Saturday, July 25, 2009

Border to Border Ride Day Nine

Day Nine
Start – Astoria, OR 8:05am
End – Sutherlin, OR 8:55pm
You’ll notice the time it took to travel a relatively short distance is inordinately long. It’s because we rode on a Sunday and thusly the biker gods did smite us.
The day started out well enough. Apparently in Oregon it is illegal to get your own gas so Jared had to run my credit card for me. My savior. (Ed. Note: He wasn’t foolish enough to actually try and pump my gas like he would have done had I been in a car. So he just took my card from me, ran it through the slot, gave it back, and handed me the pump. What a guy!) Then we got to ride over a 1.8 mile bridge. Not as cool as yesterday but long bridges are still awesome.
After that we rocketed through some pretty wicked sweepers, loving the weather and the view. Lots of green trees and smooth roads. We climbed and stopped at an overlook to take some pictures looking down at the Pacific. Gorgeous and clear. We’ve been amazingly lucky with weather so far. (Ed. Note: I swear, during the ride this morning I actually thought to myself, along with we’d been so lucky with weather, that we’d been lucky as far as mechanical troubles. Just the Vision needing a boost. I do believe I cursed us, like a batboy talking to a pitcher during a no-hitter. “Hey, why you sitting all by yourself? Did you know you’ve got a no-hitter going?” Noooo!)
60 miles in and Lillypad’s V-Star started getting clunky and grinding. (Ed. Note: We didn’t know there was trouble. At a stop sign a mile before she said something to Papa Rocket, but he either didn’t hear or didn’t understand. We launched into some more sweepers and she quickly fell from view, as she does. We stopped at a pull-out to wait for her and when a bunch of cars passed but she didn’t we got worried. Papa Rocket went back to investigate, leaving Stitches, Too Good and I to wait. Not fun.) After further investigation Master Mechanic Too Good declared the bike unridable (Ed. Note: A word, which, according to Word, is not a word.). We were stuck at the turnout, waiting on AAA.
As we waited on AAA we also had to figure out where to take the bike and what to do from there. After much discussion and iPhonecalls it was decided Lillypad’s family could help us out with a truck and trailer. Now, to wait.
And where do we wait? Fred Meyer! Just a jump down the road is a tiny little town with one of these horrendous eye-sores. (Ed. Note: A Fred Meyer is a Super Walmart on steroids. They have everything. And when I say tiny little town, here’s what I mean: We thought it might be fun to see Transformers while we were waiting so we set off to find the theater. It was showing the movie. Once. At 6:30pm. The town was so small the theater owners said, “To save money, on the weekends we should really only show the one movie we have here once a day. The whole town fits into the theater anyway.”) Four hours inside Fred Meyer is enough to drive the most stable people insane. We are not the most stable people. Too Good and I diagnosed ourselves with SOSMS (Sudden Onset Slayer Moment Syndrome (Ed. Note: “Hi, my name is Dirtbag and I have SOSMS. You may also. Do you find yourself walking down the street, talking to a friend, or just sitting at home, when suddenly you break into a short, intense bout of headbanging and, possibly, air guitar or air drum playing? Does this happen at random and sometimes inopportune moment of your day, possibly in the middle of and ruining job interviews, dates, or sex? Then you too may have SOSMS, the most metal of all diseases.”) and we all realized the only way Too Good would be the first to be ready to go would be if we sat around for an hour first. Also, the first and only time Lillypad led during the entire trip was when her bike was on the back of a tow truck.
So we went from incredible off-the-main-road coastal riding to trapped in Tillamook, OR (Ed. Note: Yeah, the cheese place.) Bummer, no one’s fault though. Finally help arrived in the form of, surprisingly enough, Santa Claus in a truck with a trailer. He loaded the bike up, Lillypad and Stitches climbed in, and they were away, leaving Papa Rocket, Too Good, and I to make our own way to the hotel. I feel bad for the girls. No one wants to be stuck in a pickup with Santa and one of his helpers for four hours, even if they are helping us. (Ed. Note: I later heard to story about their ride in the truck and feel so badly for them. Let’s just say Santa drives like an idiot and he and his elf’s conversation on the way back wasn’t much better. Yeah, let’s just try to leave it at that. On a completely unrelated note, anyone seen Deliverance?)
We took off right behind them, quickly passing and getting back into some wicked sweepers. I felt locked in and rocking. The road was great and would have been even better if the dangerous woman in the Suburban would have gotten out of our way. Instead of sermonizing from my soapbox yet again on the proper cager etiquette in this situation I will merely do a little dance on it then step down.
Because of the lateness of the day we only took the sweepers for about 30 miles then bumped over to the freeway. This is both good and bad. Good because we could then open it up to 80 and get where we are going before it gets dark, and bad because this isn’t supposed to be about getting there quickly. Oh well, we were all Fred Meyer-crazed at this point and ready to be done with the day. (Ed. Note: And Papa Rocket is getting old and doesn’t see so well at night any more.)
It was, by far, the easiest riding day due to the long stretch of freeway riding. After all the 300+ mile days we’ve had, 275 wide open is a piece of cake. And the freeway ain’t so bad. Papa Rocket got to show off the spaceship some more, (which he let me pilot the last 50 miles…fun! Heated grips are a completely unnecessary extravagance…and wonderful.) and Too Good and I got to mess with cagers. (Ed. Note: No, I won’t go into details. Just think unshaven biker with a flip-up helmet and a weird sense of humor pulling up next to your window.)
The trip is not dead. It sounds like Santa is going to pack the V-Star onto his magic sled and take it back to southern California and Lillypad is going to ride on the spaceship with Papa Rocket for the remainder of the trip. That’s better then we thought it was going to be.
Back in Kalifornia tomorrow. So soon? Damn.
275 miles today
3110 miles total

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