Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Chilly Sunday Group Ride

While at Saturday morning coffee plans were hatched for a small group ride around King's Valley on Sunday.  

Sunday morning dawned chillier and more overcast than we anticipated.  I opted to ride Max not only because he has heated grips, but also the plug for my heated jacket liner too.

PolarBear (Andy), SpartanBabe (Meg) and her hubby Josh, crossed the valley to our house and arrived just after 10 am Sunday morning.

Routes were discussed and debated and we chose PolarBear as our fearless leader.  Thanks for leading Andy!

We headed west on Highway 20 and turned north on Kings Valley Road.  It is not a technical highway but you do get to see some nice countryside before one group of 25 mph twisties.  This put us at Ritner Creek Covered Bridge.  A popular wayside along the route.  A nice time to stop for a snack.
(A Suzuki V-Strom, 2 Triumph Tigers, a Triumph America and a Suzuki Gladius)

(Josh, Meg & Brad)

Somehow I managed to get a picture of all of the bikes but Lucy.  I think because she was parked by the loo and that doesn't make a great back drop.  Hope I didn't give her a complex leaving her out.

I did get one picture of the river taken from the bridge.

(Luckiamute River)
We saddled up and hit some more back roads meandering east over to Highway 99W and then north before cutting back across to King's Valley once again.  We stopped at the covered bridge for another break before figuring out a route home so that the parties could ride together for a while  before having to split to the different sides of the valley.

We arrive home just after 2 pm.  We only rode 100 miles but it was a good day to get out with some friends and ride.  It was probably far enough as my darn toes were cold by the time we got home and it also started to sprinkle on us too - just enough to get the face shield spotty.  My fingertips were a little chilly, but my upper body was toasty warm with the heated jacket liner on.  Man I am glad Troubadour urged me to buy it.

*     *     *     *     *     *

I've noticed that the photos above are a little on the dark side.  This may be due to the overcast day or me getting used to another new camera.  More details on that in a follow-up post. But I will say I followed Bobskoot's advice and bought a "life proof" Olympus Tough TG-830 camera and returned the Nikon to Costco due to iPhoto interface issues.

I also managed to find Basil's happy face while testing the new camera.  He was happily sunning himself on the back deck last week.

- Au Revoir

" The function of a friend is not to have a function." - Detlef Cordes

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

His, Hers, and......




We've been thinking of adding a smaller dual spot to the moto-stable for a while now.  Something lighter than the Tiger for Troubadour to chase the guys around the back woods and something small enough I could handle it to chase him around forestry roads and gravel.

The opportunity came last week when he spied a used 2009 Yamaha XT 250 for sale on Craigslist with only 42 miles on the odometer.  A woman in Colorado bought it new in March 2012 from a dealer, put 42 miles on it, scared herself silly and decided to sell it.  She moved to Oregon at the end of February this year and was looking to sell at a fair price.

A week ago Sunday we went and looked at it but it wouldn't start. It still had fuel in it from a year ago and the pet cock (fuel shut off valve) had been left open since February when she last started it.

On Saturday after coffee we once again drove an hour to see it.  This time we were armed with PolarBear's trailer, fresh fuel, new spark plug, and a variety of tools, not to mention PolarBear (thank you Andy) following on his Tiger.

They drained the old fuel, changed the spark plug, tinkered a bit and after gently stuffing a gas soaked shop towel down the air box it fired right up.  They tweaked the idle set screw and Brad took it for a quick putt.  It was a done deal.  How could we go wrong - it is basically a brand new machine.

They loaded it on the trailer and we brought it home.

Last night the rain stopped long enough for Brad to take it for a quick ride for a photo shoot.  He was quite pleased with it and thinks it was a perfect addition.  Now to clean the garage and make a little more room.  Three bikes can be a little tight in there.

I've heard rumors of a dry weekend coming up, but I am not holding my breath.  I should just be glad we don't have snow.

- Au Revoir

"Life is too short for traffic." - Dan Bellack

Friday, April 5, 2013

Basil Says Hello

Sorry no moto-related tidbits in this post.

Mother Nature has decided we must pay for the 70˚ weather from last weekend by suffering in the rain this weekend.   It has been raining for a few days with a few more in the forecast too.  

So for now I shall share a picture of Squire Basil.  We still have some of the big pieces of the sequoia in the back yard and basil has decided to hold them down when the feeling strikes him.  I think he can get a better view of the birds out back that way.

(Basil giving me the 'stink eye')
He doesn't look too happy about having his picture taken, but that's never stopped me when it comes to him. I apologize it isn't in sharp focus but this was in full zoom and through the glass of the french doors to the back of the yard.

- Au Revoir

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life:  music and cats." - Albert Schweitzer

Monday, April 1, 2013

A Sunny Sunday Ride

We thought about going for an extended ride Saturday since we'd ridden to coffee, but instead opted to go home and put on shorts and t-shirts and work in the yard while soaking up some of the 75˚F (24˚C) record breaking sunshine.  Sunday was forecast to be the cooler day of the weekend so we opted for a Sunday ride.

Often times we have a hard time deciding where to ride.  Since signing up for the E2E Rally (Equinox to Equinox) graciously put on by the gentlemen at The Pace Podcast we have a general idea of where we might like to go to get certain bonuses.  Thank you to Fuzzy for letting everyone know of the Rally. 

Yesterday via a nice leisurely ride over Benton and Polk County back roads we managed to pick up 5 bonuses.  Here are some various pictures from the day, which again turned out to be in the mid 70's.  It sure was nice riding with no rain or quilted liners in the gear.  

I haven't included pictures of all of the bonuses as some weren't very interesting. (Adair Rural Fire Station and a newer model blue and white Ford Mustang).  I also took pictures with and without the Rally placard so that all of my blog pics don't have the orange placard in them.

(#0059 reporting for duty - Soap Creek School - Historic Landmark)

(Close of Soap Creek School)

(And the Historic marker)

(Ritner Creek Covered Bridge)

(Pretty weeds by the bridge)

(Overgrown trail leading to the river)

(Harris Covered Bridge)

(Troubadour multi-tasking)

(Both bikes at the Harris Covered Bridge)

(View of the Mary's River from the bridge)

(Looking back at the bikes from the bridge)

Yesterday's ride was the first time I'd been out longer than a ride to coffee or the office in quite a while.  The main thing I noticed with the bike was the sporty suspension did not appreciate the bumpy back roads too well.  At one point I started to wonder if I had a flat tire.  

It did handle fine on the two sections of gravel - each a few miles long.  It actually felt smoother on that than it did on some of the other roads.  Brad is talking of adding a Yamaha TW200 or XT250 to the stable.  If he takes me on enough gravel and choppy back roads on my wee beasty I'll be inclined to agree.

I hope everyone else managed to find some two wheeled fun in the sun this last weekend.

- Au Revoir

" The sun has come out.....and the air is vivid with spring light." - Byron Caldwell Smith, letter to Kate Stephens