Friday, August 30, 2013

Eisenhower Tunnel I-70 Colorado

Dom was gracious enough to lead me to I-70 so I could start heading West.  I know nothing about the scenery and landscape of Colorado but after about 50 miles west of Denver I noticed a sign which said "Tunnel 1 mile ahead"  (or something similar)  so I readied my GoPro

I had not heard of the Eisenhower Tunnel before but here is some information for you to read 
CLICK HERE  .  It tunnels under Loveland Pass and is the highest vehicular tunnel in the United States

I did not edit/shorten this video as I wanted you to see the whole 2.7 miles of the tunnel.   It is really long and as you ride along it seems like it would never end

After you pop out at the end it goes downhill for miles with several runaway lanes for the truck traffic.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

St Andre, Quebec to Beaconsfield, Quebec

We woke up bright and early at our Auberg on the banks of the St Lawrence River.  It was Thursday, August 1st, 2013

this was not unlike a regular B&B with a difference.   We were allowed to order a custom breakfast

I decided not to order the pancakes but I found out that they really meant crepes.   If I had known that, I would have ordered them but I didn't wish to create a fuss by making a special order, so I did without

At the time we didn't realize that this was going to be a long riding day.   Our original plan was to camp near Quebec City.   On the way we had to make several stops mainly to use the facilities and to order more much needed coffee so where else except Tim Hortons

The first thing you notice when you are in Quebec . . . is that everything is in French.  The menus look familiar but I can't read them but I can paraphrase a bit and get the gist of what it means.   Actually you see lots of French in New Brunswick as they receive many visitors from Quebec

Eventually we reached Quebec City and managed to play tourists for an hour or so.   I previously posted about it  HERE  .     I am trying to show you different photos than what was posted before.  I am not much of a consumer so we just walked around to get a taste of the ambience and sit down for a quick snack and beverage before heading on

It was here that I lost my Beavertail virginity.   Yes, this was my FIRST ONE.   With the Apple Cinnamon it was a bit gooey and messy but it tasted okay

Karen had a real Poutine so I also got to sample some, also for the first time.  We both also had fruit smoothies to wash it all down.   I didn't have to do much planning on this part of the trip.  My job was to just follow my tour guide and here she is programming our next stops on Garmin Dan.

We decided not to stay in Quebec City and try to make it to Montreal before Sunset.  It was here that I sent a message to David to hold dinner until we arrived.   He posted about it  HERE .    We didn't outrun the rain.  This is why we decided not to camp as we didn't want to have to pack up wet tents.

We arrived a bit late as we took the wrong exit and ended up on a different freeway.  It was very nice of David & Susan to Hold dinner and wait for us.  I can't thank them enough for all they had done to make our stay comfortable and feed us too.    Imagine Steaks and Chicken with all the trimmings after a long day on the road.

I was not able to process nor edit my video on the road, although I set my computer up to do it.  For some reason my editing program refused to work.  I also had problems with my GoPro Hero3 but I managed to upgrade the software and this must have fixed the problem.   So as I continue to work on my videos and post them up I intend to give you a preamble to set the scene and also share more photos of that day

So here you are, video of our ride to Montreal,  recorded on Thursday August 1st, 2013

Monday, August 26, 2013

Breakfast with Biker Baby & Rich

When I was exploring the backroads of Indiana my plan was to stay around the Greater Chicago area so I could have breakfast with Biker Baby.  We had been sending emails back and forth and I missed her when I was heading East so I made an extra effort to contact her on my way home.    I sent her a message earlier in the day and I hadn't heard from her so I had to make a decision to start heading West on I-80.   The plan was to ride a few hours into the night to put on some miles but due to the Chicago Traffic and the heat I got tired and decided to stay the night in Ottawa, Illinois.   I had a nice sit down dinner and when I got back to my Hotel I got a message from Biker Baby that she and Rich would be available on Saturday morning

To make it easier she found a nice restaurant nearly in the middle from her home and my hotel so we decided to meet in Yorkville, IL.   This meant that I had to backtrack nearly an hour towards Chicago and wouldn't you know that when I got to the intersection to turn into the strip mall, they were in the left turn lane watching me

Meet Rich and Biker Baby with their shiney Harleys.   BB told me that when she bought her HD they went on a trip to California and they put on 10,000 miles.

