Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Sunny skies and Hail

We have it all planned out. It will be a car day. We do an errand in Salem, then we were going to drive up to Beaverton to deliver some fabric to our daughter. Afterwords I'd spend some time with the camera. We make it to Salem. What does Salem have? Blue skies. It's lovely out. We see a few other riders...tempting. But the one that pushed me over the top was the rider who came into the parking lot. It wasn't too bad at first. He parked an aisle over. I could admire the bike from afar. But then he pulled forward and came to park in our aisle.
So, blue skies and lovely bikes...what's a rider supposed to do with that? We never make it to Beaverton. We turned around, went home and got out the bikes. Of course in Lebanon the skies were back to grey. Oh well, we'll go North. And we did. North into more grey skies! Where did the blue go?

We ride to Silver Creek Falls and just beat the hale by ducking into the lodge for lunch. It figures.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Morning mist after a bath

So Tuesday morning arrives and I'm going to ride. Yeah it's cloudy and grey, but the afternoon promises to be nice. When I open the garage it's misting! Now this would not be a problem normally, but I washed the bike this past weekend. She's all shiny and clean. Do I really want to take her out in the wet mucky weather?? Oh, get over it. This is Oregon. If I wait for a dry day I'll get to ride about 14 days a year. Besides, my girl loves to get dirty!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Harrisburg Oregon, Before the Ride

It's Saturday, typically a ride day. We're going to ride to the Daffodil Festival at Long Tom Grange. Before we start I have a little time to explore a small corner of the city. Along the waterfront is a wonderful park. Benches dispersed along the greenway to enjoy the river, and a lovely Gazebo. It's a nice place to just sit and relax listening to the river.
While we are waiting I spot two canoes up river. Ok, now I'm ready to get the kayaks out and go for a float. The canoes are moving quite fast, and it looks like a wonderful time to be on the river.
Across the road facing the river is this portion of an old, crumbling building. Most of the building has a metal facade, but a small section is left to reveal the older building underneath.

After the ride I find an old blue church one street over from the river. It's a simple building, but it has some lovely arched windows and this great tower.

Friday, March 13, 2009

It's warm. It's sunny. I decide to ride over and meet Ron after work and maybe go for a little ride around the area. I park at the front gate and wait until he comes out. We stop for hamburgers then head out toward Jefferson. We decide a little covered Bridge tour is in order, so first stop is Gilkey Bridge. I try to pull over before the bridge, but the road is sloped so that I can't get the side stand down. Ok, we park on the other side of the bridge.

Looks like a mini-motorcycle riding a motorcycle. Really bad angle for a pic!

In 2007 this bridge was damaged by a cherry picker that had left his bucket loose. The bridge was closed for some time which was an inconvenience for local residents.
Close up of damaged bridge.
Damage to beams.Gilkey Bridge today
'81 GS850
After Gilkey we head to Crabtree and on to Hungry Hill Covered Bridge. No pic, sorry. Then over to Larwood. I try to get some photos, but the sun was in the wrong spot and really, we want to ride, not look for a better photo opp. On we go to Lacomb then over to Waterloo. The river is low - looks like summer. As always it's lovely at the park.

It was warm enough to have the faceshield open. One good thing about these frozen mornings...no bugs to get hit with while riding. Tomorrow the rain returns.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


No riding so far this week. 27 degrees...I don't think so. Maybe tomorrow. It's supposed to be nice in the afternoon. It might be worth the painful fingers in the morning. If I feel brave enough for the cold.

Even the cage looks cold!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

No Rides this Weekend

This week I notice the first signs of spring. I spot a few crocus and daffodils coming up, and a few that are starting to bloom. The Plum tree in our backyard is showing its first pink buds.
I had some nice rides this past week, and a nice bicycle ride yesterday. But while today had some sunshine, it also had some of this:
Rain, sleet, snow in passing storm after passing storm. So the Boulevard stayed in the garage. But she is patient. She knows later this week...the sun will return...without the rain...or sleet. And she will be out and about once again. More time in the evenings to ride now too!


‘Tis March! Sun, rain, snow, wind, and really pretty clouds. We decide to explore Silverton. Looking at the sky we decide a good choice will be to go by car. It will be a wise choice. We pack all the goodies I think I might need for the afternoon, and off we go.We leave the car at Coolidge Park where we are close to a little bridge that crosses Silver creek.

What a nice park. It would be a great place in the summer when it’s hot out, full of tall fir trees. The park is backed up against a steep hill/cliff and has a lovely little playground for the kids.

