Sunday, June 28, 2009

Allergy season is almost over...

Linn County is known as the "Grass Seed Capital of the World". That is a lot of grass which produces a lot of seed and for the last 2 months has produced a lot of pollen. Fortunately, I don't have allergies but I do empathize with Trobairitz and her allergies. From mid May to the end of June we do our best to make most of our motorcycle rides over to the coast where the air is much kinder to those with allergies. Coming home however creates some less than pleasant in helmet....well, I don't need to explain.

I work in the grass seed industry as a logistics coordinator and I talk to many a truck driver from all over the US and Canada. I have been asked more than once what grass looks like when it goes to seed. I can tell these drivers are not from the mid-west and Canada whom are familiar with wheat fields or hay.

The local news has been reporting a high pollen count and that this year is especially bad for allergies. The weather this year has been overcast and humid which seems to trap particles in the air.

Relief is coming, the skies have cleared, and the farmers are harvesting.

Time to get out and ride again...

...but first I have to go mow the lawn.

à tout à l’heure


Sunday, June 21, 2009

Side cover recover...

The side cover on the Triumph Bonneville including the America and Speedmaster are designed to replicate the oil tanks of the older Triumph Bonneville. Last fall I was checking out ebay and came across a side cover for my bike and thought how cool would it be to have it custom painted.

So I bought it and shipped it to the best painter I know, my brother Barrett to paint it for me.

I emailed numerous photos of the bike along with the paint codes and let him have at it. It was a winter project and I was in no hurry as I had kept the original cover to use.

Finally, after a long winter I got to see Barrett and he brought the side cover. From his own design, both of us being Canadian and my love of plants, he came up with a masterpiece...

He used the red paint code from my tank for the veining in the leaves and the gold from the pin striping as accents.

After mounting it, showing it off and receiving the best compliments, a friend commented if he let his brother paint his bike for him, it would have had purple unicorns all over it. Well, that makes my brother better than his brother.

I cannot seem to capture the detail with pictures. The only thing I don't like about it is that you didn't sign your work, oh darn, I'll have to ride the 600 miles North for your autograph.

Thanks Bear, you are the best!!!


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Camera mount

I posted awhile back about a camera mount behind my cafe fairing, but for summer without the fairing I had to come up with something different. I pondered and pondered until the light came on.

If I took a universal windscreen handlebar mount...

and found a bolt the right length to fit in the base of the camera, I bet I could mount the camera to my bike. I positioned it on the left side and mounted a flat piece of rubber mat to reduce vibration.

To come up with this...

Having only one camera I had to use a little smoke and mirror to create camera trickery for this next shot but here it is. A mirror image of my camera mount...

Unfortunately, it is susceptible to bugs, rain and wind noise until I can come up with a screen and windsock for it, but it worked to film Rick in the video of my last post.

Update: here are some better pics of my set up from Trobaritz's new camera.

à tout à l’heure

Monday, June 15, 2009

Who needs California roads?

When I've got roads like this 10 minutes out my backdoor...

Friday, June 12, 2009

Short Way Down...Day 2

We woke, packed and fueled the bike and rode 16 miles South to the Trees of Mystery Park before all the ankle biting, screaming, sandwich grabbers arrived on scene. The reason we take vacation in early June and late September is to avoid the hoards of kids. One, two, maybe even four well behaved brats at one time is fine, a park full of the wretched, snot nosed, petri dishes drive me insane. So it was nice to be there early to get pictures of Paul and Babe and tour the trees in quiet, peaceful, bliss.

We hugged some trees...

and rode up the Sky Trail which is a very nice addition to the park and making the tour worth the price of admission.

After the tour we heard Paul welcome visitors with a "good afternoon" and had to find a clock to confirm time had slipped by us again. We suited up and headed to Eureka.

Unfortunately, the State of California thought it best to 4 lane Highway 101 and 'Scenic Bypass' most of the coast. Where were the twisty roads full of motor homes and VW vans I remembered as a child? We did discover and enjoyed the ride through Newton B. Drury Parkway albeit a short ride.

