Today turned out to be a really fun day of riding. The weather was comfortable, the route was fun, and I'm really enjoying traveling with @large.
The day started off pretty early for me. To kill some time I made a sign.
The idea came to last year as a way to interact with motorists and get some cool action photos at the same time. Unfortunately, no one took me up on my request, yet.
As we were leaving Ft. Bragg, we decided to fill up before the first leg of our day - up the coast to Leggett, CA. The drive way into the 76 station we pulled into was like going back to my childhood.
Analog dials on the pump.
A service bay with an attendant who knows how to fix cars.
Once on the road, we were greeted with sunshine tearing through the fog and exposing blue skies. The temperature was perfect for riding. The views were stunning, and the highway was free of traffic.
Beaty and The Beast.
As the road turned east and up towards the Leggett, the temperature climbed 10 degrees every 5 miles or so. The route offered many fast straights, super fun sweeping turns, and several tight switchbacks (not too fond of switch backs).
I believe most mph curve signage is meant for really high profile vehicles because I found that curves are most fun when I take the recommended speed, divide it in half, and then add that number to the stated speed. Basically, 50% faster. This works algorithm really works, and you should try it if you haven't already started.
Just one warning: IT DOES NOT WORK WELL WHEN THE SIGN SAYS 10 MPH!. That was my first "moment" of the day.
My second moment came when I came to a right-hander with 20 mph. As I was coming up to the turn, I down shifted into second and let the engine do the braking. As I watched @large disappear around the apex, I committed myself to my line knowing full well that I would have to use some serious lean angle (by this I mean not very much but it feels like a lot on my loaded bike, not super hot suspension, and rudimentary riding skills) to maintain my line. All was going really and then ... (*) my pucker moment. Just beyond the apex of the turn lay several pieces of rock the size of ice cubes from a tray.
1st thought - Oh, no. GRAVEL.
2nd thought - I wish I was going slower.
3rd thought - DO NOT GRAB A HANDFUL OF FRONT BRAKE WHILE ENGAGED IN A TURN.
4th thought - Please, please, please, front wheel, don't run over the gravel and slide out from underneath me.
I'm sure we have all had the moments, and like most of them we all came out okay.
Which brings me to another point. @large is my canary in a coal mine. When heavy braking is needed for a turn, I see his brake lights come on. When there's a big bump in the road which would really upset my silly, stock suspension, I see his GS eat it up before I get to it. When a logging truck comes around a blind curve, I hear its horn OOOOOONG at him before it gets to me.
I also learned that @large as some serious travel spidey-senses. He knows how to read a town. He knows how to find the diamond in the rough eating places, as he proved in Crescent City, and he knows how to found very comfortable sleeping accommodations.
Anyway, back to the pictures.
Great food here, by the way. @large at a very tasty burger, and I had a light breakfast of 1 egg (over medium), 2 stripes of bacon, and wheat toast.
No pics of food, because I keep forgetting to take a shot before I take a bite.
Planning 70 miles at a time.
Rush hour on 199.
Most of Hwy 199 was fantastic, fast riding. If you are thinking of doing it. Do it! It runs the route of the Rogue River and offers incredible scenery and amusement park-like excitement.
A room with a view in Grants Pass.
The mural at the Taprock in Grants Pass really got me thinking. "What is the bear running from?" I always see bears as strong and brave, so whatever has frightened this bear must be pretty scary.
After speaking with some locals, it looks like the destination for day 3 will be Bend, with a slight detour to Crater Lake.