The trunk of a cut-down Sequoia.

2019 PITS Cruise – Day 7

A short day of big trees, lost gear, Bike Wrenching, good friends, and great food.

The Start

I’m at the party, milling around Dennis and Vina’s saloon, trying to stave off the morning chill by basking in the sun like a reptile. Vina and crew fed us breakfast and soon enough it was time for Dennis to lead a few of us on a nice little day ride.

The Ride

Dennis and the group were ready before I was. I asked Dennis if they were going to stop for gas and he stated that he’d be stopping on the main drag in San Andreas.

Cool. I told him I’d catch up since I already had a full tank.

They leave and I’m putting on gear and getting ready.

David rides up and dismounts while I’m fussing around.

David says that he overslept and apparently missed the group ride.

I say, negative, I’m going to catch them in San Andreas,

David says he’d like to tag along.

I warn David that I’ll be moving with “divine purpose”.

He says, OK.

We leave and make some serious time getting to San Andreas. Some of the passes were sketchy. Some of the curves were taken at well above posted speeds. Triple digit speeds may have been reached. (Note the heavy use of the subjunctive case; who knows who’s watching.)

I roll into the gas station where the rest of the group waits (luckily, not too long) with David still in tow (kudos to David for keeping up).

And now the day gets relaxing.

Dennis leads us up through Murphy and on to Big Trees State Park. Plenty of traffic on the curvy roads so not too much spirited riding. It was fun to ride behind JW, listening to his bike’s solid old-school bark as it rolled up the mountain.

After paying at the gate (some seniors got a discount), we parked and Dennis lead us on a ~1-mile trail through a loose grove of Sierra Nevada Sequoia trees. Several of the trees were numbered and a pamphlet that Dennis had obtained has a backstory for most of the trees. It was lazy, spectacular, and a very good thing to indulge in after a side day trek across the country.

Getting ready to ride back down the mountain, I must have misplaced my Sena 30K. I either accidentally dumped it on the ground when pulling out gear or set it someplace and never attached it to the helmet. Either way, it’s gone. That’s one expensive oversight on my part.

Dennis led us on down the mountain to the Snowshoe Brewery, where we stopped for libations and a bite to eat. On the way, Dennis almost became a hood ornament on a Ford pickup when the pickup rode around a pair of bicyclists by crossing the center line on a tight curve. Dennis starts around the curve, alters his line to miss the pickup, and (luckily) settles back into a good line to finish the curve. Definitely a high pucker factor moment.

The rest of the ride back to the saloon was easy and without incident.

Post Ride

After the ride it was high time for me to do the 12k service interval on the Nightowl. This entails an oil and filter change, along with replacement of the gear lube in the final drive. I’d shipped my oil, gear lube, filter, and a big plastic syringe to the saloon ahead of time to save local shopping time.

I set up shop in the shade behind the saloon. There were no big surprises or problems during the service. A few party goers came over to offer guidance and moral support, but I was done is a little under an hour. Now the bike will be happier.

The roast pig arrived and mass consumption of edibles ensued. If anybody left the table hungry, it was their own damn fault.

The party continued late into the evening (morning?) but I was tired and dove into my tent shortly after midnight.



Hmm. That’s a good question. I may head up to Sacramento to replace my wayward headset. Other than that, I will just head back east, I guess.

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