I had the bike serviced last week after 72,000 miles of riding around the US and Canada.
That morning, I arrived a few minutes before the shop opened. This scrawny white cat came running into the shop from across the alley the moment the service door opened. While getting the bike serviced, I saw the cat in the showroom, on the parts counter, running around the service center and out front. I loved that it had run of the place.
I haven’t ridden the bike since the service so I took it out this morning for a breakfast run to my favorite Fall City breakfast stop, the Raging River Cafe!
My friend Will encouraged me to try something different today. While I did look at the breakfast menu and thought I could try something different, I really wanted my usual Eggs Benedict.
Turns out, it might have been a good idea as the owners are breaking in a new-to-the-restaurant cook. My eggs were just a bit overdone (medium instead of the usual soft) and the hash browns were a little cool in the center. Still yummy and neither was off enough to mention, but not usual level of perfection from their full-time cook, Randy.
The weather for the last 10 days or so has been pretty warm and it has finally cooled off to where it is completely comfortable to be in full gear. Compare July 21 to today (Aug 1).
While temperatures from 88 (to 93, actual temperatures) isn’t end-of-the-world hot, I wasn’t especially motivated to go out in it remembering that any destination east of one of the passes is likely to be 10 degrees warmer.
Where to next?
For my next big ride, I’d like to ride around Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, provinces in eastern Canada. June, 2019, before the Canadian vacation season starts in earnest, would be good timing for a trip like this. It could be part of bigger tour of Canada or an excuse to visit more of the eastern US (most likely).
I’ve mentioned Baja many times and am interested in a group ride down to the tip of Baja and back. Scheduling this ride for late Fall or early Spring might be ideal. A small-group ride led by an experienced spanish-speaker familiar with the trip’s entire route, a route designed for street bikes with a variety of comfortable accommodations would be ideal for my first time into this area.
Destinations closer to home include Glacier, the Beartooth Highway (new for me), Yellowstone and the (new for me) Grand Teton National Park. I’ve been mulling over different routes to accomplish this that include some of my favorite roads between Baker City and Portland. Something along these lines.
Stay tuned for more on timing but this might make a good September, 2018 trip, depending on forest fires in each of these fire-prone regions!
A Forest Service video on the history of Beartooth Highway can be found here. I’ve posted a well-edited and entertaining 25-minute motorcycle perspective of Beartooth from a group ride with entertaining bikers chatting amongst themselves below.
I’m excited for my friend Will, who will be riding over this pass very soon.
Finally, I want to explore Vancouver Island more and the (new to me) Sunshine Coast, maybe this year but definitely next spring, if not sooner. (Harald, any interest?)
Just listing the new-to-me areas in all the above rides is getting me excited. My energy for riding has evolved but hasn’t diminished.
I continue to think about deepening my offroad experiences. Like the long road trips above, I think about off-road trips, like tackling the Trans-America Trail or some of the dual sport trails in the West and wonder if the intensity of something like that would be challenging and fun in good ways, at my age.
I’ve been eyeballing the KTM 690 / Husqvarna 701 for a while now, pretty convinced it has the versatility to best meet my more “dual-sport” endeavours and being more manageable than a large adventure bike. An enduro bike for trail riding outfitted eventually for adventure riding would be an additional bike to the RT, not a replacement.
I’m not getting any younger so if trail riding is in my future, I need to get and stay in better shape and decide on a bike! An inspiring video in that direction, two Dutch women traveling in Patagonia, South America on KTM 690s. They call themselves The Riding Reporters
This video is far too long for most folks, but at around 1hr 10min in, they reach Ushuaia. Give it a shot as their enthusiasm is quite enjoyable. It is broken down into chapters.