When life gives you lemons, go ride Lemonade!

Spring Rides

Spring is about half over and we have taken several rides so I'd better get busy and write them up.  As Kathy has a new job (earning money to pay for next year's big trip) she keeps busy Friday through Monday.  That means any weekend rides are by myself.  This means that pictures while riding are going to be fewer and farther between.  But with her 3-day "weekends" on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday we will be out and about.

The Blarney Run - March 28

The first ride was a small Saturday ride on March 28 called "The Blarney Run", themed, of course, on St. Patrick's Day.  This is a small gathering to support a local food bank.  We had about two dozen bikes there.

We had a fun ride through the local rural roads on a cool and cloudy, but dry day.







I got back just as the last of the food was being put away and missed the complete pile of goodies.  O ver 800 lbs of food was collected.







Then we all ate some "Irish" stew and discussed the ride, the weather, the food bank and generally solved the problems of the world!










About April 1st we received our Grand Tour checkpoint books from the Rose City Motorcycle Club.  We have until September 30th to go to as many of the 19 checkpoints as possible.  Fifteen of the checkpoints are in, or very near to, Oregon.  The other four are far away.  This year the four are in southern California, southern Nevada and eastern Utah.  We are not planning to get any of those four this year as it is impossible to reach any of them and return to Vancouver, WA in the three day weekends that Kathy has available.  I'm showing the Oregon checkpoints in the order listed in the tour book.  (The green and red points are just the program's way of showing what it thinks is the start and finish of a route.)















As we get the checkpoints stamped in our books I will insert them in this story.  It will take all summer to do that.  Then at the end of October we will go to the dinner and see if we have won any prizes.

GWRRA WA-X Chapter Meeting Planned Run - April 9th

After our breakfast meetings on the first Saturday of the month the club plans to have a ride.  I am informed that as I suggested the chosen route I get to lead on May 2nd.  The route I suggested is through the hills of NW Oregon on 2-lane roads that curve and twist,








Then across the Columbia River on the Cathlamet Ferry.  Friends Sam and Trish have come along just for the ride.  Sam is leading on his GoldWing and Trish is bringing up the rear on her GoldWing trike.

The first Grand Tour checkpoint is on Cathlamet.  We stop and get our books stamped.






After landing on the Washington shore we turned east and headed back home.  The total ride is a little over 4 hours and about 150 miles.

Then when the meeting arrived our chapter has been invited by another club to ride with them to a veteran's hospital.  I did not go along as I had chores at home that had come along and was glad of the opportunity to complete them rather than lead a ride.




OR 250 - April 12

The Rose City Motorcycle Club, an all-brand club, puts on several poker runs as well as the Grand Tour.  This one is called The Oregon 250.  It is a 250 mile, one day ride.  The weather was good and there were lots of bikes.

It always starts at Beaverton Motorcycles, the local dealer for Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha and Kawasaki.






It led downstream along the Washington side of the Columbia River.  Along the route there are checkpoints where one gets the next set of instructions.  The first one is at the store in Cathlamet, which is also a checkpoint for the Grand Tour.  Kathy and I already have it.  Then we went on to the bridge across from Astoria, near the mouth of the river and crossed back into Oregon.  I was riding with Mark and we stopped for lunch in Astoria before heading back towards Portland on the smaller county roads.





The roads led through the same hills and curves as my planned meeting ride.  But we are running in the opposite direction and taking more roads as we have to accumulate 250 miles on this ride.









At the end we are back at Beaverton MC where John, on the platform at the left, hands out the prizes and awards.  He and his wife Char are the leaders of the RCMC.  They have been doing this for many years and the club will sorely miss them if they ever give it up.  They have done an excellent job of producing many interesting rides over the years.

And my usual luck held, I didn't get any award.  I did get a door prize.  but that is not difficult.  They have so many that just about everyone entered gets something.



ARC (Advanced Rider Course) - April 18

I like to keep my skill level up to a high. I feel that I'm much less likely to have problems on the road if I am up to date on the techniques and skills necessary to pilot a large motorcycle long distances.

Kathy and I bought our first GoldWing in 1981 and have about 400,000 miles (640.000 km) on them since then.  We had one serious wreck when we wrecked the White Dragon in Italy.  We don't want to do that again.

The class is all day and starts with about three hours of classroom and then out to the course.  It is not a fast or race course.  It is a local parking lot with some very difficult maneuvers laid out for us to try.


As watch one of the instructors demonstrates the current maneuver and then it becomes our turn.  We line up and when directed try to duplicate the instructors riding skill.

You might recognize that bike.  It is Mark from the OR 250 that is in the third picture above.  He is a certified instructor for the ARC and did an excellent job on his new 2015 GoldWing.  The class is open to all bikes and we did have one Harley.  It was sponsored by a chapter of the GoldWing Riders Association so we kind of filled the available slots before anyone else heard about it.

It was a fun day in the sun and helped me with some bad habits I had developed in slow speed turns and stopping.

 WA-I Grist Mill Run - April 19

On the next day our chapter of the GWRRA had been invited to join with Chapter I form Olympia, WA to have lunch and ride to the Cedar Creek Grist Mill.  This is over a hundred mile ride just to get here for them, and thirty miles for us.

After meeting for lunch in the town of Woodland we lined up and headed east along the Lewis River to the grist mill.






The mill is alongside a covered bridge on Cedar Creek, a tributary of the Lewis River in northern Clark County.  It was built in the late 1800's and has been lovingly restored by a support group of volunteers.  It still grinds grain using the same water system power that was originally installed.  The grain is available for purchase and we all availed ourselves of this opportunity.







Finally after much talking, many pictures and tales told it was time for Chapter I to head home.  They still had about 30 miles to get to the freeway and then about 80 miles to home.  After seeing them off we headed out also.









The Right Turn Ride - April 25

GWRRA Chapter G of Salem, OR has a ride every year that is fun.  There are only right turns in the entire run.  No left turns at all.  It starts at the Honda dealership in Salem and goes crazy from there.  If  the route really needs to go to the left it will make three rights to do it.  On county roads that can take up a few miles.  In a town it is just going around the block.




There are checkpoints along the way where one gets the next set of directions.

At registration one was given a small card that is about two inches by 4 inches and has four rows of 13 little squares on it.  At each checkpoint you get to use a paper punch to put a hole in any square.  




When the run is completed you hand that in and they lay it on a master card and see what shows through the holes you punched.  Five holes and you have a poker hand.  We ate pizza and sat around while the last stragglers came in and things got added up.  There were door prizes to go around.  I got a bottle of spray bike cleaner.  The guy to my right got a GoldWing oil filter, but he rides a Yamaha, so we traded.  I did not win any award again.

On the way home I stop in the town of Donald and get checkpoint number 2.

He also found scratches in the fairing and saddle bags, easily fixable.  And the mounts for the left side crash guard are broken.  Not bad considering what happened.

That’s a full page so on to Spring rides 2.