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Old 11-16-2013, 10:27 AM   #1
Dr. Schittbaum OP
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Joined: Jan 2011
Location: scottsdale, az
Oddometer: 103
PDX to PHX veteran's day fly and ride

If it is the overcoming of adversity that makes for a good story, then the only way to begin an adventure is by setting out ill prepared.


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Last Friday I flew up to Portland, OR to pick up a beautiful black and yellow 2002 R1150GS Adventure from another inmate. The weather had been beautiful here in Scottsdale and it was difficult for me to imagine it would be much different elsewhere.

I nearly didn't bring my jacket and pants liners or a raincoat, and certainly brought too few layers, as I wasn't aware of the volume of the jesse luggage and didn't want to overpack.

I didn't have much of a plan aside from knowing I wanted to see the redwoods, ride along the coast, and eventually wind up at a friend's house in Orange County before setting back to Arizona.

Kpoling (from whom I purchased the bike) was nice enough to pick me up from the airport and show me around the bike. It has been meticulously maintained and he set me out with a full tank of gas. I've never had a bike this big and the first few turns were pretty sketchy and I began to doubt myself, but after some hot soup and getting on the highway I felt much better.

I set out on OR-26 to I-6 to get out to the coast and within ten minutes it started pouring rain. I always hate to stop and get off my bike and chose not to get my rain gear on. This was a bad decision. I missed my turnoff onto I-6 several times as I could hardly see--the rain was either covering my face shield or stinging my eyes. I pulled over for a little while to wait for the rain to let up a little bit but still didn't put on my rain jacket.

I got back on the road and cruised down I-6 to the coast, following the Wilson River. This was an amazing ride, albeit cold and rainy. Mist settled over the river and in the hills as the road cut through moss covered trees.

I wish I had taken some pictures the first day but I was cold and wet and there weren't too many safe places to pull off.

I made it to Tillamook, then turned south on 101 and spent the night in Newport, OR, where I got dinner at a place called Georgie's that had some of the best clam chowder I've ever had.

The next day I set south on 101 down the Oregon Coast. Still cold, still wet, but this day I wore every layer I brought with me, inserting my liners, and put on my rain jacket. Much better although the summer gloves I had brought left me stinging.

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Riding down the windy roads along the coast, the big GS instilled confidence with every turn, surprising me with how responsive it was as I rode past lighthouses and rock formations.

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I stopped for lunch in Coos Bay, had a terrible cheesesteak sandwich (i'm an east coast boy and i need to stop ordering cheesesteaks because it's only disappointing). I also stopped by the pirate shop for some warmer gloves. I got a pair of leather (of course) gloves lined with Gortex and fleece. MUCH BETTER, and they say Harley Davidson on them, which is what I think justified the price tag.

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I continued making my way down the coast towards California past scenic vistas and through tweaker towns, locking my tank bag in my luggage every time i stopped to go to the bathroom. I met an amphetamine addled gentleman who had ridden his bicycle from Denver that claimed to be a former Baja racer sponsored by Aprilla and told me he was headed to Mexico to "retire".

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As soon as I crossed into California, a pungent, sweet, skunk smell permeated the air and lingered for hundreds of miles. Apparently, it's the harvest season and I was in Humboldt County.

I pulled into Arcata, which I understood to be a funky hippy college town, thinking I would get a room in town and hang out a bit. It is sketchy as fuck. Every shift character that has ever offered to sell you LSD in a parking is now living out their retirement in Arcata begging for change. It is the end of the line on the underground railroad of untreated mental illness.

I had a decent bowl of Pho and then headed back several miles north where I had passed a Days Inn and spent the night there.
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Old 11-16-2013, 12:09 PM   #2
Dr. Schittbaum OP
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Day 3

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I woke up excited to get on the road as today would take me through the redwoods on the Avenue of the Giants, which is the old highway 101.

As I pulled off of highway 101 onto the avenue of the giants, I fired up Dark Side of the Moon--the perfect soundtrack for a surreal experience such as this.

The redwoods were majestic and I cannot explain in words or in photos from my cellphone how breathtaking and humbling it is to ride through them. It was a spiritual experience even for a godless heathen like me, and I could feel my cynicism slip away around every bend in the road.

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I stopped in the small town of Miranda, which sits on the avenue of the giants, for a nice breakfast.

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Following the avenue of the giants, highway 1 takes you back out to the Mendocino coast by way of switchbacks over the mountains. This was an awesome ride, and again, the big bike blew my mind as I took 15 mph turns at 45 and 25 mph turns at 60.

Disclaimer: I'm not this fat, i'm wearing two jackets and literally everything I brought with me beneath them. things bunch up, etc. etc.

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I thought I was cold until I saw some dudes surfing.

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Making my way further south, the sun began to come out.

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I took a wrong turn and wound up on 128 rather than 1, which brought me through wine country in Sonoma county. This was still a beautiful, fun, twisty ride, and was less busy than the PCH and WAY fewer cops.

