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huck

Seat time in a time of plague

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Like many of you I am a life long daily rider, and LD tourest. That includes commuting. In recent years, since I'm involved in the still nascent electric Powersports industry, that commute was a once or twice a month commute between my home in Portland, OR, and my office at Lightning Motorcycles in San Jose CA. It is about 750 miles door to door, but by using "short cuts"  I can easily expand the milage. Some of those route changes have included Death Valley, Yosemite NP, Joshua Tree NP, Crater Lake, NP (I love National Parks and am privileged to have a lifetime pass), and many other wonderful places that allow me to add to my t-shirt collection. It took me a life time to get to a place where I can get away with this, and that is another story.

Needless to say, the current pandemic situation has put a full stop on my commute. So I am having to content myself with short local rides like the recent lunch ride to the Jewell, OR Wildlife Sanctuary... In the rain (this is Oregon after all) where Keithu and I met for lunch--at appropriate distance, standing around under a tree out of the rain in the deserted parking lot. But a ride is a ride and in the NW if you don't ride in the rain you are not likely riding much! It was fun, but both keithu and I agreed that we look forward to longer rides, for him that includes some Iron Butt events which he is preparing his bike for with appropriate aux. gas tank, lightning and other necessary LD mods. 

Meanwhile, I try to do some solo riding to places that will not put me into crowds, or other risky situations. The other thing I do is use my bike for my forays into the world to do necessary shopping for household supplies. Here ia picture of my bike in the garage at the end of such a trip. I use all of my touring gear. Top box, expanded soft Panniers, tank bag, and back seat bag (except when I use bunnies to secure large bags of dog food), to carry supplies home. Much more fun than using the car, and there is always the challenge of figuring out how to deal with the limited space.

That's how I cope, what about you guys? 

IMG_0470.jpeg

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That's about what I do. I have a Goldwing also and when I was working I'd grocery shop on the way home.  I had people wait to pull away because they were just sure it wouldn't all fit.  

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Exactly. Non riders are always surprised, and often non believing. Once a guy offered to bet me money I could not get everything in my basket on to my bike. When in National Parks, or at restaurants or Motels on the road I am often approached and asked where I am coming from and where am I going... I remember being asked this in a motel in Wendover, NV where I was staying while working a pit crew for a speed trial at Bonniville. I answered that I had come from Portland, OR and was promptly called a lier. It is usually not that bad, but often one is met with what you might call disbelief or a sort of befuddled confusion. If the weather is bad the response can be a bit more judgmental. At such times one can imagine that one's sanity is being considered.

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20 minutes ago, huck said:

I am often approached and asked where I am coming from and where am I going... I remember being asked this in a motel in Wendover, NV where I was staying while working a pit crew for a speed trial at Bonniville. I answered that I had come from Portland, OR and was promptly called a lier.

I get that alot as well.  When I do a day trip I choose a destination and ride there and have a late lunch then ride home, sometimes that is across the mountains in Yakima or across the border in Oregon, sometimes its Astoria or yesterday I rode to Tillamook.  People usually ask where I am coming from, when I say Olympia, Washington, they ask what I am doing so far away from home, and I answer "I rode here for lunch", that usually gets some odd looks.😎

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***2015 Candy Red FJ-09***

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Earlier this week, I met up with another rider from Arlington, WA and headed up north to Chuckanut Drive.  We were obviously separated while riding.  When we stopped for a break and snack, we kept away from each other.

I went to Fred Meyer the other night to buy groceries for our family and my 92 yr old in-laws.  As I started down one aisle, there was one guy without a mask.  By the time I got to the other end of the aisle, there were seven people I ended up passing without masks.  I suspect that outing was far riskier for me than the ride was.

Chris

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I’ve become a bit of a lone wolf with my riding, so the routine for me hasn’t really changed:  If it’s a nice day and I have the time to spare, I’ll go ride just for the sake of riding.   I can string together a large number of differing routes, depending mostly on my mood...  the typical day is 200 - 250 miles, and somewhere in the four to six hour range.   

With the pandemic in full swing, I don’t stop for my usual midride lunch, but otherwise it’s about the same as before.   I’m not in a position to commute on the bike, so my riding is 100% spirited weekend pleasure rides.   That’s one of the few things that the coronavirus isn’t going to interrupt for me!  :) 

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Over the years (60 on bikes) I have also done most of my riding alone. For one thing, being alone allows one to be very selfish about everything, choice of routes, choice of stops, speed, duration, sudden inspirations causing instant route change, and of course destination. Since the kind of work I do requires a great deal of cooperative activity, and having a family that loves getting together (Me too), solo riding offers a kind of physical and mental respite. Also, I still believe that everyone deserves to have spontaneous adventure in one's life, so no matter how long I have been riding, I still look forward to my next ride with the expectation that it will indeed be an adventure. Being completely alone while riding allows me, and requires me, to concentrate completely on the road ahead and my surroundings, and kind of blots out everything else which is a sort of mental cleansing. This unfortunate situation precludes any LD excursions, but rides such as texcottyd suggests serve the same purpose.

I have a few very good friend riding buddies that have mostly shared LD rides to MC events, and races, and some of these shorter day rides of course...

I suppose if there is any silver lining to this difficult time it is that there is very little traffic, at least where I am in the Portland, OR area.

It is very pleasant to finish a ride without a single difficult confrontation with an aggressively unconscious driver.

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8 hours ago, huck said:

Over the years (60 on bikes) I have also done most of my riding alone. For one thing, being alone allows one to be very selfish about everything, choice of routes, choice of stops, speed, duration, sudden inspirations causing instant route change, and of course destination.

I suppose if there is any silver lining to this difficult time it is that there is very little traffic, at least where I am in the Portland, OR area.

It is very pleasant to finish a ride without a single difficult confrontation with an aggressively unconscious driver.

I was down in your relative neck of the woods on Thursday, I crossed over from Longview and rode Apiary, Vernonia, Timber, Tillamook, Garibaldi, Jewell, Mist and Clatskanie.  Almost no traffic except in Tillamook. 

And I ride mostly solo for exactly the same reasons you listed. 

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***2015 Candy Red FJ-09***

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Betony,

All great roads and places, that I ride often. Except for directly on the coast during "Normal" times when tourism can be very heavy, these roads have very little traffic and are great fun to ride, and very scenic. One thing though, all of that country is elk and deer habitat. Those roads can stimulate some pretty enthusiastic tire adhesion testing, and a bit of caution regarding the fact that both dear and their much larger cousins the elk believe they have unrestricted right of way. 

Here is a local resident that I visited out near Jewell last September. 2088611251_Localresident.thumb.jpeg.c05f0c23a2d1e01aca17fa0ea5c7b374.jpeg

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