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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Bicycles, Blueberries, & Motorcycles, oh my......

I managed to get another Friday off, so last weekend was a three day weekend together.  We thought about riding somewhere, but when the news informs you that forest fires are burning to the North, the South, the East and throughout Central Oregon, all that is left is West to the ocean. The Governor  declared a State of Emergency due to the wildfires.  Here is a link to the story LINK.

When it heats up in the valley, it seems most of the population heads to the coast to enjoy a 20˚ drop in temperature.  Unfortunately, traffic on Highway 101 can slow to a crawl so it isn't always the best place for a ride.

We opted to stay closer to home and do a few other things.  Don't worry - there is still actual moto content in this post.

FRIDAY

Friday morning we slept in and downed a pot of coffee or two, then headed out for a mountain bike ride.  When I work Friday mornings Troubadour likes to go out for a morning ride.  Friday I tagged along, he was nice to me and didn't put me through the wringer too bad.

Through the neighborhood and across to Bald Hill Park......so far, easy peasy - a well known route.

Once in Bald Hill Park we rode on the paved multi-use path and up the hill to the barn.  We were headed for a dirt/gravel path, also known as the Mulkey Creek Trail in Fitton Green Natural Area. Up, up, up, it went.  Damn.  Huff, puff, wheeze.  At least being all uphill to start, it was going to be all downhill going back.

We stopped for pictures here and there.






Troubadour steadily climbed ahead and managed to snap a few pictures of me huffing and puffing uphill as he stopped at the switchbacks.






He then whizzed down the hills stopping again at the switchbacks to catch pics of me riding down.




Once back down to Bald Hill Park we stopped to let a mama turkey and her babies cross the trail. They decided to turn around instead, but still came quite close.






We were out for a couple hours.  We returned home, scrounged some lunch, then headed out grocery shopping, a task neither of us really enjoys, but is necessary.

SATURDAY

We decided not to attend Saturday morning coffee, for good reason though.  As many of you know,  since buying the XT250 a year ago we have been looking for a little Yamaha TW200 or the like.  We wanted a second bike so that we could both go forth and explore beyond where the pavement ends, as well as head out to the Off Highway Vehicle (OHV) areas.

The problem we've had when looking for bikes is that most people are asking too much. Bikes 20 years old are going for over half the price of new. And those that were a good value were gone before the weekend came and we could take a look.

There was one in Albany we'd been eyeing for a while, but the owner was asking a little much. Troubadour noticed the seller put up a new ad and dropping the price a bit and it was or best offer.

Saturday morning hubby decided to make the call to see if it was still for sale.  He couldn't find the new ad online and thought maybe it had sold.  However, the old ad was still up and had a contact telephone number.  

Turns out it really was our lucky day.  Not only did the seller still have it, but we were able to look at it right away.

Wow.  The bike was immaculate.  A 2009 Yamaha TW200 with only 972 miles on it.  This bike had never seen dirt or even rain.  I think he cleaned it with a dust cloth daily.  The owner recently sold his Harley, bought a V-Strom, and he was looking to sell this bike too.  Apparently his wife didn't think he needed more than one bike. (rolls eyes)

He and Troubadour haggled over the price and finally settled on knocking another $400 off asking. A total reduction of 20% off original list price.  Done.

The seller was going to Salem with his buddy, who was also buying a V-Strom, but would be back in a few hours.  That worked for us as we needed to find a bank that was open on a Saturday.  Just our luck that in Albany, they were.

Not to make the story any longer... we puttered around until 2pm Saturday afternoon and returned for the bike.  We gave him cash, he gave us the signed title, done.  Troubadour rode it home for me since his gear was in the back of the car from earlier.  Instead of riding straight home, he headed to Premier Moto in Albany so that we could get an off-road permit for it.  The low price of $10.50 will get you a 24 month permit for any State owned off-road vehicle area in Oregon. How can you go wrong?

We arrived home to 95˚F (35˚C) temperatures and took a few pictures of the bike in the backyard. We  just relaxed for the rest of the evening on the deck - where we could see the bike.

