Monday, June 6, 2011

Catching up with May

It's been a crazy spring - It didn't bother to show up this year. My blogger muse seems to have left me as well, and I've hardly posted anything. May started so well. We had the ABCD post, and a little later a new bike came home with us one afternoon. Then nothing. So let me catch up on the month...

Sam spent a week at the shop for some general maintenance and a new chain and sprockets. She is now ready to rock and roll. Emphasis on roll. Logistics of the week required Sam to hitch a ride home in Old Blue. Her first time being hauled anywhere. I'm not sure that she was pleased with this arrangement.
Ron and I took our first ride together with him on the Nighthawk. We went in search of the new Buena Vista ferry and found it in it's place on the river. It won't be running until later this summer, but it's good to see it where it belongs. River levels are still high. It would make a brisk trip in the kayaks.
Buena Vista Ferry
First ride together with the Nighthawk
In anticipation of moto-camping trips (or maybe a nice hotel, motorcycle trip), I've been messing around with packing the bike. I only rode around the neighborhood to see how carrying gear would be, but it still made me feel like a real motorcycle tourist. No that isn't all the gear I'd be carrying. :)
Tourist wannabe
Friday I took Sam for a ride (or she took me). First stop the diversion dam a few miles out of town. I needed to fuss with an earplug, and it's a good spot for a picture or two. Too bad I blew out the highlights in the water. Typical of me when I'm not paying attention to my camera settings. Some days I just want to point and shoot.
Diversion Dam, Santiam River
Afterwords it was off to the back roads of Sweet Home and Foster Reservoir. I was up that way a couple weeks ago, and water levels were still quite low. Surprisingly on this day the reservoir looks full and a few boats were bobbing in the water. How fast can a reservoir be filled anyway?
Foster Reservoir
Foster Reservoir - Blue skies, Unbelievable!
More back roads as I meander towards home. It's a short ride, maybe 65-70 miles, but I will need to rethink how my bike fits for longer rides. Problem is, I don't know that much about fitting a motorcycle. Bicycles, I know exactly what I need, but on Sam I'm not so sure. I scoot too far forward on the seat. I think this is in part because the handle bars are a long reach for me. What I end up with is painful sitbones from not parking my butt where it belongs, or a sore back from leaning and reaching forward. It's bothersome and I'm not sure how to fix it. Start changing stuff, and then you end up changing even more stuff to make the first stuff work. It can turn into a never ending nightmare.

Saturday Ron and I took up our other two-wheel mode of travel and did a short, quick bicycle ride with the club. They went on to do either a 55 or 70 mile route, but we cut it down to 30 miles. Made it home in time for lunch and an afternoon run to Eugene on the motorbikes. I think every motorcycle in the Willamette Valley was out on the road this weekend.
The Princess
Ron has decided he doesn't want a top case on the nighthawk. He doesn't want a rack, or side cases, cuz she's so purdy and all. He's also been given to excessive washing of the bike. We now call her the Princess as she appears to be slightly vain and high maintenance. We went to look at softbag options, but haven't found the right ones yet. Ron did come home with a tank bag. It's a start. The ride was fun and ended at Starbucks for smoothies.

It was a pleasure to sit and soak up the sun. It's not that we haven't sat outside already this year. Riding gear makes it easy to enjoy the outdoors even when cold, but how nice is it to hang your jacket on the back of your chair, and just feel the sunshine radiating warmth.

Sunday finished up with one more short ride. I needed to fill the gas tank, but first I had to empty it. A quick ride along country roads should do the trick.
Larwood Bridge. My month started here with the ABCD blog
 With the warm weather there are plenty of bugs to speckle the windscreen. I find a hitchhiker when I stop for gas. I saw this guy coming. He hit me and bounced off. I did a quick panic-brushing off my jacket, but I never noticed who was resting on my tank bag. He was there for most of the ride.
We arrive home and The Princess is dirty again, so out comes the soap. I think she had two baths this weekend. It's a sad thing to witness.


  1. "The Princess", that seems like such a change from the old bike. Glad to hear that you haven't floated away with all if the rain I've been hearing about. It looks like you did get a few clear, sunny days and some two-wheeled riding in. And Sam does look good as a moto-tourist though the yellow dry bag clashes with the neon green. And it looks like it needs some chrome to be able to hang out with the Nighthawk.

