I rode a bike to Reno, just to watch them fly...

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by MikeO, Sep 7, 2019.

  1. MikeO

    MikeO Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Scarning, Norfolk today...

    Post a report - I'd love to see the pics and I am sure I'm not alone in this... :-)
    #81
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  2. MikeO

    MikeO Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Scarning, Norfolk today...
    18th September 2019


    Today is going to be a bastard of a journey. I need to be in Portland for early afternoon on Thursday. I could do it in a day if necessary, but today's weather is horrible, with several bands of heavy rain covering all access to Oregon from the south...


    I sleep well and wake late - just before 0800. I quickly ablute and scoff down some breakfast from the excellent buffet. I drag the luggage trolley back to my room and load it up.


    I'm in wet-weather mode, so I'm wearing a Gore-Tex liner for my jacket, a pair of waterproof over-trousers, and BMW waterproof gloves. I carefully pack anything that might be damaged by moisture into the panniers and tank bag, leaving the luggage roll for everything else (which is mostly packed in vacuum bags anyway).


    I load the bike and eye the clouds - already building...


    [​IMG]


    I ride across the road to fill the Adv with some extra Techron for the journey - at a new trip high of $4.60 per gallon :eek7


    A lady at the pumps comes rushing up to ask if I am Catalan - she's seen Jorge's Burro sticker on the pannier. I explain that Jorge is of Catalan heritage - it's surprising how often people react to the sticker...


    I get kitted up - my waterproof gloves are really clumsy compared with my ropers, so I reluctantly retire the camera to the tank bag. I set off at 1010, with Doris telling me that it's just over 300 miles and it'll take 5 hrs 6 min.


    Let's see if we can't improve on that a little, eh?


    I join Interstate 5 North straight away - the easy access to the road was what drove me to stop here last night. I get the bike up to about 4k rpm in 6th, which is about 70mph. The limit is 65 here, but I want to press on - plus the safest speed for a bike to be travelling on a motorway is slightly faster than everyone else - all your main danger lurks behind you...


    One of the things I love about the big GS is its versatility. I've been corner-carving in hill country all day yesterday and today I'm eating up miles on a motorway - it's equally at home in either environment...


    The weather looks threatening, but I stay dry almost all the way to the Oregon state line. I stop in Ashland (almost halfway) to fill up with Mobil Supreme - I now have sufficient fuel to get to Springfield whatever the contingency.


    Almost immediately I re-join the I5 the rain starts; a soft drizzle at first, then, as I climb into a range of hills, a cold hard rain. My "waterproof" over trousers immediately prove to be anything but. I knew this - goodness knows why I packed them. At the time of writing they are stuck in the waste bin in my hotel room. I get cold water entering around the hip and knee - the wicking action of my base layers soon ensuring that I'm wet everywhere below the waist. My boots - superbly waterproof - gather the water and soak my socks and feet... :bluduh


    Never mind, I press on and am about to enter another - higher - range of hills. The weather looks like hell on toast. There are thick black clouds obscuring the hilltops and the rain is getting heavier.


    I'm doing about 70mph in lane 2 (left hand), overtaking a steady stream of slow-moving trucks in lane 1. I have a heavy truck a couple of seconds ahead of me and the first of a stream of cars a few seconds behind me when the temperature suddenly plummets and a storm cell starts dropping rain at an incredible rate. One of the immediate effects of this is to reduce visibility severely. My view is further diminished by both sides of my glasses and visor being fogged by the temperature drop, and covered in a misty layer of rain and road shit being kicked up by the traffic ahead.


    I'm not in a good place. The traffic to my right has slowed and bunched together, leaving me nowhere to go there, I can see that the car behind me has closed up (presumably to keep my rear light in sight) and the only firm point in my universe is the rear lights on the truck ahead of me.


    We keep pressing through the storm - the truck has slowed to 55 or so and I am staying with him. So long as no-one ahead porks it and has a prang we should get through this all right.


