The V-Strom and I have known each other for about two years now. One of the big differences between the community surrounding this bike and the last one, a 2001 Vulcan 750 is that the local Vulcan Rider group was really strong. I remember going on more than a few group rides with SFBA-VROC. The V-Strom group is pretty strong on the national level using the V-Strom2 Yahoo Group.
I left the Bay Area about 1pm thinking I’d miss traffic and make good time. Not the case. As soon as I hit the 580 freeway it was stop and go, then lane split, then go, then stop, more whitelining, etc. By the time I got out into the valley it was nearing 3:30 in the afternoon. To add insult to injury, the wind in the valley was stiff at best, making it a less than speed limit drive to Lodi.
Traffic was brutal all the way around Sacramento and into the hills. The time I lost on 580 made me lose more time in Sac. Now well after 6:00 I head up the mountains in earnest. Highway 50 is a pretty fun ride up the hills. The road is a mix between two and four lane and strangely there was very little traffic. The top of the mountains did not look all to welcoming as a summer storm was brewing. Clouds were dark and gathering in the direction I was going. Climbing 7500 feet, things got a bit cold, but I layered up and stayed very warm.
The desire to upgrade to electric gear kicks in for me around 50 degrees, so I still had a bit of margin there. I made it to Carson City, Nevada at 9:30 PM. Applebee’s never tasted so good.
I finally make it into the Nugget in Sparks, NV at 10:30. Carrying the cases of motorcycle luggage through the casino, we met more than a handful of other riders at the rally. I still wonder how they recognized us :).