Tahoe City Ride – Ride Report – June 23, 2012
It was a day that will be memorable for a couple of reasons. It started on a crisp morning. Chapter 5 met at the Costco in Folsom. The plan was to ride up US 50 to South Lake Tahoe and then go around the west side of Lake Tahoe to Tahoe City for lunch. The weather was unseasonably cool for this time of year and there had been severe wind advisories and a chance of rain for the upper Sierras and Tahoe basin. Not to be deterred, Diceman, Bruce, Rick 5th Gear, Pete, Norm & Kara, Rick and MadDog proceeded under sunny blue skies with a scattering of puffy white cloud’s – but not for long.

Going up the hill was crisp and clear up until Placerville. At that point you could see ominous dark gray clouds blanketing the mountains up ahead. 5th Gear who was leading the pack, pulled off near Apple Hill. The temperature was dropping and was approximately 60 degrees and we were only at 2000 feet elevation with another 4500 feet up to go. We got word from friends of Kara & Norm that it was raining in nearby Pollack Pines. The geriatric gang of Pete, MadDog and Diceman decided not to go any further. The others put on rain gear, warmer clothes and gloves and prepared to rough it up the hill. We said our goodbyes. It is not known how far they made it or with what difficulties the fearless mountain men & woman encountered because this writer went with the geriatric group.

Although there was not much to see or write on regarding the actual motorcycle ride aspect of the trip back home there was certainly no shortage of fun and excitement. It started there at Apple Hill when Diceman and Pete mentioned to MadDog that a small plastic bag containing a $50 gift card from Harley Davidson blew out of Pete’s vest way back on the road somewhere before Placerville. What a drag for Pete who had just gotten the certificate card which was inside a small white plastic bag with the HD logo on it. Pete and Diceman started discussing more precisely where they thought it blew out at and whether or not they would be able to find it. Mind you, this is US 50 with 1 vehicle per 2 seconds passing by in each of the two East bound lanes. In addition the stretch of road in question was undergoing lane addition construction. Yet they say, let’s go back and try to find it. Does the cliché, “like trying to find a needle in a haystack” come to mind? This writer thought that they had both over dozed on Geritol or Metamucesel or something but said nothing not wanting to discourage his buddies.

So we headed back toward Sacramento and Pete found the exit where he though he lost his gift card. After exiting he pulled into an ARCO AM/PM to plot our strategy for locating the card while I am thinking the only thing we will find out there is the front grill of a Mack Truck bearing down on our asses as we stand on the freeway looking for the lost gift card. We needed to use the facilities before embarking on our search. In the meantime a guy pulls into the market with a 1972 Honda Coupe that he is restoring. It was a blast from the past. He showed us the engine – a 2 cylinder 650 cc Honda liquid cooled motorcycle engine. The tires were size 12 and the gear shifter was mounted into the dash. It was a very small car but very cool. Getting back to business, we scouted the freeway from the Arco parking lot which was on a hill above the roadway. There was also a hill on that stretch of road and Pete thought that the card flew out somewhere near the top of the hill while Diceman though it happened on the lower portion. This writer is thinking: are they flipping crazy! But I was willing to go along with it. As we were preparing to mount the bikes Pete notices something between the front fork and fender of Diceman’s bike. There in front of us was the white bag with the HD logo and inside was the $50 gift card, u-n-b-e-l-i-e-v-a-b-l-e! But it was true. We laughed and high fived for a while. Imagining that the chance of that happening is three billion to one odds we decided to go to the Thunder Valley Casino in Roseville to see if their luck would carry over to them in the casino. Onward it was down to the valley floor, through Folsom over through Granite Bay, Roseville and Rocklin all on secondary roads.

