We’re back on the trail as it’s day two of Will’s 2018 Bishop Dual Sport ride. You can re-cap day one here.
- Bishop, CA
- 65 degrees clear sky’s
Waking up to day 2 of our ride, Craig and I meet up with some new riding buddies. Jim, Curtis and Tray as we make a plan to ride the Coyote trail. We get suited up and hit the trail.
Leaving the fairgrounds Jim leads the way, we head through downtown the west into the Sierra’s. Turning off the pavement we take a single lane dirt road that drops up and down through some sandy washes. GPS has us take one of the sandy washes the wash has some rolling whoops. We ride the wash to the foothills of the Sierra’s. The wash brings us to a single lane mountain Jeep trail. The Jeep trail winds it’s way up the mountain with rock gardens banked corners and rain ruts. We come up on a group of UTV’s parked on the side of the trail. We stop to make sure they are ok. They are taking a break letting on of the UTV’s cool down.
Knowing the UTV’S we’re good to go we continue on up the mountain. Jim, Tray, and Curtis lead the way setting a quick pace. Making the miles go quick. Coming over the top of a raise there is a gorgeous valley with Aspen trees changing to gold.
Riding down to the bottom of the valley we come to a water crossing. The water is cold.
We continue on the trail, the trail has big banking corners and a rain rut running down the trail. It’s a blast picking you line and when to cross the rut. We gain elevation as we get our flow on the trail. We come to a fork in the trail Jim leads us off course of the GPS and we take off up a rising Rocky trail. Splashing through another water crossing we start to see small patches of snow in the shadows of the trees and rocks. The air grows thinner with each corner, somehow the carburated magic XR650L Big Red Pig charges on without a hiccup. Cresting the top of the mountain we take in the awe inspiring alpine view of the Sierra’s and lakes. Checking the GPS we find out we are at 11,000 feet. Taking a few shots and grabbing a snack.
Heading back down the trail we make our way back down to thicker air arriving at the fork where we deviated from the course. Back on course the trail is hard pack contains the occasional whoop section. Coming to a cattle guard Trey goes back to take a run and send it over the cattle guard. Trey hits the cattle guard about 30mph sending it about 50 feet. Pressing on the trail narrows as we start our desert. Passing a sign stating the trail is the most difficult black diamond according to the forest service. This doesn’t phase us as we motorcycle on.
Dropping down rutted boulder-strewn down hills we come to a boulder stack up hill. Picking a good line the big heavy XR650L tractors up the boulder like a Billy goat. Craig makes quick work as well with his Recluse Clutch equipped KTM. Picking lines over, through and around more boulders we reach the next boulder climb. Craig takes a pause on his line I try to go for a Gram Jarvis style pass Craig charges on as I’m going for the pass I run out of talent and momentum and set the heavy XR650L down. I pick up the pig push it up over a rock fire it up and we are back on track.
The trail loses the boulders but gains sand. Cresting down a steep downhill I spot a familiar truck a forest service green Dodge Ram. Most would think it was a ranger but it was one of my buddies from high school who I hadn’t seen in a few years. We just happened to be in the middle of the Sierra’s at the same time. Visiting with my buddy we let them know their truck probably wouldn’t make it any farther up the trail. Following Jim who has an alternate way down the mountain. Winding our way down the sandy descent we stop about halfway down we stop and take pictures of some gorgeous rock spires and outcroppings.
Completing our descent down the mountain we hit the pavement and head into Big Pine. Jim, Curtis, and Trey go to get fuel. They are going to hit Woodcutter and Black Canyon tracks. Craig and I decided to get some lunch and take another way back to Bishop.
Craig and I head North on 395 stopping at the Copper Top for some BBQ. Craig gets a tri-tip sandwich and I get the pulled pork. Again the roll the pulled pork is on is a pillow-soft pretzel roll the pulled pork is tender and moist not overdone. It’s a heavenly combination. Devouring our impeccable barbeque meal we gear back up and hit the road.
Catching the 168 we head east till we come to a single track trail along the foothill of Black Mountain heading towards Bishop. The single track is sandy and rocky, rising and falling over rolling hills, hitting whoop sections trying to pick the best line. The route has us turn onto a wide ranch road gaining speed we blast through the occasional silt bed. Coming around a bend to what seems to be an oasis. Two large ponds large trees and what seems like a manicured lawn. I check the temperature of the water and it is warm. Craig half joke we should go for a swim I said why not. We get our gear off and go for a swim, the water is perfect the temperature is just right. The water is crystal clear you can see crawdads on the bottom with koi fish and goldfish swimming. We swim a couple of laps and floating around.
Jumping out the dry air, dries us off almost instantly. Gearing back up we fire up the bikes and continue on into Bishop. Checking in with the VCMC checkpoint we head into camp. Jim Curtis and Trey arrive just behind us. At camp, we grab some adult beverages get cleaned up and head to the banquet.
Jim and the crew are prepared they bring some barbecue shrimp and a bottle of tequila for our table. The banquet is great the Bishop city council and local volunteers make and serve the food for the riders. The dinner was pulled pork, with baked beans and salad it hit the spot.
TriCounty Motorsports donated a Honda Grom to the raffle. Along with many other vendors donating thousands of dollars worth of riding gear, bike parts, and accessories. It was a great time the bottle of tequila and most of the beers we’re gone by the time we made it back to camp. Thanks again Ventura County Motorcycle Club for organizing and executing such a great ride. I will be back next year and who is ever reading this I hope to see you there.