Wednesday, September 20, 2017

After Saturday Coffee Ride

Last Saturday on September 15th Troubadour and I rode our motorcycles to coffee.  A much needed series of rainstorms was forecast to begin on Sunday so we figured we'd best ride while the weather was perfect.

We left the house just after 9 am.  The temperature was a balmy 54˚F (12˚C).  I admit to having my grip heaters on low on the ride there. My hands were cold before I put my gloves on, it wasn't due to the air temperature.

Only six of us attended coffee, five on bikes.  Melissa would have ridden had her Triumph Daytona started.  I know, a Triumph that won't start....unheard of.  

We lingered at coffee with folks talking of a ride, but no one really wanting to lead one or plan one.  Slowly people left to do other things.  Troubadour and I were the last to leave and decided to take some back roads to Fort Hoskins for a picnic lunch/snacks.  Troubadour was thinking ahead and packed a bag of goodies before we left the house.

We didn't notice it too much heading to coffee but while we were sitting there enjoying our drinks the wind had blown wildfire smoke from the east into the valley.  It was getting pretty thick.  Once again this summer our air quality was rated as "unhealthy."

We arrived at Fort Hoskins and were pleasantly surprised that there was only one other car in the lot and no one at the picnic table shelter.  And, because we'd risen in elevation the smoke wasn't as thick.

(The bikes at Fort Hoskins)

(Our view from the picnic table - notice the smokey air and dry fields)
Notice the difference in the picture below.  Taken from the same spot back in October 2016, blogged about HERE.

(Same view taken October 2016)
We were enjoying the mild temperatures and slight breeze.  Some folks came and went as they checked out the old Commander's House seen in the photos above. Originally built at the Fort in 1857, it has been restored within the last few years.

We relaxed and enjoyed the peace and quiet for several hours.  It was nice to be able to sit outside and talk without the three barking dogs next door, construction noise from the houses being built behind us, or the other neighbor's cigarette smoke wafting through our yard on the breeze.  Made us wish for country living, but not the extended commute.

At one point we took the Oregon Atlas & Gazetteer out of Troubadour's saddlebag and pondered what route to take home.

We opted for the back way via Maxfield Creek to Airlie Rd, to Berry Creek Rd, Soap Creek/Tampico, Sulphur Springs, etc.   A twisty route, but not with any gravel since they paved Berry Creek.

We were clipping along Maxfield Creek at a pretty good pace.  I was enjoying the suspension of the Versys smoothing out the bumpy country road and tar snakes.  Just after a right hand turn I heard and felt a banging.  I said out loud to Troubadour on the radios, "something is not right, I am pulling over."  He was riding lead and I didn't want him to wonder where I'd gotten to.  I knew I couldn't have ridden over anything that would have stuck in a spoke so my thoughts turned to the center stand.

Troubadour turned around to help me see what was up.

We stopped about in the center of the screenshot below, where the long straight stretch is just to the right of the time estimate. It was only about 5 miles from the park.

(Fort Hoskins to Airlie road via Maxfield Creek)
Sure enough, I'd lost the spring off the center stand.  Having never owned a bike with a center stand before, this wasn't even something I'd thought about before Saturday.  The center stand was a Kawasaki part that we ordered at the time of purchase and that Troubadour installed for me.  He mention that he was surprised it had come off since he'd had a heck of time installing it as the spring was wound so tight.  He thought maybe it was so tight it pulled the hook straight allowing for it work its way out over the bumpy road.

Neither one of us had zip ties/cable ties/zap straps in our bags.  Trust me, we do now.  For some reason I was carrying around a broken helmet lock in my Givi tail bag.  A pin was broken in the lock mechanism, but the cable was still good and that is what Troubadour used to jury rig the center stand in place.

(Kawasaki Versys 300x center stand rigged to stay up)

(It looks close to the chain in the photos but had lots of room)
Troubadour decided he'd walk the road towards the corner to see if he could find the spring.  I didn't think he'd find it but he figured he'd give it a shot.  While he was searching I took the opportunity to take a few photos.

(The bikes on Maxfield Creek Rd)

(Close up of my Versys 300x - that really needs a bath)

(Lucy looking all shiny)

(Still a little smoke in the air)

(Troubadour is back there somewhere looking for the spring)
That was the last picture and last stop of the day.  We got back on the bikes and aimed for home, still using our originally planned route of back roads.  It was a nice leisurely ride and we arrived home just after 5 pm.  The cable held and Troubadour has since secured it with a zip tie until we can order a new spring.

Totals for the day:

60 miles ridden (96 km)
1 motorcycle part lost  (new spring from Kawasaki is only $10)
1 spare part used
1 deer spotted on the side of the road
1 spicy ginger chai latte drank by Trobairitz
2 cups of house coffee drank by Troubadour 
3 bananas, 2 apples, and 3 bottles of water consumed
Many hours spent enjoying each others company.

- Au Revoir

"Luck never gives; it only lends." - Swedish Proverb