I’ve always wanted to take my motorcycle on Highway 49 north of Auburn, so, when I had the need to go north to look for jobs I decided to pack my suit and dress shoes in the garment bag and load up on the bike. Despite the unseasonable weather for June (I got caught in a steady rain just north of Downieville and saw snow by the side of the road as I crossed the summit at around 7000 feet), the scenery and the road did not disappoint.
Whether winding through the redwoods or through a high altitude valley. This farm was right next to the 5000 feet elevation sign. This is a prefect motorcycle road.It’s well maintained and just twisty enough to keep it interesting without tightening the knuckles too much. I could have stopped every mile or so to take pictures, but then I would never reach my destination, would I? So I continued 0n 49 until I reached 70 and then 395 North.
That’s where it got interesting. Hwy 395 is a nice, smooth, fairly straight road, so I took the opportunity to open her up a bit. I was cruising along at a comfortable pace, when the road starting feeling a little rough. I looked down at my front tire and noticed it seemed low… no, suddenly flat! I don’t personally know anyone who has blown a front tire on a motorcycle and stayed upright… and that’s the first thought that came to my mind… “I’m going down, this is going to hurt.” I pulled in the clutch and held on tight. I applied the brakes, lightly, and immediately recognized that the FRONT brake was a bad idea, so I let it go. It pulled me hard left, across both lanes and almost off the bank on the other side. Fortunately, there was no oncoming traffic at that moment. It then pulled me hard right and came to rest on the right shoulder. There was a car behind me and they slowed and then stopped as I came to the shoulder. I’m sure the look of shock and disbelief on my face was at least as much as theirs. They offered me water and a ride. I accepted the water and decided to wait for a tow.
So the first leg of my journey is a little more adventurous and a little more costly than I anticipated, but I am safe, warm and dry in a Best Western in Susanville… waiting for Les Schwab to open.
Truth be told, that’s probably enough for today anyway.