Now here's an excuse why I haven't finished this yet:
My company sent me on a 6-week trip to Oregon and there was barely time to waste on the web. What I did instead was this ...
It was Friday afternoon and for the first time we decided not to work on the weekend. So I rushed
back to the hotel to do a quick search on motorcycle rentals in the area. One place in Portland
rented VStroms and I remembered that there were some positive comments on ADV (or the HUBB).
So I called Doug:
[me] Can you rent me a bike for the weekend?
[Doug] Sure. When do you want to ride? We usually bring the bike to your hotel the night before.
[me] Oh, that would be tonight, then. Too early?
[Doug] Well, if you have internet, you could do the paperwork right now and I could bring the bike in
[me] Cool. Let's do that.
[Doug] What's your sizes for helmet and gear?
A little bit later a van pulled the Wee on the parking lot.
[Doug] You know, most people call in November if they want to ride in August ...
The next morning I headed north towards Mount St. Helens. To cover distance I started on
the highways and it only took some 10mins before someone tried to kill me by changing lanes
without looking or signaling. Now this is something you're always expecting in every part of
this world, so I just hit the brakes and swayed towards the left shoulder.
Note to self: There's no ABS and the rear gets really light under braking ...
Soon I left the highway and turned onto the smaller roads which lead around the volcano.
By this time the clouds which had covered the sky in the morning disappeared and bright
sunlight warmed me up. The winding and narrow roads had some potholes here and there
due to minor landslides - perfect roads to show the abilities of the Wee.
When I got closer to the volcano scenic view points invited for short breaks every few minutes.
Finally I could enjoy the view into the volcano from Windy Ridge. The lake in front is partly
covered by floating logs.
Later I turned south towards the Columbia river where I stopped for the night.
The next day I wanted to circle Mount Hood.
After a while I realized that all the nice curves had disappeared. This was not what I had in mind.
A look on the map revealed that I had been riding into the wrong direction for the last hour. So I
found me a speeding car and rushed back.
This time I found the right turn and found my way back to the hotel.
Not only the Wee had worked great, even the gear turned out to be excellent (I might ask Doug
for the brand, so I can by the jacket for myself.), only the helmet was rattling a bit.
Doug had also equipped me with Bags, first aid kit, tools, tire repair kid, compressor and
some spares. The only thing I had to bring was my drivers license. So if you're looking
for a rental bike in the Portland area, I can recommend doing a google search on 'VStrom
rental Portland' ...
Meanwhile I'm back in Germany and there's finally some time for vacation. My bike is almost packed and ready for the trip ...