(2009 Yamaha TW 200)




SUNDAY

We woke to 60˚F (15.5˚C).  A far cry from the temperature we had Saturday.  The skies were overcast and it was threatening rain.  Perfect for blueberry picking.  We went to Anderson Blues north of town (our favorite) and picked 24.5 lbs (11.11 kg) of sweet, yummy, blueberries of the Blue Crop variety.  They weren't quite as big as last year but they sure were abundant.  It took us about 1/2 an hour to fill our two pails... and munch on more than a few while doing so.

It started to mist on us as the morning went on, and the clouds were looming.  Finally around noon the clouds parted and it looked as though the sun was going to make an appearance.  It didn't really matter, we were going riding no matter the weather.

We suited up and took the bikes out of the garage.  We have a large clump of Echinacea in a bed beside the driveway that attracts bees, butterflies, etc.  When Troubadour pulled the bikes out he noticed a cool spider sitting on one of the blooms.  I wonder if it normally has pink accents or if it is a camouflage feature.


We headed west towards Philomath so that Troubadour could fuel the XT.  Just west of Philomath we turned south off of Highway 20 and onto Woods Creek Road.  A nice gravel road that winds up into the hills.  It runs through clear cut logging areas and tree farms.  I call them replanted clear cuts, but the lumber companies prefer tree farm.  It was a one lane road with gravel, some packed dirt, pot holes, and a little debris here and there.  We pulled over a few times for pictures.

It was at this stop that we discovered the water bottle in the tail bag leaked and soaked everything including our large map book, extra gloves, and the title for the TW.  Oops.  No water for us the rest of the ride.

(2009 XT 250 and 2009 TW 200 - His and Hers)

(Troubadour looking chill in his Triumph jacket)

(A Happy Trobairitz)


Troubadour was asked to write a story for an upcoming Team Oregon Newsletter on our covered bridge adventures.  They asked for a picture of the two of us in our riding gear and also one with a bridge in the background so we thought we'd best give it a go.  Bridge selfies later in the post.




Back on the bikes and further uphill we climbed.  We eventually crested the hill and started our descent.  Before long we had to stop for a tow truck on the side of the road. He had two lines strung across the road and said we could go by if we could get under the cables, but neither of us thought it was a good day for decapitation; accidental or otherwise.  We waited patiently and Troubadour dismounted to observe.  I took my helmet off and just relaxed on the bike, taking a few pics. Turns out it was a Jeep Grand Cherokee that came around a corner too fast.  The tow truck driver said judging by the amount of beer cans in the bushes, the occupants probably weren't sober at the time of the accident.







(The road behind us as we waited)


After about 20 minutes we left the tow truck driver to hook up the Jeep.  We then stopped a mile or so down the road at a ridge line for a picture. We were in the shade and the ridge was in the bright sun so the pictures didn't turn out great.  I probably should have changed the settings on the camera.




As we descended further we turned onto Harris Road and came to a bridge that looked fairly new. We stopped for a wee look.  Turns out it was built in 2013 using some donated trusses that were built in 1939.  The road was paved over the bridge and turned back to gravel a few yards beyond.








In order to get back to the highway we rode over the Harris Covered Bridge.  The last time we were there we were on the Tiger and Gladius and the 2-3 miles of fresh gravel wasn't the best on my road tires.  It was just plain fun on the TW.






And lastly, some bridge selfie outtakes.......



(Now don't we look like we could cook up some trouble?)

From the bridge we headed back to Highway 20 and pointed the bikes East towards home.  At one point, downhill on the highway, the speedometer read 70 mph.  Not sure the bike was actually traveling that fast, but it was buzzing like it.

So far the bike is a great fit. I was impressed that I was out there for a few hours at low speeds and my hands weren't numb at all.  Something I can't say about the Gladius after a few miles at low speeds.

- Au Revoir

"There are exactly as many special occasions in life as we choose to celebrate." - Robert Brault
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40 comments:

  1. We had blueberries from the garden with lunch on Monday, delicious, but no Yams at the mo'.

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    1. Yumm. I love fresh blueberries. We froze a lot of them, but kept a few out for munching. We have two plants in the yard, but they don't produce enough for us yet.

