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First Ride of 2020

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  • First Ride of 2020

    Today it was 60 degrees here in Spokane, and less than 100 miles from Canada on March 21 that is about as good as it gets. So I rolled out my bike and prepped for a ride, and just after 1:00 I headed out. I did a 180 mile loop up north and west over to the Columbia river at a little place called Hunters; then rode down the river to another wide spot called Fruitland, and then headed back inland through the Spokane Indian Reservation along a road I had never been on, but Tex recommended. It roughly follows the Spokane River east towards Spokane.

    I stopped in Hunters- the road over there from the Chewelah valley climbs a low pass in a little mountain range over to the Columbia, and at the top of the pass there was still a touch of compact snow here and there, and the temp dropped to 51; lots of snow from the previous weekend under the trees, so a warm-up break was in order. Check out the old Hunter Service garage in the pics below. The place does not look like it has been open in 50 years. Out front we have an early Corvair coupe in decent shape and a 60 el Camino in desperate shape. The old Union 76 gas pumps state that regular is 36 cents a gallon. Off to the side is this early 1930's steering wheel Cletrac bulldozer. God knows what else is stashed inside and behind that place.

    After getting a snack, warming up and changing to my light weight gloves, I headed south along the Columbia to Fruitland. I was basking in the relative warmth of 62 degrees, and soon I hit the road that headed into east into the reservation . More in a bit...
    Last edited by gregness; 03-21-2020, 08:08 PM.
    "The Price of Speed is Eternal Vigilance" 2015 ZX14R 30th, Four Kids

  • #2
    So the road across the reservation goes through the little Spokane Tribe village of Wellpinit. I pronounce that "Well, pin it!" When I rode up the east side of the reservation earlier in the day I did in fact find a place on Hwy 231 where I could pin it, and the big Ninja rolled up to a buck-sixty pronto. I was surprised at how quickly I was going absurdly fast (that happens on the first ride of the year) and even with nothing but wheat fields on either side of the road for a flat straight couple of miles, I reeled it back in and stayed on the south side of the ton (barely)for the rest of the day.

    I need to thank Tex because the road through the reservation was the best of the day (and the best I have found within an hour of my house). I was unable to "rail" at all though- with snow and 14 degrees just a week ago, the roads had been plastered by the state workers with dirty sand. It was really dicey in some places, with just a 2' wide (if that) strip of clean pavement down each side of the lane, and if you crossed the line of crud (sometimes more like a berm) to the other side of the lane, you had better be vertical and off the gas!

    I stopped an took a picture from a view point, looking south out over the Spokane River. It was the warmest it had been all day, at 63, and there were a fair number of folks down on the shore and out in boats. I guess the sunshine and vi-crisis got everyone out of the house today! I rode on and crossed the river just below the last dam on the Spokane before it flows into Lake Roosevelt and the Columbia. From there it was a short ride back to the little farm town of Reardan on Highway 2. Highway 2 is the oldest highway that crosses Washington State, formally created in 1915. Just east of Reardon, about 15 miles from Spokane, there is a place where about 3 miles of the first version of the road, a narrow strip of concrete that shoots out through the wheat fields, was abandoned for the re-routed version of the road that has been in use for at least the past 50 years. I thought it might be fun to go check it out- you can see from the picture that even though it is cracked and falling apart, it still runs straight and true across the prairie. Because the old road now serves as a driveway for a couple of farms, it is open though basically untraveled- so I took no risk parking my bike across the middle of it for the photo.

    It was a great day and I am looking forward to riding this area again when the roads are clean and the weather is a bit warmer.
    Last edited by gregness; 03-21-2020, 08:17 PM.
    "The Price of Speed is Eternal Vigilance" 2015 ZX14R 30th, Four Kids

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    • #3
      Sweet - great report and photos. I’m jealous.


      "I tried being reasonable, I didn't like it!"

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      • #4
        Good to see you got a ride in, Greg! Thanks for the detailed write up; I got my map out and followed along. Yesterday, I came across a Motorcyclist article about a 1984 Ninja 900 and thought of you and your bike
        My ol' ZZR1200 pics:
        http://zzrbikes.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_itemId=156883

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        • #5
          Cool!

          Greg sure hasn't changed much
          I have neither the time,or the inclination, to explain myself to a man, who rises and sleep under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner, in which I provide it. I'd rather you just say 'thank you' and go on your way.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by spedxprt View Post
            Good to see you got a ride in, Greg! Thanks for the detailed write up; I got my map out and followed along. Yesterday, I came across a Motorcyclist article about a 1984 Ninja 900 and thought of you and your bike
            Boy that brings back memories! I had three of those things.

            G
            "The Price of Speed is Eternal Vigilance" 2015 ZX14R 30th, Four Kids

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            • #7
              Great little ride.... thanks for sharing , can smell the pine trees just reading your story ! Love the pics .... .

