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The genesis for this ride was Countdown’s Mammoth ride, which was scheduled for September 9-10. The last time that I had done this ride was 1997, and I felt that Jerry had added a lot of new stuff since then, which would be interesting to try out. Since we had been having problems finding time to ride due to the many things that demand our time, it was hard coordinating a time when we (Mark, Bill and Dave) could all ride together. Since Mark is the coach of his son’s soccer team and games are scheduled every Saturday, this made a two day ride a tough challenge. In addition, Bill had something come up that same weekend, with his daughter beginning her studies at USC. After a lot of emails back and forth, we decided that we would all take the Monday of the following weekend off from work and try some of the Bishop routes from the Sneakers Motorcycle Club website ( We originally planned to do the Coyote loop and the Black Mountain loop on Sunday, with some Mammoth-area rides on Monday, but after completing the Coyote loop, checking out every optional area, we decided the two loops were enough for the entire two days. We had done many Countdown rides in the past and the rides always felt like a marathon on Saturday. We wanted to have the option to be able to explore something more in detail along the way without having to complete a lot of miles that day. Devoting an entire day to each loop kept the pace relaxed enough to accomplish this objective.

We drove up on Saturday night and stayed at the Day’s Inn in Bishop. One of the attractions of this motel was initially the breakfast. If you were into either Fruit-loops, Rice Crispies, or toasted cheap bread, you were in luck. We took a look at this and headed to McDonald’s for something that would stick to our ribs out on the trail.

Sunday found us heading out of town South on Sunland road. Here we are looking up Warm Springs road, which will take us up into the Sierras on Coyote Valley road. 

A good view of the route that awaits us – Coyote Valley Road. Off in the distance is where it really starts to gain some elevation on our way from 4200’ in Barstow to over 11000’.

Taking a pause for a picture at 10,500’. We’ll be descending a short stretch before resuming our climb on the road in the distance.

Here it is September and there are still patches of snow! As you can see from the sky, we had two absolutely perfect days of riding, weather-wise. Temperatures were a little cooler at altitude, but still real nice.

Bill and Dave (with helmet) take a pause at the junction to one of the optional detours. This would take us on a ridge between the West fork of the Coyote Creek and the South Fork of the Bishop Creek.

Another angle at the same location by Mark, with our bikes and the ridge that we’ll be exploring in the background.

What a fantastic view of the Sierras. This is looking west to the mountain ridge that leads down into King’s Canyon National park on the other side. This would be a good place for one of those panoramic maps with the named mountain peaks along with the altitudes. With our maps, we can only guess which peak is which.

We ran into a few deer hunters, who seemed to be having a bit of success. We had just come down a fairly steep section to find ourselves at a dead-end where some hunters were camping. After getting some directions, we headed out to find this hunter heading down the trail with this prize draped across his ATV. 

A shot of Bill and Mark looking down on South Lake, reachable by highway 168 west out of Bishop. I thought that this would make a great dual-sport picture. Unfortunately, with my helmet on I didn’t realize that I had cut off the tops of the mountains. 

South Lake.

Looking down on Parcher’s camp, along the road to South Lake. WE could only look down as the drop-off was too steep for any road.

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