bwhip's phototastic two-wheeled adventures thread

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by bwhip62, Mar 18, 2015.

  1. bwhip62

    bwhip62 Been here awhile

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    This past weekend (well, long weekend) was an annual Northwest Tour get-together for me and four of my local riding buddies, along with some great friends of mine from South Carolina and Montreal. The out-of-area visitors would use my bikes and my car (BMW M2) on some of my favorite roads, over three days. We rented an Airbnb house in Hood River, Oregon as our "base camp," and I mapped out three diverse and fun rides. We had another guy from Alabama, our friend James (who goes by Seamus) who was due to come along, but had to cancel at the last minute due to a school commitment.

    We decided we'd bring Seamus along in spirit. :)

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    On Thursday once my friends arrived at the airport, we loaded up bikes and a fun car to drive over to Hood River from Boise - off we go!

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    The crew - Zoltan, Mathieu, Tom, Terry, Tim, Tommy, and bwhip. Dinner in Hood River on Thursday night.

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    Seamus approved of the Airbnb place we rented

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    Friday's route - the longest of the trip, over to the beach!

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    On the way there we took the Old Columbia River Highway, which passes some gorgeous (see what I did there?) waterfalls. This one is Multnomah.

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    Lovely morning view of the Columbia River Gorge. Well, the view of the gorge is nice. Those ugly dudes? Not so much.

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    Seamus looked like he was starving, so we stopped for lunch in Rockaway Beach

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    He looked happy after lunch, and seemed to really enjoy the ocean view

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    A little further south, we got a lovely view from Cape Lookout

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    We got back kind of late after slogging through traffic, so it was a good night for homemade pizza from bwhip's pizza oven

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    Saturday we crossed the bridge over the river to Washington, and headed toward Mt. St. Helens. The twisty road north of Carson was one of everyone's favorites. Tim said he felt like he needed a cigarette after that sort of ecstasy.

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    The views up near the volcano were unbelievable. We had sunshine, drizzle, dense fog, a little bit of everything along the way. Not to mention massive dips, crevasses and bumps due to all the seismic activity.

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    Spirit Lake was pretty crazy - covered with dead trees from the eruption all the way back in 1980!

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    We stopped in Cougar for lunch

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    Next we rode the single most insanely potholed road I've ever experienced (and hope never to do so again). It was nuts. I thought for sure one of us would trash a wheel or two. But we survived what seemed like walking in a minefield for many miles. Stressful, especially for the guy leading the way (me). Glad I didn't bring the M2 along this day.

    The good news was that we were rewarded with a spectacular view of Mt. Rainier once we got to the smoother part.

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    When we got back to the Gorge we snapped a pic of the view from the Washington side. No Tommy or Tim, both of whom got swallowed up by potholes.

    Not really - we stopped for fuel and they decided to just head home since they didn't need any.

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    Sunday, our final day, we headed southeast for a central Oregon tour. Basically a 300 mile private track in the middle of nowhere. I don't want to say what our average speed was. I'll just let you imagine based on the photos. Then add about 30 MPH.


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    We stopped in Spray (yes, Spray) for lunch at your basic general store/gas station/cafe. The waitress apparently thought Mathieu really liked French Fries. Maybe the accent (French Canadian)? I'm surprised he didn't ask for cheese curds and gravy.

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    Home stretch took us back through Condon and The Dalles, where we loaded up and headed back to Idaho.

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    Mathieu said of Sunday, that in over 20+ years of riding, it was the single best day on a motorcycle he's ever had. When we stopped at the location in the pic immediately above, after 100 miles or so of just flying, Tim took off his helmet and laughed. And laughed, and wouldn't stop laughing. He said he'd never held the throttle open on his VFR for such an extended amount of time. Unreal.

    All in all, another absolutely incredible trip with a super fun group of addicts! Yet another reminder of why we love motorcycles, good friends, and amazing places to enjoy both.