    I am riding with my right hand on the handlebar and my left hand trying desperately to clear some area of my visor and glasses - it's genuinely like instrument flying at the moment - my whole reality ahead is a pair of red lights, made fuzzy and indistinct by the mist and crap I'm looking through.


    To give you some idea of the amount of rain falling I am swallowing a fair mouthful of cold water every 10 seconds or so, as the rain is blasted under my visor and into my face.


    I can't remember the last time I felt so out of control of a situation on the road - and I am not enjoying it...


    Eventually, after what seems an age, the cell empties itself and visibility improves a little. The sky ahead gradually brightens and the rain slows to a light drizzle. The truck I had been following pulls back into Lane 1 and - as I pass - honks his horn and gives me a thumbs-up - which I return. It's as if we'd just defeated a common enemy or something :patch


    The rain eventually peters out and I have a dry run most of the rest of the way. I'm sitting in a puddle of water, which isn't the most comfortable feeling, but - oddly- everything above the waist is dry and warm...:D


    All of a sudden, I am turning off the I5 at Springfield, and Doris steers me to the Econolodge, a great little hotel where I stayed last year. I switch the engine off at 1503 - 13 minutes ahead of Doris's schedule...:-)


    I squelch my way to the check-in desk, and am given a room key in quick time. I ask, but their guest laundry is being refurbished and the washers and driers won't be operational before Friday...:fpalm :D


    I get to my room, which is spacious, quiet and very nicely appointed...


    [​IMG]


    ...then get the luggage trolley and unload the bike. I park it under cover on the walkway...

    [​IMG]


    I strip my sopping clothes off and have a hot shower that was like a religious experience. I put on some dry clothes (the roll bag was waterproof Jorge! :D) and sort out the wet stuff.


    Tomorrow is forecast to be fine, I'm relieved to say.


    I decide I have had enough of the outside world - so a pizza seems like a good idea. I sent over 20 minutes on Domino's site trying to complete an order, before giving up and ordering from Pizza Hut...


    [​IMG]


    Marvellous...:-)
    #82
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  3. Rubber Cow

    Rubber Cow GS Dork

    Joined:
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    Been there, done that.... Too many times to count.
    Terrifying death mist.
    #83
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  4. MaddBrit

    MaddBrit Now officially a Yank.

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    Location:
    Allen, Tejas. Blissful state...
    Very nicely done!

    :thumb

    I so miss my 1150 GSA....
    #84
  5. MikeO

    MikeO Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Scarning, Norfolk today...
    I forgot to mention - whilst I was riding through the storm, I raised myself off the seat to position myself better and - in a split second, my Airhawk blew away...

    I'd not fitted the sheepskin cover today - it would have been like sitting on a wet sponge - and the strap on the sheepskin was what kept the Airhawk in place.

    The weird thing is that I didn't notice the difference particularly - perhaps my arse has become Adv seat acclimated?:hmmmmm

    Jorge just texted me to say "The Airhawk was destined to die" :lol3

    I suppose I should take some solace in the fact that he seems to have stopped calling it "Your pussy-pad"...:D
    #85
  6. MikeO

    MikeO Long timer Supporter

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    So buy another! :D
    #86
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  7. Shady Pass David

    Shady Pass David Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
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    Lake Billy Chinook, S.SW of Madras...Hey, I'm over 70, and my nephews have all grown up and I don't have a clue how to turn it off..
    #87
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  8. shay

    shay reading is hard

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    thanks Mike, great RR,
    #88
  9. MikeO

    MikeO Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
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    19th September 2019

    I sleep very well indeed - and don't wake until just before 0800. I peek out of the window and am relieved to see it bright and cloudy - I really don't want any more rain... :bluduh

    The room is in chaos, with every surface festooned in clothes that I hoped (in vain) would dry overnight. I pack everything that is still damp in vacuum bags and stuff them deep inside the roll bag, then sort everything else out into a (reasonably) coherent order in the other luggage.

    I wander out to the foyer and grab the luggage trolley and load the bike up...

    [​IMG]

    I notice the business next door hasn't opened yet this morning...