  2. I agree with Richard - Sam looks good with the camping gear loaded on it. Will be fun for you to venture out on an overnight on the bikes.

    In regards to the sore behind, I find that on Max I get the same. The seat pushes me a bit forward into the tank and the 'sitbones' get tender. It helps to push on the pegs and ride with my butt a little further back on the seat. It changes the angle and relives the pressure. I lean a little farther forward but it doesn't seem to be an issue. Sore forearm and shoulder are what I find on longer rides. Troubadour also has an alaska leather seat pad from the America I might try out too for extra cushion. Not much padding on Max.

    It has been nice to see the sun. Let's hope for more sunshine and more rides.

  3. Ladies:

    All this BUTT talk and no photos. You know, that with no photos us guys don't know what you are talking about.

    I was thinking that that poor bug must be lonely. I mean, you took him away from his family. How is he going to find them again if you let him off miles away from familiar territory ?

    I don't blame Ron for washing Princess. The other bike was probably being held together with dust and dirt, and a bit of duct tape.

    Now that both of your bikes are ready for a road trip, hope to see you "On the Road."

    Riding the Wet Coast

  4. I just picked up a set of bar risers for my kawasaki concours. I know your machine is different, and I have no idea how the bars are mounted, but it was an elaborate shim system than has helped. It was about $100, and not QUITE enough, but it helped a lot. My 'gear' isn't crushed against the tank anymore leaning over. It's a treat.

    Behind Bars - Motorcycles and Life

  5. Nice journal of what's been going on! I agree with the others that you and Sam look nice all decked out with the traveling gear. Looks like you'll be doing some serious trips!

    That is too funny about Ron's washing of The Princess. :-)

  6. Wonderful catchup. I understand the missing muse and am also trying to recapture mine. :)

    I really don't understand the washing thing though. Getting a bike wet?? Soap and bubbles? Mine has caked on dust from some dirt roads over the last weekend. She can stay dirty for awhile. :)

    Road trips! Nice! Do the hotel camping thing until you start getting your packing and organizing down. (Quite fun!!)

    Glad all else is well and you are able to get out.


  7. Ron has new bike syndrome ;-) it will wear out once you guys go on a long adventure :-) Bikes are to be ridden, not to be admired :-)
    You should get raisers for you Ninja, some raise and bring back the handlebars.

  8. You live in a gorgeous area Kari! Lovely shot of Sam and the Nighthawk together too.

    You mentioned fussing with an earplug. I've been having trouble with getting a standard plug to stay in my right ear - I'm sure the ear canal is shrinking! Going to have to go back to my custom-moulded ones after giving them a good scrub.

    Great to see more posts!

  9. Dear BlueKat:

    That was a very thorough catch-up piece. Ron has a new bike and you have new riding objectives for camping or the much better alternative of staying in hotels. I have yet to find the tent that can compete with the complimentary breakfast, the air conditioning, nor the internet service.

    I only recently discovered the joy of open water ferries and motorcycling. You blog reminded me to move it up on my agenda.

    I wouldn't worry about the highlights of the water in your pictures... The bike came out all right and that is the important thing.

    My moto-writing muse is running at full tilt. I have made a great deal of progress on my new motorcycle book, and will be presenting a seminar at the BMW International Rally in Bloomsburg, PA next month.

    Fondest regards,
    Twisted Roads

  10. "We arrive home and The Princess is dirty again, so out comes the soap. I think she had two baths this weekend. It's a sad thing to witness." Great line.

    It isn't so much that my muse has gone hiding as I just seem so busy. I'm grateful for the catch-up on your May. And, thanks again for your kind words about my May catch-up.

    With the others, I think Sam looks great as a tourer. I see some future stories lurking in that picture.

    Thanks for the share,

  11. Hi Richard
    No, no, no! No chrome. Been there, done chrome. No chrome was one of my criteria for bike choices. Now the flat-black look...that I could get into!

  12. Hi Trobairitz,
    Thanks, Touring was my first reason to learn to ride, yet we haven't done much touring. Hoping to fix that.

