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Local Rides

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So I know local rides will be different for everyone but thought it would be nice to share local rides for everyone while they are waiting to go on those nice long rides.

So one of my local rides is here in Spokane WA is going out to Green Bluff when the fruits and vegetables are ready to pick. The roads are curved going through the hills of small farms and orchards. They occasionally have a live band playing at one of them and are able to sample their fruits and vegetables, you can go pick your own or buy what is already been picked. This is a great way to spend a few hours or more.

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DrewReardan TomDave Brakebill
Dennis P. Spokane WA USAF Retired 1996 Harley FLHTCUI with Liberty Sidecar

My latest local drive in the backroads.

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SwampFoxDrewReardan TomFlyingMonkeyssheath
Dennis P. Spokane WA USAF Retired 1996 Harley FLHTCUI with Liberty Sidecar

Stopped by the observatory on our local ride today, a "shakedown" run for Mrs. Swampfox in preparation for traveling to the Bunkie Boucherie on November 3rd.


Yeah, I rode the Vespa today as it had been sidelined for several months awaiting a special-order switch.  I did a test run on the Sporster rig last weekend after installing a new windshield om the Texas Ranger.


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GeorgeDrewReardan TomFlyingMonkeyssheathDave Brakebill
Lee / Summer Grove, Louisiana: Ural cT, CJ750, Burgman/Texas Ranger, Zuma 50F, MB5, TW200, CRF250L, GTV300

A nice February day to ride across the Texas state line to tend to some family business.  Couple of pics fron Harrison County:


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Lee / Summer Grove, Louisiana: Ural cT, CJ750, Burgman/Texas Ranger, Zuma 50F, MB5, TW200, CRF250L, GTV300

A short local ride is up the mountain to Marysville.  Once a mining town of 5,000, it is now a sleepy little town of 70.  

A bit longer ride is around Canyon Ferry Reservoir. It is a bit over 100 miles. 

And, for a long day there is Yellowstone NP when the tourists aren’t there. 

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SwampFoxMGV8CCjonDrewDennis PeabodyFlyingMonkeyssheathDave Brakebill
Kevin - Team Pterodactyl's Montana Outpost Silver City, Montana

A day trip for me would be up NE Hwy 2 towards Alliance to see Carhenge and back.  The Sandhills Scenic Byway is a unique bit of geography that has almost no trees, a 2000 ft total elevation change along undulating prairie, mostly devoid of towns. 

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Reardan TomFlyingMonkeyssheathBrstr
Quote from Thane Lewis on February 7, 2024, 11:43 am

a unique bit of geography that has almost no trees, 

No trees.........No trees.........what  kind of  world do you  live in  ??????

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Thane LewisReardan TomsheathBrstr
Two Million Miles, and All 7 Continents

One I happen to rather enjoy!  And, no, Nebraska isn't flat - I checked!

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SwampFoxReardan TomFlyingMonkeyssheath

Well, not meaning to gloat, ...much, I live one mile from the start of the Deer Park Road in the Olympic National Park.   I moved here six years ago and in that time I have never met another sidecarist except at the training course in Silverdale.  And I have never seen another sidehack on the peninsula even though I've seen videos and ride reports of people sneaking in without letting me know...  So, in enlightened self-interest, if anyone travels to the Olympic Peninsula I would be happy to show you some places you might not otherwise see.  Dirt or slab.  Or squishy.

Deer Park Road


I live on the shore of the Strait of Juan de Fuca just behind the center hill in this pic.

Mt. Baker on the horizon.

Probably the best way to visit the Olympic Peninsula is to get lodging or make a base camp and make day trips.  There have been a number of routes around the peninsula BDR style but with the weather and the need for campsite reservations you might as well make yourself comfortable and make forays.

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SwampFoxMGV8panhead_kickerCCjonDrewReardan TomFlyingMonkeyssheathAmigo

Drone?? You two need to link up!! I know you're not on the Peninsula but close enough....

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- "retired" WA state rep. Many years and many posts more than what show up here now.

I know I certainly need to get down there and explore some of Mr. Carver's Territory 

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I haven't done any ride reports with the sidecar rig, but here is one of my favorite "mountain rides" in Utah.  This is from when I had the Africa Twin.  But it is very do-able with pretty much any sidecar rig, if you don't mind getting dusty.

Copied from the Africa Twin forum where I initially posted it.


The ride started in Francis, to Duchesne, and then back up through the mountains on some gravel roads.
About 160 miles with about 25 miles of gravel washboard roads between Currant Creek Reservoir and Timber Lakes.

Starting in Francis, there is a great little Restaurant and General Store at the corner of SR32 and SR35. If you watch the TV show Yellowston (with Kevin Costner) this is where the accident happened in the first episode (just down the side street a bit).
Seems to always be a group of bikes stopping in, along with locals.  It's a real small restaurant, and there is seating outside.