I know we have been sending emails back and forth for some time and when we met, it was like meeting old friends

They serve very large portions here and I had to leave some food behind.  Rich, thank you again for providing breakfast for me.  Yes, that's my pancake.  I have a habit of making a crater in the middle for the syrup so it doesn't roll down the sides.  We spent a couple of hours at our table chatting about his planned trip to Alaska and the staff were in no rush to have us vacate our table

Eventually we finished and had to move on.   They decided to keep me company back to I-80

Here's Biker Baby posing beside her mean machine.

And here is Rich getting his glasses ready . . .

soon we are mounted and rolling .  On my way northbound on Hwy 71   I noticed a shell of a plane and I told them I wanted to stop there for a few photos

We chatted some more and said our goodbyes as we were just going to wave off as I found my way to I-80

Good bye Biker Baby.  It was great to finally meet you and hope our paths cross again .   Thank you both for making the time to meet up for breakfast.

Here is a video of us riding together, southbound on Hwy 71 about an hour north of I-80

Sunday, August 25, 2013

I rushed as fast as I could

but I was too late . . .

full details soon.    In the meantime    Click for HINT here

Friday, August 23, 2013

Ride to Coffee Culture, Corvallis, Oregon

Last Saturday I followed Trobairitz to Coffee Culture.   It was always my intention to get there "one of these" days and this was the day

I had problems editing Video while on my Coast to Coast trip so I am behind.   I re-installed a newer version of Adobe Premiere Elements onto my small 11.6" travel computer to see how it performs

Again, thank you to Trobairitz for coffee, a scone and an excellent bag lunch for my trip home

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Day 39: the last day of my Pacific - Atlantic - Pacific tour

I want to thank my Corvallis hosts Troubadour & Trobairitz for giving me a home for my last night on the road.  You don't know what it means to see familiar faces and recognize familiar scenery which was the reason that I was rushing to get to the West Coast.   It is only a short 8 hour ride home from here and I have done it many times since 2007.

Troubadour was scheduled for motorcycle training on Saturday so he had to leave before 6:30 am to get "the range" ready

I had always wanted to attend their Saturday morning coffee gatherings and I managed to schedule my time to make it happen.   We had two hours before we had to leave so while Trobairitz was tending to errands I was packing my bike

Soon it was time to gear up and ride over to Coffee Culture, but not before we had time to compare sandal tans

For the past nearly 6 weeks I have been on tour and confined to riding boots so I think that my tan is a bit faded but now that I am home, I will have a chance to work on it

I turn my bike around and soon we are ready for the short ride for coffee .  I couldn't help but notice how clean that Gladius was

We arrive a bit early but we were not the first ones there.  More would arrive shortly

There was also a nice selection of vintage bikes

Before we left the house, Trobairitz handed me my very own lunch bag.  There is nothing so satisfying as a home-made sandwich and other delights.  I particularly liked the trail mix with the chocolate chips, and the home-made banana bread with chocolate chips, and the chocolate cookie snacks and the apple, and the . . .

We stayed at coffee until the end and around Noon I finally had to be on my way home.   I fuelled up a couple of times then when I got the hunger pangs I stopped at the next rest area

And unwrapped the contents of my lunch bag.  It's nice to know that I am having healthy food for a change instead of fast food

    The fresh air feels soo good

I'm not in any rush today.  I am just going to ride until I get home and take my time

I eventually crossed the Cdn/USA border and arrived into Canada.  The regular border lanes are up to 80 minutes wait, but with my Nexus card it took 2 minutes.  It was my turn before I could even drag out my documents

The sun is nearly setting as I snapped this photo while riding on my final stretch.   I arrived home safe and sound around 8pm.  

Monday, August 19, 2013

Holy Mackeral. Bateman was in the building

When ever I am in the area I usually make a stop to see the most famous motorcycle instructor in the country

I was following Garmin Dan and the purple line was leading me up and down roads I never heard of before but soon I found myself on 99W northbound and when I noticed the airstrip I suddenly knew where I was and I headed to the parking lot to see if the famous FJR was there

Last year on the way back from our iMBC2012 in Hell's Canyon I stopped and the famous Bateman was not there.  His office looked something like this . . .

Yep, empty . . .

