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Old 05-13-2008, 07:54 PM   #1
Straight roads are evil
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Name: Mike

  Santa Clara, CA


Join Date: Sep 2005

Posts: 425
Saturday Sopiago, or, what happens on the ride - stays on the internet!

Had a fantastic ride Saturday, riding a lot of great roads with some great people. Hooked up with Dave (GSDave), on a BMW 1150GS.
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Bill, on his Triumph Sprint 955i.
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Gary (MoreCoffee) on his Suzuki GSX 1100.
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And of course my beautiful Kawasaki Vulcan 750.
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We started up North-South road. There was some dirt bike race in progress, and the race course crossed the road.
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We planned to go up Mormon Emigrant Trail to NF-71, aka Silver Fork Road. We'd heard the road was closed at the top, could we make it to our turnoff?

This pic was a mistake, but it looks cool lol.
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The snow patches continued to expand, until 3/10 of a mile before the turnoff, the road was blocked. What to do? Have a snowball fight!
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The group at the top.
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Well, couldn't go forward, so we went down Mormon-Emigrant to Sly Park, where I made a wrong turn that turned out very right. Went left on Sly Park through some awesome mountain residential twisties, right at Pleasant Valley, then right at Newton Road / Snows road. No pics in this section, was having too much fun riding.

From Snows Road, we took 50 down to Placerville, where Gary showed us a really good restaurant. We had planned to take Mosquito road and some other twisties, but that would have put us back at Sopiago after the BBQ, so we decided to just head back. Took a different route though, Newton Road to Starkes Grade, which was an AWESOME 1-laner. I couldn't get the grin off my face, sometimes just started screaming for joy, buzzing with life. Good friends, great roads, fun times.

Starkes Grade ends at Sly Park, where we again got on Mormon Emigrant. BTW, Tim said he'd never been on Starkes Grade. Woot, we're riding beyond Pashnit!

The best part of the ride was about to begin. From Mormon Emigrant, we took Bonetti Road, which connects to North-South.

What can I say about Bonetti? Take a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 high. Lodge Road in the Santa Cruz mountains gets a 5. Forest Route 23S16 gets a 7. Bonetti? On that 1 to 5 scale, it scores an 11. It's just that good.

Bonetti starts with fresh pavement, dropping down to a creek.
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Gary's GSX ready to go.
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We fixed Dave's helmet the right way.
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After the creek, Bonetti gets awesome. 1-lane, rough, potholes, gravel, twists and turns, up and down, each mile better than the last. Didn't take pics sorry. In some places, the vegetation closed in on both sides, leaving only a narrow lane to pass. Here's a tip, don't try driving an RV down this road. One rider called it "almost a road". Another wondered if cannibal pygmies would jump out of the bushes and grab us. It's that remote! Bonetti Road, HIGHLY recommended. Roads just don't come any better.

At the end of the road. Another snowfight maybe?
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After that, we blazed down North-South back to Sopiago.
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Fun was had by all. See you on Bonetti! Oh yeah, Hi Billy!
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2009 Vstrom 650
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Old 05-13-2008, 09:30 PM   #2
Yes, I'm the guy
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Name: Tim



Join Date: Oct 2004

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Re: Saturday Sopiago, or, what happens on the ride - stays on the internet!

Great pics Mike - more fun in the sun! And snow!

Originally Posted by EQPlayer View Post

Starkes Grade ends at Sly Park, where we again got on Mormon Emigrant. BTW, Tim said he'd never been on Starkes Grade. Woot, we're riding beyond Pashnit!
Actually, there's even a webpage for it. <--map

Bonetti too...

Silver Fork Rd & Forest Rd 71 are the ones you'll have to try back when there's less snow. And don't forget Wrights Lake Rd.

Actually, it was Fort Jim Rd I haven't gotten around to riding, parallels Newtown Rd & always find myself enjoying the curves on that fun ride.
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Old 05-13-2008, 10:11 PM   #3
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Re: Saturday Sopiago, or, what happens on the ride - stays on the internet!

Excellent report Mike!

I sure enjoyed our ride. It had a very cool sureal aspect.
Your rotated photo captures that too.

Next time we add vent holes to my helmet, I'm going to take it off my head first.

Thank you for putting it all together.
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Old 05-13-2008, 10:25 PM   #4
Pavement Junkie
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Name: Eaton

  San Rafael, Ca.

  05 Ducati Monster 620

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Re: Saturday Sopiago, or, what happens on the ride - stays on the internet!

I wish I was there on Sat. to ride with you guys. Looks like A LOT of FUN!! At least I showed up on Sun for a few hours and got to meet you guys.

Ill be there in the fall for sure.
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