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Long Absence, Great Ride

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Posted 15th March 2009 at 04:43 by glh

I have barely been here on the xlforum for the last six months or so. There were a number of reasons, all personal. I hadn't really ridden since my last 2 week trip in late August, but today I really did.

I spent the entire morning moving mass around, and beginning to set up my garage. I have been living in a new house (now alone) for less than 3 weeks. More on that later. I got far enough along that I was pretty sure I could get the motorcycle out and back in again, so after a much needed shower I headed out for parts unknown.

I rode from San Luis Obispo (California) up the Questa Grade to Santa Margarita and then onto Hwy 58. I had thought to stop for a smoke at the Pozo Saloon. It had been years since I had been there, so when I saw the sign for Park Hill Road, I thought to try it. I had read about the Park Hill - Pozo Rd Loop on at some point, so I was pretty sure I could find it that way.

Park Hill road was a beautiful ride, but it kept going and going and going. I went deeper and deeper into first the country then the Wilderness, all on twisty and challenging pavement. I started to think of my gas tank, and whether the spare gas cannister was still in my saddlebag. After 30 or so miles I spotted the sign for Pozo Rd and turned left. I figured I would be backtracking for a while, since I knew the Pozo Saloon was on Pozo Rd, and was not nearly so far from Santa Margarita as I had already ridden.

Then the pavement ended. That was OK, if a bit puzzling. I had only been a short ways past the saloon in question on Pozo Rd, so maybe it turned to dirt at some point. What was strange, though, were the shapes of the mountains surrounding me. I was in very unfamiliar territory, despite having left my house at 1:30 PM.

To call this road a Goat Trail would be deceiving; it was a truly primitive road with baked in ruts, deep crevaces perpendicular to the road to bounce over, and piles of loose rock to wiggle through. This afternoon may have been the most time I have spent in First Gear ever, but all around me was the vibrant life of Coastal Mountains after the rainy season. Wild Sage and Manzanita in full color, steep hillsides and crumbling rock.

I finally saw a sign that pointed me back towards Hwy 58 (four miles). The dual sport riders who passed me from the other direction looked a bit surprised to see me there, and truth be know the Sportster is not the best bike for the roads I travelled this day. I must admit I spent some time fantasizing about a Buell Ulysses XB12XT, but all the while I was working the Sportster like a dirt bike.

Ironically, the last section of the road towards Hwy 58 took me through an area dedicate to off road vehicle use. After my extensive off pavement adventure Hwy 58, a great motorcyling road in it own right, was a blast and I took it at speed.

It is good to be home, but it was great to be lost in my own backyard. It makes me feel even more grateful to be able to live where I am, knowing that there is still so much more to discover.

Postscript: It turns out that there is an East Pozo Rd. and a West Pozo Rd. I do know from my experience today that East Pozo Rd is marked by sign that says simply ... Pozo Rd.
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  1. Old Comment
    Silverback's Avatar
    I ride a 1200L and it is the most forgiving bike. I shipped it from the US to Germany then road it to Moscow by way of Sweden and Latvia. The problem is Garmin’s data is out dated. It said make a right and I did, the pavement I was on was bad enough but this was ridicules. Unknown to me all the traffic had been diverted because the road was torn out to be replaced. In Hine sight if I could read Latvian I probably would have known what the signs said. So 80 miles standing on my pegs keeping the RPM up, bridges gone, heavy equipment 4 to 6 inches of dust and mud headed to Russia and the Garmin saying 70 miles 60 miles 20 miles till I Get about 5 miles from the boarder and there is all the traffic. The old pontoons used to cross rivers were enough to make a young man cry, muddy slippery unstable and my bike and I weigh in at 1150lb. The front tire wants to cork screw in every time I lose RPM and momentum, but what a memory. A 14 hour run from Rega to Moscow after a week of Germany, Netherlands Sweden, ferry crossing the Baltic a day and a night in Rega I would do it again. Planning my next trip home to Alaska by way of Finland and Norway.
    Posted 21st December 2010 at 05:20 by Silverback Silverback is offline

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