Thursday, October 21, 2010

Phantom Ride


No, not that kind of Phantom.....

When you look up phantom in the dictionary one of the definitions is "a figment of the imagination."

We have a good natured saying in our group of riding friends and that is "if there's no pics, it didn't happen." Maybe it was your imagination. Maybe it didn't happen.

Troubadour and I went out for an afternoon ride on Sunday. Just the two of us. I can't remember the last time we rode with just the two bikes. Troubadour was in the lead and he took me on a few back roads, up to a viewpoint here in town and back down. Then along a few gravel roads. One of those being Ritner Creek that he went on his off road adventure.

We both had our radios plugged in and when I asked if he'd brought the camera, he replied, "no, I forgot." I would say it was my fault too, as I had forgotten to remind him. At this point I'm thinking... if there's no pics, it didn't happen. Here I was puttering along in the gravel on my TU with no proof.

We ended up on King's Valley Highway and went a little ways and took a break at the store for some water. From there we went back on Highway 20 and turned onto Highway 34. Crap. I knew where this was heading.

All year I have dreaded the Alsea twisties and Mary's Peak. Troubadour knew I was ready and I am sure he was chuckling with glee knowing I'd follow where he went. He asked if my heart rate was going up as we got closer. I replied. "No, but I could use a Rolaids." Deep breathe I kept thinking....take a deep breathe.

Before I knew it we'd gone through the twisties and I didn't know what I had been so hesitant about. Then we tackled Mary's Peak. It is 16 miles to the top, but it was closed at the gate right after the gravel patch so we didn't make it all the way. We stopped to take a quick break at the gate and ended up conversing with a gentleman who just moved here from California. Seems he wanted to check out the TU. He was vertically challenged and thought it looked a good size.

Back down we went. This was the part I really wasn't looking forward to. Up is easy, down not so much. Downhill corners are a mental block for me. I think I did pretty well, kept it up to 30 mph which is the speed on the hill.

Once we reached the bottom of that stretch and then the bottom of the Alsea twisties I said a little 'woohoo' in my helmet and all was good. We took the back way home via Decker Road.

The roads were better than I imagined. Great pavement and way easier than Quartzville was. The bike and I were one on Sunday. I wasn't fighting the gears at all, it was just smooth riding. And I had a great day spending time with hubby.

But..... no pictures means no proof that I conquered my biggest riding fear. Something I wanted to do before the weather turned but didn't think we'd have a chance. I know I did it, Troubadour knows I did it and we'll get pictures the next time.

And yes, there will be a next time. Our imaginations are always worse than reality I find, and this was no exception.

I'll leave you with at least one motorycycle picture:

This was the first motorbike I'd ever ridden. My mom and step dad had matching Honda trail bikes. My mom made cushions for the back racks and my brother rode with my step dad and I rode on the back of mom's when we'd go camping/ hunting. I used to drive mom nuts because I enjoyed bouncing over the bumps. Now I understand why she hollered as I kept bouncing long after the bike stopped. Maybe I was meant for off road...... Hmmmmm.

-Au Revoir

"It's not who you are that holds you back, it's who you think you're not." ~ Author Unknown


  1. Despite lack of a Kodak moment your enthusiasm gave it away. It was real! Good for you! And the road will still be there for your next ride.

  2. So happy for you! Isn't it great when something that has been an intimidation for so long turns out to have been nothing? I tackled one of my angst this summer too and encountered the same thing. Now to find the next one and conquer it!

  3. lol - nice ride report...I'm laughing at when you realized where you were being lead. :)
    I haven't been up to Mary's Peak, but Ron and I rode hwy 34 and it was a blast. I've motorcycled Decker once, and in an ironic twist of fate ended up behind a bicyclist who took the lane. All nice roads and I'm glad you had a good (one-with-the-moto) kind of ride!