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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Riding to the Coast for Coffee

Saturday June 17th we busted our butts weeding the shrub beds in the backyard.  We decided that Sunday needed to be a ride day because all work and no play.........

It used to be that we'd ride to eat.  Pick a destination based on a restaurant choice and point the bikes in that direction.  Since going vegan over 6 years ago that proves to be a bit more difficult so Troubadour had the idea of riding for coffee.  There are a lot of little coffee shops within a days ride.  

Troubadour left the destination planning up to me so I chose the Siuslaw Coffee Roasters in Florence as our destination.  Temperatures in the valley were going to top out at 86˚F (30˚C) and Florence was forecast for a high of only 70˚F (21˚C)  We decided on a route that had some back roads, some gravel roads, and a little highway riding too (no way to avoid the highways). This would be my longest journey on the Versys 300x to date - 195 miles (313.8 km)

We set off down Bellfountain Road to Territorial Road then headed west on Highway 36.  A left turn put us onto Poodle Creek Rd.  A nice twisty back road that heads South where it intersects with Highway 126.

We turned west on Highway 126 and then turned right onto a gravel road to take us to the Wildcat covered bridge. We'd actually been there once before - almost a year ago to the day and it was under construction at that time.  Having been built in 1925, it was long overdue for some TLC. Last years blog post --> LINK.

(ScooterBob at the Wildcat Covered Bridge)

( Looking a little right you could see a railway bridge)

There were quite a few people down by the river and some were in kayaks, and others were swimming. That water must have been cold though as the river is in the foothills of the coastal mountains.

We got back on the bikes and decided to take the gravel road, which turns into Stagecoach Road, until it  intersects Highway 36 at Swisshome. It is a lovely one lane gravel road that twists and turns and undulates along the river for about 15 miles.

Troubadour recently bought a 360Fly camera and was having some issues turning it on.  We stopped in a bit of shade while he fiddled with it.  I took advantage of the break and pulled my camera out of my pocket.

(Gravel road heading west - view from the Versys cockpit)

(Where we'd been - a view of the Versys mirror)

(Even had time for a selfie - I'm wearing my Rev'it mesh jacket and HJC helmet)

(Troubadour fiddling with the 360Fly camera)

He managed to get it working and we were off.  The camera is quite something.  If your computer's operating system is compatible or you are on your smart phone you can actually look around while watching the video and look at the scenery, not just the direction the camera appears to be pointed.  He has posted a few videos on Facebook, hopefully he will find time to blog a few clips as well.

Stagecoach Road comes out on Highway 36 which we took west to where it intersects with Highway 126 and took that along the river to Florence.  We stopped at the Siuslaw River Coffee Roasters in Old Town by the river.  As we were pulling up two motorcyclists were leaving so we had parking out front.  The outdoor seating was just to the left of the bikes.

I went inside and purchased us each a 16 oz iced vanilla soy latte.  They seemed rather weak, but they were cold.  We sat outside and enjoyed the view of the historic Siuslaw River bridge, which opened in 1936, and did some people watching too.

(The bikes at the Siuslaw River Coffee Roaster in Florence, Oregon)

(ScooterBob posing for the camera)

(Historic bridge over the Siuslaw River)

Too soon we were back on the bikes and heading east towards home.  We retraced most of our route except for the large gravel area as it would have taken us out of the way and we weren't keen on the extra stretch of Highway 126.  It is the major highway between Florence and Eugene and there is always a lot of traffic on the weekends, especially RV's.

We did stop twice along the way.  Once for a potty break (damn coffee) and once to give us a break from the constant buffeting of the wind.  Troubadour's knee was giving him grief and my sits bones were sore - not much padding on my arse the Versys seat. 

We arrived home at 6:30 pm, 7 hours after leaving the house.  Not a bad day to be out on two wheels.

- Au Revoir

"Why not seize the pleasure at once, how often is happiness destroyed by preparation, foolish preparation." - Jane Austen
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48 comments:

  1. Good leading lines on the first and last shots....Bobskoot would have enjoyed this ride....

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    1. Thank you Dom. High praise coming from you and your awesome photography skills.

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  2. Replies
    1. See, it does happen. When the stars align just right and we have no other obligations or plans we get to ride, yay.

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  3. "high of only 70˚F (21˚C)"

    That sounds absolutely wonderful...

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    1. Yeah you guys are getting hammered with the heat right now. You must feel like you are melting. Supposed to be in the 90's here this weekend, nothing compared to the temperatures on your trip though.

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  4. All the green scenery looks great, we only have brown with the mix of red and orange fires. I think Arizona currently has 15 active fires burning. Won't even mention the temperatures.