The ride on SR35 is really beautiful. It is a good sized canyon with a river at the bottom. Starting in the tree line, going above, and then dropping down into a more desert style canyon near Tabiona.


Dropping down into the desert


On SR40 Just west of Duchesne (pronounced Due-Shayne, not due-chesny... lol) is Starvation reservoir.
Evidently Mission priests hired an Indian guide to get them over to the Indians in Salt Lake to convert them into good Christians, and had quite a struggle through this area. To the point they started questioning their Indian guide.
Now it's another reservoir, and travel is as easy as a Jet Ski... lol
Had they had sidecars to drive, it would have been an easy ride on a paved road. They probably would have wanted cruise control though.


Heading on SR40 is a turn off to Currant Creek Reservoir. This is another water shed, with plenty of fishing. No shade, so bring a sun-brella with you. Road was paved almost all the way to the reservoir.  It turns into a heavily graveled road, with some pretty bad washboard.


Standing on the dam looking back down the way I came up. To the left is a Wildlife Management Area.

Up at the top of the mountains, the view is spectacular. Lots of wild flowers in bloom. Big skies.



Then over the summit headed down towards Heber City, is a stunning view including the Wasatch Back.


So that was the ride.
Back down the hill into Heber, and then back to Francis, UT.

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 Will be in ST George UT end of July first of April.  Road Glide gathering Shake Week 14.

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A little FSR. ( forestry Service Road ) up behind my house in Little old Canoe. 

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CCjonmetalcarverDrewReardan TomFlyingMonkeyssheathAmigo

Wee bit of trivia- my ancestors were the founders of Heber City, UT. Dad knew the story.  

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- "retired" WA state rep. Many years and many posts more than what show up here now.

Tom,  your ancestors were hardy people.  If I remember right Brigham Young sent them up there to raise cattle.  I moved to Heber from Coalville for a year while looking for property to build on.  Ended up buying a place above Oakley.   Heber has some stunning views.  It is growing like a wildfire. 

Here is another very sidecar friendly ride in Northern-ish Utah (copied again from a post I did in the Africa Twin forum):

For those not familiar with Utah, there are plenty of stunning rides, even in the northern part. The Rockies end just east of Salt Lake City at the Wasatch Mountain Range. The view east from Salt Lake city is pretty stunning, with rugged peaks capped in snow.
In 2002 Park City, UT held the Winter Olympics, and is an amazing place winter and summer, with a very Alpine-esque appearance. Think rugged peaks, Aspen and Evergreens mixed with with stunning green meadows.

A great day ride out of Park City is SR 150 called the Mirror Lake Scenic Byway.
I made a loop out of this by going up through Coalville to Evanston, WY. Caught SR150 back out of Evanston, to Kamas, UT.
Leaving in the morning beats the summer heat, heading to Evanston, and gives the mountain passes time to warm up.

The ride to Evanston winds through a high desert valley with some cool Southwest style views. Along with the cattle and sheep that graze, the last time through I saw a big heard of prong horn. It's very old "western-ish".

If you get hungry, or thirsty around Samak, UT, there is a restaurant on the left called "The Notch". I've not ate there, but the locals I've talked to said it's a great stop, and there are always bikes in the parking lot, when passing by.

Google maps set with the option to avoid freeways, does a nice job of keeping to back roads, by choosing the towns I selected in the screen shot below.
The below picture is the basic route, and is about 4 hours of "riding" time. Figure more for lunch stop, picture taking, exploring the dirt roads, to little mountain lakes, etc. Lots of camping areas too.
Staying just to this route, there is only 6 miles of very well taken care of dirt road, on the way up to Evanston. The rest of the paved roads are in great condition. Mostly open winding turns, with some tighter turns on SR150.


Second time I've been over this route with the Africa Twin. Here are some of the views. Love this ride, and would like to get to Mirror lake early enough to do some photography when the lake is reflecting the surrounding landscape.

Looking west, about 4 miles west of Mirror Lake: At this point of the road, it is coming back into a huge valley leading back towards Samak / Kamas.


North East edge of Mirror Lake, looking west.


The road west from Mirror Lake climbs back up, and this shot is looking back east over Mirror Lake


This is a pullout east of Mirror Lake. The road drops down to mirror lake, and then climbs back up, where it goes around the peaks in the distance.


I'm betting it is just as scenic a run the other way, as it climbs into the rugged mountains, before coming into a huge valley near Evanston.
Bring a fishing pole and there are plenty of dirt roads leading to little lakes, and rivers. Make a weekend of it. Weather seems to be pretty good from July through October.

If you get to Kamas in the late morning on Saturday, the Chevron station at the corner of SR150 and SR32 has won awards for their Apple fritters (Saturday late morning only).
Seriously! They have a little bakery in the back of the store, that produces awesome donuts and pastries. So much so, that to ensure you get an apple fritter, you can call the night before and place your order.
A warning: The fritter is the size of a dinner plate, so bring friends, or a big appetite.

