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Found 166 results

  1. Lorne

    79 Df-I05584hdr.JPG

    From the album: 2014 California

    © Lorne Black

  2. Every year I take at least two long out of state trips - usually associated with vfrd in some fashion or another, this last year 2011 was no exception. August is usually the time sombody organizes a PNW rally, usually in Canada or in Oregon - Superfunk, Choco, or Didit being the characters most involved with that in the last 3 years. I try to come when I can, time and money are the only thing holding me back, and usually those things are not so bad. I am thankful to have a decent job with lots of Personal Time (PTO) as they call it - I usually dont take time off for other things at all so it accrues rather generously for me for the most part, and I love my motorcycle adventures across the USA and Canada - perhaps in the future that will expand to other places as well, I have still a lot of the USA to explore, and Northern California was on that list for this trip. I decided in this blog entry to just write about the "getting there" part and include the video above of the Old Spiral Highway to show you all why I wanted to go! The roads in the Pacific North West are simply superb - and along the way too. The company I keep is second to none - most of this is true about VFRD members I have met, but this group is special to me since we have one hell of a good time together. http://www.vfrdiscussion.com/forum/videos/491/osh11.mp4 I did all my usual getting ready to ride stuff, oil change, new tires, check over the bike, do any scheduled maintenance, and pack - then unpack and remove any crap I don't really need and then do it again, (because most of the time you don't need half the stuff you bring). I remember meeting a guy on an Aprillia a few years back, stock seat, full leathers, did not even bring a back pack, just stuffed some underwear under his seat and brought his phone - he borrowed my charger even - NOW THAT IS SPARTEN sport touring. I have not yet come to that - no I bring at least 3 changes of clothes, cameras, mini lap top, phone, extra gas - (veefalo she has such a small tank), walking shoes, and shaving kit - OH AND TOOLS. So well I have not made that jump just yet! However I have come along way! He was riding from Oregon to Laguna Seca with lots of places to get stuff along the way, me I usually have to travel across some great expanse to get to where I am going with hundreds of miles between gas stations. Well anyway back to the story - I called my buddy Jack, a guy I met in the winter who rides a Connie 1998 vintage and hes a real character, perhaps not the fastest guy around but fun to hang out with for sure, and long in the tooth and gray as hair can get. I like him. He tells me meet up in Cripple Creek so we can take advantage of the $2 casino breakfast - Cripple Creek Colorado is about an hour away from my house in the mountains behind Pikes Peak and its a gambling town. So Jack and I sit down and bullshit over ham and eggs and an orange juice from a can (hey it was $2!) and then we take off toward hwy 50 to go ride the Black Canyon. Its an easy day, nice and sunny and a bit hot actually, Jack is riding close enough and I am not pushing it so we are having a good time, up and over Monarch Pass - its a good thing we were going slow cause a rare state patrol officer was on the pass in full patrol mode. My radar went off just as I had slowed down to get behind a car, I was ready to pass at the first opportunity so I got lucky. I did not say I was riding like a saint, I just said I was not riding as fast as I normally do, I had a bit of fun going up and down the pass. The thought of Jack behind me rolling along kept me from really burning it up and perhaps getting a ticket, I am not used to seeing State Patrol on the pass, usually they are in the plains down below and close to Gunnison. We stopped in Gunnison for a sample of brew at the Gunnison Brewery (eww not so good) and a bite to eat and took off cause it was so so to not so good! Cant say I enjoyed that meal but Jack kept me entertained as usual with his stories. Hes got a lot of them and they are pretty good ones, the dude knows motorcycles thats for sure. Then we hit the Black Canyon and had an awful time there too cause well they just chip sealed the damn thing and left all this loose chip all over the place and so it was more like a dirt bike ride then a sport ride. Oh well we decided to forgo the Grand Mesa when we got to the stop at the half way point and just turn around and make up some time, the road was not much fun in that condition and to keep on going at that pace would have had us in Grand Junction at 9pm. The first 3 miles of the Canyon were good but after that NO. So we just slabbed it from the Black Canyon on over to Grand Junction, we found a cheap motel and Jack talked the guy into $25 bucks apiece, and it was worth about that HEH. Oh who cares I slept good, and we went and got a great