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    1. Oregon green, a color in and of itself. At least we have something to show for that 50 inches of rain. I didn't realize AZ had so many fires right now. Scary. You too must feel like you are melting when you go outside. I hope your new condo has A/C.

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  5. Nice to see you guys and SB out and about. Loving the pics too.

    PS: I bought a cheap 360 camera too but am having a lot of issues finding some editing software so nothing to post yet :(

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    1. Thank you Andrew.

      The 360 software Brad is using is just the actual 360Fly app he could download onto his laptop. It has its own learning curve though, just like the camera. Looking forward to seeing your footage when you can get it posted.

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  6. Looks like a great day out - and bridge spotting too! I love the covered bridge. I worked in bridges as a civil engineer and I'm sure that there are exactly zero of these in the UK.

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    1. I love bridge spotting. I am surprised the UK wouldn't have any covered bridges. Oregon has the highest number west of the Mississippi here in the USA. I think we have over 50 of them. Originally built to keep snow and rain off the wooden bridge decks so they would last longer. Also known as kissing bridges since young found would sneak out there for a snog or two.

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  7. Great pictures Brandy. Seems its not just R1 seats that are a bit thinly padded. Why do they make bike seats so uncomfortable in this day and age?

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    1. Thank you Steve. I think they take out padding to give a lower seat height, either that or they just like inflicting pain.

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  8. Great pictures of a great ride! Thanks for sharing. By the way, I got a nice padded seat from Touratech for the Tiger, I'm sure they'll do one for the Versys. Mines a comfort dri-seat, supposed to let you ride longer in hot conditions. Not that we'd normally need it in the U.K.

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    1. Thank you John. The seat you bought sounds great. So far Kawasaki has a tall seat available for the Versys 300x, but it is new enough bike model that there aren't any after market ones.......yet.

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  9. Ride to eat. It's a faft of life. And vanilla soy ice cold coffee is more eating than drinking in my opinion. real coffee is hot and black. PS small bikes rule. I used to think the Tiger was king but 300cc looks better and better to me.

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    1. I agree with you on the coffee, but sometimes it is hard to take a chance on what the quality will be for black coffee. Typically if at Starbucks I'll order a triple espresso over ice. Maybe that is why this tasted weak.

      After riding my little 300x, Brad's Tiger seems a little heavy to him. Let's see, 386 lbs vs 550 lbs. Yep, the Tiger is a hefty rig.

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  10. Fascinating technology, that 360Fly--I'd be interested in seeing some videos...

    I have a big ride planned for the week of the 4th, including its bookend weekends. If my tentative schedule holds, I'll be riding through Florence on the 6th. Maybe I'll stop for coffee. ;-)

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    1. It is odd to think the camera is taking pics 360˚ while recording, but it is nice to be able to look around while viewing it. Looks at the sky, or even at a bridge you didn't see enough of when riding by but couldn't stop.

      If you are planning on Florence, Oregon send me an email the link is on my profile page. It would be good to connect while you are here and if a connection doesn't work out I can at least recommend some good back roads. And if you are heading to ride in Florence, Italy I'm jealous!! FYI - the coffee is probably a lot better in Italy.

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    2. Ha-haa, Florence, Italy! If only… Though I think I’d be equally excited either way: I’ve only seen the coast around Los Angeles and San Francisco, and I’ve seen only about 1,000 miles of the 3,500-ish that I plan to cover over those 10 days.

      I leave after work next Friday, and I should be able to get to about Jackson, Wyoming that evening. Saturday and Sunday through Montana and Canada are higher mile days, between 560 and 580 each, but doing that will give me more time to linger on the coast.

      The night of the 3rd I plan to stay in Victoria after spending that afternoon on a ferry and then seeing some of Vancouver Island, and the night of the 4th in Neah Bay or Port Angeles after spending that day on a ferry and then seeing some of the sights around Olympic National Park.

      I head down to Astoria on the 5th, and on the 6th I continue riding the 101 between Astoria and either Port Orford or Brookings. I would love to meet up, maybe for lunch or for coffee, but no pressure from me (I’ll toss my contact info your way).

      For the rest of my trip, I continue down the 101 and the 1 to San Francisco and then head east to Lake Tahoe and then back to home…

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    3. Sounds like a meet up won't work timing-wise, but I am sure you will have an epic trip. So many good things to see along the way. Let Dar - aka Princess ScooterPie know you'll be in Victoria and she can suggest some great local roads to ride.

