Hi, Norbert Noguz here (not my real name, but I play him on the puter screen).
I met up with my friends at CA 16 and CA 20 at eleven. In fact, I was early, but so were they (how unusual!) so we got underway about 11 and headed up Bear Valley Road. It's a fast blast, just a little dusty. You can make some good time along there, but then there are those damn corners, they almost MAKE you slow down! After a few of those we passed a cattle ranch with one loose cow walking around in the road. I am quite careful around loose cows as I have a friend in NV who is a very good rider but he managed to hit one once and he didn't like it very much. Anyway, right after the cattle ranch we turned left, went up a dirt road past a little ranch house that has a bear statue holding a stars-n-stripes flag, then up a winding dirt road that led us to the NE side of Indian Valley Reservoir. We climbed up a ways and stopped for a water break. That's Jerry, world's fastest KTM mounted almost 62-year-old, with his arms up. He's trying to flag down a passing airplane because he thinks we're lost! Of course we're lost, we're riding with Kim!
From there we descended into the Cache Creek drainage (upper part, it's just a creek along there, but some nice looking holes in which to cool off next summer). BTW, the weather for November was nothing short of fantastic, given that it's currently late November! We had to cross Cache Creek to get on the road to Goat Mtn that we wanted to be on, so here is a pic of Kim descending into the creekbed on his DRZ, and one Jerry took of Norbert Noguz swimmingly riding his DR650 across the creek.
From there we doddled up the south side of Goat Mtn along a real nice winding road that was a little too narrow for most cars in spots, but a road, not a trail, nonetheless. We got momentarily lost looking for the right trail to go down to get to Goat Mtn Rd, and since Kim was navigating, that much was a given. Kim and Ben, whom I would rate as Advanced and Expert riders (respectively) led us to a spot where a tree had fallen across the road. After much admiration of the power of Mother Nature and her ability to blow down trees across the very roads we were hoping to traverse, we broke off branches to clear a path and then I personally built a small ramp with the broken branches to make it easier to get the front wheels over the trunk. I'm a bit of a novice rider, but I've used this method to get over trees before and it worked for me.
After the tree business, I was all settled in for a nice scenic ride (you could see the Sutter Buttes out in the distance, but I am such a pathetic digital picture taker that the shot of them, and the shot of Jerry crossing the raging river, I mean the Cache Creek, didn't show up when I unloaded, or uploaded, or downloaded, or reloaded them Oh Well! Sorry Jer! Maybe I can make it up to you with another breakfast! So I was all set for the scenic ride, but the navigator, Kim, had not selected the trail he had in mind and had instead selected an "Advanced" or "Expert" trail, which had some rather difficult downhill sections - long ones, I might add, and steep. So I successfully slid my bike down these sections, but upon reaching the bottom, the motor died and the bike fell over on its side. I picked it up and tried to start it but no go! Oh! Anybody have any tools? What would we do with tools anyway? Turned out it was the cheesy little "clutch safety switch", one of those switches that will save your life but of course they can also (and usually do) cause stalls and other confibulations that waste time and energy to figure out. I pulled the clutch switch and twisted the wires together, problem solved. Never did like that thing anyway. After that it was an easy doddle down some pleasant winding dirt roads (Goat Mtn Road) about twenty miles into Stonyford, where we stopped and visited a friend of Jerry's who had this building made up of old pie tins. I got to start eating more pies, maybe I'll get my own house done one of these days.
We went back to Stonyford and gassed up and headed home, down Lodoga-Leesville Road to Bear Valley Road. The blast back was straight, fast, and easy....and dusty. It was dusk and time to go home. We said our goodbyes and vowed to try it again! A memorable ride for me. My DR650 performed well and I didn't bust any bones or anything!