steak at wwpeppers, it was incredible - my boss told me about that place and it was worth the $$! Cheap room = good meal money! Then we walked over to the local brewery and had some excellent beers and talked up the sassy bartender, she was a hoot. Jack was in his element, funny as usual. In the Morning we took off early, I split with Jack and headed to Utah, I decided to make a morning trip into the Colorado National Monument right there on the west side of Grand Junction I thought I had gotten there early enough not to pay but they got me on the other side! Then speeding over the Interstate to get off and do Douglas Pass at incredible speed, I was having fun, but boy there was a lot of cars on it? One every minute it seemed but no cops! Most going the other way, so I did not have to pass too many cars. Into Utah I grabbed some lunch in Vernal and enjoyed the stuff on the walls, some really nice guns on display. Then I took off over the Flaming Gorge and had some fun riding up and down that, its really pretty the sand stone rocks and the cool blue water. I shot over the pass and around that road all mired in RV's and Harleys. Shot past so fast those RV's with that big 12k cc engine pounding out the miles one by one - passing was just a matter of rolling on the throttle in 6th gear even up hill it was more then enough torque to get around those RV beasts, but the HD took a shift down to do that. It is mostly slab from then on, until I got to the Sawatch mountains, I was rolling into Mountain View Wyoming, just in the Utah notch there coming in and out of Utah, you got to go through Wyoming a bit - anyway the Radar was blasting so I slowed it down to a crawl and sure enough the local sherrif deputy was sitting in a ditch were you cant see him and hitting everything - he pulled out and followed me till I pulled in for gas and and just wanted to see the bike. Turns out he owns a 2006 vfr and wanted to see the new one, never heard of vfrd though? Jeez the word is not spreading! I dont think he is an internet type of guy anyway. So I pushed on over I-80 into Utah again and turned off Evaston to go ride the Sawatch. I took no pictures from here on to Ogden UT cause I was pushing for time and really really enjoyed coming down why 39 it is a fun road in the mountains east of Salt Lake, mostly nice sweepers and good chip seal. I like chip seal when its done right - its grippy as all get out when done right. Ogden is not my favorite place, big bad uncle sams bankers work there and its sort of just a strip mall with no so great resturants, well I haven't found any yet to put it more accurately, I found a decent motel and camped out for the night. I was on my way to Boise, and to spend a day with my Uncle Lonnie there, but on the way I would stop in Albion Idaho to my favorite resturant in Idaho - the Sage Brush Inn It was a slow day so the owner came over and sat with me for a half an hour and shot the breeze very nice guy and he told me about this place called the city of rocks about 10 miles south of Albion I should go an visit, it is a rock climbers dream, world class climbers come from all over the world to scale the rocks there he said so I went and took a look! It was mostly hard packed dirt road - that is untill I climbed out of the park and into the valley below then it was chipped rock spread out over hard packed dirt road and slippery and slidy for 20 miles. I had a death grip on the bars cause it would slide out way too easy - but after 10 miles I relaxed and got used to the loose feeling a bit but damn dont let off the gas or use the brakes cause then you were tank slapping your way though 2 inches of loose rocks! I was glad to be back on the interstate after that and just cruised up to Boise and there my I met my uncle at his door, he let me in and we spent a good day catching up on things. The next part I will continue later, the ride to meet my Canadian riding buddies!
  3. Last summers August adventure had already started, (see previous blog post) I had made my way to my uncles house in Boise after spending a restless night in Ogden UT, a place I am not so impressed with - being that it is the home of the IRS, or at least that is the place where I sent my tax returns? I was surprised at how pedestrian the place was - not nearly as nice as SLC just south of there, but not ugly by any means - its just the opposite of Colorado the mountains are on the east side! I am used to them facing the other way, but mountains none the less, I dont quite feel grounded without mountains within sight. After a ho hum meal at the restaurant next door, I decided to forgo any evening entertainment and just hit the sack and get up early and get to my uncles place in Boise, shoot I already wrote about that part - Albion Idaho - I should note the restaurant I like in Albion is called the Sagebrush Grill, I got it wrong about 20 times on my last blog post. In any case I made to my Uncle Lonnies place and we spent a day together catching up with the goings on in the