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Day 134 – 21st April 09

Posted by TravellingStrom on April 21, 2009

Tuesday – Bishop, California

Ok, for those that have had issues with the size of photos, this is what I will do until further notice. Last night I checked all the ‘themes’ within WordPress and previewed them as well, this is the best at this time and I have been using it for a year, so I am very familiar with it and like it. I have since found out the max picture size is 652×652, I am positive it was 800×800 a while back. Never mind, I have reduced the size of the pictures to 680×680 and that is as far as I go!

Okie dokie, today is new tyre day for the bike, which won’t happen until around ten. In the meantime I chased up an email with Eric from Elka Suspension about my shock, he then phoned me and was quite helpful and will make a few more enquiries from his end, but I have a feeling I am up for the customs brokerage charges, not sure yet.

Around ten I headed to the bike shop where I managed to get a new rear shoe and an oil change. I selected the new Tourance EXP, just for a change and will see how it goes for wear, but the tread looks good.

Chad and I chatted a bit about extras and I looked at his light bar. In my opinion, it is a far better system than the Pat Walsh bar that I have. Mine is steel with all the paint falling off, it is very heavy and a real prick to install. I also had to modify the mounting holes to line up. The one Chad has just uses clips with embedded nuts and bolt on from the outside, is light aluminium and looks good too. Anyway, after a few other purchases, I had to leave.

I had no real goal for today as it was gone midday, but I figured I would head south, except I would take the scenic route up the mountains. Johnofchar, from the VSRI forum, had suggested a road that I could do and when I eventually found it on the map it was down south, so that was OK and it was near Bishop, so I decided Bishop was my goal for the day, at this stage. On this map, red is the roads I took and the small blue one is the suggested road.

I headed off first towards Lake Tahau, up on top of the mountain near Carson City. I had a sign like this yesterday but was in the wrong lane and no turnaround, so this time I can add it to my collection. Nothing like our drop bears from OZ 🙂

Now, let me say that the lake looked great from all angles, there are no pictures because there are no view points to get any from, they are taken up with resorts and houses etc. The only places I thought I could get some photos are down near the waters edge, but the roads are still closed and it was a bit of a hike, I am not a hiker. Anyway, this is all you get, take it from me, the scenes were very nice, with the snow capped mountains reflected in the lake water 🙂

Yep, that was it, the blue bit between the trees and the mountains, shades of Basil Fawlty there 🙂
It was a bit cooler up here, I had been in the high 30s down in the city, but even though my temp gauge said mid 20s, it felt colder at speed. The road went through a lot of high forest areas, including a melting lake in the 2nd photo.

This is at one of the turnings, there were a few passes to go through, one of them towards Yosemite National Park was still closed, lucky for me this was open. I passed that camper a few times up this way.

Some of the views from up here at the top, I was at nearly 8300ft or 2.5km, you can see the ups and downs from the trip profile, I had managed to work a way of getting my Garmin tracks to my PC.

Then there were a lot of downward twisties. I had heard about the ‘tar snakes’ used to repair cracks in the road from a VSRI forum thread, maybe not this road but there were heaps. I originally had said they cannot be that bad, we have them in Oz, but these were horrible throughout the mountains, they were not flat and smooth like ours, but raised up which causes the front end to wobble all over the joint. That is bad in the fast corners, which there were a few 🙂 Look back up above and see all the black lines all over the roads, that is tar snakes, now check out the real roads I had to go down. This is where I found out it was not my front tyre causing the front end to wobble, my tyre was good and fast.

This is Mono Basin, nice scenic views around here. Very expensive for fuel, I paid $3.099 a gallon, the most I have paid yet. One day I will work out if it is cheap or not 🙂

I am glad I missed those clouds and the road went in a different direction as it was getting late in the afternoon 🙂

Then from here and on down into Bishop it was all downhill and it started to warm up nicely, I can tell you and if you look at the trip profile, you can see I lost 3000ft of altitude in a very short space of time in the last few miles.

After checking out a few motels, I picked one, but I should maybe have tried the caravan parks as the rodeo was in town so the prices were up a bit, but it is a largish town, so probably more expensive anyway. Oh well, plenty of time for camping from here on south.

I had some Kentucky duck, never again, tasteless crap nothing like the stuff back home, another meal off the menu 🙂

I had a quiet night sorting out a few things and trialling all the WordPress themes as I mentioned.

Day – 228 miles and 367km
Trip – 3,504 miles and 5,639km

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11 Responses to “Day 134 – 21st April 09”

  1. Chris said

    I noticed you said your bike was “wobbling”. Is it in the handlebars? I see that you changed your rear tire, but not the front. I had the same wobbling in the front end until I swapped out the front tire. I run Tourance EXP’s front and rear on my 2007 and they are a nice tire. Very smooth and stable. It would be nice if they lasted a little longer but they stick VERY well so that’s the trade-off.

    Safe Travels,

    • travellingstrom said

      Hi Chris, well yes it is.

      I notice that when I slow down suddenly it can nearly tank slap. I did consider the front tyre and it will be replaced soon, probably next week or so. I did wonder whether the lowered bike is an issue as this time I only raised the front forks by 15mm not the full 20mm I had done previously. But, I will wait until the new tyre goes on then check again.


  2. ybg said


    Regarding the customs issue. If you are returning a part to a supplier/manufacturer for repair across borders, all you have to do is state that you are doing so. “Part being returned to manufacturer for repair” If you explain this to Canada Customs they should release it to you. Then ask the manufacture to make the reverse claim when sending it back to you. You have already paid duties once, when you entered the US, you don’t have to pay it again. If Canada Customs (CRCA) and the US customs know all of this, it’s just a state admin fee and no duties.

    However, I have been known to be wrong in the past, at least that’s what people tell me. I’ll double check with the guys at work who deal with this stuff everyday.


    • travellingstrom said


      The item is on hold at this time, in Canada

      The issue seems to be, I addressed it to Eric St Lois, the salesman, it should been attention him at Elka Suspension. I checked my receipt, there is no mention of Elka, so I may have to fork out the $70, or if not that the another $25 to have it returned. I missed the contacts with the UPS lady over the past few days, so I will probably have to wait until Monday.

      I could have used that shock through Death Valley I can tell ya.

      If you can help in any way, I would appreciate it.

  3. ybg said


    I’ll try to look into it this week. I think there are forms you can get from CRCA. I found this on their site. There are a number of 1800 #’s you can call. Here’s a link to a form from the Canadian Government site.

    The pdf file can be filled out ad sent in for the refund. IF this does not work, you can pick up a tourist form at any border crossing coming into Canada when you get up this way later in the year. Just hang onto any receipts, duty paid, etc and show them at the border when you are leaving Canada. That goes for any purchased good you buy up here and leave the country with.

    I’ll keep looking. You will get your funds back, don’t fret.


  4. TSV-Strom (Pete) said

    “89 Monitor Pass”

    Seems that us Aussies are not the only ones that do target practice on roadsigns. Unless of course it was you that peppered that sign.

    Great trip report as always Richard. Keep it up.


    • travellingstrom said

      Nope, not me I have no gun, but I may need one for bear later in the year 🙂

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