    I need to fuel up - I was in no mood to do so when I arrived yesterday. I set off into the Springfield traffic at about 0950 with Doris steering me towards a 68 Gas Station just over a mile away...

    [​IMG]

    Whoa! Look at that...

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    It's parked under the forecourt of Joe's Truck and Trailer Supply...

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    ...what a beauty...

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    Some points available for make/model/year...:D

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    I arrive at the 68 Station and, as I take my glasses off, one of the arms comes off. Bugger... :bluduh

    I fill up with Supreme - at $3.39 per gallon and, as I made my exit from the station, noticed you could opt for fuel without Ethanol - called "Clear Premium"...

    [​IMG]

    ...albeit at $4.49 per gallon...

    Doris is steering me north towards Portland - I'm going to meet up with Jorge at his workplace - and I have asked her to route via Sweet Home - so I can breakfast at the Home Sweet Home Café, and have a chat with Kathy-with-a-K, who made me a splendid breakfast this time last year...

    [​IMG]

    My Old Car Antennae are still twitching, though - and I spot this old muscle car in the car park of a glazing firm on the way out of Springfield...

    [​IMG]

    It's going to take about two and a half hours to get to Portland by the route Doris has devised. It's a cool, damp morning and there is always the threat of a passing shower...

    [​IMG]

    In fact the hills to my left are completely swathed in cloud...

    [​IMG]

    I think Mr Curran may have his work cut out with this project...

    [​IMG]

    ...although there might be a donor car under that tarp - who knows? I'll be really impressed if someone manages to identify this...

    [​IMG]

    There's very little traffic and I am making good time...

    [​IMG]

    ...so it's only right to stop for a barn pic...

    [​IMG]

    I enter Sweet Home - which has a beautiful mural facing Main Street - and make my way u to the Home Sweet Home Café...

    [​IMG]

    No!

    [​IMG]

    It has clearly closed its doors forever... :(

    I ride slowly up Main Street - noticing how many empty storefronts there are - until I find...

    [​IMG]

    ...an A&W - an American institution. Both diner and drive-in, I park and grab a seat at a booth by the door...

    [​IMG]

    It's like the set of American Graffiti - I like everything about it...

    [​IMG]

    If you order outside, you park in a slot and push the button on a pillar and make your order. Inside is no different, although it seems faintly ridiculous as I can see the girl I'm talking to and we wave to one another...:lol3

    [​IMG]

    I order a large black-raspberry shake - which is gigantic (there's more in the mixer container than the tankard :eek7)...

    [​IMG]

    ...and a bacon double cheeseburger combo.

    I don't think I've had a better cheeseburger... :dukegirl

    It takes nearly an hour to finish this (and I may be digesting it for several days). I get back onto the Adv for the last leg of the journey...

    [​IMG]

    It is turning into a lovely day - I'm pretty sure I am going to stay dry. I text Jorge and give him an ETA of 1400 and start off...

    [​IMG]

    Hardly any traffic now - so I turn the wick up a bit and enjoy the long bends of Oregon's Pleasant Valley fruit growing district...

    [​IMG]

    Hold on - what's that?

    [​IMG]

    It has a roll cage built inside it and a kill switch on the rear wing - I think he takes this car a bit seriously. Any guesses for make/model/year?

    [​IMG]

    Isn't that a nice barn...

    [​IMG]

    Wait - what's that opposite? For sale if you're in the market...

    [​IMG]

    Regular readers may remember I took a pic of a Cadillac convertible (in less than perfect fettle) under this canopy last year. It appears to have departed the fix, but two projects have replaced it - any guesses.

    I sneak around the side entrance and am rewarded by...

    [​IMG]

    ...whatever this is (I honestly have no idea).

    Right let's get moving...

    [​IMG]

    Blimey - is there no end to these? :lol3

    [​IMG]

    This one goes right back to my youth...

    [​IMG]

    I snap this chap at the roadside on the way out of town - an El Camino, I think - anybody know what year?

