Road Trip to SBK at Miller Motorsports Park

13 hours 20 minutes later, we have arrived in Salt Lake City for the SBK racing at Miller Motorsports Park this weekend. I have to say that this is one of the longest road trips I’ve taken in some time, but the XC70 was a really comfortable and capable car for this journey.

Paul and I are here to enjoy the races as RareSportBikesForSale.com is now an official supporter of the Moto Forza Veloce Racing Aprilia team! Keep an eye on the RSBFS Facebook page for some live blogging and pictures from the pits.

Here are some snapshots from our long day on the road:

Decals applied the night before (new logo coming soon!)

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Freaking cold over the pass!

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A stop for lunch in the middle of nowhere

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Lunch done right on the road

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We were treated to beautiful vistas like this all day long

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Lame self portrait in progress

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Arrival at the hotel! If I was a little dumber I would’ve waited for 9:16 😉

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A proper unwinding after a long drive: Pokerstars, Heineken, and deli plate

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And ready for tomorrow’s action

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The Moto Forza Veloce Racing team heads out early for qualifying tomorrow morning at 8:30 and we’re going to make a serious effort to be there — and hopefully see them positioned in the top 10 in a field of 45 (17/45 today).

Good night all!

dc

Paul and I Visit the 2009 Seattle Ducati Club BBQ

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!

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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:

route map

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:

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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:

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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!

dc

Motorcycling Trips to be Remembered: Sonomafest 1995

We attended the AMA Superbike races at Sears Point 13 years ago when we made a week long trip down to Sonoma to catch Sonomafest. If I recall correctly, we decided on this trip after reading the recent Cycle World magazine, which features our favorite automotive and motorcycle journalist, Peter Egan and his account of the trip the previous year. Sitting on the porch (the tiny concrete pad in front of door) of my duplex, we once again let beer decide, and we were going. Unfortunately we didn’t meet Peter that year, but did pull a great motorcycling and camping trip that we haven’t really duplicated since. Recently our motorcycling trip to the Olympic Peninsula was our chance to relive that trip.

Suddenly it seems like an eternity ago (see, there it is again), but years ago our trip began by suiting up for our 2 day trip to the bay area from Corvallis, Oregon. Looking back, I was hardly prepared for such a trip, but that naive and youthful nature is what makes the trip even more special to remember.

{Note: time stamp on photos is incorrect.}

dan and bikes and 145 wagon before roadtrip

posing with the bikes before the trip

When we arrived for Thursday evening practice, tent camping inside the racetrack hadn’t opened yet. We were pointed to another track campground called ’40 acres’. Turns out this was only a mowed field that served as overflow parking for the NASCAR event to accommodate the 100k+ fans that turn out for their biggest weekend of the year at Sears Point. Or in other words, no services, including honey buckets. We were the only fans to show up that early and had the entire field to ourselves in fact. All the other early fans stayed in Sonoma a few minutes away. Needless to say, our budget working pizza jobs didn’t accommodate such luxury. It was actually just us and our tiny tent, and a half rack of Coors Light, whom we later decided had sponsored our camping weekend. Amazing the creativity of 21 year olds with a marker and a stack of beer cans!

sonoma road trip camping 40 acres

katana sonoma loaded up with coors

bikes and tent at sunrise

Best I can recollect, we made the trip in 1995 when Sears Point legend Miguel Duhamel was still the man to beat at that track. Upcoming stars that year included Ben Bostrom, Nicky Haden, and my favorite, Australian Anthony Gobert. Here’s a pic with Doug Polen, Miguel Duhamel, and a very young Nicky Haden. In the very back it might be Eric Bostrom. Either the Superbike or SuperSport class. Hard to know without notes and help from the internet. I tried though. If you can help, please comment below!

sears point camping view

That shot was taken from the campground when campsites were still located in the middle of the track in the carousel complex. You would literally wake to the sound of the street sweeper and then the first run group at 8:00AM every morning. Ready or not, here come 30-50 high strung motorcycles, all screaming around the back of your head. Talk about a wake up call! I distinctly remember wishing I hadn’t smoked so many cigarettes the night before!

Here are some more shots of us that weekend:

setting up the new campsite at the track

fzr and katana at sears point

There are many more memories from that trip, like the massive Cycle World group ride that rode more like a GP race and resulted in Editor Edwards getting a fat ticket! But really it serves as a reminder that sweet road trips have been few and far between since graduating college. I’m going to have to make some changes to tour more often, on two wheels or four. A great memory awaits that won’t be experienced from the couch.

dc