Eastern Oregon Loop – Reflections

Taking time to look back at the ride with a little perspective.

Highlight of the trip

The riding on Day 2 was the highlight of the trip. I chose familiar and worthy roads while nature provided near perfect weather and the scenic backdrop.

Excellent internet connections

Access to the internet at motels in 2019 is leaps and bounds better than five years ago. I had no issues connecting, uploading photos, editing the blog or streaming either night (Quality Inn, Baker City and Motel 6, The Dalles).

Metzler Roadtec 01 tires performing well

I have 2,100 miles on the new tires. They are performing well – exhibiting neutral, linear behavior turning into corners. sticking well to the pavement, providing a softer ride over imperfections.

And, the tires are wearing well. I see no early signs of scalloping on the front tread and the both tire’s profiles remain well shaped, a tribute to the different compounds used in the tire’s construction.

At this time, I expect these tires will be useful for a total of 8,000 miles or so. We’ll see in a few months if I am close.

Longer days in the saddle

For this trip, I had three days of 8+ hours in the saddle. The distances covered in that time ranged from 275 miles to 370 miles.

Covering 400+ miles in a day on the interstates is pretty easy on the motorcycle I ride. What I have to remember when planning a ride is the twister the road is, the longer it will take to rack up the day’s miles.

I shortened both the first and second days of this trip after more carefully estimating the time it would take to traverse my intended routes through the mountains using backcountry highways.

A rule-of-thumb for planning purposes moving forward might be:

  • 300 or less miles of twisty, backcountry roads
  • 400 or more miles of interstates (my record is 540 miles)

Getting enough sleep each night

I had some trouble sleeping this trip. It wasn’t that I wasn’t getting to sleep early enough. Instead, I would wake up too early and be unable to return to sleep. Each night, including the day I departed, I woke up on my own at 5am.

I have a few ideas for my next trip, including getting to sleep a bit earlier and starting to use an alarm to wake up – training myself to sleep until the alarm I set the night before goes off. We shall see how it goes!

Changing riding patterns?

By this time last year, I had two trips and 46 days of travel complete. This year, so far, I have logged only 12 days of travel. Two days to Seaside, Oregon and back, seven days in British Columbia riding to Desolation Sound and this past three days riding through Oregon.

Have my riding patterns changed?

Perhaps. But, it may be just a slow start to this particular riding season.

You see, the year felt wet and cool well into the traditional riding season here in the Northwest. Also, I had a late-spring BC trip planned since late last year. So, it seemed there was no pressure on me to hit the road earlier than that late-May adventure already scheduled.

Where to next?

I am planning a solo trans-Canada motorcycle adventure for September. This will be a ride from Seattle to Halifax, Nova Scotia. It will take roughly twelve days to arrive and I’ll set aside another two days in that area before heading home sometime during the last week of September.

The route home will be determined while on the road. The summer tourist season will have passed and I think I can get away with planning a day or two ahead. Besides, fall weather can be tough to predict and I’ll use weather forecasts to help plan.

Stay tuned for updates on this ride.

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