    [​IMG]

    Although I can still feel the damp in the air (paranoia?), I'm really enjoying the ride...

    [​IMG]

    Fruit, nuts and berries of every type are grown here...

    [​IMG]

    ...with trees and bushes planted in geometric patterns which ensure that their fruit can be mechanically harvested...

    [​IMG]

    This body shop had a few old patients last year - this is a new one - if you can identify it?

    [​IMG]

    ...whereas I don't think this one has so much as turned a wheel... :D

    [​IMG]

    I cross over Interstate 5 as Doris steers me towards Beaverton (stop sniggering at the back)...

    [​IMG]

    I ride past miles of hop-frames - this years crop have been cut down and next year's will presumably be in greenhouses being brought on at the moment...

    [​IMG]

    I was so busy being nosey about what was happening here, I almost missed the fact that I was meant to turn right at this junction...:fpalm

    I arrive at Jorge's place of work and then follow him through some horrible Portland traffic...

    [​IMG]

    ...and soon arrive at Jen & Jorge's lovely home...

    [​IMG]

    I pull the Adv into the garage, put the sidestand down and switch off the engine.

    1868 miles. A good way to spend a couple of weeks.:-)

    I unload the bike, stripping off the tank bag 'bra' and the GPS mount - I will be giving it a thorough clean tomorrow. Let's face it - it had a pretty good pre-wash yesterday... :lol3

    Jorge shows me the work that has been done since I left less than two weeks ago - a major part was having seven cubic yards (about seven tons) of topsoil 'blown' in to the back garden, and seeding it with grass...

    [​IMG]

    It has completely transformed the back garden - I can't believe the growth in just nine days.

    Actually, thinking back to yesterday, I can... :bluduh

    I set up on the back porch to write my journal and Jorge brings me...

    [​IMG]

    ...Mexican Coke. Thank goodness this isn't available in the UK - I'd be utterly addicted... :-)

    I sort out my dirty laundry - which is just about everything I have here, actually - and we start load-testing the washer and drier.

    I shower and change, to make myself a little more presentable - we are going out to meet Greg and Connie (Deacon & Deaconwife) for dinner - hence my rush to get north yesterday.

    I sit out on the deck typing my journal until it's time to go...

    What a great trip.

    [​IMG]

    Oh - and some new pics of Marnie... :-)

    [​IMG]

    Seems to be missing me terribly... :lol3

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #89
  10. Chip Seal

    Chip Seal Long timer Supporter

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    [​IMG]

    Easy one; LOL. 1956 Chevrolet BelAir wagon with a lot of accessories.
    #90
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  11. Chip Seal

    Chip Seal Long timer Supporter

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    [​IMG]

    1971 Buick Riviera
    #91
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  12. Chip Seal

    Chip Seal Long timer Supporter

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    1965 Pontiac Catalina
    #92
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  13. Chip Seal

    Chip Seal Long timer Supporter

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    [​IMG]
    1956 Ford Ranch Wagon
    #93
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  14. Chip Seal

    Chip Seal Long timer Supporter

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    1967 Ford Thunderbird 2 door
    #94
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  15. Chip Seal

    Chip Seal Long timer Supporter

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    1971 Jaguar xj, bet it has a Chevrolet 350 in it [Jagrolet].
    #95
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  16. Chip Seal

    Chip Seal Long timer Supporter

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    [​IMG]
    1975 El Camino
    #96
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  17. Chip Seal

    Chip Seal Long timer Supporter

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    [​IMG]
    70/71 Dodge Dart
    #97
  18. Chip Seal

    Chip Seal Long timer Supporter

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    [​IMG]
    Left is a 69/70ish Chevy Malibu. Right is 70/71ish Camaro
    #98
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  19. Chip Seal

    Chip Seal Long timer Supporter

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    [​IMG]
    Wow, no idea!
    #99
  20. MikeO

    MikeO Long timer Supporter

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    Sorry Roger - if you don’t identify this one, you forfeit all points earned so far...
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