On the way to Thunder Valley Casino we encountered a very irate young man driving with reckless abandon. Only problem with that is the Geriactric Gang was in his way. He was attempting to arrive at his destination a whopping 10-12 seconds faster than if he had gone with traffic, which by the way was going 10-15 MPH over the speed limit mind you. Pete was in the lead with MadDog and then Diceman behind traveling 75 mph in the number one lane of two lanes headed north bound. While on the highway the youngster was attempting to zig and zag through moderately heavy traffic with no more than one and a half car lengths separating all vehicles. Nonetheless, this Dale Earnhardt Jr. wan-na be was trying his best to win the race – in his mind that is. Of course it would have helped his cause if he had had something other than a 1992 Honda Accord with 400,000 miles, bald tires and the original 134 HP motor inside but he was determined to win his prize to become a Legend - in his own mind of course. It all got interesting when he and the G-Gang were getting off at the same exit.

Young Dale Jr. was somehow still behind Pete but now in front of MadDog and Diceman. The exit to the casino had two lanes turning left. We were all in the number two or right most of the two lanes. We proceeded to make our 90 degree left turn onto a roadway bridge crossing East to West back over the freeway. Several vehicles the G-Gang and the young Speed Racer all turned on the green light. Now the road ahead dropped into a single lane and the Kid needed to make a bold move if he was going to pass up Pete so he tried to pass him on the right hand side of the bridge. Only problem was the road had no shoulder only a concrete side wall, thus Speed Racer had to lurch back quickly into the lane else crash his car into the wall. That meant however, cutting Pete off nearly causing him to lay his bike down. At that move the blood pressure and adrenaline levels of the G-Gang were volcanic.

An eruption of words and hand gestures between Diceman and the Kid occurred as we were at another red light. It was obvious now that we were all going to the same place. Fist pumping, saying and signing words not printable here were the last thing the Kid did as her entered the 8 story casino parking garage. Pete ensued after him with Diceman closely behind and MadDog in the rear. The Kid was going all the way to the top level where it seems only employees could park. Employees only? This Kid worked there? Where we lose, I mean spend, our hard earned cash? This meant that we help pay his salary. Now the blood pressure was nearing rupture level. Funny things happen sometimes in the heat of the moment and this one is no exception. You see, at the top of the 6th floor stood a big tall Casino Security Guard armed with a hand gun, uniform and badge. He looked like the real thing because he was the real thing. His job was to keep out all but the casino employees. Now Pete still hot on the bumper of the Kid did stop at the Security Officers gesture to stop, no sir. Good Ole Pete was in the zone if you know what I mean. Diceman and MadDog however, did stop and the now alarmed, big and gun yielding officer. We explained to him what was going on. He seemed friendly but we noticed he was radioing in to his back-up what he could only perceive as a road rage altercation about ready to conclude in his parking garage on his watch. Fortunately, the Kid hurried into the casino without ado. He must have worried about getting his butt kicked – or he was simply late for work and wanted to avoid the wrath of his supervisor. Either way it was all over – except that the entire Security Force was now watching our every move.

It must have eased their worries when the helmets came off and they could see three old, bald, and disabled guys limping toward the casino entrance. It really eased their minds when the G-Gang passed up 3 bars on their way to the Coffee Shop for lunch. Even in the heat of battle Freedom Cruisers never lose sight of the continuing need to eat. However, the Security stopped all surveillance when they noticed all three of the G-Gang sampling the split pea soup of the day and then ordering them a bowl. Bad Ass Bikers pound shots of Tequila or Bourbon not split pea soup. They had a wonderful lunch that Diceman treated them all to. They then upon leaving could not pass the specialty desert shop just inside and ordered a delicious brownie the size of a birthday cake and split it 3 ways.

At this time the blood pressure had subsided to normal and the three Freedom Cruisers were ready to help subsidize the angry young Kid’ salary. It was there that MadDog had to split for home and said his goodbyes as Diceman and Pete sat down to a slot machine. It is not known whether their luck of the day continued with them or not. All in all it was another great ride with much excitement and fun as only happens in the Freedom Cruisers.

Ride report prepared by MadDog, Ch. 5

Tony Sesso "Diceman"
President of Chapter 05
Freedom Cruiser's