In fact, it’s much more pleasant a ride because I started the day out
with my rain gear on, which really blocks the wind and keeps the warmth
from the heated gear in.
Colleen also gave me some large stiff fabric handguards that velcro onto
the handlebars, which was a godsend. The Beemer does have nice plastic
handguards but they have slots in them for spoilers, which lets cold air
through. You can see the larger fabric handguards in the photo.
I stopped for breakfast at the Wheel Cafe here in Chemult and am having
fun chatting with the waitress. She grew up in the southern Santa Cruz
mountains, so we’ve been swapping stories of Loma Prieta and Los Gatos
and mountain lions in the hills. This region of Hwy 97 feels very culturally similar to the southern
Santa Cruz mountains. People are a little bit hippie and a lot bit
hardy, with a strong territorial undertone.
They’re friendlier to strangers here in Chemult, probably because the
closest big cities are Bend and Klamath Falls, both about 70 miles of
forest wilderness away. In the Santa Cruz mountains, the locals always
look at us South Bay riders like we’re going to run over their dogs with
our dualsports and pour gasoline on their houses. Which, I suppose
metaphorically, we are.