Ride up Montevina Road

I did mention that this bike is a sickness, right?

I popped up (well, and down) Montevina Road on my way back from the chiropractor yesterday.

You can tell from the pictures that it wasn’t exactly a bright and sunny day — in fact, visibility at the top of Montevina was about 40 feet, with thick fog rolling across the street in gusts.

I’m thinking I should put together a TypePad photo album for “end of the road” pictures.

There was some sort of white pickup truck convention going on up on the hill; I passed eight of ’em on my way back down. That’s just not natural.

I put my first little scratch on the Serow by once again doing the cardinal sin of motojournalists everywhere — leaving the bike in neutral on a downhill slope. I’d just parked to take a pictures, had gotten off the bike, and was getting out the camera when the Serow rolled forward off its sidestand. Now, the one time this happened on the SVS, the thing threw its 450 pounds at the ground with a resounding thud…the Serow just sort of folded. I almost caught it completely, but the very end of the clutch lever got a teensy scratch. 😉

The only bummer about that situation was that my camera was in my hand when I went to grab the bike, so now the lens cover of the camera is a little confused. I think I broke (or knocked loose) the switch that tells the lens to come forward when the cover slides to the side.

For a fleeting moment, I thought “Awesome! If I broke the camera, I can justify getting the 7-megapixel version!”, obviously forgetting that this is exactly why I cannot have nice things.

The Serow was really pretty pissed off at me for letting it try to roll down the hill into the reservoir; it wouldn’t start at all once I got it back upright. There was a hairpin just ahead of us that seemed to be on more-or-less level ground, so I rolled it down to the turnout there and let it sit for a minute. It started the fourth or fifth time I tried it on level ground.

The bike tipped just at that mini-shoulder on the downhill S-part of the road

Overall, it was a pretty fun ride (yeah, yeah, I know, tell that to the camera lens cover). My only problems were when I insisted on trying to ride the Serow as though it were the SVS, but that’s a topic for another post.

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2 Responses to Ride up Montevina Road

  1. Jamie C. says:

    Now that you got the first scratch out of the way, you can get to the business of riding… 🙂
    Proper way of stopping a dirt bike (and dual sport by association)… engine off, first gear, facing downhill. That way you hop on, squeeze the clutch, and coast start.
    (just being helpful…)

  2. carolyn says:

    Yeah, it’s the same for roadbikes, too. I dropped the SVS in the exact same situation (leaving the bike in neutral facing downhill) in July 2001. Apparently I don’t learn from past mistakes. *grins*
    The SVS drop was much more exciting though, as I did it in a turnout on a twisty road up near Calistoga.
    From my journal entry that day:
    “Highway 29 south to Calistoga was pretty nice, too. Very twisty. At one point, I pulled off the road to drink some water and take a picture, only the gravel was more, well, gravelly, than I’d anticipated, and the road more sloped. I was getting off of the bike when the sidestand gave way, and the whole kit ‘n’ caboodle tumbled over. Because of the slope and the gravel, I couldn’t get good enough leverage to pick her back up, so I waited. The first vehicle to pull over was a nice man in a van, quickly followed by an enormous AAA tow truck. The three of us got the SVS up without a single problem, and the man in the van hurried off again. It must have looked like a horrible accident — a motorcycle laying on its side in a curve, with a AAA tow truck pulled over blocking half of the road. Of course, the bike was on its left side, and it was a right-hand turn, so it would have been physically impossible for me to have dropped the bike by wiping out in the turn, but I’m not sure that the AAA guy ever really believed me that the bike was off and wasn’t moving when it fell. Oh well. He moved on down the road where he wasn’t blocking traffic, and I geared back up and kept going. I gave him a big wave as I passed, and he waved back and got into his truck (he’d been standing on the flatbed looking for me). See how useful AAA is?”

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