July 31, 2010

Don't wash your bike!

Some things get smaller as a result of being immersed in water... it that what happened to this bike? It is certainly not a toy with its kick-starter and all.

July 25, 2010

Exploring the North Cascades

I have admired 3,285m (10,778ft) high Mount Baker from the distance many times, and yesterday it was time to meet this beautiful creation of nature in person. The weather was perfect for a day trip, and so my fellow traveler and I crossed the border (again) at Sumas to drive along the scenic byways of the North Cascades mountain range. Needless to say that the windy road satisfies every true rider's desire, and so there were quite a few bikers on the road.
Having said that, we had to satisfy our desire for food which we did in Milano's Restaurant in Glacier with pasta galore.
Refueled we hit the road again, but there was so much to see, so we where traveling at fairly slow speed.
The occasional waterfall
The mountain view
A lake view, too
Well, you get my drift...
We had to turn around at Artist Point
But on these roads, it is even fun to turn around, and go all the way back. Another awesome day in We(s)t Coast paradise.


July 23, 2010

Recap

Motorcycle traveling is different in a good way, and I didn't know how much I missed it until I was on the road again on two wheels. Soon I found myself in a comfortable riding position, ready to spend the next ten hours in the saddle. My confidence in this bike's technology and my own skills grew with each mile. I was always a minimalist so bringing along the right stuff the first time was a non-issue, even my tool kit was complete, not that I needed anything besides the chain lube.

And so the Oscar goes to...
The award for the best riding time goes to the early morning hours with only few traffic and wonderful light. The award for the most scenic route goes to Yakima Canyon road. Thanks Bob, for taking me there. The best service award certainly goes to the Quality Inn and Suites in Toppenish. Their staff prepared extra early breakfast for us at 5:45 AM. The best riding climate was during the group ride in the Willamette National Forest area.
There were good meals everywhere, but the coolest place was by far Rossow's U-Tote-Em in Ellensburg, WA. Well worth a pit stop.
Another amazing experience was meeting strangers and parting as friends who share the same passion, and I hope to see them again on other occasions or during the next IMBC.

I have been instructed to tell that Oregon roads suck, because hey are twisty, of good quality and winding through an amazing landscape. Hence, the Oregonians prefer not to have to share them with tourists. I fully understand this. So, listen! Oregon roads suck!

It was a great trip and I am ready to do it all over again. I want more of Central Oregon, where roads suck and people are so mean...

Oregon! 'Nuff said.

July 22, 2010

Next stop: Seattle

When in Seattle... To cope with the traffic, it helps to watch other motorists, how they recklessly change lanes without using their indicator, and successfully ignore pedestrians. Additionally one parks at Pike Market in a spot with the sign 'one hour parking' and extend it to one's liking.
The parking officer was very nice though and I was allowed to park for a little longer. She obviously liked my bike ;-)
The crocs made it to Pike Market too.

Of course there was a reason to endure the torture of city riding: We had the honor to meet Mr Charles Pefley a.k.a. Chuck for coffee (Chai latte for me), who has a booth in the very market.
The famous chuckomobile

I certainly hope to meet him again this summer to pick up a certain picture that I had my name on it.

At noon Bob led us out of the downtown core for a shopping experience at Cycle Barn where I not only discovered the perfect mesh jacket (of course not available in my size...), but also a Tourmaster Kevlar jeans on sales (Bargain! Had to purchase it...)

Here's the dialogue I had with the Sales guy:
SonjaM: I would like this yellow Olympia jacket in Lady's size L
Sales guy: We have S and M on stock
SonjaM: Do I look like an S or M?
Sales guy: Nooo...
SonjaM: Well, sarcastic tone on 'Thank you' sarcastic tone off
Sales Guy: We have the color grey in L and XL, did you try those?
SonjaM: Yeah, but I really would like the jacket in yellow...
Finally sales guy checked stock and came back with new information.
Sales Guy: We just received a delivery of men's jackets...

Long story short... I ordered the YELLOW Olympia for LADIES in MY size, and asked him to email or call me on arrival.

