Sunday, December 26, 2010
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Sunday, October 03, 2010
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
I didn't edit these so no guarantees on the quality - just quantity.
This trip pushed me over 10,000 miles on the Concours since I got it in California last February. Those are pretty much all road miles since I hardly ever use it for commuting. I have to say it's been a remarkable bargain considering the places it's taken me without a problem.
There are windows in the stone walls that line up with the various peaks in the area. There's a brass compass on top with marks for the various peaks as well. It's a really interesting place. The road up to the McKenzie Pass summit is limited to vehicles less than 35 feet because of the tight radius turns.
It's foggy up ahead which is weird after coming from the sunny side. The ride over Tombstone Pass coming down here is great. Lots of twisties, good road, nice river and fall colors.
I'm just going to head on to I-5 and super-slab it home to Everett.
Perfect time of year to be here, very few people and not much traffic in the places you'd see lots of tourists in the summer.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Monday, September 27, 2010
Sunday, September 26, 2010
There was live music, snacks, vendors selling motorcycle stuff, food, drinks and even a Bandido booth selling T-shirts to support the Bandidos? There were some nice looking oyster shooters on ice. They shut down main street to cars and let you ride your bike and park it in the middle of the street. There's maybe 10 blocks of motorcycles on both sides of the street, down the middle and on the side streets. The majority are Harleys but there's plenty of other types too - so it isn't a Harley only event by any means. There were quite a few families with little kids and older folks (like me) walking around just taking in the atmosphere.
I only saw one accident - an Electra Glide missed a corner on Highway 20 going out of town and ended up in the ditch - they were putting it on a wrecker when I passed by.
I didn't see anyone acting stupid or causing trouble. The only wheelies I saw were some kids riding mini-bikes and one guy riding an ATV in a vacant lot.
I imagine the shop owners in Anacortes are pretty happy to have so many people in town spending money. I saw plates from California, Oregon, B.C. and Montana.
I took the Pioneer Highway up and I-5 back. There were a variety of stands and things going on for motorcycles on the way up there. Food/drink/music type stuff. I'm looking forward to going next year when hopefully the weather will be a little better - although I kind of like cool and some rain, or at least that's what I keep telling myself.
Saturday, September 25, 2010
I'm really looking forward to exploring that area - it looks really pretty from Highway 97 and from what I've read and heard it's a great spot for riding a motorcycle.
View Trip to Sisters Fall 2010 in a larger map
This should be a simple trip - change the oil and filter on the bike today, throw some rain gear and a spare set of clothes on the bike Monday and then head south.
Friday, September 24, 2010
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
I made it home with an hour to spare since Fall officially began at 8:13 pm local time today.
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Sunday, September 05, 2010
"Up one pass, down through the other, reverse the route and repeat as necessary! The town of Sisters makes a great start and ending point for this magical loop that offers it all. Fantastic scenery and some of the most technical riding you’ll ever encounter on public roads."
Here's a longer article Tails of the Three Sisters and the Google Map satellite image showing the Three Sisters -
McKenzie Pass is on Highway 242 and Santiam Pass is on Highway 20 on the map above.
Dee Wright Observatory is on McKenzie Pass.
Three Fingered Jack is north of Santiam Pass.
Saturday, September 04, 2010
I pulled over to the side of the road on Whidbey to eat a snack. There was plenty of room to pull over on this 2-lane road. I was a couple of feet away from the white line on the side of the road.
A Sheriff's Deputy pulls in behind me. I'm thinking I'm going to get a lecture about something - or a ticket or who knows? He asked me if everything was okay and just wondered if I needed any help. He smiled and patted my shoulder.
Part of the reason for my trip was to scout routes into Anacortes. I found a really nice spot while doing that called Rosario Beach Marine Laboratory. There's a nice beach for looking at sea things, with picnic tables, group shelter and a lady with a bunch of samples of things you can see in the tidepools and on the beach. There were a few divers there - but very uncrowded considering it was Saturday on Labor Day Weekend . There were plenty of people on and near the Deception Pass Bridge - but I don't think most people get off the main Highway 20 route and it was raining south of there - so Rosario Road was very quiet.
You get to Rosario Beach by taking Rosario Road which is about a mile north of Deception Pass Bridge. The turnoff to Rosario beach is about a mile down Rosario Road. You can continue into Anacortes on Rosario Road and Marine Drive.