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              • #8
                Great read.
                "If it ain't broke, don't fix it...
                but sometimes it just needs a mod"

                Comment


                • #9
                  Enjoyed The ride report. Enough to spur me into action. On Sunday the wife and I hopped on board the old Concours and went for a ride. We don't have any exciting roads so it was more of a scenic ride in the open spaces to the east of Orlando.

                  The first thing I noticed was how few cars were on the road. Sunday around here usually is busy with lots of traffic, workdays are absolute congestion. Today we were one of only a handful of bikes out on the road and traffic overall was very light. Early on in the ride I needed gas so pulled into a station, a BIG station. At first glance it looked like they were closed since there were only two cars in front of the store and none at the pumps. But I pulled up to the pumps anyway and was surprised to see that they were on. I was there for ten minutes or so and not one other customer came while we were there. We rode for a couple of hours through the countryside at a mellow pace, just enjoying the ride. The weather was clear and sunny with temps in the mid 80's. This area of the country has had a severe lack of rain for the past few months and we are probably nearing drought conditions. A lot of the vegetation was pretty brown in contrast to the normal green and lush of springtime. We visited a spot about 20 miles from the coast that we went to frequently 30 years ago. Back in the day it was referred to as Rocket City. It was a community in the middle of nowhere that was meant to house employees and their families that worked at NASA. There were roads built in a grid system that took up probably 20-30 square miles. Utilities were put in for water, electric and drainage control. The space program never took off as expected and the people never came. We had miles and miles of empty roads that we raced and did speed runs. There were thick woods, and open spaces that used to be pastures. There were many small lakes that we fished. We drank beer and shot guns. And we never had any fear that we were disturbing anyone, or would be hassled by the man. Sunday was a different story. There were businesses, a gas station, a golf course, and lots and lots of houses. The roads actually had an occasional car coming and going. It was strange. It speaks directly to the growth that is occurring here in central Florida, and to why I want to get the "H" out of here.

                  Our only excitement came when a convertible Porsche rapidly approached from the rear and passed us. I fell in behind them and we cruised along at about 30-40 over the limit for a few miles until he made a turn that did not fit our plan. Nice little adrenaline rush. I asked the wife later if she was bothered by the turn of speed. Her response, "no, I just put my head down cuz my helmet was moving around too much in the wind". She definitely does not share my need for a little action. It puzzles me at times, but demonstrates very clearly that we do not all think alike. We finished the day off at the previous mellow pace. The Connie is buried back in the garage where it will likely sit for several months before I feel guilty enough to take it out for an exercise run to keep the battery charged and some fresh fuel in the tank. A shame because it is such a nice bike. It should get ridden more.

                  But tomorrow, tomorrow I will be on an R6 mixing it up with a friend that has a hotted up FZ1. The wife will be staying home for that one.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by mehush View Post
                    It speaks directly to the growth that is occurring here in central Florida, and to why I want to get the "H" out of here.

                    I hear the heart of piedmont region of Georgia is a great place to live ;)

                    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geolog...tate)#Piedmont



                    I live a little over an hour away from Blood Mountain/Suches.

                    The Connie is buried back in the garage where it will likely sit for several months before I feel guilty enough to take it out for an exercise run to keep the battery charged and some fresh fuel in the tank. A shame because it is such a nice bike. It should get ridden more.
                    If you ever want to get rid of it, let me know.

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                    • #11
                      Glad you got out for a little ride Mike.

                      We are locked down here in Illinois and the weather currently sucks. Warming up but raining. Supposed to be beautiful tomorrow but of course I have to work

                      BTW Your wife is so different from you because she has "one of those and two of these"
                      I have neither the time,or the inclination, to explain myself to a man, who rises and sleep under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner, in which I provide it. I'd rather you just say 'thank you' and go on your way.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Thursday here suppose to be 82 and not raining.
                        Mmmmmm, sounds like a day off to me.
                        "If it ain't broke, don't fix it...
                        but sometimes it just needs a mod"

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by CHARLIE View Post
                          Thursday here suppose to be 82 and not raining.
                          Mmmmmm, sounds like a day off to me.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Mark View Post

                            Mark, looks like we're both good for the next 3, maybe 4 days. Your area
                            looking ok too. Gotta do something while we can't go back to work, (for us Monday)
                            I'll be doing some riding the next few days. Looks like maybe a run up to Mt. Cheaha
                            for me.
                            "If it ain't broke, don't fix it...
                            but sometimes it just needs a mod"

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by CHARLIE View Post

                              Mark, looks like we're both good for the next 3, maybe 4 days. Your area
                              looking ok too. Gotta do something while we can't go back to work, (for us Monday)
                              I'll be doing some riding the next few days. Looks like maybe a run up to Mt. Cheaha
                              for me.
                              I'm taking off work Friday for another 6-8 hours of riding: https://zzrbikes.com/forum/general-z...85#post1204185

                              If you're feeling frisky, Blood Mountain is 3 hours from Mt. Cheaha.

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