23 June 2013

Summer Trip - Day 2

The goal for this day was to get through Death Valley, ride along Badwater Road, then head towards Las Vegas and stay the night in a pre-booked hotel in Henderson.

We had booked hotels for the first three nights to make certain we get something for a reasonable price on this long weekend.

On the way to Death Valley

Can't see myself playing Golf there ...

Looking down into Death Valley

Now, as some of you might know, Tigers are playful creatures - they like to play, like to get scratched and sometimes are in a mood to just roll on their sides and take a nap, like these guys:

Playful - as said ...

Tiger wants to get the tummy scratched ...

Nothing bad happened. Just me not leaving it in gear when putting it on the side stand on a road with fairly steep slope down. A few small scratches on the protection bars, Barkbuster plastics and side case. No big deal, just another dent in the ego.

At least we got some nice views that day, it wasn't too hot, just around 30C (86F).

Near Artist Drive

This was actually on the way OUT

We entered Death Valley National Park on such a small road that there was no nice sign. Just a small partially paved road - which was great to ride, just didn't have the desired park sign ...

Leaving California, after a (I think) more than 1000km ride

So, did you know that you can find Joshua Trees in way more places than just Joshua Tree National Park? We saw quite a few of them. This was just South of Pahrump, NV.

Joshua Trees

A really pretty one

We arrived safely in Henderson, NV, but only after the last hour of the ride became really nasty. Very strong cross winds were pushing us all over the road when we crossed the last mountain ridge into the Las Vegas area on HW160.

Andrea's F650GS was really hard to control in these cross winds and I heard over the intercom that she wasn't happy at all. Really not at all. It was tough riding, even for me on the heavier and more stable Tiger 800 and I could only feel for her, but as she didn't want to switch bikes, couldn't help.

One of the problems of the F650GS is that it is plain too light on the front wheel even in standard setup without luggage. Then you add luggage to the rear, plus the "wind catchers" (side cases) and it becomes even worse. At least Andrea didn't have a top case on which would have made it even worse. I rode the F in a hotel parking lot once and felt how light steering has become and how it really wanted to fall over compared to the very neutral and stable Triumph ... I can only imagine how it was in the wind. But Andrea pushed on and we arrived in Henderson, got a super nice hotel room and treated ourselves a bit with this:

Supper in Henderson, NV

It looked a little like we got an upgraded room in that hotel, we had lots of space and took the opportunity to wash and dry some of our gear - mainly underwear and base layer pieces in anticipation of less nice accommodations.

Again it was  a nice, but long day of riding. That's the downside of living in a huge country where it takes a while to get to the place you actually want to see.

But we are getting closer.


  1. Those spoiled Tigers, always looking for an opportunity to get scratched.

    We had a very similar dinner on our first night in Las Vegas, interesting...

    The sidewinds, I remember those nasty ones up in BC, they've almost thrown me off the road on the F. Same road on the Harley... no problem.

    1. ;-)

      Yeah, those Tigers are like spoiled brats ...

      The winds have been quite an issue on that trip. We had several days were it was really bad and got us to the point to switch to slower side roads even though we wanted to make time/distance.

  2. Darn Tigers and their tummy rubs. Doesn't seem to matter what year of tiger they like to lay down. Glad there wasn't any damage.

    Those cross winds don't sound like any fun at all. Good job Andrea muscling through and arriving safe. I bet her arms were tired.

    1. Yeah, she was tired - it seemed to get a bit better when she stopped fighting it and relaxed and let the bike do its own stabilization. But it's hard and scary.