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  2. I've never tried off road biking, but the remote locations that you can get to look wonderful. Glad the new bike purchase is working out so well and you're having fun together.

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    1. Thanks Julie. The road we were on Brad could have done on the Tiger, but it was fun to putter on a small bike.

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  3. The TW200 is a great bike. There is a one here in town that was ridden from Maryland when the owner moved to Fairbanks. And the last photo is a keeper...

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    1. From Maryland to Alaska on a 200 - now that is adventure. I know BeemerGirl and Coop both have one and like them. I have heard good things.

      Maybe I should have kept that last photo for a "caption this" post.

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    2. They are great bikes. I think it is a perfect bike for you. Congratulations!

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  4. Trobairitz:

    Yes, on the last photo, your expressions ARE "PriceLess". What a score to find a TW200 in the right shade of BLUE. Of course, the colour sealed the deal. We have the same problem with prices here too. Not too old are asking nearly new prices, and old ones are half but a decade old

    I like the idea that you can now enjoy nature, without too much Huffing and Puffing

    bob: riding the wet coast

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    1. Wow! I didn't even notice the color. You're much more observant than I. But now that you mention it, blue and white, nice color combination!

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    2. The blue and white matches the XT and Gladius. I noticed the other night Lucy (Brad's Tiger) is the only one in the garage not blue and white. I started singing "one of these things is not like the others..."

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  5. Woot! on the new bike! It looks like it was made for you! You packed a lot into the weekend. I have to say pedal mountain biking unnerves, its weird because I do switchbacks and twisties on my road bike, but not the pedal, I think it is because the paths are so narrow. I loved the pics, beautiful country side, and I have to say I think I like the last selfie the best.

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    1. It is a pretty good size. The seat is wider than the XT so it makes it feel taller actually. Over some bumpy areas we were parked in or turning around, I had a hard time backing up, which is odd because I can flat food the Gladius.

      Riding our motorcycles through the forestry roads and through the really twisty areas have helped do the mountain biking. I use the "don't look down" and "look where you want to go" skills for riding along the cliff edges. Some parts are still unnerving though.

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  6. Hurray! A new bike in the shed. Those gravel roads looked pretty nice.

    Can't wait to see what mischief you can get up to on the Yammie - just watch out for those jeep drivers.

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    1. This makes 4 in the garage, not much room left in a one-car garage. Luckily no Jeep drivers so far.

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  7. Yeah - new bike is always fun ... especially if it is colour coordinated with almost everything else in the garage.

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    1. Because it is the same year as the XT, it got the same graphics set. It was weird that most of the newer ones we saw for sale were all 2009. Doesn't hurt that they make a nice set.

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  8. Nice find on the TW200 and some great roads to ride as well. I believe the spider on the Echinacea is a crab spider, and they can change color to camouflage themselves.

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    1. Thanks for the spider info. I didn't think they'd normally be that shade of pink. It was pretty cool.

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  9. Pretty scarey to think that jeep driver could have been coming the other way when you guys were riding along.

    Oh another shiney new toy to take off road and become a not so shiney new toy. Woo hoo.

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    1. Some of our favorite paved roads are only 1.5 lanes wide with no center stripe so we are used to watching out in corners. Other than a few cars parked at a trailhead there were no others along Woods Creek Rd. When we turned onto Harris, a car from the other direction turned in behind us but we quickly lost them.

      The bike is already dusty. I followed Brad for the ride and ate a little bit of dust he was kicking up. You can actually tell where I was sitting on the seat as it is the only clean part.

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  10. Really nice find with that immaculate TDub....I doubt mine was EVER that clean. Hope you have as much fun with yours as I do with mine. How can last that photo not be everyone's favorite??

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    1. We were patient looking for the right one. It took almost a year. It isn't that clean now after all the gravel roads. The seller said he hated to see it get dirty. I did promise the guy I'd give it a once yearly bath.