The last leg of our exciting tour was a relaxed meandering along HWY 9. Soon we parted ways, since we live in different parts of Vancouver area, Bob and his Wee were headed to Peace Arch border crossing, while Nella and I re-entered Canada at Sumas.

An epic journey comes to its end. Nella is resting in her usual spot in the parkade, waiting for weekend TLC. The odometer reads 2,145 km or 1,333 mi., and my scale reads... (I'm not telling, but a diet might be in order...)

Thanks to Bob, travel companion and tour guide, for making this tour possible. It has been fun.

July 21, 2010

North 101

It is time to turn around and head North, and we did so by riding the scenic byway which follows the coast line. Here are a few more snapshots from the road.
Head on
Adventure riders

Nella is a beach bum
Breathtaking
Lunchtime
More rocks
Yet another lighthouse
Last break before rush hour

In case one didn't notice: This is a croc-free and food-free post.
It was a long riding day and we were pretty down and out when we arrived at Tumwater, WA.

July 20, 2010

Chillin' on the wild Oregon coast

Today we were (for a change) not on a schedule, so we spent all day riding 'into the blue' as we say in German, when traveling without destination. We headed down south on HWY 101 and stopped many times to take lots of pictures and enjoy the sunny weather.
A riding day without agenda
Time for posing
Watching the water
at Devil's Punch bowl
Enjoying the beach
Line up for what?
Lighthouse (no fee)
Newport Bridge
Another pic stop
Chillin'
The end of a perfect riding day.

July 19, 2010

Group ride to Corvallis

After a hearty breakfast at Black Bear Diner in Bend we parted with Stacy (Bolty) and Stacey. Richard was already on his a long way up to Alaska, and Dan (Irondad) hit the road again in the early morning hours. The remainder of the group: Kari (bluecat) and Ron, Brad (Troubadour) and Brandy (Troubaritz), Bob(skoot) and myself set course for a ride through the Willamette National Forest.
Group picture
Mount Washington

This group ride was a first for me, and I was a little worried but the pace was moderate, and Brad and Ron did a great job guiding and setting the pace, while Bob volunteered to protect our backs.
Point and shoot from the bike (a little shaky)
Bob, Brad, Brandy, Ron, and Kari
Bad Brad ;-)
Crocs united in Lebanon

We said our goodbyes to the Ninja-green crocs (Kari with Ron), and followed Brad and Brandy to Corvallis where we had a light late lunch. Far too soon it was time to also say goodbye to the blue and light pink crocs, and the pink and yellow crocs were riding into the sunset.

Newport Bridge

We set up camp in Lincoln City for the next two nights with the hope of catching up on much needed sleep and rest.

Stay tuned for updates on: Chillin' on the wild Oregon coast

July 18, 2010

Racing through Central Oregon

How I like central Oregon? Actually, I don't know, it just flew by so quickly, since we were late for a lunch date in Bend. But I was given a few seconds here and there taking pictures of... the big empty:
6:30 AM somewhere south of Toppenish
My dear Nella
Change of scenery near Goldendale
Wild West in Shaniko
Twist and shout

We were to meet a certain pink croc wearing blogger from Key West, his wife and the dog, and made it almost in time. Soon Mr Conch and Mr Bobskoot bonded in a shoe store over a pair crocs for the missus. 
Crocmaniacs

Later we visited the first International (Canadian-US) moto blogger convention (copyright: bolty.net) held at the air-conditioned facilities of Irondad's hotel suite. But this is another story better be told by one of the fellow attendants, like Bolty for example. (I believe I already mentioned that I am not good with taking pictures from people.).

Thanks to all who made this event happen! It was great to meet you guys and gals!

Bloggers in attendance (thank you Stacy, for the list):
Stacy from Bolty.Net
Brad from Troubadour on a Triumph
Brandy from Trobairitz’ Tablet
Rick from IRO – In Rick’s Opinion
Kari from bluekat’s Journeys
Michael Conchscooter from Key West Diary
Richard from Machida.Net
Bob(skoot) from Wet Coast Scootin
Dan Irondad from Musings of an Intrepid Commuter

Honorary guests: Andy, Ron , Stacey, Layne and Chayenne

Coming soon:
Group ride to Corvalis
Riding the wild coast