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Launching Hard Parts...


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This has been a tough winter for riding. Okay, maybe wet and not so tough-maybe I'm turning into a sissy in my old age. Nevertheless, several miraculous events occurred simultaneously that urged us to get on the motorcycle!


Valentine's Weekend, no rain for three days, and no busy plans for neither of us during those days. So, we packed up, jumped on Bikeopotamus, our venerable R1200GSA and blasted down the coast. Our mission? Visit some friends, see some unbelievable scenery, eat some good food and just spend some time together.


Riding the coast is breath-taking, but it demands attention. US 101 below Gold Beach has some serious slippage. On one of the apexes, I hit a fissure hard enough to launch one our our hard bags. Marina exclaimed, "We lost a bag!" and I glanced in my rearview mirror to see it tumbling merrily down the middle of the lane, eventually coming to a stop on the double yellow line about a hundred yards from where it fell off.


Marina retrieved the box and walked it over to where I was parking. A moment later, a car pulled in with a wheel that broke from hitting the same bump. Not good, but we sensed a mini adventure in the making, and we learned some fun facts about aluminum side cases:


Aluminum side cases are not very aerodynamic, but they do tumble very well. They are tough. As you can see, the reflector is scuffed up and there are two pretty sizeable dents on the back side. Otherwise, the case seems good; it seems to still be waterproof as well! Also, another fun fact is to make sure you check your locks carefully. I trhink that case may have flown off due to "operator error." :dopeslap:




Fortunately the grandeur of the Oregon coast made us soon put the side case incident in the background. Miles of fog shrouded, misty gray inlets punctuated by the ragged branches of huge fir trees made the ride south a feast for our senses


All too soon we were in Brookings and enjoying Jan and Sharon's hospitality. We also caught up with friends Bill Iffert and Gary and Nancy May. You couldn't find nicer people on the coast. Dinner at "The Rice Bowl" was excellent, as was Jan's home cooked French Bread the next morning


Fortunately next morning the rain still held off. At Jan's suggestion we rode through the redwoods towards Grant's Pass, OR. Near town we veered off and motored along a very scenic OR 208 to Jacksonville and on to Medford. We loved Jacksonville-it was a jewel sitting in the coastal mountains. The town had a great vibe; the stores were all open, lots of coffee places, restaurants and other retail establishments told us Jacksonville was a vibrant, cheery, fun, clean place to live and work. I'm sure we'll come back one day!


OR 99 took us into Ashland, OR. We found the Inn where we were staying, got changed, and decided to walk the main street. Ashland is an artsy, affluent town known for its Shakespeare Festival which begins in March and runs through the summer. Fortunately we were winter visitors, so the room rates were low, and the restaurants were not packed. All the brisk walking and riding, turned us into very hungry visitors. About three pounds of Sushi and then homemade desserts and coffee at a local bakery took care of our hunger!


The next morning was a Gerbings kind of day....38f under a weak, watery sun. We layered up, hopped on the bike and decided to make some time north before cutting over to the coast. Blazing up the interstate at 70 mph at 38 degrees, and we were fairly warm. My hands suffered, but Marina reported her heated gloves in conjunction with her heated jacket did the trick. Thanks, Gerbings!




We make a left onto OR 38 for sixty miles of clean, curvy asphalt which terminated in Reedsport. Still not much sun, but the temps came up to the high 40s and very low 50s, which made a huge difference. My eyes quit watering from the cold air blowing into my helmet, and my fingers actually started to warm up! So, we decided to head south on US 101, rather than north to home. We stopped at the Sourdough Bakery in Winchester Bay where we bought some wine, lunch and visited with a couple of young guys traveling the coast in an old VW Westfalia. Good kids-we enjoyed our time. While we were at the bakery the woman behind the counter asked me spin a wheel for a free gift. Okay, so I won a $25 gift certificate, good for a future purchase.


Worked for us!


By now the sky had taken on that flat, gray color that normally means rain. We headed north seeing the scenery in a new light. We zipped over hills, around curves, and rarely had to slow down for RV or truck traffic. It was wonderful!


All too soon we downshifted into Newport. We rode through the bayfront, savoring the views of fishing boats and the impending rain.


A few miles further down, the rain began in earnest. We turned into our driveway and ducked into the garage as Mother Nature opened the faucets!


Scenery, fun, friends, weather, food, it was all good. Until next time!

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I once had the right hatch pop open in a left hand curve. When it opened, it functioned as an air brake pulling me towards a drop off. The door tore off. The contents stayed with the bag as it had a strap holding the bag in.


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I once had the right hatch pop open in a left hand curve. When it opened, it functioned as an air brake pulling me towards a drop off. The door tore off. The contents stayed with the bag as it had a strap holding the bag in.


Wow, talk about having to do all the right things at once to keep from going over the edge. Amazing!


Where did this happen?

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