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Old 09-14-2009, 09:01 AM   #1
spqr OP
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Joined: Apr 2008
Location: California, Peoples Republic of
Oddometer: 144
Learning the Ropes In the PNW

Getting ready for a long trip I have decided to zip through the Pacific Northwest. The goals are to really find the answers to questions I don't yet know to ask. The new girl (F800GS) and I will take a trip,
From 08SEP09

while the other girl goes on vacation overseas.

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Mostly this trip is to clear my head and get used to the bike. My first test is how to add pictures to a ride report
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My ride Report, I will finish it some day.


You pay your money, and you take your chances.

1983 R65 (sold to good home)
2001 Kawasaki Concours (Stacked and totaled)
1997 BMW F650 (Still rolling)
1987 kawasaki EX 500
2009 BMW F800 GS ('nough said)
2006 Kawasaki KLR 650 (The Mule)
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Old 09-14-2009, 09:10 AM   #2
spqr OP
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Joined: Apr 2008
Location: California, Peoples Republic of
Oddometer: 144
day one

The new bike is sitting in the drive way, the bags are packed and the trip looms like the first drop on a roller coaster. It is nine in the morning, and the last wisps of morning fog have retreated before the rising sun. With a smacking of gloves and the push of a button the engine purrs to life under me. Kick stand up and to the tune of “Give Me Three Steps” I roll off to points north. Four hours after waking up I am finally on the road getting acquainted with the new girl.
The reason I have been up for four hours has to do with the other girl. I dropped her off at the airport for a two week vacation in the Balkans at 5am, then drove the hour back to pack the bike for a trip from the Monterey Bay to points north. Only a couple of rules applied.

#1 Avoid Interstates
#2 No eating at chain or fast food restaurants
#3 No plan is set in stone.
#4 See all the little bits of the country that you normally scoff at an keep drinving.

As a good friend told me that if you serve a year in the desert for a country you should take some time and go see it. After a quick jaunt through the Santa Cruz mountains I slide onto Hwy 1 heading North, the fog sticks to the coast like cotton candy to a wool sweater. Heated grips on and roll north.

A brief jaunt brings me through San Francisco and over the Golden Gate I stop at the over look and snap a few pictures before continuing north.

From 08SEP09


Promptly breaking rule number one by staying on 101 trying to out race the oncoming lunch and early commute traffic. By the time I am clear of the sprawl of bedroom communities I just can’t take it. 128 beckons. Over the coast range I go to the Anderson River valley.

The road carves its way up the hills in a series of tight but well paved switch backs as I hold pace a Prius driven by a guy who knows how to ride, or maybe 13 months without a bike has atrophied my skills. The long sweepers on the other side at least have well marked rough spots as I descend into yet another of California’s wine countries.

In Philo I hold fast to Rule number two. At Libby’s Mexican Café I stumble off the bike and just stand there for a second resting my third point of contact. I am dopey enough that I don’t realize it is Mexican food until I look at the menu. Sadly I am also too dopey to remember to take a picture.

Libby’s gets a solid 4 stars from me. I had the chicken enchiladas made by the husband co-owner and the served by the wife co-owner. She even taught me to say “Where am I?” in Spanish.


They have friendly fast service and good food at a reasonable prices. A big part of me is just warmed to the soul watching first generation immigrants build their little piece of the American Dream. Then I had to be off. Stop by the place it is next to the Philo post office.

Rolling back with the wrist I push to the coast. Getting a feel for the bike’s acceleration curve. Graph may be fine for comparing stats, but I just need to feel it. I push north, as hard and fast as my butt against the brick covered in sand paper of a seat will allow.

In my opinion there are two reasons to ride the Northern California coast. The first is all the river outlets and coves that would have been called smugglers coves in another age. Little pieces of history that sit preserved by their inaccessibility.

As I sat in front of a historic church and watched a woman in a cotton hippy dress shepherd her little boy around the court yard to this 160 year old church. Some guys offered me a bong hit a few minutes ago. Did the sixties find a place to retire? The air feels relaxed. I just breathe it in.

From 08SEP09


From 08SEP09

Then a late twenty something comes by, yammering on her cell phone, wearing bright shorts with ‘Juicy’ written across an ass and a halter top, comes striding up from the beach. I track the designer bag waiting for a tiny dog head to pop out. The mood is broken so I push north to 101 and as light fails into Humboldt Redwood State Park.

Still working on making this forum thing work. More to come. I think I am about 4 days behind on posting.
__________________
Subscribe to me, it helps me buy beer and keep the bike running. Comments make me even better money.


My ride Report, I will finish it some day.


You pay your money, and you take your chances.

1983 R65 (sold to good home)
2001 Kawasaki Concours (Stacked and totaled)
1997 BMW F650 (Still rolling)
1987 kawasaki EX 500
2009 BMW F800 GS ('nough said)
2006 Kawasaki KLR 650 (The Mule)
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