Author Topic: About to head Olympia to Berkeley and back  (Read 328 times)

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Offline Salish14

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About to head Olympia to Berkeley and back
« on: September 25, 2019, 04:38:57 pm »
Hey folks,
I suspect those of us who read this part of the forum are inclined to longer trips, and I thought I would post here that I leave tomorrow for a trip from Olympia down to Berkeley for the Cal football game. Ill take I5 down, which is such a great experience on a bike, compared to a cage, even though it is slab. But coming back there is a cold spell hitting the West and potential snow at Siskiyou Summit will probably push me over to the coast coming back.

For those not on the West coast, this is about a 1,500 round trip. Will be spectacular.
We sit together, the mountain and me, until only the mountain remains.

2008 ABS Silver with 30,000 and counting

Offline robertv

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Re: About to head Olympia to Berkeley and back
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2019, 08:55:38 pm »
Safe travels!! Hope you have heated/rain gear as you're well aware of the weather systems approaching. Many colleagues and friends are Cal bear alumni so i'm guessing you're the same. Post photos of your trip when you're back!  :beerchug:
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Offline HeavyRotation

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Re: About to head Olympia to Berkeley and back
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2019, 02:49:45 am »
Hey folks,
I suspect those of us who read this part of the forum are inclined to longer trips, and I thought I would post here that I leave tomorrow for a trip from Olympia down to Berkeley for the Cal football game. Ill take I5 down, which is such a great experience on a bike, compared to a cage, even though it is slab. But coming back there is a cold spell hitting the West and potential snow at Siskiyou Summit will probably push me over to the coast coming back.

For those not on the West coast, this is about a 1,500 round trip. Will be spectacular.
Even if it snows, Siskiyou pass at Ashland will be clear. I drive that way all year for a decade, it's very very rarely snow on the highway. Look at the tripcheck website and click on the camera for real time conditions. Im heading to Ukiah from Eugene in the morning and snow is the last thing I'm worried about.
I like sheds and ninjas.

Offline Salish14

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Re: About to head Olympia to Berkeley and back
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2019, 03:00:02 pm »
Well I'm back after what turned out to be a ride dominated by incredible weather.

The trip down began with heavy clouds and drizzle on Thursday morning leaving Olympia. Suited up for cold and wet. The rain stopped when I got down to Portland and I had it dry and increasingly clear through Oregon. Then something incredible happened. Through Oregon my temperatures were mild, in the 60's and 70's. I hit Siskiyou and dropped down, and my temps went 70's, 80's, 90's! By the time I got down to the valley in Redding I was riding through 100 degree temperatures. They've been having a heat spell in NorCal. So off goes the clothing and open goes the jacket vents. By the time I reach the Bay Area that evening, the air conditioning was on. When I dropped into the Bay, the temps dropped along with it, from 100 to 90 to 80 to 70 to low 60's. The fog was pumping. It was an 11 hour ride and other than a sore a** I had no difficulties or close calls.

After having a great time in the Bay seeing family and such. Oh, and yes, I am indeed a Cal alum, getting a BA and BS from them back in the day. Love Cal. So on my way home, I knew there was a cold wet front hitting the PNW, and for a change of pace, I decided to head up 101. Such a great ride. I took 101 on Saturday afternoon, enjoying a sunny and beautiful ride up to the redwood parks near Eureka. Camped.

Then on Sunday, I headed further north on 101 and the rain started. By the time I got to Crescent City and US 199 to cross back over to Grants Pass, it was cold and pouring. That ride along the beautiful and windy 199 would be incredible, but what I experienced was heavy, heavy cold rain and a gripping ride avoiding heavy water on the road, gravel and poor visibility. By the way, I was glad I treat my visor with Rain X for plastic. Does as good as can be done. Still, hard to see in those conditions.

I hit Grants Pass finally and considered calling it a day, but checking the forecasts further north told me it should dry out. So I headed on, and eventually came all the way back home. This day began at 7:30 and ended at 6:30 for another 11 hour ride. When I got home I was a shell of myself, stood in the hot shower forever, ate a light dinner, and went to bed.

What a great trip!! Enough adventure to stir the spirit and the landscape is stunning. The bike never blinked and remains a trust steed. I have really liked the Metzeler Roadtec 01 tires I have on. Taking so many tight and twisty turns in horrible conditions reinforced my confidence in them. Never a slip.