This year I decided to go around to the left side of the building and if his bike was not there, then I would just ride away.   BUT, to my surprise, this is what I saw

Not an FJR to be seen, but here he is -  on an important conference call

Here is the famous Dan Bateman, the man of steel who always rides his FJR rain or shine but today he is without bike

I know he is a busy man and I was just lucky to find him here today.  

he has become quite an accomplished photographer during the past few years and has photos decorating his walls

We managed to chat for a few minutes before I let him get back to work

I also managed to meet Pat Hahn, the author of several motorcycle books (click here) who is also with Team    Oregon.  He is currently having discussions with our friend Geoff in NZ  so I asked if I could snap his photo so Geoff would know what he looked like.

   Dan Bateman with Pat Hahn,  both with Team Oregon

Soon it was time to leave and get to my destination for the night

but not before Dan grabbed his camera

Sunday, August 18, 2013

North from Crescent City, CA

Last Friday I tried to get an early start.  My alarm rang at its usual time 5:45am and I rushed to get packed up.   Lit up my MSR Whisperlite stove to start coffee and try as I might, I left a bit later than planned.  I had wanted to leave by 7am, but I was half an hour late

It started to rain a bit while I was riding up Hwy 101 but today was going to be a short day,  only a 7 hour day to get to my next home for the night

Since I was not in a rush today,  I stopped to enjoy the foggy view

There was still a chill in the air and the heat had not burned the fog layer yet.   We are still on the Northern California coast, North of Crescent Cith but south of the Oregon border.    If I had more time I should have dipped my toes in the cold ocean water, just to say I did.

Most viewpoints are gravel but when I noticed  a paved pull out I stopped again to admire the ocean waves

and farther ahead there was the classic layering of the fog shrouded mountains in the distance.  This day I decided to treat myself to a sit down breakfast instead of my usual breakfast sandwich in a little place called Port Orford

My stomach must have shrunk as I could not finish the pile of hashbrowns and there was so much bacon I had to force myself to not waste any

By the time I reached Oregon the sun started to shine and the mist was lifting to reveal a brightening day.  Here is one of my first views of the Oregon Coast

There are many historic bridges along the coast as you head north

The ride was uneventful and I eventually reached Florence, OR and headed West towards Eugene to avoid the tourist traffic.   Little did I realize at the time that there was a big surprise waiting for me if I had continued north of Florence  .  .  .

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Basking in the cool, Pacific Coast air

Another long riding day.  Left Fernley, Nevada at 7 am this morning

I changed my plans again.   Yesterday when I was scrutinizing my maps I decided to go north on 395 or 97 into Central Oregon and then head towards I-5 to make a shorter day.    As a last minute after thought I input an address into my Garmin and the eta showed 1:30p so I quickly decided to leave right away and stick with plan A, which was to ride from Coast to Coast.  From the Pacific to the Atlantic, then back to the Pacific just to prove to myself that I could do it.

Many things conspired to push that eta back to 4pm and then eventually to 5pm, and by the time I found my home for the night it was 6:30p.   All the roads I took had road construction with alternating one lane line-ups which chewed into my time.    Then that delightful road 299 west from Redding took over 4 hours because of several construction zones.   I had really wanted to ride CA36.  That was why I was rushing the past few days but my time ran out and I couldn't spare the extra time.

I eventually made it to Eureka, CA and this is the view of the Pacific Ocean about 20 miles north,  All day the temperatures were hot, up to 35C in Redding, CA when I fuelled up.   When I got a few miles from the Coast it dropped to a comfortable 21c

As I was heading north on Hwy 101,  I couldn't pass up a shot of Paul & Babe, with my bike

I decided to make my home for the night in Crescent City, CA.    I camped on the Atlantic Coast in Cavendish, PEI and now I am camped on the Pacific Coast in Northern California.  What a fitting end to my adventure this year which was to merely go to places which I had never been before.   This was also the first time that I had ever taken a long trip such as this and the plan was to not have a plan but it didn't always work out this way.

The campsite is not near anywhere and I didn't feel like riding so I broke open one of my emergency rations, and also boiled water for a coffee.   Internet is only available near the office and not accessible from the tent area so this is not so convenient for me as I like to cuddle in my tent and work on my computer

To make things easier I downloaded, resized and selected my photos first, from my camp workstation

The tent area is nestled under the trees and this is my view for tonight.