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I took this all the way south until it met back up with 101 and brought me through Marin County and the golden gate bridge. I wish I was able to take some pictures crossing the golden gate bridge.

I blew through San Francisco as quickly as possible and jammed down to Santa Cruz where I got a room. I went out for a nice dinner at a place called 515 kitchen and cocktails, which I would recommend to anyone passing through. It had been a long day of riding so I thought I decided to treat myself to a few drinks. I had four drinks with dinner and met a nice couple who said they were going to kidnap me and show me what SC is all about. We ended up going to 5 or 6 different bars and I got shit housed. Very good time. I wound up at a Goth night at some place in my motorcycle boots and baseball hat ordering rounds of Fernet Branca.

The following morning I woke up feeling like a truck had ran over me but hopped back on my bike like a champion.

I stopped at a Tacqueria in Monterey to load up on food and get my head straight. A few Al Pastor and chorizo and egg tacos later and I was good to go.

I loved the stretch of highway along the PCH between Monterey and Big Sur Picturesque twisties for miles and miles.

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The road was closed for a little while as they were working on it. everyone got out of their cars to listen to the sea lions and enjoy the nice weather.

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I stopped at the Whale Watcher Cafe, ready for lunch. Don't ever go here.
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you call this a fucking hot dog?

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back on the road, stopped to watch some sea lions playing

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I put my friend's address in my GPS. he lives in Costa Mesa, which is in the Newport Beach area. It had me going 101-->154-->101, which dropped me into Santa Barbara and some awful traffic. This was my first experience with lane splitting, a nerve racking experience with the wide Jesse luggage on the GS. The remainder of the drive that night was very stressful, as I had been on the bike for about 12 hours already and was either going very fast with traffic or stopped due to multiple accidents. Going through LA on the 101 and 405 was crazy--poorly maintained roads and drivers going at breakneck speeds, but I made it safely to my buddy's in Costa Mesa.

The next day I set out home taking 55/90/60 and ultimately i-10. I went 100mph the whole way back. In eastern california an 18 wheeler full of hay that was right behind me flipped on its side (pretty crazy). I met some British guys at a rest area outside of Joshua Tree park that had rented harleys and one of them told me he had got clipped by a driver on the 405 a few nights earlier and had to get a new bike and showed me the evidence of road rash on his helmet and gear. The 405 was a stressful ride that I hope to never had to repeat.

I stopped for lunch at a truck stop at Blythe. Apparently I just barely missed the girls.
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I got back into Scottsdale safely that evening and look forward to many more adventures on my new GS!!
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Old 11-16-2013, 02:43 PM   #3
Rutabaga
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Neat fly and ride.
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Old 11-17-2013, 07:37 PM   #4
MKJ
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Sweet!
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Old 11-19-2013, 04:05 AM   #5
Apple Jam
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Glad you got to enjoy Hwy 6 in Oregon, it's a GS gem for sure. Sorry for the rain!!
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Old 11-30-2013, 04:52 AM   #6
Jick Magger
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Nice report. Missed you by a week or so. Drove from Canada to Portland the following week to pick up this.Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Took it to your neck of the woods. I have a winter place in Scottsdale and that is its new home. We will need to take them out for a spin when i get down there again. Well done and i hope you enjoy your bike.
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Old 11-30-2013, 06:15 AM   #7
tuna101
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Nice bike, I'm know it was worth a little rain. You took the senic route but inland would have been dryer and warmer. I bet that dog at Gorda wasn't cheap, they bend you over for everything there.
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Old 11-30-2013, 04:13 PM   #8
DurtKlod
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Neat ride report with pics. Glad to see you made it through Cali in one piece.
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Old 11-30-2013, 07:44 PM   #9
DurtKlod
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Hey I meant to ask you about your ZEN sticker on the back case. Did you put that on as soon as you got the bike or was it there before? Sure looks just like Dillons ZEN stickers!
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Old 11-30-2013, 08:35 PM   #10
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Congrats on the new bike! Looks like you had a great ride back!
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Old 11-30-2013, 09:11 PM   #11
Dr. Schittbaum OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DurtKlod View Post
Hey I meant to ask you about your ZEN sticker on the back case. Did you put that on as soon as you got the bike or was it there before? Sure looks just like Dillons ZEN stickers!
No i brought it with me and threw it on. Gotta rep the hood!!

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"When you find yourself riding alone, riding in green fields with the sun on your face, do not fear. For you are in Elysium and you're already dead."
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Old 11-30-2013, 09:12 PM   #12
Dr. Schittbaum OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jick Magger View Post
Nice report. Missed you by a week or so. Drove from Canada to Portland the following week to pick up this.Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Took it to your neck of the woods. I have a winter place in Scottsdale and that is its new home. We will need to take them out for a spin when i get down there again. Well done and i hope you enjoy your bike.
Nice bike! Bet it's starting to get cold up there

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