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Revenge of The Bugs and Da Bear

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  • Revenge of The Bugs and Da Bear

    Those few of you who have followed our (my) ridiculous effort to actually hold a WA-BC 2-West type rally this year will know that thing finally died yesterday. As the whole thing crashed at the end I decided to do a one-man mini-rally in useless but fun defiance of this sad reality. So yesterday I did a 225 mile loop up to Republic, had a lot of fun and then got poured on, and ended the evening with a scotch and a cigar at our cabin. You can read about it at the end of the Canadian-American Rally thread if you are really interested.

    Today was Day 2 of my ride and it was great. The weather was a perfect 72 f when I rolled at about noon. I headed south on Highway 21 from Republic. I immediately noticed something- a gazillion bugs were soon piling up on my bike, gear and of course helmet screen. As I observed this, I recalled that this spring and summer so far I have had the smallest amount of bug strikes on my screen EVER. I mean, ride 100 miles through farm country and not even have to clean my screen? In May and June? Unheard of... but that is pretty much what happened. It occurs to me that our long drought must have had a lot to do with this. We finally had a bunch of rain the last couple days (I know, I rode in it for a while) and WHAM- instant bug city!

    After riding only about 20 minutes my visibility through the bug carcasses was getting pretty bad. I rounded a turn and looked down the straight in front of me... and there, through the bug goo, I could see there was a black bear on the road. He was actually SITTING on his butt in the exact middle of the road! He turned and looked at me as I hauled in the brakes. I came to a stop about 75 yards from him, expecting him to start heading for the bushes. He finally stood up and then just looked at me. I beeped my horn- no effect. I started reaching to remove my gloves and get my phone out to take a pic- but then he started walking towards me! I revved the engine up a couple times, not believing what I was seeing. This was not a big bear- maybe 2-3 years old and smallish (though nice and fat). I was just starting to wonder what I was going to do next when he finally understood the situation and starting heading for the woods. I got back underway and was in third gear passing where he had been and he comes back out of the woods toward the road! Good thing he could not run at 140 mph, which I was soon doing...

    I stopped at the turn-off to Cache Creek Road, which is a low mountain pass that goes east from 21 towards the Okanogan. I intended to run up to the top of the pass (excellent twisties) and back before proceeding west. I first wanted to clear off the dead bug sludge from my helmet. While I was stopped a couple pulled up in an SUV and asked if I was okay. I said yes, and they said "watch out for bears" - they said had already seen two that morning! I told them about my recent bizzare experience and asked them to go ahead on up the pass and clear out all the cops, as well as the bears. They laughed and complied.

    I hammered the Cache Creek twisties, but in the process I noticed that the bike did not seem to be handling right. It seemed to wallow and twitch more than normal as I entered turns. This feeling persisted all day. I checked my tire pressure when I got home- all normal and the tires look good. It may be time to replace my 6 year old shock with something from Ohlins...

    I rode the three miles back north up 21 to the turn off on Bridge Creek Road. This is another low mountain pass this time going east from 21 over to the Columbia river at the reservation village of Inchillium. I had discovered this road is now paved in the spring (in my truck with snow on the road) which was a shock to me since I had explored it around 2010 and back then it was gravel. But now my friends, it is AWESOME. I was nervous that it would be dirty and chewed up from all of the fire-fighting equipment that had been brought in on it this summer (50,000 acre fire just to the north, just finally ended by this rainfall). But it was clean and smooth and a ton of fun! I will be riding that road again!

    I took the ferry across the Columbia at Inchillium, and then headed south along the river, turning after Fruitland to head south-east towards through the Spokane Indian Reservation. More good roads. I was kind of sad to get home and end this day... it may be our last decent riding weekend of the year- though I sure hope not.

    1 buggy helmet.jpg 1 ferry ride.jpg
    Last edited by gregness; 09-13-2021, 07:07 PM.
    "The Price of Speed is Eternal Vigilance" 2015 ZX14R 30th, Four Kids

  • #2
    Holy Shite. I hate bugs.

    Nice ride report. Thanks for sharing you story.


    • #3
      You were definitely a bug killing machine. That’s one dirty helmet.

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


      • #4
        Originally posted by NotDeadYet View Post
        You were definitely a bug killing machine. That’s one dirty helmet.
        The amazing thing is that's only about 25 minutes of accrual...
        Last edited by gregness; 09-15-2021, 02:57 PM.
        "The Price of Speed is Eternal Vigilance" 2015 ZX14R 30th, Four Kids


        • #5
          Totally jealous. Hope to hit that Bridge Creek road in the near future .
          It definitely makes you pucker a bit when wildlife actually heads towards you . Specially when you have no doors and thick glass around you , or a reverse gear! Suddenly you wish you had a plan for that scenario.


          • #6
            Mehush beat me to Holy Shite! Wish I was with you and thanks for the pics and report!
            My ol' ZZR1200 pics:


            • #7
              This thread bugs me
              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.


              • #8
                G, a few years ago I saw three bears in an hour in that area but not like you where I was wondering if I could do a dirtbike u-turn on a 600lb bike!


                • #9
                  We have no shortage of bugs around these parts either. Especially this year. Plenty of rain keeps them coming.
                  Riding at night, that's like being in a biblical locust swarm. You have to stop for a visor clean about every hour
                  or less, or you're riding blind. Haven't seen any bears around here, but I did spot a bigfoot at Buc-ees last week.
                  "If it ain't broke, don't fix it...
                  but sometimes it just needs a mod"