Funny story: I was slabbing back up I5, just cruising along in the fast lane doing about 85 along with everyone else, oblivious, when we happened to pass a couple on a Harley. For all I know, this poor due felt emasculated by seeing another rider pass him by. Next thing I know he is gassing his piece of crap for all it is worth, and weaving dangerously among cars with his lady on the back. Noise and fury! Noise and fury! He must have got it up to 90! Finally, he catches me and passes me, and then gets over in the slow lane again. The traffic somewhat cleared at this point, and I happened to get up near him again. At this point I will just say that something happened and I was soon 1/4 mile in front of him with no noise or fuss or smoke.  God I love my Connie.

P.S. The photo, to please the photo people, is me and bike at family in Oakland. Sunny in the Bay.

We sit together, the mountain and me, until only the mountain remains.

2008 ABS Silver with 30,000 and counting

Offline mtnbandit

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Re: About to head Olympia to Berkeley and back
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2019, 04:48:17 pm »
  Great write up Brian. One of those rides you'll remember for a long time.
  Sure is great riding country, even in the rain and cold conditions.
  Brent
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Offline Red Fox

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Re: About to head Olympia to Berkeley and back
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2019, 02:03:11 am »
Good write up!  Thanks for the photo - yeah, a lot of us are visual guys.
TryCities, WA.    2011  C-14, silver;  62,000 miles.

Offline robertv

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Re: About to head Olympia to Berkeley and back
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2019, 08:03:39 pm »
Thank you for sharing that excellent ride report! Always fun to read and live vicariously through another person's story. 

 :great:

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Offline HeavyRotation

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Re: About to head Olympia to Berkeley and back
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2019, 03:02:34 am »
Ha, i was in my hotel in Fortuna while you were in Eureka. I headed back south on Sunday and didn't get rained on. 400 miles on the Lost Coast on my dual sport. Love me some Northern California.
I like sheds and ninjas.

Offline Salish14

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Re: About to head Olympia to Berkeley and back
« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2019, 12:58:33 am »
A note on gear for those interested. I used my top case, and also added a SW Motech DryBag 350 on the rear seat. It held my camping gear and is a great piece of gear. I use a magnetic tank bag, for easy access to water and snacks and such. I'll also note that I happen to have one of the brake light modulators that blink your brake light for 5 seconds before going solid, and I couldn't help but feel that helped me in the horrid conditions on those mountain roads when the cars would occasionally get too close for comfort.



We sit together, the mountain and me, until only the mountain remains.

2008 ABS Silver with 30,000 and counting

Offline Bumblebee

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Re: About to head Olympia to Berkeley and back
« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2019, 04:52:38 pm »
Thanks for the report.  I always find these interesting.  I rode down both those highways (101/5) about a hundred years ago and reading about your trials and tribulations makes me think that it is high time I do it again! 
BTW, I like your jacket.  Who makes it?   
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Offline Salish14

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Re: About to head Olympia to Berkeley and back
« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2019, 11:21:38 pm »
Thanks Bumblebee. The jacket is an Olympia. It's been good, for the price. Good ventilation and has taken a beating. Got it on Revzilla. I may replace it in kind but will look around too. What I really need are better pants. My current pants are not fully waterproof and a wet crotch is guaranteed if it rains hard enough. Gotta love those wet crotches on a long ride eh?  :??:
We sit together, the mountain and me, until only the mountain remains.

2008 ABS Silver with 30,000 and counting

Offline Bumblebee

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Re: About to head Olympia to Berkeley and back
« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2019, 07:22:50 pm »
Thanks for the info!  Love the hi-viz stuff.  I'll take a look at these as soon as I get the chance. 
Re pants.  Oy!  Two years ago I got caught out in a veritable typhoon (ok, not really a typhoon, but really, really bad) and came out of it pretty much the same as you. Soggy!  I informed Joe Rocket of the fact and they were good enough to replace the pair I had with a new pair.  In light rain, they seem to work fine, but I have not run into the same severe weather since so I really cannot recommend them wholeheartedly.  Good luck with your search.   
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Offline HeavyRotation

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Re: About to head Olympia to Berkeley and back
« Reply #12 on: October 08, 2019, 05:57:58 pm »
Thanks Bumblebee. The jacket is an Olympia. It's been good, for the price. Good ventilation and has taken a beating. Got it on Revzilla. I may replace it in kind but will look around too. What I really need are better pants. My current pants are not fully waterproof and a wet crotch is guaranteed if it rains hard enough. Gotta love those wet crotches on a long ride eh?  :??:
It took me about a year to find a used Roadcrafter that fit me well, best $400 I ever spent. Really increases the number of shoulder season days you actually want to ride.
I like sheds and ninjas.