Mayo clan, him? ~ not so great just another one of the many many folks in the "land of the laid off" currently looking for work, hes an IT professional who formerly worked for the state of Idaho as a contractor, that's the worst part about contractors - the contracts run out. So we went over to his favorite bar and shot the breeze for several hours and I met most of buddies. It was nice hanging out with Lonnie, I have never really spent that much time with him before other then Christmas and Thanksgiving surrounded by everybody else in the family. So the next day I had one more solo trip up to Coeur d'Alene. Thats a name I cannot spell to save my life. I always have to google it first! Coeur d'Alene, Coeur d"Alene - freaking frenchy names get me every time! Just like the Cache La Poudre in Colorado, just means lots of snow! They can make a turd sound good, or Grand Tetons - you can guess what that means! French place names always seem to resolve to something usual. Oh but NOT Coeur d'Alene, that was a name given to the local indian tribes by French fur traders and it means simply Heart of an Awl. Hey for once a name that has some thing a bit more interesting, it means "heart of an awl"? They found the locals to be shrewd traders apparently, but the indians they called themselves by the name the Schitsu'umsh which brings us back to stupid names again, it means (The people who are found here) aww jeez! I might as well be called "fat dude on a bike"! So I found every twisty road that lies between Boise and Coeur d'Alene on the map and took it, I headed a bit backwards at first going up to Idaho City on hwy 21 a great twisty road that finds the tightest twisties just south of Lowman Idaho. The road is a bit bumpy and in need of repaving on spots, lots of repairs but I took it fast, catching and overtaking several bikes along the way RV's and what not, I was having a good time on that road - then I turned west at Lowman and headed along a river bank, winding along with even more cars and RV's - it was the weekend and it seems all of Boise turns out to go to the mountains - that road was too short and soon I was on hwy 55 heading north to McCall, a good road if it where not for all the traffic! Thats the main road north in Idaho so there really is no getting off it, just plug away - I found it useless to pass the cars since there was so much traffic up ahead I was just wasting energy, it was more then I could see, once out of the mountains and onto the high plains the highway department slapped up 30 mph signs all over the place for 40 miles as they chip sealed the road - of course not on the weekend so NO CONSTRUCTION CREWS OUT but the cops were - handing out tickets for speeding over 30! I just sat behind a car that had gotten fed up and took off, I hung back far enough to save myself if the cops should see and well a rabbit is a rabbit is a rabbit, let the coyotes get the first one out of the gate! It was like this all the way from the point I turned off to McCall, all 64 miles of crawling along at 30 miles per hour, I was going insane! Finally in McCall I pulled off for gas. At gas stations the Veefalo seems to be a draw with its beautiful lines or some say ugly lines! I had to talk to every idiot who had never seen a bike before in their whole lives! Already irritated by the 2 hour ride up there - the obvious questions and idiotic warnings from total strangers about how "dangerous motorcycles are" - proved to be more than I could take. I retreated into my helmet and pretended I could not hear what they were saying to me. Hand gestures to my ear - just get back into your car woman and leave me the hell alone! Yea yea OK I will ride safe yea OK thanks - as I sat there waiting in line behind the next guy for a free pump, trying not to notice she just stuck a cell phone up to her ear as she drove off. Some people don't understand that unsolicited advice to a motorcyclist is not welcome! Especially if your going to get in your car and drive off with a cell phone to your ear! I hit the Detour button on my GPS since McCall was a total parking lot at Noon on a summer Saturday, I found an offshoot road to the west and was so glad to be free of that nonsense! I was a bit exuberant when I found some twisty roads just west of town and got on the gas and started to dip the bike into the corner, just in time to hear my Radar detector go off and a sherrif flashed me with his lights as I went past at some twice the posted speed limit! OPPS I saw him begin to turn around but I rounded the next tight turn and got on it hard! HEH the sight of open road ahead sort of shot down my hopes of getting away but to my surprise NO SHERRIF was behind me now? I guess he gave up and did not want to do any paperwork, its one thing to hit it in tight twisties and another to try to get away on a strange road that is strait as far as I can see! I thought I was toast! Well that was good for a thrill and it certainly took the foul mood right out of me, a scare can do that for ya! I was happy to be alive and enjoying the open road again! I pushed on up to Coure d'Alene at a better pace, I found a great road called Greer road, after Koosia pass I was really finding some nice roads now, Greer road Cavendish road all northern Idaho roads seem to be pretty good. All in all it was a great day of riding minus that McCall Nonsense, I had a good day soloing, but I was ready to ride with friends, I made it to Coure d'Arlene in one peice and thats where I met Radar, Fay, Craig, and Didit. We were about to go on another great adventure in the summer of 2011. Full Size Stay tuned next up - the Spiral Highway, stators, Rattle snake grade, Enterprise - ALL OF OREGON.