If you have a hankering for some good Mexican food, right next door is a great Mexican restaurant with outside seating.
Turn left onto SR32 from SR150 and half a block down on the right, there is an awesome pizza place, that also serves great ice cream.

Hope you can get a chance to do this ride. The views, and the easy pace is relaxing.

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I grew up in Ogden and those pics are a wonderful reminder.  This is the Cache Crest Trail in northern Utah.

Oops.  Title of the thread is "local rides".  I'm no longer local.   mea culpa

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You were "Local" then!  Nice pics.  🙂

Somewhere on that same forum I did a write up on a ride through the Wasatch range (back and front).  That is a stunningly beautiful area.  When I find it, I'll post it up.  Someone visiting the area would have three great easy rides at their fingertips.  

While there is also some great technical trail riding here in northern Utah, that precludes what a lot of people enjoy doing.  So I focused on easy "post card" type rides on that forum. 

I'm looking forward to looping a 2 day camp trip ride from Roosevelt, up through Flaming Gorge over to Evanston and back down on the Mirror Lake Byway.  Then back over to Roosevelt.  My neighbor is looking forward to being "monkey" for that trip.  We should be able to incorporate more fire road/Jeep trail travel.  Currently studying the MVU maps, and National Forest maps to link up trails.  Ashley NF is pretty new for me, having only been in the Uintah Basin for the past year.  So that will be a fun trip before heading out to Iuka for the National Rally. 

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About a month ago I rode to Pensacola for the weekend.  From New Orleans.  It’s a nice ride if you take  hwy 90 across the coast.  

and I saw something I’ve never seen in my life.  Hermit crab tracks.  LOL

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CCjonmetalcarverReardan TomFlyingMonkeyssheath

Finally found the ride report done through the Wasatch Mountain range.  Again copied from the post I made on the Africa Twin forum.

This is another very sidecar friendly ride, that can be initiated from the Salt Lake valley, or the "Wasatch Back".  I started from home in Oakley.  

Here is the basic route I followed.


Oakley, UT is famous for it's 4th of July rodeo. It also has exceptional water quality, so much so that there was a bottling facility that (according the the sign on the wall, pre-dated Jesus by 16,000 years... lol).


Saw a group of horses checking out the AT, so I had to stop for a photo. Made me realize the genius of engineers. They managed to stuff 94 of these big brutes into that little engine. Pretty amazing.


SR32 drops down into the East end of the Heber Valley. It was this view that stole my heart, and why I'm living in Utah now.
Along with the rugged snow capped Wasatch Mtns, is the Provo River, with some great fly fishing. Lots of open land with horses and cattle. The North and south end of the Heber Valley are bookended with beautiful reservoirs.


From there is was on to Heber Valley Artisan Cheese factory (closed on Sundays). This is a great place to stop for a Grilled Cheese sandwich, and stay for an ice cream cone.  They have patio seating, and a gift store that you will need to have room in your panniers for.


If you stay for lunch, or just an ice cream on the patio, here is the view you will get, of the Wasatch Back (backside of the Wasatch Mountain Range). The ride took me over this range twice.


Another short note on Midway is that in September they have "Swiss Days". Which is a whole lot of fun.

Out of Midway, taking 224 up through the backside of the Wasatch range to Brighton is a stunning narrow road, which leads through beautiful meadows, all the way up to the bald peaks, and then drops down to Brighton. This road is rated mostly for 15 mph. Lots of blind corners, and views that take away road focus.
Dropping down into Brighton there are so many views like this:


After running through all this rugged alpine-esque mountain, the base of the canyon gets narrow, and turns into a rugged rocky formation, that will strain your neck to see the tops, as you ride down the road. This is Big Cottonwood Canyon, and drops into the Salt Lake Valley.


Another great side trip is Little Cotton Wood Canyon. There are some amazing mountain resorts along this out-and-back route, along with some beautiful scenery. This shot is from the top of the canyon. There is a trail head just above this for some great hikes.


I worked my way south along the Wasatch front ridge, along Wasatch Blvd, getting lost many times, and finding cool stuff, along the way... lol
I was in a housing area, and came over a ridge with a park on the right. Was really neat to see Utah Lake (largest fresh water lake in Utah at about 148 sq miles).


Once I found the way to Hidden Canyon Rd (SR92) it was another beautiful ride up and over the Wasatch Mountains over to 189. Then the ride back up to Heber City Walmart (to get treats for the dogs, since they got left at home for the day). Then back on home.

The streams and rivers run really strong in spring. In places the roar of the water drowned out the exhaust from the bike.
The canyon roads are pretty crowded on the weekend, so the riding is slow. I think my average for the entire trip was 35mph.

From Heber City there are off road trails that follow the ridge over to Midway. I've done that on my FE501, and they are easy trails (mostly dirt roads, and SxS trails).

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