We are headed out for a trip to northern California and the Oregon Coast. We will
be getting five checkpoints on the Grand Tour.
The day is very nice with blue sky and white fluffy clouds as we head south on I-5. We
detour off the interstate to the town of Sweet Home and get checkpoint number 3. It
is at a cafe and our waitress tells us that the OR 500 is coming there too. So this
year we have a clue as to which way the 500 will be going. But from here will it
turn east or west?
We continue on down I-5 getting the checkpoints at Azalea, OR (#4) and Yreka, CA
(#5) where we camp for the night.
The next day we return on I-5 to Oregon over a foggy Siskiyou Pass to the town of
Grants Pass where we turn west. Finally we are on a two-lane road that curves and
turns. We get the checkpoint at Cave Junction (#6) where it is in a Sausage shop
that serves food. We have two excellent breakfast burritos.
When we get to the coast and Hwy 101 we turn north and stop at an iconic Oregon place. The
lighthouse (centered over the bike) is in hundreds of pictures of Oregon. We continue
north to a favorite campground on the beach. Kathy goes rock hunting on the beach
and I check out a bad sounding noise in the bike.
We have had a growl of increasing intensity today and I put the bike on the center
stand and spin the rear wheel. Yes the rear wheel gears are making a very bad noise.
We get the next checkpoint in Toledo, OR (#7) and turn east to get to I-5. We figure
if we break down it will be easier to get assistance if we are near the freeway.
We limped along in the right lane going north on I-5 with the noise not getting any
louder. It seems to have reached a plateau and is not going any farther.
As we pass through Portland I stop at my mechanic (Cycle Specialties) and talk to
Mark. He has a small independent shop that does excellent work. He agrees about
the problem and we schedule a visit to install a low-mileage-trike-takeoff rear-end
on Saturday. The picture above is through the oil fill hole of the old rear-end. The
chunks of broken teeth are clearly visible in the groove. We rode over 300 miles
with that problem. Lemonade is a very good bike, she brought us all the way home
while hurting badly.
The Oregon 500 - May 9
The Oregon 500 is another of the Rose City Motorcycle Club's runs. This one is 500
miles (800 km) in one day. It also is starting at Beaverton Motorcycles but much
earlier in the morning. Registration opens at 5 AM but Jim and I are there at 7
The route leads from Portland south on I-5 to the town of Sweet Home, OR and the
first checkpoint is also a checkpoint for the Grand Tour. We already have this one. Then
we head east on Hwy 20.
But first Jim ran wide in a curve. The front brake acted up when he gently squeezed
it. He runs into the ditch, up and down the bank and ended stuck in the mud. You
can see his track up and down the bank beside my bike and the mud hole is by his
helmet. His bike was frame deep in the mud. Others stopped and it took six of us
to push his bike out of the ditch and onto firm ground. All of us getting very muddy
in the process.
While we were working on getting Jim's bike out others were going by. One rider
was back a ways flagging traffic. But a lady on a Harley grabbed a little too much
front brake and went into the ditch behind us. He husband and father were with her
and stopped too. He bike was too damaged to continue and they called a wrecker to
come and get it. She said this was her first ride. Not a good way to start.
Although both she and Jim were thrown from their bikes in the incidents neither was
injured. That is the good part.
After dragging Jim's bike out we continued on up and over the Cascade Mountains to
the town of Sisters where we had lunch. And Jim cleaned some mud off in the parking
He cleaned a lot more off when he got home. 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.
The east side of Oregon can be very dry and hot but in early May the area is great
to ride in with it's pine trees and sunshine. After the incident I followed Jim
so that if he had any issues I would see him stop and could join him instead of running
off and leaving him behind me unseen.
The last OR 500 checkpoint is also a Grand Tour checkpoint. I do not get the books
checked because Kathy and will by here at the end of the month. We are going to
Bend, OR for our 37th wedding anniversary and this is on the way.
The end was back at Beaverton MC after dark. The scoring for the awards is very
different. The starting mileage and time from each bike is recorded. The same with
the ending time and mileage. Then the average of all bikes is calculated and the
person closest to the averages is the winner. There are also 2nd, 3rd and 4th places,
as well as smallest bike, youngest rider, oldest rider, farthest bike, etc.
Again I didn't win an award but I got another door prize, a logo t-shirt.
The official mileage was 485.6 and time was 12 hours and 2 minutes. Jim and I were
over in both categories. But then we spent 45 minutes in the ditch and 11 extra
miles when I missed a turn and didn't discover it until we were miles down the road.
April was a very busy month with lots of riding. May and June have fewer rides scheduled
but you'll have to check back and see what actually happens. The next update "Summer
Rides" will be coming probably in late June (at the start of summer).