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    5. Epic indeed--I'm so looking forward to it. I've dropped a line to Dar, and since I plan to stay in Victoria, I think there's a good chance for a meet-up. If nothing else, I'm sure she could point me to a good island road for an afternoon ride (I expect the ferry to arrive late morning or early afternoon). Thanks again, Trobairitz. :-)

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    6. Hey, Trobairitz, Thursday afternoon I hit Newport's Chowder Bowl for chowder in a sourdough bread bowl--it was freaking delicious! Thanks again for that recommendation. :-) Last night I stayed in Point Arena, and today I head for San Francisco and toward Lake Tahoe. Thank you again!

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    7. Hooray!! You see a lot of sign's for Mo's Chowder, but Mo's is for tourists - the locals go to the Chowder Bowl. Glad I could help out with there recommendation. You are probably home by now, but I hope you had a great trip.

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    8. Yep, I got home Sunday night, and it was everything that such a motorcycle trip should be--thanks! ;-)

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  11. Lovely pictures as usual, you guys live in a really picturesque area. Interesting little "Scooter Bob", did someone make that or was it bought?

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    1. Thank you Andrew. I always think the green foothills are pretty with all of the trees and ferns.

      ScooterBob was bought. BobSkoot the blogger from Vancouver BC actually gave it to blogger DavidM (formerly of Montreal now of Toronto) as a present and it was his idea to send it around the world in tribute when BobSkoot passed away suddenly a few years ago.

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  12. Lots of people ride 7 hours for ice coffee. :) sound like a fun day!

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    1. I think coffee is a good excuse for a ride. Heck a really good chai tea latte would be too.

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  13. Nice ride, I especially like that covered bridge.

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  14. Beautiful photos of such a gorgeous area! I'm bummed you and Ry won't be able to meet up, but maybe it will work out with Dar! I am curious how you feel the new bike is performing especially on dirt and gravel. Did you put on dual sport tires? Sorry I can't remember what tires it came with. I hear you on the seat, I think manufacturers just make the seats awful to encourage the after market. Hopefully they will make one soon! šŸ‘ Still very interested in that bike.

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    1. Some times the meet-ups work out, and some times it doesn't. Mid-week is hard for us.

      The new bike is great and we're getting 60 mpg right now too. With a 4.5 gallon tank that is pretty good. It handled fine on the gravel with stock tires doing 40-45 mph. I haven't put any meatier tread tires on it yet, but will at some point. I can't even tell you what the stock tires are. I knew for my Gladius but for some reason don't remember what he Versys are wearing.

      I didn't expect the seat to bother me. I've done 475 mile days on my Gladius stock seat so who knew 200 miles on the Versys would pain me. My sits bones were sore for days after, lol.

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    2. I am home now and just looked at the bike. The stock tires are IRC Trail Winners. Here is a link: http://www.irc-tire.com/en/mc/products/dual/gp-210/

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  15. Brandy, awesome, thanks for the update! The mpg sounds great compared to my bike. :-) Unless you are doing gnarly off roading, those tires should be fine till you need new ones. It's funny about seats, a slightly different seating position can really change from good to bad. I hope they come out with options soon. I will let you know if I get to ride a Versus, hoping we can call in some industry favors since most Kawi dealers don't allow test rides.

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    1. I think most dealers around here will allow test rides. I am sure there are those that don't, but we are lucky that our local Kawasaki/KTM/Yamaha dealer will pretty much let you take anything out new or used.

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    2. I wish ours would. We found two we could look at and sit on, but they won't even start the engines. We will call around and see if we can find someone in the region who will let us ride one. This is standard for the Japanese dealers around metro Atlanta, sadly.

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    3. Good luck finding one to let you try the bike out. If you could make it to Oregon you'd be welcome to give mine a go. I did another 240 miles on it on Saturday. Sore buns, but not as bad as the last ride.

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    4. Thanks for the offer, not doable this year since we're home in Georgia. :-) Glad you're having fun, and that the buns aren't as sore. I'll keep you posted!

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    5. Standing invitation, no expiration date :-)

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  16. Just catching up ... love the shadows in the photos of the little skoot.

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    1. Thanks Karen. The little skoot is on the last leg of his journey I believe - headed to Dar in Victoria next.

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  17. Lovely pictures! Nice to see wee Bob enjoying PNW. The NC seat leaves much to be desired, butt it just means more rest breaks.

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    1. Thanks Dar. ScooterBob should be headed your way today. :-)

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  18. Rides to coffee are great, especially on lovely days. Love sitting on the patio and feeling the breezes. Good mix of sun and shade and roads and dirt. Now to go over the Troubadours and see the video! :)

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    1. I don't think he ever posted the video. Backroads and a little coffee shop combine to make a good day.

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