My title sucks. The previous thread I based my ride on had a better title. I'm too lazy to post twice so the pictures are limited.
Every ride reinforces or introduces a lesson. My trip involved a few:
- Don't go for a long trip after installing any major accessories or repairs
- GPS estimates arrival time based on max speed through twisties
- Carry enough tools for repairs on road, and be patient
- Fuel is far between in central Oregon
The day before departure those I planned to ride with cancelled, someone I was meeting bailed, and I had oil leaking from the final drive. Time for some last-second changes by altering my route and tried to get an oil seal. I couldn’t get the seal so my trip was delayed another day.
I'm supposed to be on the road already
I rediscovered the importance of pressing in a seal evenly as an uneven press turned A 10 minute job turned into a 2 hour ordeal pushing my departure to the next morning.
I planned to ride the cascades or olympic coast down but instead committed a crime against motorcycling riding the I-5. I left around 3 with no delays to arrive at the Northwest Motorcycle School site in Ranier, OR around 8am.
I arrived on the final day of their standard course to prepare for the next day. This is my third visit to the course. I started with the basics and focused on getting comfortable with their bikes for the next day. I swapped between the KZ and ST every now and then until leaving the course around 7pm, 16 hours after I started with a ride to a place to sleep.
This is a picture of an instructors dog and the only picture for this day as someone borrowed the memory card from my gopro. This day is a promotional day of filming for the school and they went all out. Filming started the next morning, 8am with a solid schedule until 7pm. The only stop was to eat some sandwiches the owners wife brought everyone. I got to follow and have 1-on-1 with all the instructors throughout the day. I managed to put my ST through the course clean and really fine tune my riding.
At some point I stopped to cool off in the shade. There's something satisfying about being criticized for not utilizing a free bike, fuel and empty course to its fullest. I was motivated.
Near the end of the day the overhead, helmet and tank shots came out. I will say it’s interesting talking to and following each instructor individually and in a group noting the differences in riding style and line. Each instructor had their own little tricks and shortcuts I got to talk about and witness. A perfect day though I didn’t expect filming to go so far into the evening. I spent another night in Ranier, OR.
This is my a couple hours into the trip around 8am. I’m halfway between the coast and civilization on a twisty one lane highway with some construction and trucks passing with a mechanical problem requiring an hour to get sorted.
The oregon coast is a rather neat ride but I was rather jaded by previous delays and riding mid-saturday during the busy season. My spirits lifted turning inland after Newport where a smooth two lane wide, no center line twisted and turned its way endlessly. Sluslaw National Forest is a fantastic ride and one the instructors praised the day prior as an exceptional road.
The day centered around the route off the coast but the willamette national forest scenic bypass was similarly twisty without interruption and some great sites. I found myself facedown in Bend shortly after arrival... hmm, I never did eat dinner.
day 2 map
Breakfast a couple hours down the road and I approached the painted hills. The hills did require quite the highway jaunt but the product was endless sights and sweepers. The scenery transitioned slowly between green to canyons, rolling hills to jagged landmases to dunes. Green, yellow, red, black, white the colors were amazing.
A couple odd pictures. This is shinako, a ghost town I stopped in to ask where the nearest fuel stop is. A friendly local helped me with a bit of fuel as I would have been running very tight fueling up 23 miles with 46km left on the fuel computer before Maupin.
Maupin involves a couple steep grades reaching far down through the sands to find water. There’s something very satisfying about a cool tank of gas to sit against considering the alternative. One you’re off the coast it may be well over 100 miles between fuel stops.
I stopped on the overpass in The Dalles where another motorcyclist from Scottland checked to see if I was OK. It didn’t take long for local enforcement to check in on us in friendly conversation. If you haven’t been on the roads east of Mt St. Helens you should as it’s fairly entertaining. You know you’re going to have a good time when you turn from anything named windy to curly, spiral to passes.
The sun was getting low making with variable visibility. Between St. Helens and Ranier park I decided I should pay more attention to my GPS as I missed a turn and went quite a ways in the wrong direction.
Ranier National Park may not be the quickest route depending on traffic. The park is a couple hours of scenic two lane highway that may have a line of 20-50 vehicles by the time you’re through. With a half hour delay due to a highway closure coupled with some heavy northbound i5 traffic I made it back in fairly good time after another 16 hours of riding. Great trip.