Thursday, August 19, 2010

Aufderheide Ride

Last Sunday was the planned Aufderheide Ride. A few of us were getting together for an all day ride equalling between 250-300 miles. Not long enough to have to pack a toothbrush, but getting close.

Troubadour and I were up for a nice leisurely ride with lots of stops, two up on the Triumph because of the distance. We found out that Bolty and Stacey were in for a more direct, ride the ride and go home kind of a day so two groups were formed. We met Rick at the appointed meeting spot at 8 am Sunday morning. Headed southeast towards Coburg to meet up with Josh. From there it was down to the Original Pancake House in Eugene for breakfast and to meet up with another friend and fellow rider Tim (aka Wiley)

Food was consumed, coffee was drank and stories were told. Some had baked omelettes while others hash browns and eggs. I opted for the potato pancakes thinking they wouldn't be too heavy. They weren't heavy but they were quite bland and a little too greasy for my taste. Nice presentation though and the service was excellent.

Bellies full we headed south on I-5 for a few miles until exiting and heading east on Highway 58. At Westfir we turned north/northeast on the Aufderheide National Forest Scenic Byway. The view was beautiful and the weather was perfect. The roads had quite a few frost heaves in them and the Triumph was a little wallowy in some of the corners. There were a few big bumps in others. I hadn't ridden pillion in a while so I was alternating between relaxing and enjoying the view to grabbing for a handle on some of the bigger bumps.

For the first leg of the road it seemed to be that way more often than not until we made it to Box Canyon for a break and to use the facilities.

Box Canyon is the site of a log cabin replica of the original Box Canyon guard station (built by the Civilian Conservation Corp in 1933)

Some took the chance to stretch their legs: (Rick)
(Troubadour & Josh)

While others checked their cell phone for service: (Tim)

Just 4 bikes along for the ride this day.

Before long we were back on the bikes and heading out. A nice pace of carving twisties later and we arrived at Cougar Dam/Reservoir and it was time for another break.

After everyone was rested and rehydrated we motored along. We came to Highway 126 and headed east towards McKenzie Pass. After a petrol stop and down the road a right turn, we were on the McKenzie Pass Scenic Byway heading towards Sisters. Absolutely gorgeous road. No frost heaves. Just smooth year-old pavement. Some gravel in the corners and you had to watch out for the rogue SUVs in your lane but it was such a beautiful ride. McKenzie Pass Scenic Byway follows the path of an 1860's wagon route.

When you reach 5,325-foot McKenzie Pass, you're enveloped by lava on all sides from the 3000 year old, 65 square mile lava flow.

We stopped at the Dee Wright Observatory in the middle of the lava fields for a break. The observatory is a lava rock structure constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1935, and named for their foreman.

The view from inside the observatory was also interesting. There were cut outs so that you could view specific craters and mountains.

The top of the observatory had a brass sundial pointing out the different peaks and naming them for reference. Troubadour couldn't get up high enough to get it all in one picture.

By this time our camera batteries were critically low. It did let us snap one last picture before it died. Our spare batteries were in Troubadour's other jacket so this picture of Rick on the way back to the bikes was the last one we could take that day.

Once sufficiently cooled off we headed to Sisters looking for ice cream. Rick lead us to a great little shop that had hard ice cream and soft serve. We managed to eat our cool sweet treats in the shade and dunk our Buffwear in the soaker hose of the visitor center. Then, off we went towards home.

By chance Wiley met up with a fellow rider from Eugene while at the dam. He then waited at the observatory to ride with us. They then headed back to Eugene together while Rick, Josh, Troubadour and I carried on down the Santiam Pass Scenic Byway (The same route we took back from Bend after the IMBC).

The McKenzie Pass/Santiam Pass Scenic Bylway boasts the highest concentration of snowcapped volcanoes (and associated glaciers) in the lower 48 states.

We left Josh in Lebanon where he calls home and headed to Corvallis. We made it home at 6:50 pm. A nice 11-hour day. At least it wasn't all in the saddle.

I came to the conclusion that Troubadour's America isn't that comfortable for riding pillion and I am okay taking my own bike when we ride. Maybe I'll venture over 200 miles in one day on the TU. You never know.

-Au Revoir

"I think that travel comes from some deep urge to see the world, like the urge that brings up a worm in an Irish bog to see the moon when it is full." ~ Lord Dunsany

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Candid in Canby

Troubadour did a write up about our ride to Canby for the Triumph Demo days so I will try not to be too repetitive.

I was hoping to snap some pictures of the bikes and riders at our meet up location in Lebanon, but with the early hour and cool air I completely forgot to get the camera out of the bag. Good thing we didn't forget it at home.

