The Ride to Reno
Dan and I were off to see the Reno Air Races in Reno, Nevada. The plan was to leave Saturday morning and take a quick ride over the Sierras, spend the day at the races and then return on a more leisurely route home on Sunday. We were wrong on all accounts. The route on Saturday was longer than either of us expected and coupled with not leaving quite as early as we had planned, we didn’t arrive in Reno until almost 3pm. Add to that the time it took us to find our campsite and set up our tent it was much too late to do anything about “going to the races” that day. We did manage to get through the gates and wander around the grounds, checking out the planes parked on the tarmac and looking at what the vendors had to offer. At this rate we wouldn’t have to come back on Sunday. But what’s the point of going to the races if you don’t actually see any flying planes? So we moved around our schedule and took out the “leisurely ride home on Sunday”, put in “attend the air races” instead and actually went to the Reno Air Races (photo heavy!!!)
September 13-14, 2008
Total Miles: 240 miles
Mountain View, CA to Reno, NV
From Mountain View on Saturday morning, we headed east and north in a not-too-direct fashion, eventually ending up on a most pleasant road, Hwy 4. This is a direct route east over the Sierras. Or so it would appear on a map. Actually riding this road proved otherwise.
It started out straight-forward enough, passing through fields and pastures of Stockton and Farmington. It was hot and tedious, those first few miles. But then we hit Copperopolis. I love that name. Here is where the elevation became obvious, the trees took over the hillsides and the temperature started to drop. A quick stop at Angels Camp let us shed some layers, it being much warmer than the 55 degrees it started out with that morning.
After Angels Camp (sometimes listed as “Angels City”) the road got a little more active, throwing in corners and sweepers. The views started to resemble ones that I’d seen in Yosemite, which is not surprising seeing as I was only a “few miles” north of Yosemite and in the same mountain range. At Lake Alpine signs indicated “narrow road” – as in “one car width narrow” in some parts. This was no longer a quick way over the mountains, but it sure was enjoyable. I stopped for a couple of photos, but other than being beautiful, the views didn’t change much the entire way across so there wasn’t much need to stop too often.
View along Hwy 4
Little traffic and clean corners
Mmmmm – tasty!
Narrow roads and blind corners
Opening up slightly along Hwy 4
Dry pines and smooth granite line the road
Coming down the east side of the Sierras
Once we dropped out of the mountains we were back on straight roads and hot weather. It took forever to get to Reno, and then another forever to get to the airfield where the races were being held. I was more than ready to get out of my gear by the time we parked the bikes for the day. The next day we went through the gates and I tried my hand at taking pictures: Reno Air Races