The first day of riding made me reflect on how other people go for “shake out” rides before hitting the road for the big one. To those people I say: “You are smarter than me!”
With the bike packed, I got dressed up in all my “fancy” riding gear and within the first 40 seconds, a plastic buckle on my Cortech Flex pants (I've tried them on but never rode in them) ceased functioning (read: tore off). No big deal... I'm not too skinny and not too fat, so they stayed on just fine without the buckle. Will be getting a new pair sent to Phoenix and returning the “old” pair there.
I left Portland full of coffee and little else and made pretty good time to the coast. Yes, it's cold, but at least it ain't raining!! It IS Portland. I made my way slowly down the coast, very much regretting that I didn't install the grip warmers, but otherwise very much enjoying the ride. Made it down as far as Lakeside (much less progress than I anticipated) and discovered that I'm leaking a minor amount of oil from “somewhere” (there is some on top of the skid plate, but none drips down on the ground) and that I already blew one of my fork seals. Luckily it's the one NOT on the same side as the break caliper (so I'm good). The leak is slow so I'll let it go for a bit since I plan to do all kinds of services in Phoenix (to the detriment of my wallet).
I only took one photo today as the area is familiar to me, not too interesting (again, to me) and it was COLD. I have this problem where once I get going it's hard for me to stop for anything. I miss a lot of good photo opportunities and usually run the tank dry (generally to the point where I get nervous that I'll run out). I hope over the course of the next few months I can re-train myself to stop more.
I ended up pulling into some campground (looked it up: Spinreel) as it was getting dark. The camp host quoted me $20 for a tent space at which I politely balked. In response to my query, he showed me where I could camp for free but it required crossing ½ mile stretch of deep, soft sand. He was going to show me where it was on his 4-wheeler, but luckily his headlights didn't work (luckily as I'm not a fan of riding on sand with full luggage [or without for that matter]) so he let me stay in the regular camp area for free as long as I cleared out by 7:00am... DEAL!!
So now I'm sitting here in the pitch black (except for the laptop screen light) and it's only 6pm... Looking forward to longer, warmer days. Alas, this is what the future holds:
"Wind gusts could reach as high as 70 mph in coastal areas."