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Ten Days Later: 1,695 Miles of Riding Fun!

July 25, 2010

I returned last night from my 1,695-mile road trip. My time on the road is settling nicely into my thoughts, and I’ll share the trip as three distinct sections, as it unfolded. It’s great to be home, and I’ll be ready to head out again soon, as there’s really nothing like a bike, a road, and some time…

Segment 1: BMW International Rally
582 miles from home

ZX6 loaded with gear

Warming up the bike, almost ready to go

I didn’t sleep much the night before leaving, staying up late to assure I had everything in order for the upcoming trip. It had also been my last day at my job of six years, as the owners have opted for retirement rather than continuing to boost up a business slogging through the current economy.

Needless to say, the fact of being out of a job was both daunting and freeing, causing me to question what the hell I was doing, going off on a ten-day adventure with the thought of no income upon my return, offset with the knowledge that some of my clients would already have jobs waiting for my return. I give thanks for those loyal customers—you know who you are!

Bikes in Willits

Meeting up with Cindi

Ride day morning dawned. I got my daughter up, fixed her breakfast (because I’m such a nice mommy… 😉 ) and was getting ready to saddle up and ride out, when Cindi phoned saying she was running about 20 minutes late. That was cool, I can always use another twenty minutes. Since she needed two hours to arrive at our appointed meeting place, I had some spare time, which I promptly squandered. I finally got out of the house, thinking I was now going to be late. As it happened, I waited 45 sweltering minutes in Willits for Cindi, as she had forgotten her phone and doubled back to retrieve her digital lifeline (yep, this is how reliant on technology we are these days).

Cindi at Prairie Creek

Cindi attempting to catch an elk with its head out of the grass.

We got on the road at last, after a cool drink and peeling off of a few layers due to high temps. We had a great ride up along the coast and through the redwoods to Grants Pass, OR, our stop for the night. I’d not taken a trip with anyone other than Tony and was surprised at how easy our friendly camaraderie is, and that our riding styles clicked. I was also pleased with my ZX6; this was the first trip of some length I have ridden it, and it is much more effortless to ride than was my EX500. It holds the road better in windy situations (more weight, plus a lower center of gravity), it has the power to push through situations where power is called for (passing semis on the freeway and high wind gusts), and… it just wants to corner. I couldn’t have asked for a better bike to make the trip on, nor a better traveling companion than Cindi.

At Trees ofr Mystery

It's no Mystery…


The next morning, Thursday, we took a walk, thinking we were going to hit the pancake house near the I-5 interchange. Hmmm… it was a bit farther than we reckoned, so we turned around after close to a mile and walked back into town, along the other one-way thoroughfare. Wouldn’t you know it? There was a bakery and a Dutch Bros. coffee stand only two blocks from our motel… we simply went in the wrong direction! Ah well, the exercise was good in prep for another full day’s ride.

Upper Rogue River
We headed out on the Five, south to Gold Hill and Highway 62 which travels along the upper Rogue River canyon. This is an incredibly beautiful ride on good pavement, through towering ponderosa pines, several small parks to stop and soak your toasty tootsies in the river, a scenic lava canyon complete with rushing whitewater (definitely not raftable), and homemade ice cream in the one-block-long historic town of Union Creek. And that’s all before climbing up the side of Mt. Mazama to spectacular Crater Lake!

Cindi and Liz at Crater Lake

Big, lovely, blue Crater Lake


After a visit to big blue, several photos, and a bit of chatting with other motorcyclists taking in the splendor, we headed back down into the interno of the Highway 97 corridor. We seem to have traveled on the hottest day that week, with temperatures in the mid-90s. After slabbing it as fast as we dared, given Oregon’s 55 mph speed limit, we arrived in Redmond, eager to cool down at our hotel… which we finally found upon direction from the front desk clerk and our friend, Judy Laparne of motorcycletravelamerica.com.

Next post: I …throw that puppy around at the Rally’s Rider Performance University Advanced Rider Course: Sportbike Techniques.

N.B. More trip photos can be found in my Facebook albums, for those who “friend” me.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. July 27, 2010 9:24 pm

    That’s some serious mileage you put on there. Sounds like a fun time; I’m looking forward to the rest of your adventure.

    • August 5, 2010 7:35 am

      Stacy, I’m so sorry we didn’t get a chance to connect when I was in Oregon. It was kind of hectic at the Rally and with having to get to Portland to meet my daughter’s plane. I’ll look forward to the next IBC that you put together… maybe it will be sooner than a year away?

  2. July 29, 2010 3:00 am

    And I had to trailer my bike… now Im really jealous! But, we did have us some fun.. didnt we?? Thank you, for all the memories and more to come!

  3. August 1, 2010 2:51 pm

    Looks like a fun trip!

  4. Partygurle aka Maria permalink
    August 17, 2010 6:19 pm

    I wish I lived closer to you two…maybe then I’d be able to condition myself for long distance riding 🙂

    • August 25, 2010 5:19 pm

      We’d like to have you closer, too, Maria!

      You’re right in the recognition that it takes conditioning to do long distance trips. Not only did I start a cardio and weight-lifting program in May this year, but I found it took riding for a couple of days on the bike to warm my body up in order to not be tired out with 200+ mile days. I was absolutely exhausted up in Redmond following the 500+ miles to get there, but for the remainder of the week in Oregon, riding was quite effortless.

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