Native Story. This site has pictures of the carving process.
Marine Drive has grooves in it that caused my front wheel to wander and the Concours handles pretty good on the highway. It'd be worse on a Sportster. The grooves look like a "feature" more than anything temporary. I wonder if those grooves are there because there are expensive houses on the scenic bluff overlooking the ocean and they don't want motorcycles zipping around. In any event it's just a short hop into Anacortes.
Wednesday, September 01, 2010
There are four main routes to get up there from Everett - ferry from Mukilteo to Clinton and ride up Whidbey Island, Marine Drive past Kayak Point to Stanwood and then Pioneer Highway, I-5 and Highway 9.
The first two are the most scenic and interesting. I'm thinking the Marine Drive/Whidbey Island route and then west after Deception Pass to see if I can avoid traffic jams using the smaller roads on the west side of Anacortes.
There are other more round-about ways to get there - Highway 2 East over the Cascades and Highway 20 West would be a fun weekend. Riding up to BC and taking the ferry from Tsawwassen to Vancouver Island and the ferry back to Anacortes would be interesting but would add some time sitting in ferry lines, border crossing time and the cost of a couple of ferry rides. $27.45 for the ferry from Sidney to Anacortes and $36.60 for the ferry from Tsawwassen to Vancouver Island (it's a lot cheaper on a motorcycle than driving a car - plus you get to be the first on first off).
It would be fun to spend Saturday in the Bellingham area and ride Chuckanut Drive South on Sunday morning - through Edison and into Anacortes.
Lots of choices.
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Friday, August 27, 2010
Monday, August 16, 2010
This weekend the temps got into the 90's and will today as well. That's enough to cause heat advisories for us and people on the radio reminding us that there are cooling stations available. It's supposed to cool off again though; predicted high of 79 Tuesday, 69 Wednesday and 64 on Thursday.
I've been spending a lot less time on the computer in my spare time for the last year - when I started riding motorcycles again. With three of them in the garage there's generally some type of maintenance, cleaning, checking or riding to be done.
I did some painting this weekend - deck trim and a fairing that I'd repaired, pressure washed the garage roof and gutters and found time to go out riding in between, so it was a good weekend.
Monday, August 09, 2010
Date: 2010-08-02, 7:06PM PDTI saw some young guy with a broom out in front of the place today so I think the apprentice may have already been chosen.
Apprentice wanted @ Randy’s Cycle Service (Everett)
Love motorcycles? Want to learn how to repair them, but don’t have the money for schooling? Well, we have the answer. Randy’s Cycle Service at 35th & Rucker in downtown Everett has been in the business of motorcycle repair and service since 1985 and has helped 5 different young men over the past 12 years prepare themselves for entry level positions at motorcycle dealerships. Without paying tuition, these young men learned the basics of motorcycle repair and service.
If this is something that might interest you, and you have 3 or 4 hours each day to devote to learning the exciting field of motorcycle repair and service, then give us a phone call. Our number is (425) 339-5592 and we’ll be glad to sit down and talk with you and see if this is something that would work for you and for us. We’re open Monday through Friday from 12 to 6.
Sunday, August 08, 2010
Saturday, August 07, 2010
Wednesday, August 04, 2010
Tuesday, August 03, 2010
... Flash Flood Watch in effect until 11 PM PDT this evening for portions
of the north Cascades...
The National Weather Service in Seattle has issued a
* Flash Flood Watch for portions of western Washington...
including the following counties... Skagit... Whatcom ...
* Until 11 PM PDT this evening
* heavy rainfall associated with slow moving thunderstorms will
continue to train over portions of the north Cascades through
late this evening. Small streams will quickly rise with
excessive rainfall temporarily becoming hazardous. In locations
where storms continue to pass through... localized rainfall
amounts will likely tally over several inches.
* State Route Highway 20 is the major roadway most likely to be
affected by these storms. Due to the rural nature of this
area... people most likely to be affected may be hiking and deep
in the back country of the north Cascades.
A Flash Flood Watch means conditions are favorable for flash
flooding but flooding is not imminent or occurring. Monitor the
weather and be ready to act quickly if flooding is observed or a
warning is issued.
