Our weather in Oregon has been a bit on the cool and slightly wet side this spring. But today temperatures jumped to nearly 80 degrees and it was too good to pass up. I did ride the bicycle a bit to try and get back on that horse, but the ride on the Ducati was sadly only the third ride of the year.
Paul and I are planning to hit Laguna Seca for MotoGP and do a proper vacation on motorcycles. But I’m a bit out of practice to say the least. He may be taking his BMW R75/5, but he’s damn proficient on it in the corners and I really do have to work to keep up with him. I need to attend one of Roger’s MotorcyclExcitement schools in the near future! (I maintain his current website and hope to make a new site for him soon!)
The good news is that Paul did such a stellar job dialing in this bike for Sears Point last year that she’s ready to hit the road again with nearly no adjustments.
The last time Paul and I made this trip was over 15 years ago. Shame on me for letting this fantastic trip from being relived for so long. But we more than made up for it in the end. This trip will serve my memory for the rest of my life!
I’m keeping this post simple in the form of a photo journal of our trip to Sonoma via Highway 101, Highway 1, enjoying the West Coast MotoJam AMA Races of 2011, and returning on I-5.
According to Google, the back way takes only 6 more hours than just shooting up and down I-5. 6 hours well spent if you ask me!
And here’s a video of us on Highway 1 in the Redwoods. There are faster clips on YouTube, but it was our first time and the wide angle of the GoPro doesn’t do the pace justice. That said, it was a lot of fun and the scenery doesn’t get any better — until you hit the coast of course! I’ll come back to this segment in a few weeks and provide an edited version so we don’t have to wait for the good parts. The fun part starts at 1:45 in this one 😉
and here is part two. Skip to 11 minutes for the trek out of the forest and on to the coast. The next 6 hours would be all be about the same; as in awesome!
On to the pics, starting from the beginning:
I’ll likely add more to this post in the next few weeks as I gather all the pictures. Enjoy!
I had tried earlier this year to sell my Ducati 750SS, but admittedly it’s a slow market and I was asking a premium. Fast-forward to June and the weather has finally turned to summer. Time to take the bike off the market and ride! Paul suggested the following route for this Sunday:
I’ve been meaning to attend the DesmoNorthwest BBQ for at least two years in a row and this year I had no excuse not to. Naturally I hit my buddy Paul up to join me; he can’t say no to rides over 100 miles, let alone nearly 650 miles. In two days total! Yep, we decided to ride up and back on Saturday and Sunday.
But the leg up on Saturday was the real meat of the trip. We rode back roads from Corvallis to Edgefield in Troutdale for a late breakfast. We both had the bacon scramble with fresh baby red tomatoes and smothered in freshly grated Parmesan. Delicious!
From there we hit I-84 for a quick blast to Hood River, where we took the bridge across the Columbia to Washington, and headed North for Mt. St. Helens. Turns out this area is a meca for sportbike riders as we must have seen nearly 100 riders in this area. Most of the roads are fantastic and the vistas are even more amazing.
We continued on past Randle through the Mt. Rainier area, past Mt. Adams, through Enumclaw, and then on to Issaquah. All in all, I think we were on the freeway less than an hour and half all day. Here is our route:
Unfortunately when you’re behind on your day long back roads trip, you don’t stop for pictures. But luckily lots of other Flickr users have. Here is what you can expect from the area:
After riding some of the best, and some of the worst, that SW Washington had to offer, we were beat. Ten and a half hours later, we were hurting to say the least! Paul being the saint he is, and having water-tight hard bags on the VFR, went and got us some refreshments to unwind with after our journey:
The next day we cleaned up the bikes and headed for the BBQ. After supporting the Ducati website for nearly 2 years, I was able to connect names and faces. I already knew the club was full of great people and it was a really nice gathering of like minded enthusiasts. Here are some pics of the rides that showed up:
The worst part of the trip was definitely the last leg, from Issaquah to home via I-5. A record heat wave started that afternoon and we rode home in some seriously hot air on the blacktop for over 5 hours. It was like being blasted from all angles with heat guns no matter how fast or slow we managed. So we ended up stopping about every hour to rehydrate and recharge. Not much choice as we both had to be at work on time the next day.
All that said, I’m really glad we did this trip. Not only did I finally get to meet some great Ducatisti, I proved to myself I’m still capable of a big trip. I can’t wait to go again!
The VFR750 and 750SS attack the Willamette Valley again, but this time the VFR is being piloted by Blake in a very generous loaner agreement with Paul. What can I say, the man is the shit for extending such an offer!
We took the back roads on Thursday for a killer ride up to Portland to visit with our SEO and PPC Vendor, Anvil Media Inc., on official OSU business. The weather on the way up was spectacular and we were treated to the best the valley has to offer while passing up all the various crops Oregon is known for: grass seed, wheat, filberts, strawberries, hops, grapes, green beans, corn, and many other types of organic produce. A ride like this reminds me why we live where we do!
Here are a couple pics from the Wheatland Ferry where we crossed the Willamette, and the current Anvil Media headquarters:
Here is the Google Map of our route up and pictures from the trip:
To follow up our trip, we assaulted Mary’s Peak on Saturday morning via back roads again of course! Highway 20 leading to the peak has recently been repaved at the base of the mountain and the road to the summit is still one of the best hillclimbs out there in terms of corners per mile and scenic views. Here are the pics from the Peak:
Many thanks to Paul for loaning out the bike to Blake, the best in SEO and Social Media for hosting us: Anvil Media, and rural Oregon for best and most scenic roads anywhere!