      Glad you liked that last photo. It is just us - kinda cheeky - makes you wonder what we're up to.

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  11. wow, his and hers TW200s...must look up the specs but it seems light. I am "authorized" by SWMBO to have three motorcycles, and I am thinking a light dirtbike is just the ticket.....I can mod Scarlett to remove the tub and put a moto-rail on the subframe, then carry the TW200 to the play areas....not to mention, it can serve as a lifeboat for when the Ural fails me.....nice post, it's got me thinking of a third motorcycle!

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    1. Hey Dom. Brad is riding a Yamaha XT 250. A little different than the TW200. More cc's of course and also a skinnier seat. We thought about another XT but the seat wasn't comfortable for my build. Good for his skinny butt though. Also the 250 has the skinnier tires. We thought the wider tires of the 200 would be good for me learning the nuances of off-road riding.

      I think it is cool you could mod Scarlett to take a dual sport along with you. The TW200 is 280lbs wet weight. Nice and light.

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  12. Great photos as usual. Makes me want to visit Oregon and take in the beauty for myself. Congrats on the new bike! I've always thought going off-road would be fun but truth be told makes me a little nervous. I can picture myself falling of a cliff and never being found. Maybe one day I'll get up the nerve and try it. So good on you for being so adventurous!

    Keep having fun and keep those beautiful pictures coming.

    Cheers,
    Curt

    Live Free. Ride Hard. Be Happy.

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    1. Thanks Curt. We do have a lot of beautiful read. Desert in the east, lush forests in the west of the state.

      I would be hesitant to tootle off into the forests by myself. It is nice to have a riding buddy. Brad will go off in the woods on two wheels, but has a Spot with him in case of emergencies and to ping his location. It will send me an email to let me know where he is and that he is okay.

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  13. Wow, this is too much for one blog entry (took me three times to read through...) Cycling, nature, riding, blissful weather, a TW200, an accident, recovery of a car - not yours thankfully -, WHAT a TW200? My dream cycle for the small roads. Lucky you!

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    1. I thought about breaking it up into a few posts, but decided to cram it all in one post instead.

      I didn't know you liked the TW200, at least you have the Vespa for go anywhere travel.

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  14. What a fantastic find! Congrats on the new bike! :) Super fun.
    Blueberries, hmmmm. . .
    And you take the most beautiful photos!! You and your Sweetheart look really cute together!
    Smooches

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    1. Thanks Sash. It is cool we still look cute together after 18 years of marriage. We must be doing something right.

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  15. OMG, that's all so exciting. You got a second motorcycle! Squeee!!!

    And you were able to take it for a ride. And loved it!

    You also managed to capture some pretty awesome selfies. You guys really are a cute couple. I so wished I lived closer. I can imagine being surrounded by fires, even at a distance, gets trying. And who wants to ride through traffic? That bike path looks lovely. I would've been huffing and puffing right beside you. Or well behind you, LOL.

    I look forward to reading about more off-road adventures. :-)

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    1. So far so good. We didn't get the bikes out this weekend, but everything is so hot and dry right now. You have to carry fire extinguishers on your bikes in the off road vehicle areas right now.

      I read in the Oregonian online that Eastern Oregon has the largest wildfire in the nation burning right now at over 600 sq miles. In just one fire.

      Heading into a week in the 90's. We just hope no more lightning strikes.

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  16. And I have to ask... are those fat tires normal or an extra? I don't think I've ever seen tires like that. Not that I pay tons of attention to tires.

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    1. The TW200 comes with the fat tires. One of the reasons we chose that bike is that those tires are so forgiving over gravels and rocks and stuff. Not as smooth on the highway but that is okay, we don't plan on riding them on the highway much.

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  17. For all its limitations I like the TW 200. Proving once again smaller is often better.

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    1. Amen, to smaller often isn't better.

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    2. I enjoy smaller bikes. I often miss the TU250 I had.

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  18. You gotta love the real tire on the TDub. Definitely gives it a character all of its own, yes?

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    1. That it does. The tires separate it from the older brother XT and is perfect for learning dirt and gravel.

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