November 15, 2001

Iowa Hill, Forresthill, Yankee Jim's

When I went to the Cycle World Show in San Mateo with Mark and Joan and firends, (trip report: ) I bought (among other things) a Throttle Rocker.  I slipped it over my Johar Rad Grip, and I just had to go test it.

I left home about 8:20, with 9003 miles on the odometer.  Headed east on I80, towards Reno.  Exited the freeway at Colfax, headed back west on the side road to the CDF Fire Station, turned South on Iowa Hill Road and headed toward Forresthill.  Great, twisty, narrow road through the forrest.  The Iowa Hill Marker - Gold was discovered here in 1885, or thereabouts.

A view from behind the bike, as in the previous picture:

There's storm to the West and North, but it's not due until tonight, so it's a cool ride with great views and little traffic.

So, what is the coefficient of friction of pine needles, anyway (layered on asphalt)?

On the dam at Sugar Pine Reservoir:

and a view of the storage (rather low at the moment), and the upcomming storm:

There is an off-road riding area, and the trails criss-cross the road.  I kept having visions of t-boning one of our knobby-tired co-riders, so I went rather slowly through this area, even though the roads were clear and dry.

The original ride plan was to go south from Forresthill on Mosquito Ridge, but it was closed, and the gas station lady indicated that there had been snow already.  The road was closed, 27 miles out.  No problem, I headed back West, on Yankee Jim's road.  There's a couple miles of twisty balcktop, and then this sign:

Get that?  "Primitive" road ahead!  Yahoo, Tiger country!

O.K., I know what you all are thinking.... "the Triumph Tiger is not an 'Off-road' motorcycle.  I'm not off-road, just primitive.  The picture doesn't do this justice, but the approach to that waterfall looks like:

The waterfall is on the left in this shot, and it runs under the road.  Miss the road a bit, and it's a serious drop down.  Guaranteed to ruin a day's ride!  Just a bit past the waterfall, you come upon a bridge built in 1930.  It is a suspension bridge, the actual bridge surface doesn't touch the sides of the ravine.

The road surface is corrugated steel, see the gap?  Not for the faint of heart.

The suspension cables:

The north fork of the American River, to the North and the South
A few more miles of dirt, then more twisty blacktop takes you back to I80, at Colfax.

Short trip, only 117 miles, back home before noon, but a great ride in the fall weather.  It'll be April or so before I'll be able to do Mosquito Ridge Road down to French Meadows and through to Georgetown, so I'm stuck down in the valley for the winter.

By the way, I really like the Throttle Rocker, but it needs to be adjusted for each type of riding you are doing.  In the really rough stuff, I point it down towards the ground, so it is not effective at all, as I don't want the throttle being pushed down while I'm trying to negotiate twisty, bumpy roads next to a cliff.  On the wide-open highways, I adjust it a bit hign, so a cruise is easy to maintain.  Certainly worth the (very) few dollars it cost.

Next trip will be to Fiddletown and Volcano, then perhaps down to the Delta to round out the day.

Stay tuned,


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