Way Back Machine and New Idria Ride

Portola Valley glamour shot of a 1987 Saso.

Portola Valley glamour shot of a 1987 Saso.

Today I rode my Way Back Machine around Portola Valley and all in all it’s not much different riding compared to my Ritchey Break Away. Both are nice.

However, I have to admit downtube shifting leaves something to be desired compared to brake-lever shifting.

While I’m on the topic of “way back,” last Thursday I rode the New Idria loop with some friends, a 115-mile adventure ride in the wilds of San Benito County.

We were the first cyclists to ride on the disputed Clear Creek Road since it was closed in 2008 by the Bureau of Land Management, which claimed we were breathing in asbestos dust on our way to the New Idria mine.

Now it has re-opened, but with a list of prohibitions a mile long that essentially bans off-road motor bike riding and just about every other recreational activity that might stir up dust.

Photos, story and a video are on my personal website.

5 Responses to “Way Back Machine and New Idria Ride”

  1. Brian Says:

    Thanks very much for the ride report. I’m planning on riding New Idria / Clear Creek Rds for the first time next week. I did want to ask one question: coming from the north, is it generally clear which way is the main road? Thanks!

    • Ray Hosler Says:

      It’s clear until reaching New Idria. Then you’ll need a good map because the roads are not marked and they all look alike in terms of width, quality, use. New Idria Dam higher up is a major intersection where you could go right or straight. We always stay on Clear Creek Road, which would go right for a steep climb. Google Maps shows Clear Creek Road all the way.

      • Brian Says:

        Thanks for the tip about bringing a map. I did bring one and was very glad I did, especially at the unmarked intersection with Mexican Lake Rd near the dam. The road, especially from the summit down to Coalinga Road, is in great condition right now — the rain and then sun have turned the freshly graded parts into nice hardpack.

  2. ThermionicScott Says:

    That’s the bike that used to be dark blue with white tape, right? Looks sharp, and it’s nice to see it in action again!

    Cool video, too. “Hurry, before they come and arrest us.” :^D

  3. Ray Hosler Says:

    Yes. I had it repainted two years ago.

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