The ride up was cool with a mixture of clouds and sun. I do appreciate those heated grips. I had fun riding the TU there and back. There was one spot on the way there that was an uphill with a 15 mph right hand corner near the top that I had to shift down into third gear. I felt bad for the rider (Josh) behind me as the bike didn't have quite the momentum I was looking for and I am sure I was holding him back. For 250 cc's it is a great learning bike, but it has some areas that it isn't the smoothest.

We all arrived in Canby without incident and the clouds were clinging overhead not wanting to give way to the sun.

Five of our riders signed up to ride the bikes but I was not comfortable enough to ride an unfamiliar bike. The only one I would have ridden was the Bonneville SE. I'd taken one out at Rod's shop several months ago in Eugene so I figured on this day I'd leave it for someone else to ride.

We didn't get a lot of photos but here are a few candid shots that we snapped......

The staging area:

We did a lot of standing around waiting:

And when that got too much we opted for sitting on the curb:

People rolled in on all makes and models of bikes in varying colors. The painted tank on this one caught my eye:

By noon the sun had come out and we were all getting a little toasty. Layers of gear came off and skin started to get pink. Sunscreen? Who thought of that when it was cloudy? And we didn't think to put any on as we were sitting there roasting in the brilliant sunshine for a few hours while the guys took their test rides. Four days later my shoulders finally have stopped hurting.

Troubadour took a ride on the Thunderbird. He may not have been that impressed with it but he did have a big smile on his face when he got back:

Two Canby patrol cars showed up. We aren't sure why, but while the Officers were ogling the bikes Rick (being the good sport that he is) showed us proper procedure:

All in all it was a great day. Great ride with great people. We did take a detour on the way back and saw some Vespa races and had lunch at.... you guessed it... Sushi Kyo in Salem.

Coming up this Sunday is an all day ride with kickstands up at 8 am. Think we'll go two up on the Triumph that day. Should be between 250 to 300 miles round trip. The Canby ride was my longest day trip at 170 miles round trip. Not quite up to 300 yet, but I'm getting there.

I've thought about some more training but I am not sure what is appropriate. I took my Basic Rider Training in the fall of 2002 and only have about 1500 miles under my belt (1000 of them in the last few months on the TU). I know a few friends are taking the ART class in the next few weeks, but me thinks that is a little too advanced for me at this stage. I'm hoping maybe Irondad will have an opinion from the peanut gallery on an appropriate venue to advance my skills and learning?

At any rate, with me riding pillion this coming up weekend we should get some good action shots. We'll see.

On a side note..... this afternoon I received a call from Cascade Moto Classics, sponsor of the Demo Days and apparently I won the $100 gift certificate prize. Looks like a trip to Beaverton is in order, but what to buy? Hmmmmm.

-Au Revoir

"The best alarm clock is sunshine on chrome." ~ Author Unknown

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Summer Blooms 'n' Stuff

While wandering through the yard the other day I decided to take a few pictures of some of the blooms in the backyard.

Oak Leaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia)....

Where it gets it's name.....


Rose of Sharon (a type of hibiscus).....

Pink Guara.....

And I can't forget the Mandevilla vine.....

We seem to be keeping ourselves occupied. Last Wednesday on July 28th we went to the Oregon Zoo in Portland for a Great Big Sea concert. We aren't big concert people and the crowds drove us nuts but the music was great. They sounded the same in concert as they do on their recordings which is rare.

On Saturday we rode down to a little country bakery with Rick for a tasty breakfast treat. It was pretty chilly and Troubadour and I both used our heated grips. Rick didn't have heated grips and I had my mesh gear on so we decided to head home and took the car to Salem for sushi. The sun came out and we had a great day.

Sunday we decided to get some yard work done. We had a dirt pile beside the deck that we were turning into a shrub bed/living wall. Put some posts in and transplanted a jasmine that had been growing on a lattice against the house. A trip to Garland Nursery later and we had plants to fill in the bed. We still need to put the pieces of 2x2 on top to complete the pergola but are pretty happy with the way it turned out. The following pictures were taken after watering and I still need to put the bark mulch down but it gives you the idea. It is something to help give us privacy from the two-story house next door.

This photo was taken from the deck....

This one was taken from the side of the house looking over the yard and deck....

Tomorrow we have bike night and this Saturday is Triumph demo days for Cascade Moto Classics. There are a couple of us riding to Canby to test ride some Triumph motorcycles since their demo truck will be rolling into town for both Saturday and Sunday. Should prove to be interesting. Hopefully we'll get some pictures.

-Au Revoir

"Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair." ~ Kahlil Gibran