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dirt dame

More summertime Heart Bar riding

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I haven't been doing any riding since getting back from the Kennedy Meadows trip, so last Tuesday, I packed up Mr. 501 and headed for the San Bernardino mountains...to Heart Bar.  I thought there might be a little rainstorm action up there, and the temperature always cools down so nicely, as long as you don't mind a random chance of getting struck by lightning.

Arriving around mid morning, and the sun was shining down, but there were a few little puff ball cumulus clouds drifting around in a sort of unassuming manner.  But you never know about those.  If they develop slowly, sometimes the storms are pretty mellow.  But if they come up fast...watch out!

This looks innocent enough....

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....but in less than an hour, the whole south edge of the mountain range was engulfed in thunderstorms.

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At the same time I spotted the first little cloud, I noticed that Mr. 501 was leaking coolant, and I hadn't even hit any slow or technical terrain.  By the time I got back to the staging area, the sky was dark and lightning was striking all around and very close.  I decided to call it a day...even though I only managed 11 miles total.  KTM/Husqvarna engines run hot enough at the best of times.  I didn't feel like pushing my luck with a coolant problem.  So I packed up and drove home.  Turns out that Big Bear got so much rain and hail, that some of the streets got flooded out briefly.  So maybe it was just as well, that I had to cut everything short. 

So once back at home, I took a peek at the radiator and hoses.  It looked like my radiator cap had failed, so I bought  a new one.  I took a rest the next day and made sure that all was well with the bike, and a test run around town showed that the bike was ready to function properly.  So on Thursday morning, I loaded up and headed back to finish the ride that I had started.

This time, the clouds did not bunch up very fast and the day was mostly sunny, and sort of hot.  Riding was good.  I got tagged by a manzanita bush early in the ride.  So I got my mistakes over with for day, right away.

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A bit of clouds from time to time, but no real rain....

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Some souvenirs from Tuesdays storm, over near Sand Canyon road.

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So, the make up day ride was great, and there was a stop for lunch at La Paws Inn, and plenty of relaxed meandering....as usual.

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