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Center of California & Redinger Lake

August 22, 2015

I decided to go visit my cousin and his family (with out fore warnning them). But I didn't want to ride down Hwy 99 to Kingsburg which while being the shortst and fast path is also the most boring and least fun.

My stock tires were right near the ends of their useful life at 7250 miles. Looking at them I figured I could easliy get in a 400 miles ride. My plan, head for the hills, the Sierras low rolling hills that is. I headed out Avenue 25 from Chowchilla which quickly becomes a lonely rural road. Everything is brown and dry. You know the folks living and working out there are praying no-one does something stupid and gets a fire going. Those 100's of acres of dry grass would be scary.

I topped off at an overlook of Hensley Lake off River Road (400). Amazing how dry our lakes are. The photo below shows how empty it is.

I headed on to North Fork, the town closest to the center of California. I followed North Fork Rd. into town and the headed South East on Minarets Rd. (225). At the Minaurets vs. 225 fork I stayed with 225 which got narrower and rougher. Road 225 takes your directly to and past the markers for the Center of California.

Checked the tires - still looked okay.

I jumped on Redinger Lake Rd. (235) went it showed up and took it's winding, rough path towards the west end of Redinger Lake and the damn. Redinger Lake was full to the brim, whaaaa? Only lake I've ridden past in two years that was full. Huh.

I hoped off at the damn for some photos and some how managed to tweak my knee while climbing a soft dirt hill. Hurt a lot. Enough to make we wonder about being able to ride farther.

After a bit I found if I was careful I could get on the Concours and get moving without too much pain. So I continued on with the ride, getting farther from home.

Continued west on Redinger Lake Rd. and eventually switched to Power House No 1 Rd. (south). Both had plenty of sweeps and twists and were a lot of fun with decent paving.

Took Power House No 1 Rd in to Auberry and on to Prather for a gas and drink stop. Met a cool gentleman out riding his CanAm and talked for a bit. He's 87 and still riding. He headed for Fresno and I headed for the top of Tollhouse. I took Auberry Rd. I've been to Shaver Lake 100's of times. Started heading up there long before the the Hwy 168 foour lane - back when you had to take the motrccyle fun and car sucky Tollhouse road. Never taken Auberry Rd or knew it existed - and it dumps you out at the top of Tollhouse. Something new all the time.

As I pulled on to Hwy 168 to head down for the next leg to Kingsburg I checked the tires. Oh oh. In that last section they strted falling apart. Riders told me they go pretty suddenly. Decided I wasn't gonna make the full 400 miles no way no how. So I headed towards home via 168, Millerton Madera and Hwy 99 - babying it the whole.

I made it okay - but from home straight to the tire shop for new shoes was the only solution after that.

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