russell_bynum Posted April 2, 2007 Share Posted April 2, 2007 This afternoon/evening, I took the DRZ out on my first real dualsport ride. I started out at home, and rode about 9 miles to the base of Ortega Highway. From there, I went up the hill and took a right on North Main Divide road. I had no idea where it went, but I've always wanted to go see. (That's why I got this bike...for stuff like this.) North Main Divide is paved and acually a pretty fun sporty road for a few miles, then it turns to dirt. At first, it's really hard-packed dirt and rocks. Then it goes to sand. The road winds around and up the ridge past many great scenic views of Riverside county, and eventually comes to the top of Santiago Peak at 5688ft. Air quality was pretty bad today, so the vista wasn't what it could be, but it was still pretty neat. You could look down on South Orange County, Lake Mission Viejo, Irvine Lake, etc. If you looked north a bit you could see the sun reflecting off the pacific...though you couldn't really see the Ocean itself in any meaningful way. Catalina Island was just barely visible peaking out above the haze and smog. You could see Newport Harbor, and the hills up north of Long Beach/Los Angeles Harbor at Portuguese Bend. The sun was getting a bit low in the sky, so I turned around and headed back home. I wound up putting about 60 miles on the bike, 20 of that was street, the rest was dirt. What a riot. This was all pretty easy "GS roads", which I know isn't even begining to test the bike's capability, but it was pretty much perfect for where my pathetic skills are right now. Here's a few pics I snapped. Here's a shot from partway up the hill looking south at Lake Elsinore. Here's one looking north. That's I-15 and Lee Lake in the middle, and Lake Mathews in the distance. I believe that's Telegraph Peak (8700ft) on Mount Baldy just barely poking through the haze on the left. My trusty mount. Here's the road. this was shortly after it turned to sand. Here's Lee Lake and Lake Mathews again. And here we are on top of Santiago Peak looking down on Orange county. That's Upper Oso Reservoir in Rancho Santa Margarita in the foreground and Lake Mission Viejo a little ways away. If it was more clear, you could see the Pacific. And here we are looking the other way at Riverside County. That's San Jacinto Peak (10,700) off to the right side of the pic. Here's a few of the Antennaes on top of Santiago Peak. I was hoping to get back down to the bottom of the hill in time to get a picture of the sun setting behind the mountain, but didn't quite make it. Oh well...at least I got to test the bike's headlight. Link to comment
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