The cautionary tag on the label for the new tires suggested that one should ride 100 miles carefully before starting to ride normally (uncarefully??). So, to get in some miles I decided to ride up to Jalama Beach for a turkey burger lunch. While eating lunch the idea came to return home by way of Refugio Beach, Refugio Road, and West Camino Cielo. In days of old I have ridden West Camino Cielo several times on my bicycle so I kind of knew what to expect but it would be new territory on the motorcycle and certainly a challenge for me with the off-road part.
Here’s the view as I was eating the delicious turkey burger at Jalama with a few locals meandering about hoping for a piece of the pie. The right image is an autumnal shot I liked as I returned along Jalama Road.
Up on West Camino Cielo now. The left image shows the nice 4 miles of single lane paved road preceding the 10 miles sans pavement shown in the right image. After those 10 the road returns to pavement near the Gun Club.
A panorama shot I took a little further up the road. Pretty day, no?
Alas, after I took the three images for the nice panorama I returned to the bike to notice the low fuel alert blinking at me. I was only 2.8 miles along the dirt section and had no idea how much there was to cover. Oh well, I decided to push on rather than turn around (heck, I’d already seen that part). I had last looked at the gauge leaving Jalama and it seemed like lots was left to use and to go exploring with then 🙂
Twenty five minutes later I came to the most interesting part of the ride. I was moving around a gentle right hand turn when Whoa Nellie! there’s water all across the road, continuing on around a slight left turn and up the road for about 35 yards. The water seemed too silty to see the roadway so I just headed in and tried to stay along the right side while hoping for no big rocks or dips under me.
About a quarter of the way through the water feature I rode too high into the right side of the submerged roadway and spun the rear wheel to a stop. Fortunately, I was able to hold the bike upright while standing in four or five inches of water.
Once stopped and trying to figure out what to do next I noticed that I could see the roadway through the water and that it was all smooth and not more than six or eight inches deep in the center, although quite slippery under foot and tire. It took me five or six starts and restarts before I got the bike moving and under control. I headed to the center of the road/pond for a ways then over to the left side as that was the first landfall. You can see some of this here but the overall length of the pond appears much reduced in this image than when one is standing at the far end of it.
From the point I saw the low fuel alert I remained anxious about running out as I was not certain how long it had been with me when I saw it. In the end I got to the bottom of the pass and into the nearby gas station for a topping up of the tank. Running the numbers it seemed I still had about a quart left in the tank.
The skid plate I purchased and installed last year paid for itself today. At least four times I came down heavily on it and it was a comfort to know it was not the Suzuki’s crankcase taking such abuse.
Friend Steve rode motocross bikes in his younger days and was of a mind that my new TKC80s might perform the same way at highway speeds as his old knobbies, i.e. be all bumpy and vibrating. Fortunately, the TKC80s only exhibit a small bumpy feeling at very slow speeds and seem as smooth as the Suzuki originals at any reasonable speed.
It was another 145 miles of fun, challenge, and exploration in the local environs.