|12-15-2012, 12:05 AM||#1|
Joined: Jun 2007
Location: Pac Nor-Wet, WA
4 days of PNW wandering: Hood River or bust!
Detective Frank Drebin once said:
"Truth hurts. Maybe not as much as jumping on a bicycle with a seat missing, but it hurts."
I have to say, when I went on the following ride last July, I could definitely relate!
My buddies and I had just got back from pedaling the Seattle-to-Portland (STP) bicycle ride (with seats!), me for the first time, and after seeing a lot of what makes western Washington and Oregon so awesome at 15-20mph, it seemed like a great idea to follow up a 200 mile bicycle ride (on a 36lb. mountain bike) with an 800 mile sub-250cc motorsickle ride on my XT225! It also dawned on me, that after having the XT for over two years, that it had never been on a multi-day trip! Sure, plenty of 300-400 mile day runs, but in the 8000 or so miles I'd had it, no overnighters! I had to fix that and fix it good...
First I had to fix a few other things though... All bicycle-related chafing aside, like any good motorsickle adventure, this one started the afternoon of the day before departure with a half-disassembled bike, lots of cuss mumbling, and maybe some beer.
You see, I had recently gotten an awesome set of Wolfman expedition dry saddlebags and quickly realized that the stock XT225 rear boinger had the spring strength of a gorilla-abused Slinky when loaded with any kind of weight, so a call to Joyce and Rick at Cogent Dynamics set me in the right direction with a new, stiffer rear spring and a set of new front springs to boot:
There was no time to do a front fork rebuild, so just the rear spring went on for this trip (I used the work bench as a spring compressor; don't recommend it!):
With the XT back together and feeling more planted then ever, I took a quick test ride, packed my gear, and called it a night at 1:30AM. My compliments to the good folks at Wolfman, 'cause the Expo drys are sized juuuuuuust right for a midnight beer run to wally world!
The sun woke me up at 7, and I was more then a little tired, but I needed to ride 250 miles (which I magically turned into 325 miles, more on that later) before sundown... With gear strapped on, no real maps and no commitments for four sweet days, I was set!
The XT was riding great, and handled the 40+ pounds of junk I had on it without breaking a sweat. I turned off of Pac-Ave in Tacoma and headed down 507, stopping in the historic town of Roy:
When I was a wee lad, I used to head to Roy every summer with my Dad to the antique engine and tractor show... It was a slippery slope, but somehow hit-and-miss stationary engines and John Deere Model Rs got me hooked on motorcycles...
Next stop was the famed "Stewart's."
Stewarts is a local institution, and so far, I don't think I've had better pepperoni elsewhere. Unfortunately, the lines inside were 5 deep, and they'd only sell me 1 pound of pepperoni at $9.99
Defeated and without tasty meat snacks in my tank bag, I continued on through Yelm until something caused me to grab a handful of brake and flip a U-turn real quick:
Seriously, how often do you see a first-gen Harley XR750 flat-tracker sitting alongside the road for sale?
This one had a Panther TT frame and 890cc of ironhead fury!
If you don't think that's a beautiful bike, I'm sorry, there's no hope for you...
How's that for flat-slides?
Curiosity appeased, I hopped back on the goat and headed toward Oakville, running into a small detour that turned out to be a l-a-r-g-e detour...
My goal was to head down Gerrard Creek Road and connect Brooklyn road, N. River Road, Smith Creek Road and Butte Creek Road and end up on the 101 into Raymond. Simple enough right?
Wrong! Somehow, I missed a turn and for the life of me, couldn't get back on track and got royally lost on the myriad of back roads between Oakville and Raymond. A GPS would've have been handy, but alas, I didn't have one. I eventually backtracked and made it to 101 via Highway 12, but it cost me a few hours. Definitely embrassed as usually it takes a lot for me to get lost, especially on pavement. I stopped in Raymond for gas and got some carbs and antifreeze...
...and then ended up in Long Beach.
I got some looks riding down the beach, but man, do I love riding in the sand! I stopped for a few to finish the trail mix and pulled my camera out of my pocket just in time to catch this:
The trifecta of straddle-based transportation. I finally made it to the bridge into Astoria and beat feet down the Oregon Coast....
... to meet up with ADV's very own (no longer racing like a noob) oregoncoast! I rolled into OC's area at about sunset, which was hours after I'd planned, but Paul and his wonderful wife Laura made me feel right at home, I got my tent set up, and off we went to get a few beers and a badly needed cheeseburger!
I had a blast hanging out with Mr. and Mrs. OC, and talked about all sorts of the best kind of gearhead stuff and listened to some awesome stories from Team Outta Sight's 2011 and 2012 Norra Mexican 1000 class wins, which you can read about here:
The next morning, we went over to Lonnie's and after getting a few wires from the voltage regulator reattached, and the charged battery put back in, fired the SL up for the first time since Mexico, and run she did; best sounding bike ever!
It was awesome watching Paul rip up the driveway, slinging gravel with open pipes blaring. After pulling up, he then said: "want to take it for a ride?" To which I said something like: "Holy shiitake Batman, hell ya!"
I rode the SL with Lonnie on his XR500 and had a hoot for 15 minutes or so on some nearby back roads. My favorite bike, that I got when I was 17 and still have, is a '71 Honda SL350.The Outta Sight Racing SL is 1,000,000 times better then my old SL, with real suspension, good brakes and plenty of power. It was a blast to ride, and was a huge inspiration for my own SL project, which I hope to start a thread on here soon.
It was fantastic to meet Paul, Laura and Lonnie; a truly 2nd to none group of folks!
With rain starting to fall on the coast, Paul gave me a blue tarp and said "I think you'll need this" and sent me on my way Sunday afternoon. Next installment, Tillamook, ice cream and eastbound!
"Remember, you may have to grow old, but you don't have to mature." - Red Green
TwinDuro screwed with this post 12-30-2012 at 02:12 PM
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