  4. I really look forward to my summer trips, saving up and planning for the winter to get on the bike and roll across roads I have never been on or rarely get the chance to see. This past summer I took a trip to Northern California by way of Utah, Idaho, Oregon, and Nevada some 4000 miles on my vfr1200. This is the continuation of the trip left over from my last blog entry. I had met with Radar, Didit, Fay, and Craig and we were starting out the day in Redmond Oregon, with our destination for the day to be a sleepy little place called Shady Cove where the rest of our party (Axle7, Tammy, and Jeff) was going to meet up with us. We headed west with a little bit of slab to Sisters Or, it was a very scenic bit of slab and out in the country a bit but very pretty. Didit lead us to this funky road called the McKenzi highway into a volcanic lava field that cut right into it ending with a very tight down hill section that was fun if a bit cautious since it had gravel strewn into all the right hand tight turns. Seems Oregon has its share of Yahoos to that cant keep their tires on the pavement and toss a bunch of dirt and gravel up into the road! Full Size Didit was still having issues with his stator so he was riding without his headlight plugged in so we decided to stay off the main roads and go down some serious back roads to avoid getting stopped by the police. The Mckenzi highway was a bit narrow and the trees came right up to where the pavement stopped so I took it a bit cautiously till I could get a feel for the road, I turned on my camera a bit for some video. So we had a great time rolling down the McKenzi Highway and we originally was going to head over to Eugene and then roll back to Crater Lake but instead we turned off at Rainbow and headed down this incredible road called Aufderheide Dr that skirted the edge of Cougar Reservoir - a fun road with deep long extended turns in and out of the hills that had me scraping pegs - Radar led the way and kept up a challenging pace - then it headed up the mountain side and into some shady tree lined back roads that just kept going on and on and on. I was having a blast, we saw some kind of wildcat cross the road on a rare strait section and then we stopped at the end to check out a neat little covered bridge in the village of Westfir Oregon. Then we rode another 5 miles to Oakridge and stopped for breakfast at some tiny little cafe called Mannings Cafe and had a very good breakfast. 2 hour already into our ride it was shaping up for a great day of riding - I got the tip to ride that Cougar lake road from http://www.oregonmotorcyclist.com/ - a great resource for the motorcyclist planning a trip into one of the best motorcycling states in the country. So after that we had a hundred more miles or so of strait slab till we could enter Crater Lake National Park Crater Lake was a hoot, goofing off quite a bit we played around the park for a good hour or so then headed down the road to Shady Cove to meet the rest of us! Not much of a narrative this time but the photos speak for themselves
  5. Lorne

    Hwy46, California

    From the album: my trips

    Heading inland from Cambria, California on Cal-46 in 1994.

    © Lorne Black

  6. From the album: my trips

    Atop Sonora Pass en route to the 1998 WSB races at Laguna Seca, California.

    © Lorne Black

  7. Lorne

    near Joshua Tree NM

    From the album: my trips

    I spied this interesting rock formation along Cal-247 just north of Joshua Tree, California in 1994.

    © Lorne Black

  8. From the album: my trips

    Southbound on PCH, looking towards Point Sur. This after the last 2-smoke Grand prix at Laguna Seca in Sept. '94.

    © Lorne Black

  9. Lorne

    PCH view

    From the album: my trips

    Taking 5 on the PCH near Jenner, California after a touch of vertigo.

    © Lorne Black

  10. Lorne

    DfB05300 Hdr Sm

    From the album: 2014 California

    © Lorne Black

  11. Lorne

    71 - Bodega Bay, Cal

    From the album: 2014 California

    © Lorne Black

  12. Lorne

    72 - Bodega Bay, Cal

    From the album: 2014 California

    © Lorne Black

  13. From the album: 2014 California

    © Lorne Black

  14. Lorne

    63 - along PCH

    From the album: 2014 California

    © Lorne Black

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