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Best Dual Sport Ride Ever!


A couple of weeks ago Stan, Scott, Terry and I had the best dual sport ride ever. Another friend of mine Eric #33 always says at the end of any ride “Best Ride Ever” I’ve been with him many times and heard him say that, even after some really so, so rides. So I finally asked him, why do you say that after every ride. And he says this could be my last ride so until I ride again the last one is always going to be the Beast Ride Ever, hard to argue with that, I always give a big thank you to whoever might be listening up above for allowing me to do this one more time.

So it was easy to say Best Ride Ever, but in this case I’ve ridden twice since that ride, but I still believe this was this Dual Sport Ride ever. And I’m not alone in that feeling all of us felt the same way, until we have another ride that is better than this one.

So what made this ride so great? First good friends it’s always better when the company is great, so we had that going first of all. Secondly Stan has lived most of his life in the area. He’s probably been on most of the roads in the area hauling logs; I’m going to guess for forty or fifty year’s worth. Thirdly he also knows a lot about the history.

We started our ride at Stan’s house in Nevada City we were on KTM’s and one Husky and before I forget we did not ride on any single track, it’s been raining for what seems like forever here in Northern California. The single tracks would have been too wet that day, we were lucky in that we did this ride in between storms. Besides we weren’t looking to do any single track just as many dirt roads as we could.

After leaving Nevada City through backs streets we headed in the general direction of Downieville we wound our way on both sides of Hwy 49, mostly on the west side of 49 and a little on the west side of Hwy 20. The weather was cold, but not too cold, sunny but not hot, misty but not rainy, just about perfect in other words. We actually did find a little dust or I did anyway I was in the back most of the time. Most of the roads were wet, some muddy and some slippery just about perfect. The scenery was spectacular everything was green and lush; lots of little water falls that will disappear when summer gets here. It’s hard to describe just how beautiful it was. We would ride through little communities through and around ranches. We’d stop and Stan would tell us something interesting about that particular area, doesn’t get better than that.

Give you an idea of just one of Stan’s stories. We rode on an old stage coach line road that went all the way to Reno. The section we road on was called I believe Henness Pass Road. And was a section that went up and down a very steep canyon. The story behind the name was, way back when they were considering replacing old Hwy 40 that ran through the Sierras they were considering this old stage coach road. Well a legislator thought he could get rich so he bought lots of property in the area. They instead decided to build what is now Hwy 80 that runs next to old Hwy 40. One would assume the legislator lost his ass and of course his name was Henness. (Not sure about the spelling of his name) So in honor of his folly came the name Henness Pass Rd. Even if this story isn’t quite true it still makes for a good story.

This section we rode on was quite the engineering feat there were many places that simply had to be filled in, in order to continue the road. They had to blast the rock in order to build the road and used that to fill in the parts of the road they couldn’t blast in order to have a somewhat less twisted road especially when you consider a stage coach and a six or eight up horse teams to navigate the road. They did a very good job of fine tuning the last part of the fill creating a good surface for the coach, the surface is crappy now. (Several of the pictures show the stone wall workmanship) Most of those sections that had to be filled were probably a hundred to one hundred fifty feet to the bottom. It was surprising just how many of these filled in sections there were. Those were some very hardy people in those days. I’m not sure I would have wanted to ride in a stage coach up and down that canyon.

We finished our 100 + mile ride in time for a late afternoon lunch at the Northridge restaurant in Nevada City. This gave us the opportunity for each of us talk about our ride, since most of the time we were sort of in our own bubble with our helmets on.

Stan and I are going to do this ride again in a week or so before things start to dry up.

Doug 21J 


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