When life gives you lemons, go ride Lemonade!

Oregon 250 & 500

OR250

The weather for the OR250 was cool but dry. As usual no one from our chapter of the GWRRA went on it. But, as is also usual, Jim and Ninelle from the chapter 30 miles north of us did go. We commonly ride this together.

At the start a young lady asked if she could join us and we agreed so it was three bikes that headed out on the 250 mile run

 

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Our guest, Tammy, is on the red bike in the middle, Jim and Ninelle are on her right just backing out after lunch at the A&W.

 

 

 

 

 

 

As usual the Rose City Motorcycle Club found a scenic route to follow.

At the closing ceremonies Jim and Kathy won door prizes but that was all we got in the group.

 

 

 

 

 

 

OR500

The 500 started off with the usual row of sugar and coffee for the starting lineup. In fact each participant could have had several, the weather was cold, wet and windy and the participants were fewer than normal.

 

 

 

 

 

We started with a 100 mile run down the freeway. This is the dry part of the day. After leaving the freeway in Eugene, OR it started to rain and that continued until late afternoon when it turned to heavy showers interspersed with short periods of dry.  As on the 250 Jim is riding along with us, without his wife Ninelle (although Kathy braved the weather and is along). Also missing is Tammy. She and Jim and us had planned on riding together but the night before she and Ninelle backed out because of the predicted weather. A wise decision as Tammy does not have heated riding gear and her bike doesn’t give the protection of a GoldWing.

 

This guy made us very glad we had a motor, rain gear and heated Gerbings jackets and gloves.

At the first stop we picked up another lone rider, like Tammy in the 250. This one was a guy on a Harley Sportster. He dropped in behind Jim and tagged along. We don’t mind this at all. A single rider does not have the enjoyment that a small group does. This is not an uncommon event on these longer rides. Having a small group means less stress on reading and following the reading instructions; just follow the guy in front of you. If a rider’s bike has no good place to put the instructions so that they are easy to read and protected from the rain and wind this is much easier and usually safer.

About halfway through the run, as far from the start as possible from the start I, as leader, slowed down to verify the next instruction and Jim slowed down too. The new guy was looking off and didn’t see this until too late. He locked up his brakes, fell down and rear ended Jim’s bike. This pushed Jim’s bike out from under him, sending it across the road and into the ditch crosswise.

No one was injured; just some bumps and torn riding gear, but the new guy’s bike was unridable. The front fender and forks were jammed into the tire, flattening it.

Jim’s bike was still upright stuck in the mud and grass. Several other bikers and us hauled it out and cleaned some of the mud off. It was still good enough to ride. After assessing the situation, exchanging information and summoning aid for the damaged bike, Jim and we continued onward.

The damage turned out to be in excess of $5,000 to Jim’s bike but was reparable. He was able to order in the parts and got it repaired. But this is two years out of three in which an event has put Jim into the ditch.

This ride is not a race, in fact rushing is not helpful at all. The way it is scored is by taking every entrants starting mileage and time of leaving and returning and then computing the average of all entrants. Even with the nearly hour stop at the accident site Kathy won second place for a passenger. I didn’t win for rider because there are many more riders (especially in bad weather) than passengers. That creates more competition for the rider awards.

 

 

 

 

This is group that was there for the awards. There can be over 400 riders on the 500 when the weather is good. There were more riders than this on the run but many went home without waiting around in wet clothes for the awards. This run takes from around 6 AM to 9 PM for the awards ceremony.

 

That’s the scheduled rides for this year. A member of our club has started a program of Wednesday Rides. I am gong on several of them, or return to the 2017 main page.