Monday, August 02, 2010
I took a motorcycle and a lawnmower apart on Saturday...and put them back together. The KZP has a minor oil leak. I think it's from the valve cover. I thought maybe if I tightened the valve cover bolts it would cure it.
You have to take off the gas tank and move the fairing and coils to get to all the bolts. I found out two of the outer bolts are stripped - not the threads on the bolts - the head. It's a steel bolt going into an aluminum head with a low torque value (90 inch-lbs) and stripping them is fairly common. There are two simple fixes - tap it out to accept a 1/4 inch SAE bolt or use a 6mm heli-coil. I need a valve cover gasket before I do that though since I'll have to pull the valve cover. For now I used some blue loctite on the stripped bolts and tightened the rest of them to spec.
I'm thinking if I go to the trouble of pulling the valve cover I might as well check and adjust the valve lash. This bike uses shims to adjust the valve clearance - so that's bit of a pain. One shim is 5 bucks from Z1 Enterprises ($12.52 from the dealer) and there's 8 valves so it could run into some money. I have to measure the clearance and then figure out the shim size I need - so it will take some time. It's a shim over bucket design so you don't have to remove the camshaft.
The Connie uses screw-type adjusters so no shims to fool around with and the Harley has hydraulic lifters so no valve clearance adjustment needed.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
That was a good ride up the coast from San Luis Obispo to Everett. The Concours is a lot more comfortable for long rides for me now with the highway bars and peg lowering kit I can ride all day no problem.
I'm daydreaming about my next ride - thinking either Fairbanks since I've never been there or a trip that takes me to a hot springs most every night in BC, Idaho, Montana, ?.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Monday, July 26, 2010
It seemed sort of odd to me that both chain auto parts stores had the exact same price - but I think the deal is they figure not many people would shop around for a replacement headlamp. When a headlamp burns out you need a new one and you'll pay whatever they charge.
You can buy a generic H7 lamp on eBay for $5.55 and a brand name one for $8.99. That's the total price including shipping - there is no sales tax. I ended up paying $5.77 for an Eiko brand bulb which is $10.53 less than what I would have paid locally.
I'm fine with supporting local businesses but I don't feel like paying an auto-parts chain store more than a 100% mark-up on something (in this case it's 260%). No one is driving that car right now so I'll wait a few days until the new lamp shows up in the mail.
When you're buying a headlamp it helps to know the general part number or identifier. There's a lot of information on Headlamps at Wikipedia. You can usually figure out the generic name from the manufacturers part number which allows you to compare prices.
If a headlamp burns out and you have to drive at night you have to buy whatever you can get but if you can possibly get by without driving the car at night for awhile, I'd recommend checking online prices.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Friday, July 23, 2010
I don't think he recognized me as a predator since I don't smell like a carnivore. He made a wide circle away from the next campground where they were cooking some steaks.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Too bad. It was better before it was discovered.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
For the Northern states I've always thought of it as starting West of Billings and running to the top of the Cascades. Anything further West is the Pacific Northwest and places to the East are either part of the middle of nowhere (big parts of Eastern Montana) or the Midwest - although Western ND might be part of the West. The West probably encompasses parts of Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Arizona, Eastern Oregon and California. Not sure about New Mexico I haven't been there enough to get a feel.
Purely subjective on my part.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
This is in the area south of Browning north of Choteau Montana.
No cars, no people, just the sky some mountains in the distance and some beautiful purple flowers in a green field.
Lots of horses in this area.
Monday, July 19, 2010
Saturday, July 17, 2010
I've ridden on gravel but this was challenging because it was deep gravel in spots and the dust was so thick when cars passed me it was hard to see - plus it was about 95 degrees. It was a blast I almost only lost it once. I thought it was interesting that I kept seeing those rally cars on part of the road and then found out this a big race for them. This picture is of a local car - there were lots of them with professional sponsorship logos too. It's the racing where they have a driver and a navigator - that you see on TV every so often.
I have to say that Concours is one tough bike - it rode fine in the dust and vibration from the washboards and then 160 miles up here to La Grande at 75 mph and temps of just about 100 (98 in Ontario Oregon when I passed through town).
Friday, July 16, 2010
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Garden City is all about raspberries - shakes, jams, jelly, candy; but someone told me I had to get the best onion rings at the Hometown Drive-In. They were good, served with lots of dipping sauce that was sort of like runny Thousand Island dressing.