    .
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  2. Zubb

    Zubb he went that-a-way... Supporter

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    I saw your Tuano at the Tail of the Dragon a couple weeks ago. Had to go over and see if it was actually you. Nope, no Idaho plates.
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  3. bwhip62

    bwhip62 Been here awhile

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    The weather was beautiful on Saturday, and I thought it would be fun to go for a ride. I decided to load up the bike in the truck and do one of my “street track days” over in central Oregon. I drove over to Baker City early in the morning, and unloaded the bike at my usual spot.

    I decided to do a route that would be around 380 miles through some familiar favorites. A variety of terrain through dense and remote forest, desert plains, and along rivers. Lots of amazing variety, and hundreds and hundreds of really fun corners.

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    Because I’ve ridden these roads many times, I didn’t think I’d be taking many photos. I’d have to see something really special, otherwise it was just going to be about riding this time. I rode west on Hwy 7 toward Austin, and it was just a beautiful, cool morning.

    I turned west on Middle Fork Road, and enjoyed all the twists and turns along that remote route. No rush here – I’ve seen too many cows wandering around this road over the years! Surprisingly, I didn’t see any this time (though I did later between Ukiah and Sumpter).

    After a quick stop for fuel in Long Creek, I headed over the hill to Kimberly, and then north to one of my all-time favorites – Hwy 207 between Spray and Heppner. It doesn’t get better than this! Such a fun road to hammer. I definitely was giving the Michelins a workout here. And they were gripping extremely well. Very impressed with the new Pilot Road 5’s so far.

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    As usual, almost nobody out there. Such a dream for a motorcyclist.

    I stopped for fuel and a snack in Heppner, then headed toward Pilot Rock and Ukiah. Another exceptional stretch of road. Incredible. Look at this.

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    As I climbed the hill from Ukiah up into the dense forest along the way to Sumpter, I enjoyed the beautiful view. So nice to not have smoke from forest fires as we’ve had so often in previous seasons.

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    As I mentioned, I was working my tires pretty hard all day. The big red beast is such an impressive bike. It does everything so well, so fast, so comfortable. Amazing machine. You can see from the photo below the softer compound on the edges of the tires. I’m thankful they gripped so well, all day long!

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    I got back to Baker City around 4 PM, and loaded up and headed east for the two hour drive home. Such a fantastic day. I can see the days getting shorter, so I know the season won’t be around forever, and how long winter can be! So, I’m particularly grateful for days like these, and the opportunity to ride such a fantastic machine on such beautiful and spectacular roads.

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  4. Zubb

    Zubb he went that-a-way... Supporter

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    Wow, have never seen such a clear line between the softer and harder rubber compounds. Nice shot, and thanks for posting up your day ride!
    bwhip62 likes this.
  5. bwhip62

    bwhip62 Been here awhile

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    My original plan (with fingers crossed) was to make one more trip over to the Oregon coast for a ride – drive 8 hours to Eugene on Friday after work, then ride three different awesome loops on Sat/Sun/Mon, and drive back Monday night. Forecast showed overcast on Saturday, with a few showers on Sun/Mon. It is Oregon, after all. I could handle a few showers. I know that as we get later in the season, it’s not likely to get warmer and drier.

    Early Saturday as I rode toward the ocean, it was quite drizzly and cool, and it didn’t take long for me to figure out that the Michelin Pilot Road 5’s that have impressed me so much when dry, were really sketchy with much lean angle in the wet. Forecast for the next couple of days got worse as the day went along, so I decided to ride some extra miles on Saturday, and drive home Sunday instead. Long way to go for one day of riding, but it wound up being a pretty awesome 400+ miles, with about 75% of it dry.

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    I absolutely love riding in this part of the state. It includes my very favorite road in all of Oregon (and that’s saying a lot!) – the Siuslaw River Road. Unbelievably fun, even when I have to ride it at 65 instead of 85 [​IMG] .

    It was so gray and wet early that I didn’t think I’d wind up taking any photos today at all – but you know me…

    First stop was to take a shot of the bridge in Florence:

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    Next I rode south along the coast, turning inland near Coos Bay and Coquille, finding some really cool new twisty bits along the way.

