Couple Bike related things happened the last few days.
I got going pretty early in the morning, stopped by the dealership at 9:05. Scheduled my 600mi service, they're not able to fit me in till the 28th. I had 514 miles on the odometer at this point. I also ordered the OEM hand guards. They totaled out to about $48.
I decided that I wanted to go for a bit of a ride. (Locations given if anyone feels like pulling up a map) I started in Gorst, Wa at Cliff's Cycle Center. I headed toward Belfair on the Old Belfair Highway. I kept going through Belfair and headed down E State Route 106, AKA Southshore Rd.
It was very pretty, the skies were clear and the water was calm. The Olympic Mountains were very prominent in the background. The entire ride I was kicking myself for failing to bring a camera. The area is so nice that Bill Gates actually has property on the waterfront in that area.
I had to stop for gas near Union, I filled the tank with 4.04 gal regular unleaded after 256.6 miles. That means I was getting just better than 61mpg! On the way to the gas station I passed Gerbing's Heated Clothing. I've heard about them before, I'm definitely going to stick them out now that I know where they're located.
After fueling I headed back for E SR 106. I followed that to its south terminus, and took a right onto N US-101. I made a quick pit-stop at Potlatch State Park soon after. While I was getting back on the bike there I happened to overhear a gentleman talking to 911 dispatch on his cell phone. He caught my attention by saying "He must have been drunk or something". When he completed his call I politely asked him what was going on. He told me that they had almost got in a head-on collision with a VW campervan that had been occupying both lanes at once. He indicated that the van had been headed north, same as me. Luckily I never caught up with the individual.
From there I continued north. I passed through the small town of Hoodsport. After that the road got very entertaining, it's essentially a two-lane beach road that follows the contours of the shore. The speed limits were 40-50 mph, I was behind a maniac in a white minivan who was going fast enough to keep things interesting. I can't begin to describe how beautiful this stretch of road is, all the way north to Brinnon it stayed spectacular. I highly recommend you go ride this road if you're in the area.
There is one particularly entertaining curve between Triton and Duckabush, there was a sight and flashing light warning you to slow down to 25mph, then the road just dropped away to the left, followed by a sweeping right. It can be seen very clearly on Google Maps just south of Yashi Rd. I think I was going 30-35 mph through it, and that was fast enough to make things interesting for a newb like me.
After Brinnon the scenery changed, you go through the outskirts of foothills of the Olympic Mountains. It is very pretty, though not as fun as the previous segment of road. This continues till you get to Quilcene.
Quilcene is a small town, if you go through I recommend a stop a the store, Peninsula Foods if I recall correctly. They boast giant ice cream cones. There are also a few restaurants, I've never eaten at any of them, but they look very nice. I didn't make any stops this time, just continued through on US-101.
North of Quilcene things got a bit boring, the road is relatively straight and flattish. I'd also started getting a bit sore at this point, I spent a few minutes sitting on the passenger seat to stretch my knees out.
There wasn't to much else special after this point. I got onto Highway 20 at Discovery Bay, then took a right onto 19 at Four Corners. I followed 19 until it ended, then took a left on 104. I followed 104 over the Hood Canal Bridge and headed home.
It was around 150 miles of riding that day, my longest day on a bike thus far. I'm going to look into a throttle rocker at some point, my right wrist was getting rather stiff by the end of the day. The Strom handled the ride wonderfully, I can't wait to go on some more longer rides. Next I think I'm going to head all the way around the Olympic Peninsula.
Sorry about the long narrative, it probably should have gone in its own post. I'll take a camera next time, pictures might make the long post more entertaining.
Friday: Payday. I headed back to Cliff's (dealership) to find a tailbag. I wound up with a Dowco "Rally Pack Deluxe Series Tail Bag". It's not the best piece of gear out there, but it'll work till I get a Givi set-up. I do have to say that the girl working the floor in was super helpful in helping me find something that met my needs, and helping figure out how to attach the bag to my rack (it's really supposed to go on the passenger seat). I also got a don't-shoot-me-orange Icon Mil-Spec vest. I plan on riding out to McChord for my next UTA, and I need a contrasting-colored reflective vest to get on-base.
I'm at 720 miles or so now, rather overdue for my service. I'm not overly worried as I changed the oil awhile ago. I just hope they don't make an issue over it if I need to have warranty work done.
'07 Suzuki V-Strom DL650
An armed man is a citizen, an unarmed man is a subject.