    I think some of these motorcycle designers never bother to sit on a seat! Mine was terrible until I had it shaved down and reshaped. It doesn't have much padding for long rides now, but reshaping it did wonders for comfort...if I stay back on the seat where I belong.

  13. Hi Bob,
    Yeah, nice try! You'll have to make do without the photos! :)

    Bikes are nearly ready. Some soft bags for Ron would be nice. We have some duffel bags, so probably could get by. It's funny, but you can't get much more on a motorcycle than a bicycle. For some reason I think since it has a motor, I should be able to carry so much more!

  14. Hi Brady,
    I think bar risers may be my next mod. I just don't know what to get (not that I've looked at my options). Thank goodness I don't have to worry about the crushed gear issue - Ouch!

  15. Hi Mike,
    Well, I'm just a poser in the pic! Now that Ron has a better bike, I hope to get some real touring in this summer. :)

    He's threatening to wash the bike again tomorrow (rolls eyes)

  16. Hi Lori,

    Yeah, I can get into hotel camping quite well. I like tent camping when conditions are perfect, but how often does that happen? I'll give you a never happens when I'm camping! :)

  17. Hi George,
    The thing is he's had "new" cars/bikes yet he didn't feel a great need to pamper them. It's quite amusing to watch! Fortunately he rides the bike as much as he admires it, so it's all good.

  18. Thanks Geoff
    I can definitely say the same for you. There are some beautiful places in this world. :)

    I don't know what it is with ear plugs. I have trouble keeping them sealed, but it's not always the same ear, and some days it's not a problem at all. I'm resisting custom ones due to cost, but may have to give in and get some.

  19. Hi Jack
    All this talk of hotels. Ron and I have done one small tour. It started with grand ideas to camp out, but ended up leaving the camp gear at home and hoteling it. I'm already feeling the draw to leave the gear home again. It's not so much breakfast or the internet. I like the idea of a real bed and a real bathroom, one with hot water and that isn't a half mile away down a long, dark trail.

    I'm glad your muse is doing her job. It wouldn't due for Jack Riepe to have writer's block! :)

  20. Hi Keith and thanks
    Truthfully, I started this post about 3 times but then gave up. Finally I just wrote it and hoped it would get things jump-started again. Maybe it will work. I do feel a little more inspired this week. Now I just need to get the photography thing happening again. Thanks for stopping by!

  21. I like the moto-tourist look....maybe I'll dust off my old sleeping bag! :)

  22. Sam looks really great all packed up for the road. What a strange habit to wash a bike... but there must be a reason why she looks so shiny. I hope she won't be acting up like a Diva when being taken on a ride and getting dirty ;-)

  23. We seem to share both the blog syndrome ( a flurry of activity and good intentions followed by....silence ) and the photo thing.

    I always set out with the idea of checking settings, carefully watching composition, and all that jazz. Then I get shutter happy and just for for it.

    You sound happy, though, which is pretty awesome!

  24. Hi Ken,
    lol - Dust off the sleeping bag, but will you take it out and camp with it? :) I think I play with the camp gear more than I actually use it. I stay drier and warmer that way.

  25. Hi Sonja,
    Guess the dirt just doesn't show in the pics - only had one bath this year. I don't think she'll become a diva. Kind of like our dog at bath time...cowers and slinks away.

  26. Hi Dan,
    Yep, feast or famine. Isn't that how it always goes. As for the camera, well good intentions and all that! :) You have a good excuse though, with motorcycles rushing to the right and to the left...or straight at you...who has time to check settings!

  27. The seat on my Kawasaki 650R also tends to push me forward. I have been thinking about getting it redone by Spencers Moto Care

    Since I am tall, I would like to have the one inch higher seat, but I am too frugal to spring for the cost.

    My Cortech Sport saddlebags and tail bag (26 lb. together, loaded), along with my magnetic tank bag (9 lb. loaded) cause little or no difference in bike handling.

  28. Hi Bucky,
    lol - my husband is in the same spot. Hates his seat, but doesn't want to spend the money. Today we took our first "long" ride in a while. I think it convinced him it was time for a better seat. :)

  29. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

  30. Hi Motorcycle Madness
    Glad you enjoyed the blog. Thanks for stopping by