Saturday, September 3, 2011

Easy Riders

Summit between Enterprise, OR and Clarkston,WA
Yesterday, I rode in almost 3  states (we skirted Idaho for 88 miles but never crossed the border) on the longest ride ever on my motorcycle. 395 miles. I enjoyed every single minute of it. 

We left Richland at 10:00 a.m. and met up with a good buddy on our way out of town. We left our house with a plan but it changed. That's how we roll. With a thermos full of coffee, a container of zucchini bread and a full tank of gas we headed towards Elgin and ended up in Clarkston,  WA and then home 12 hours later.

I love this photo our friend, Doug, snapped. Gene and I visited this very same summit 10 years ago almost to the day when we began our relationship. It is only coincidence that we ended up there yesterday but I couldn't help but think about all the fun we've had from then until now.

I learned some new things yesterday. First, I have way more tenacity than I give myself credit for. If I had given it too much thought, I would have balked at the length of this trip. I was a frozen popsicle by the time we rolled our bikes into the garage last night but I'm an Alaskan ... I am Ford tough.

I learned from Doug how to put my hand up over my eyes to shield the sun so I can see the road when riding directly west at sundown. Can I just tell you that I couldn't see anything except Doug's red tail lights. My stupid photo-gray glasses didn't get dark enough to be effective. It was scary but at least I've been riding long enough to feel very comfortable riding one-handed.

A must-have for long distance rides
Doug showed me some of the tricks he keeps in his saddle bags. I was impressed with the baby wipes for those times when a biker simply can't find a good rest room. He had all kinds of cool stuff in his bags and now that I have bags on my bike, I just gotta go shopping. 

I learned that women can be in the lead. At one point in our ride yesterday, the guys couldn't decide who was going to take the lead so I rolled my wrist and went around to lead them for a time. It felt good! After a while, they encouraged me to lead and it broke the trip up a bit to move positions. You need that when you are on a long ride like this.

Doug and Gene
I learned that some people are just easy to ride with.  I would ride with Doug again any day of the week. He obeys the laws and he doesn't mind pulling over to take a break. Among several pull-overs, we stopped twice to eat and once to get a fancy coffee and harass the counter girl. She was a good sport.

We are heading out for another long trip tomorrow to Mt. Rainier with a large group. It will only be 340 miles tomorrow. I'm glad I got a trial run and know that I can do it. Tomorrow, we'll have the sun at our backs the entire day. What a relief.  Doug will be riding with us and I'm sure it will be every bit as fun as yesterday. I just hope my muscles get over the torture I put them through yesterday. 

Oh, I learned one more thing. Taking two Tylenol before I hit the road works wonders. I need to put some in my saddle bag because I could have used two more before the day was over. I'm convinced that is the only reason I could sit on that bike so long.

love, susan


  1. What fun!!! I have never ridden, but have always wondered what it would be like. I'm trying to get my brother up here to AK, so he can rent a bike in Anchorage and drive around Turnagain Arm and down onto the peninsula. He loves to ride, and I know that trip would be amazing for him!

  2. Oh man, it looks and sounds AMAZING. I want a bike so bad. I have never ridden my own and really want to. I love hearing about all your rides and adventrures.


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