Friday, August 6, 2010

Off the boat Aug 6

The boat exit was pretty eventless. I spent 5 days hanging out and killing time with several really nice people. While on the boat I decided that my tires were just too thin so I better find a place to get some new one. The bike shop in Anchorage wanted 100 dollars a wheel to mount and balance the tires - that I had brought up! This just seemed wrong. 200 bucks to put tires on that I already owned. Yes, I am ranting I know. Brian gave me an address for a store called Cycle Gear which was about 2 hour south of Auburn Washington. I called the store and they said they had several different types of tires that would work on my bike. Once at the store they were super helpful and set me up with a set of tires mounted and balanced for 400 bucks. I had to put the tires on the bike myself which took about 15 minutes each. While I finished installing my wheels, Les, Brian, Kit and James from the boat pulled into the parking lot. They needed to get a rear tire for one of their bikes. I offered my torque wrench to them so that they could remove and correctly install the lug bolt that held the wheel on to the bike. I knew the wrench would come in handy. After they return the torque wrench we visited and they invited me to ride down Highway 101 with them for a couple of days. I wanted to get back home but I couldn’t say no. I had planned this as part of the trip originally but figured that the traffic and cost of places to stay would be too much. When one of the guys invited me I figured it was like motorcycle fate, so I joined their group.

From Auburn Washington we headed west. If you are into rock trivia one of the towns we passed through was Aberdeen, WA, Curt Corbains hometown. The city sign has the slogan “Come as you are” as a tribute to the hometown legend.

After we got through Aberdeen we headed south down Hwy 101, which runs right down the Pacific coastline. This was one of the cooler parts of my trip. I am definitely going back to this area in the future. The Oregon coast was very cool. Alaska and Canada were also beautiful but I guess the twisty ass roads, beautiful coastlines, and temperatures in the 80s really make the road seem a lot more biker friendly. I wish I had time to ride all the way to Death Valley but I guess that will have to wait for the next trip.

The ride was very fast. I mean these guys went through traffic like a pinball. I held my own, but I must admit I spent a lot of time thinking about increasing my life insurance. I am not kidding. It was too much fun to be safe. If I wouldn’t of been riding with all my camping gear it would have been a lot easier to throw the bike around the many of the double corners. We drove up to the next town and waited at a gas station. We end that day of riding in Tillamook, OR. This was about halfway down the coast of Oregon. We only made about 350 miles this day due to the time we spent at Cycle Gear installing new tires but I felt like I had driven a about 700. Les was the lead rider of the group and I found out after talking to Kit that he had spent 20 years doing track racing. This guy could really ride.

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