Got a chance to do some mountain riding on Sunday too. We rode from Glendora to Mt. Baldy for some of their famous cinnamon rolls. Oy, were they good! I'd have a pix, but I forgot my camera.

There were even spots with some nice fall color:



We only did 60 miles or so, so I had time to try to find the Nirvana of donuts ... Donut Man! These guys make donuts with fresh fruit! Yum!



But alas ... they were sold out. I'm not giving up though ... I'm coming back.
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Old 10-21-13, 11:19 AM
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Great pics Biker395. I will have some pics after the Heart of Arizona ride on Nov 2 and the McDowell Mtn ride on Nov 16.
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Old 10-21-13, 08:25 PM
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I got out by myself and rode around the Tatoosh Mountain Range on Sunday.


The bike gets it's first taste of snow this fall.

I packed a light lunch and had it on the porch of the Paradise Lodge at Mount Rainier - closed for the season. Those are the Tatoosh Mountains in the Background.

It was a beautiful day in the Mountains
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