After months of searching for a used 350exc on craigslist and other listing sites I decided to put out a listing on BARF the local moto forum and within what seemed like minutes a guy was passing on his buddies info
LOCATION // BALLINGER CANYON & HOLLISTER HILLS
VIDEO // CHRIS RIESNER
RIDERS // CHRIS RIESNER/350EXC, TYLER HAAS/XR650L
SONG I // THE LONESOME ACE STRING BAND “HILLS OF MEXICO”
SONG II // THE STEEL DRIVERS “CALIFORNIA CHAINSAW"
Quickly, I got in touch and made arrangements to meet the next day. I had two other bikes lined up to check out that weekend but one was in LA and the other in Idaho, quite the haul so I was hoping this worked out. Leaving work early that Friday afternoon I drove to the other side of the valley to meet a friendly ripper. You could tell the bike was definitely ridden hard but nothing out of the ordinary for a bike of its caliper, with a quick test ride we swapped cash for keys and I was on my way.
Rain in the forecast had me looking for places to ride, only thing to do was beat it by going south. On Saturday I hit the rainy road with a new bike on the back and a happy gleam in my eye. I couldn’t resist riding the new 350, regardless of the rain so I made a stop in Hollister. It pulled all the wet hills and weaved through the single track with ease. After a few hours my arms didn’t feel like they were going to fall off like my previous experience with the 600r!
The next day I woke up and hit the road at sun rise to finish up the last leg of the trip, leading me to the middle of nowhere, a place called Ballinger Canyon. I met up with my childhood best friend. The dude that sold me my first 125, taught me how to spray paint parts, showed me eBay, got me hooked on TT racing and took me riding all over California in his Dad’s moto van. After 10 or so years it was awesome to reunite for some familiar motor shredding activities! We navigated the un familiar terrain, cookin’ corners and slaying ridge tops with the occasional stop to enjoy the cloudy sky and questions of ‘whatever happened to that guy…’
Making my way back home the next day I made an afternoon stop back at Hollister Hills. The rain had since passed but left it’s mark with some muddy hill climbs. Pete’s Path was probably the best trail I road, the mixture of muddy clay and sand traversed along the side of a range proving to be a pleasant challenge and solid way to end my long weekend Moto Rip Trip.
Only thing to do was beat the rain by going south