A winter day's ride.
Finally... what an 8GS is meant for.

[ Wednesday - November 24, 2010 ]

So instead of going to the Pala casino for lunch, the Captain and I opted to take the Rincon short cut in the Angeles National Forest.  As it turns out, the road had just recently re-open after a 4-5 year closure.

I spent the good part the last couple of days tying to put knobbees on and also service the 8GS.  Unfortunately, only the TKC80 front was cooperating.  The rear is so stiff in this weather that I can't mount the tire.  In fact, I ended up ripping a bit of the rubber below the bead.  Suffice to say, I gave up and put the Trail Attack rear back on.  It's not the best tire configuration but it has to do.  At least this time I know enough to keep the tire pressure low for better off road traction.  Not only was the rear TKC80 being a pain, I found out that my rear hub rubber dampeners are all shot to hell.  I called Brown and sure enough, they had the parts I needed.  The only down side is, the freakin' thing cost $23 per pair.  Yow!  Still, it had to be done. $102 later, everything is back together again.

I couldn't find my off road boots so I had to settle for the Sidi rain boots.

Breakfast, then to the ranger station for a trail permit.  The price is right.  Free.  Interesting, the gate combo I have is different than what the Captain had received.  I wonder who's correct?  We'll find out soon enough.

Went to get the trail path at the ranger station across the street.

My combo must be fort the next two weeks.  The Captain's combo works perfectly.  I was a little unsure of the Trail Attack rear at first, but found out that the tire actually handles itself pretty fine even in this damp/wet condition.  It was a little disconcerting at first, but the minute I stood up, Bob's your uncle.

My buddy the Captain.

Rocky puddle splashing.

It's all good, and it appears the temperature is slowly dropping the higher we go.  42 degrees.  40 degrees.  36 degrees.  Next thing I know, the temperature reading was 34.7 and flashing.  Warnings of icing conditions in the shade.  I believe it as ... "Hey!  what's that on the side of the trail?"  It's snow.  Next thing I know, I dumped it.

When you're on two wheels... you'll eventually go down!

We continue in the sludge a little further.  Man!  This is where I wish I had the TKC80 rear, but it's OK.  I just have to take my time and slog it through.

It looks like I'm trying to do a wild stunt but I'm just trying to push my bike back over off the kickstand.

Proof of the temps.

At long last, we make it to the next gate.  Odd.  It's completely locked.  No combo.  Then it finally dawned on me.  The Angeles Crest Hwy 2 is still closed.  They don't want people to take that road.  I didn't witness it myself, but there are others that I spoke to that claimed some of the tarmac is melted from the Station Fire a year or more ago.  So close, but yet so far.  We're pretty much to the end of the trail, but now we have to double back.  While trying to figure out if there is an alternate road, the Captain decided to do some acrobatics.  Unfortunately, it's not good enough for the X Games.  However, for me, it was plenty fine.  It's on video after all.

Classic bike and sign shot.

Both gates were locked.  The road is called the Edison road.

In the end we did the entire way back without stopping.  With my slow pace, we completed the 20+ miles in 1:08 hours.  Not bad for a nubie.  The entire time we're riding out, the temps never got higher than 34.7.  At one point I thought the sensor was having problems.

It was actually pretty dark.  I had to use the manual settings on the SLR to make it this light.

Definitely playing in the mud.

While we're hanging out resting from the long journey back, a guy in an old pickup truck, and his dog, drove up to ask about the condition of the trail.  He was wondering if we had seen any land slides.  Nope.  No land slides but there are a couple of big boulders in the road.  He's planning on taking Rincon this weekend and wanted to know the conditions.  This that and there other thing, next thing I knew, he said, "If I had that bike (referring to the 8GS), I would take it into my bed room and sleep next to it!"  Ha ha ha!  The Captain and I are splitting a seam.  I told him I'm a beginner and he said, "Beginner?  You can't be a beginner when you're riding that!"  Apparently he use to race motocross, but has now settle for the occasional relaxing ride on the trail.  Like the rest of us, he's totally addicted to being on two wheels.  We bid a friendly farewell and he took off for home.  As for us, it's dinner time!

40F. 42F.  By the time we got into the city, it reached a warm 51F.  Much better than 34.7F.

As the Captain and I discussed... Rincon is just the right level of difficulty and ease.  It's easy enough to get through.  It's challenging enough just to keep you interested.

Conti TKC80 front... can't do without.  Conti Trail Attack rear... impressive.  F800GS... definitely instills confidence.  Rincon shortcut... TOTALLY AWESOME!

... and no, I didn't bother turning off the ABS again.

For those that are willing to re-live a nubie's experience, below are the full length videos.

Way out:

Way back:

Written on: November 25, 2010
Last modified: November 29, 2010