We wander around town keeping a sharp eye on the sky. We are between two nasty looking storms, but it's sunny and lovely in downtown Silverton. Across the bridge is a path that passes the historic site of Fischer’s Flouring Mill, established in the 1880’s. It’s now a nice picnic area close to down town. It looks like a lovely place to spend a warm spring day.

We walk on along the path and upt to the sidewalk to the main part of town. Silverton has a lot of great murals to view. We took a few pics, but today we couldn’t really do them justice.We must return again to get better photos and bring a really wide angle lens for the Bob mural.

As with many small towns, there is an endless supply of lovely old buildings with interesting architectural features to photograph. So often these things disappear to modernization, so it’s a treat to spend time exploring and spotting them when available.

As the clouds were drawing closer we decide it’s time to meander back toward the car. We find this great little walking bridge back across Silver Creek modeled after the local covered bridges. It has little benches to sit and enjoy the view. Ron took a pic from a deck at street level and found Bob’s doghouse, so he snapped a quick pic before joining me on the bridge.

We head out on 213 and take a quick detour over through Scott’s Mills before swinging back through Mt. Angel. I always get so turned around in Mt Angel. It’s another little town we plan to explore. We’ve gone for Oktoberfest, but of course everything is so different then. It would be nice to explore on a quieter day to get a real flavor of the area. Today wasn’t the day, because those storm clouds finally found us. Yep, that is snowflakes falling.

We finish the afternoon with a stop at the bookstore in Salem, then a quick freeway run home. More lovely clouds and a nice old Barracuda spotted on the way back.

Not a bad day for not riding anything two-wheeled. We needed more walking though.


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Sometimes it rains...

It was decided the night before. Today I'm going to ride! I already had on my rainpants when I got online and checked the weather. 32 degrees! Too bad, I'm still riding. The fingers haven't frozen off yet. Packed up lunch, grabbed the camera and headed out to the bike. And we're off. And were back...to make sure the coffee pot is off. Yep, it's ok, off we go again into the cold. The sky was pretty. Some sun, lots of clouds.
Soon enough I run into fog. Blecch! Fog is tedious. But I get my first on-the-bike photo (woohoo)! Ok, so it's ugly fog and full of all sorts of photographic no-no's, but it's my first on-the-fly photo, so that trumps all! And I didn't kill myself, run off the road, or plow into any large painful objects.

I make it to work and the boss is off to a tradeshow (Hallelujah!) . This afternoon I look out the window. It looks nice out. Partly cloudy, pretty skies. Hmmmm, I won't need the sunglasses though. I head out of town and once I hit the freeway it's easy cruising. BIG hole in the traffic just for me. Cars way, way back of me, and cars way, way ahead. Just me and an empty road. All good things must end and eventually I caught cars and cars caught me.
By Albany I begin to notice a lot of grey to the south. Lets' face it, that's a big, bad rain storm and I'm gonna have to ride through it. Home is somewhere underneath those clouds. Really, rain isn't so bad. Lots of layers take out the sting. Helmet and rain gear keeps me dry. I kind of like it. Finished the day with a stop for gas, then home.

Wet, dirty bike - the Best!
Stayed dry!...well, 'cept the boots

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Photography on the fly

Another lovely day on the commute...just had to take the bike! I decided to try my hand at on the fly photography. Well, that didn't happen. I couldn't get the camera to turn on with my gloved hand. How do those biker-photographers do it!?? So I settled for a quick pic at a stop sign. Kampf Rd and Scravel Hill looking towards Millersburg . . .

. . . but this is the way I go

Oh and stayed dry on the ride home even though dark clouds were looming. And the wind! The wind was blowing around 35-40 mph. Still it didn't ruin a good ride. Must spend the evening practicing turning on the camera with gloved hands. =o)


Well, I hadn't planned to ride to work today. It was supposed to be showery, but when I woke up it was sunny skies, albeit with big grey and white puffy clouds. How could I leave the bike home on a day like this! So what if I have to ride home in a rain storm. I've done it before. Piece of cake. To top it off, it was even warm riding in the morning.

And the afternoon...even nicer. 60 degrees!! Almost needed my summer gloves. Somewhere during the day it must have rained because the seat was wet when I came out of the office, but it was sunny when I hit the road for home.

Wish I brought the camera for some pics

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Jefferson to Stayton Bicycle Ride

Saturday, February 28, 2009


Specs to come


Ron and I got there early, but Bev was there already. She rode in from Albany! Way to go Bev!! Ace and Jo are the ride leaders. The weather is cool, cloudy but dry. We headed out through Jefferson neighborhoods out to the highway. We made our first stop at Green’s Bridge where some rafters were loading up down in the river. The blue house was visited, and on the road once more. The next stop was at the old barn on Shelburne to decide who wanted to go the flat route and who wanted to tackle the hills. Ace, Bev, and Jerel opted for the flat route. Bill, Ron Jo and I headed for the hills. Bill and Ron sped up the hills like they weren’t even there. Jo stayed with me, as I slogged my way to the top after dropping my chain twice.

