We now interrupt your regular programming for a post about riding bikes. I hope that some of you enjoy coming along for the ride.
Start: Chilliwack, BC
End: Condon, OR
And so it begins...
Our mission was to attend the MotoGP race at Laguna Seca and take in numerous quality roads along the way. My riding partner, Glenn, lives in Castlegar, so we agreed to meet in Twisp at 11am on the Monday before the races. I've ridden tens of thousands of kilometres with Glenn--our riding styles are similar and with the long days ahead, that would make things a whole lot easier. Glenn used to own the VFR I ride now. It's been a very reliable bike--except for the time it broke down at the track the last time it was ridden to Laguna Seca. It was the dreaded Honda regulator/rectifier failure and the current R/R was at the same mileage that killed the first one...
I rolled out of Chilliwack around 7am and made my way to Sumas. After an uneventful border crossing, I followed Hwy 9 south and turned east on 20. Traffic was light on the North Cascades Hwy--not a bad way to start a trip! A pic near WA Pass:
I reached Twisp right on time. It was already hot, and would remain so for the remainder of the trip. I'm sure we rode through temperatures of 100 degrees during part of every day of the trip. How hot was it? This was once the site of a waterfall far bigger than Niagara Falls (we didn't see any honeymooners):
A little further down the road, we stopped in a shady spot above Sun Lakes State Park and met John. John was out for a spin on his recumbent bicycle (he was sneaking a few cigarettes away from the family). After a brief discussion, he offered to let Glenn try the bike. I scrambled for my camera in hopes of catching a crash (just so you don't think I'm a bad person--I was hoping that the injuries sustained wouldn't be serious enough to disrupt my trip ), but he made it around the turn-out without incident.
We felt there was time to add some mileage to our route and take in some of northern Oregon's roads, so we worked our way towards SE Washington and crossed into Oregon at Umatilla. After the drone through the orchards and grain fields of central WA, it was good to ride some good roads again. Unfortunately, by the time we got to Heppner, it was getting dark. This is the second time we'd been caught in the same area at night, and I really, really missed the big PIAA lights I used to have mounted on my previous bike. The final 40 miles were some of the longest I'd ridden--I vow to come back here and ride the same route during daylight hours, as it promises to be spectacular. A late evening pic of Glenn's Triumph Daytona 955i:
We got to the Condon Motel at 10am. The owner was just locking up the office, but she'd already taped the key to the door in anticipation of our late arrival.