    Upper Smith River Road is pretty incredible:

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    Next I spent a fair bit of time on my favorite – Siuslaw River Road. This is one of the few roads I enjoy riding multiple times on the same day! It’s that good, and empty.

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    A little wet here and there, but still a fantastic day. I think I’ll save the Michelin PR5’s for summer use, and switch back to Pirelli Angel GTs for touring trips where I could encounter wet conditions. As usual, I’m enjoying the temperatures cooling down a bit, but not enjoying shorter daylight and knowing that the end of the season is getting closer! Oh well, same thing every year, and this sure continues to be a great one. Very grateful!
    btrrtlwtr, JimRidesThis, Zubb and 6 others like this.
  6. mikegc

    mikegc Long timer Super Supporter

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    Bwhip62, I've been reading your ride reports and enjoying your photography for some time. Actually, I marked several of your favorite roads in BaseCamp and in June & July, rode out there and enjoyed some of them, especially Siuslaw River Road. Within a mile or two of the intersection of the river road and Rt.126, the bottom dropped out and hosed me down all the way up to the evening's destination, Newport. Like you said, "It's Oregon."

    Hey, thanks for your reports and being so free with your information. I'm sure others use your reports to "connect the dots," too.

    Mike
  7. bwhip62

    bwhip62 Been here awhile

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    You're very welcome! So glad the reports and info have been helpful, and that you had fun over there. :)
    mikegc likes this.
  8. TSPKTM

    TSPKTM Ride 'em Cowboy

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    I am constantly amazed by the writing and photography talent displayed by the members of this forum. You are definitely one of those individuals who seems to find just the right spots to show off such expertise. Please keep it up.
  9. bwhip62

    bwhip62 Been here awhile

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    Thanks so much for your kind note, you made my day! :-)
  10. Zubb

    Zubb he went that-a-way... Supporter

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    echo all the comments above. I always smile when I see a new post of yours cause I know it'll be great. I share your love of riding good roads and appreciate your sharing their locations with us. It's a bit of a haul for me to get back home to the PNW to ride, so it's fairly rare. But your posts help keep me connected with my very own Idaho, Washington and Oregon.
    Cheers brother. And my offer still stands. . . . happy to store that Aprilia for you each winter as long as you leave the key in it so I can move it if I have to.
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  11. bwhip62

    bwhip62 Been here awhile

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    Finally! Winter is over, and it's time to go riding again. With all the craziness in the world going on right now, I needed a quick getaway to clear my head, while being responsibly socially distant.

    Really, it’s not all that uncommon for me to practice social distancing on my motorcycle. Many, okay most, of my rides are solo. It’s always more fun with friends, certainly, but with my schedule it seems that I often need to scramble to squeeze in a day or two here and there for a ride, without much planning. That was the case this weekend. I had a Friday afternoon and Saturday that looked like they’d work for a quick ride, with decent weather. With conditions changing so rapidly with the Coronavirus situation, I figured I’d better go now before I’m legally confined to my house. I knew that where I planned to go, there would be very little direct human interaction anyway.

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    I left around 12:30 on Friday afternoon, and headed north toward McCall. I figured it might get a little chilly in the mountains, but I wasn’t really expecting 35 degrees with some rain showers! After about an hour or so of that torture, I finally descended into Riggins where the temperature warmed up a bit.

    It sure felt great to be going on a longer moto trip, since it seems like forever since the last one. I’d only have time for about 240 miles of riding on Friday, and then a long day on Saturday, with over 400 miles scheduled. Early in the season, so the roads are still a bit dirty, and the landscape a bit brown and gray. But it’s riding!

    This would be the first moto trip where I actually brought my new little drone along, for some photos and video. It’s quite compact, so pretty easy to pack with the gear. And I was looking forward to the fresh perspectives it might offer.

    I stopped just north of Riggins for a photo along the Salmon River.

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    Shortly past that, it’s always fun to go ripping up the White Bird Grade, a wide highway that climbs dramatically out of the canyon, to an elevation around 4,200 feet. The views along the way and at the top are spectacular. Time to get out the drone!