Once we were all at the top we enjoyed the view towards Richardson’s Gap took a pic or two, and got back on the road. Someone said the hills were through, but we were still climbing up a false flat (I hates those!). More riding, more views and a fantastic downhill with a nice maximum speed around 37 mph. It didn’t even feel fast. We paused at a stop sign and admired an old historic barn/farm, then off again on our way to Stayton. Earlier Jerel asked if we were going to Subway. After some discussion Subway it is. Nobody told me that Subway was several miles farther down the road! Now, there needs to be a rule about route changes that add more than a few yards to the route. Still, gotta love Subway. Lunch was yummy. When is food not yummy on a bike ride!?! We took a different route back since we were on the far end of town. Went out through Marion and back to Jefferson by that route, where we had a crosswind sometimes but a nice tail wind most of the time.

One last Hill...

Then homeward bound.


Looking back to how it started

I've been thinking that a brief introduction to my motorcycling is in order. I've gone back to look at some old postings, meanderings, what have you, on my motorcycle beginnings. So, because it's part of my story I add it now. Added Nov 09/kk
Sometime in February/March of 2008
Back in the early 80's Ron and I had a kawasaki 400. I rode on back and we puttered around during the warm weather. We sold the bike when we had our first child. 2 kids and 20 some years later, Ron has bought an 82 Suzuki GS850G for commuting and for fun. I was fully plannning to just hop on the back again, but one day we stopped in at the only motorcycle place open on a Sunday, a HD store, and I made the mistake of sitting on one small sportster, & hey! This is kind of nice!!

So now tomorrow I start my BRT class with Team Oregon that will hopefully lead to an endorsement. This past weekend we put over 100 miles on the suzuki riding around the area. I was pretty nervous at first, but by the end of the weekend, I relaxed and had a blast. I didn't want to stop, but Ron's hands were sore ( the previous owner had removed the padding on the grips) and I was chilled to the point I could no longer ignore the cold. I can't wait to go out again.

We'll be looking for a bike for me. Not the Sportster that started this whole thing, but something older and tamer. Ron is already commuting with the Suzuki. We want to do longer rides on the weekends and some light touring when the riding skills are up to snuff.

Skills Test
Well...I had a blast, and it was great weather excepting a little cold in the morning, but I didn't pass the skills part of the class. I'm still struggling to learn the controls on the bike, but mostly I think I just couldn't relax during the testing, and choked. It didn't help that I was first in line for the test. I may have access to a little ol' honda 125 and hope to get more practice on a bike before trying again. Guess I'm a slow learner but not giving up yet though...

I've got a Honda 125 until summer. The only bad part is it's a kick start. Kari's rule #1 for her next bike: no kickstarts. The little thing is really quite fun to ride though.

 April 08

Update: Got my endorsement...
...and found a bike!

I finally passed my BRT class - Yay! Two people went down during the training. Nobody was hurt, but one didn't finish. Our class killed about three motorcycles that weekend...guess we were a rough bunch. It was a very different group than my first class.

We got what is probably the usual advice: congratulations, you are now free to ride straight to the parking lot and practice what you learned!! Fortunately we are a few blocks from the grade school and just a little farther to a new development that has no houses built yet, both great places to ride.

I found a 91 Vulcan 500 this weekend. Really like the way it fits, but it's more powerful than I'm used to. It's like starting over. I got in about a 20 minute parking lot session before the rain sent us home. We've had rain, snow, hale, thunder and lightening. The last hale/snow mix stuck and hasn't cleared, so I don't think I'll get more practice for awhile. I can't wait to learn to ride the new-to-me bike, throw on a tent and take off for the weekend!

I've already started working on the stopping. The new bike is a little heavier and the brakes are very touchy. My stops have been wobbly and I've been tentative on the braking, but I'm getting better. I've also figured out that a heavier bike...it rolls backwards on any tiny incline. I never noticed that on the little bikes.

June 2008
We replaced the Vulcan
I’ve been riding my vulcan 500, but it's old and has a lot of mechanical issues,  so we found this sitting around the dealership & had to bring her home.  2006 Suzuki Boulevard C50. I wasn't really planning to upgrade until next year, but, well...you know...

I took her for a short ride this evening. She feels more substantial, but honestly I think she may be even easier to handle than the vulcan. Smooth & well mannered, just a pleasure to ride.