It wasn't long before we discovered that touring on a motorcycle and sightseeing on a motorcycle were two different things. We had hoped to stop at numerous locations along the coast but every stop was an ordeal. Dismount, remove the gear, find the camera, lock up our gear, take a picture and then all over again in reverse order. We made it to Eureka, rode through smelly Old Town, turned 180º and headed back to Oregon. We decided to head toward 199 up to Grass Pants and somewhere along the way I twisted the throttle and Brandy knew we were headed home.

We cut the trip short a day, I know we didn't go far enough south to enjoy Highway 1 and I don't regret making the trip at all. We had a great time, but it wasn't the right trip on a motorcycle. Sometimes it is the destination and the unexpected stops that make the journey.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Short Way Down...Day 1

I took this week off of work for a vacation hoping to do a little riding before school let out and the highways clogged with motor homes and camp trailers. Trobaritz and I were pondering a ride to the California Redwoods as she has never been and I haven't been through there since 1981. We planned three days to ride down the Oregon Coast into California and down to Eureka. It was somewhat of a spontaneous trip as we hadn't made a definite decision until Monday morning to leave the following day and that didn't leave much time to research a route, destination or stops along the way.

We left Tuesday morning from Corvallis down to Florence and then South along the coast. The weather was overcast and rain clouds threatened our trip but we had our gear and went on. First stop was Florence for coffee to warm up.

We stopped in Coos Bay for fuel and to warm up again. The skies were starting to clear up some and the threat of rain diminished. We stopped at Cape Blanco State Park, the home of Oregon's oldest lighthouse.

We took the tour and climbed the stairs.

Up to the lamp which was originally a fixed oil lamp that burned lard and later kerosene.

In 1936 the oil lamp was replaced with a French built, rotating lamp housing a relay switched 1000 watt bulb.

I decided to make a quick stop at neighboring Hughes House for a tour.

It was odd to see a lone Victorian style house built on the shores of the Pacific Ocean. I would imagine it a more common sight on the East Coast or in a small coastal town.

Post meridiem caught up to us so we moved on. The sun broke through the clouds and warmed us up so we stopped in Port Orford to enjoy a pack lunch.

A leisurely ride, one more stop in Brookings for coffee and then off to seek accommodations in Crescent City. Overall, a nice day, a great ride and we found a jacuzzi suite to ease the aches and soothe the muscles of a couple of weary travelers.


Monday, June 8, 2009

Sunday run

Two years ago had I posted a ride on PNWRiders I would be riding alone. After almost two years of advertising and hosting bike night, one simple post yielded 11 bikes for yesterday's ride.

Excluding myself, of the remaining 10 riders I had only previously ridden with half of them, meaning 5 riders were new to our group. We had met 3 of the new riders at bike night last Wednesday and one other owns a restaurant in town, so only one rider we hadn't met before.

We rode over to the coast, down to Waldport and then to Florence for lunch. Some of the riders left the group early due to prior engagements, but still left 8 of us for lunch at Bridgewater Restaurant in Old Town. Very nice building, the staff were great, the service was exceptional and the food was very good. Thus earning 5 stars on the Netflix rating scale.

Unfortunately, when you're chasing sportbikes, you don't get much of a chance to take many pictures but here is a video taken by R1 Jackal.

Another great ride with some good friends!!


Friday, June 5, 2009

Petcock conundrum

Wednesday night was Bike Night and Trobaritz rode behind me to show off her new bike. Parking has been a little difficult in the downtown core since the farmer's market moved just down the street. We circled the parking lot and grabbed the first spot we found along side an older, customized Honda 500 Silverwing. We hopped off our bikes as our neighbor pulled up behind us on his Honda Helix. We were removing our helmets and he strolls over and asks "So why do you shut off your petcocks?"

"Ummm, I don't know.....habit?" This was a legitimate question and made me think. Both of our bikes are less than three years old so with vacuum feed, shutting off the petcock isn't as important or necessary as it was 20, 30, or 50 years ago. It made me laugh to think that simply out of habit I taught Brandy to do the same thing I was taught as a kid. It's good for her, it'll make her think two blocks down the road when her bike coughs and sputters to turn on the petcock, quickly. I feel better about shutting the fuel line off, it just makes sense and it is a good habit. The fuel tank is above the motor, water flows downhill and as any motorcyclists knows, gravity works.