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    A little bit of work to get it out, hook everything up, calibrate the GPS, but I can generally do all that in less than five minutes, so no biggie. Really happy with some of the photos and video it can get me, that’s for sure!

    I rode a short bit of Hwy 14 toward Elk City, but it was getting fairly late in the afternoon, and I didn’t want to have to do too much riding in darkness as the sun dropped behind the canyon walls. So, I continued north.

    Saturday morning, I wanted to get a fairly early start as I knew I had a lot of miles to cover, and I didn’t want to get home too late. Plus, I knew I’d be going to several really picturesque places, and I wanted time to use the drone at each one. The problem with leaving early was that it was COLD. The first hour or two the temps were between 30 and 35. Thank goodness for heated gear! It was barely keeping up, but it sure helped.

    First stop was along old Highway 7, between Orofino and Kendrick. A really fun road, even when freezing your fingers off. And such beautiful views!

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    Different kind of selfies with the drone!

    I packed up and headed west toward Lewiston, hoping the sunshine would hurry up and start to warm things up. Slowly but slowly, it did.

    The coolest riding spot in Lewiston is the Old Spiral Highway, a crazy road built in 1917 that climbs 2,000 feet over 7 miles or so, with more than 60 fantastic, nicely banked turns. Tar snakes were a problem when we came here a couple of summers ago, but with the low temperatures on Saturday, they weren’t even noticeable. I ripped my way up to the top, then got out the drone again for some shots and video.

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    The view of Lewiston over the Clearwater River was a bit hazy on this cold morning, but still a beautiful day for a ride on an absolutely spectacular stretch of road for motorcycling.

    Time to head south, through a bit of eastern Washington and on to Oregon, along Rattlesnake Pass. One of my all-time favorite roads to ride and photograph, and it’s easy to see why. Incredible. And the drone allowed me to capture a bit more of its majesty than I usually can with just a camera.

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    The video I captured expands on the story a bit more, as it can take in even more than still photos do. I feel incredibly blessed to live so close to these magnificent roads.

    Here’s the video:

    Hoping and praying that the Coronavirus situation improves quickly, so that we can all get back to enjoying life more fully.
  12. Zubb

    Zubb he went that-a-way... Supporter

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    Well you just showed the best kept secret motorcycling roads in the PNW.
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  13. oldoval

    oldoval Energy Vampire

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    Yes, bwhip is out of hibernation!
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  14. MUDHWY

    MUDHWY Big Break

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    They're not secret to those of us that live in the great motorcycling state of ID. It is nice to see Brian out and on two wheels though. What took you so long buddy? We've been riding up here in CDA area for two weeks with this early spring weather! Coronavirus just making it extra easy to choose riding over other activities. :D
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  15. bwhip62

    bwhip62 Been here awhile

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    Well, I've actually been riding a fair bit over the last few months - just closer to home. And the scenery tends to be pretty ugly through the winter months, so I don't take a lot of photos to post.

    One nice development over the winter, is that I traded in one of my bikes for a newer version - the Aprilia Tuono Factory. The 2016 I had has been my all-time favorite bike, and the 2019 "Summit Attack" version is even better, so I'm quite stoked, to say the least.

    These are from a ride last weekend:

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  16. Zubb

    Zubb he went that-a-way... Supporter

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    You . . . . . didn't . . . . call .. me! How could you let that red sex machine go back into the dealer pool without checking with me first!!

    Congrats on the new bike though.
    Uke and bwhip62 like this.
  17. MUDHWY

    MUDHWY Big Break

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    Oh man...I hate you! :D

    Gorgeous machine.
  18. bwhip62

    bwhip62 Been here awhile

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    Oops! Actually a buddy of mine bought it - it's the third bike he's bought from me over the years!
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  19. FailureDrill

    FailureDrill Adventurer Supporter

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    Which drone are you running? Been looking at getting something to take on rides with me.
  20. bwhip62

    bwhip62 Been here awhile

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    I got the DJI Mavic Air, which seems to offer a really nice combination of size, capability, and value.