Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Home. Let's do it again.

<>So yesterday I got up at the crack of dawn (actually, I didn't: the sun gets up too damned early. But I was on the bike by 6 am) to ride from Seattle all the way to San Francisco. Not quite Iron Butt, but close enough I probably just should have thrown in a few hundred extra miles to get the pin, or plate frame, or whatever.

A lot of people told me not to do the trip in one day. Several people told me I "couldn't" which is probably why I "did." And now I've done it and can say: never again. That sucked.

I made quick work of Washington. Washington is beautiful, and I got on a cop's radar just once (that I know of, but I'm pretty sure that if I didn't see one, I would have gotten pulled over). He was sitting in the median with his hair-dryer pointed at me, and I grabbed a bunch of brake. Somehow I got away with it.
I love all the rivers and bridges up here.

Into Portland after french toast, with the best intentions of sticking to the speed limit all the way through to at least Medford. Yeah, right! I'm an incorrigible speeder, and my speedo creeps toward 80. Another cop on the median outside of Eugene, he points at me too but I've just slowed down from one of my marathon speeding/passing sessions.
Red lights flash behind me on the other side of Eugene, and I see I'm done. Boo. But I pull over and he keeps going. Yay! I win!
That's a sign. That I should speed more, right?

Stopped once in Oregon for gas. I am getting the best gas mileage ever, I can only assume because the traffic is so smooth. People in Oregon and Washington know how to drive! Pass on the left, move to the right. As I get closer to California though, the traffic gets worse and worse. It's not that there are more cars, it's just that more of them are "hanging out" in the left lane. Where they DON'T belong. There needs to be a law against trucks passing on uphills. Omigod. I am so good, I am NOT lanesplitting at all.

It gets really damn hot and I peel off all the extra layers. It's not enough; I am near California. Up a nice little mountain, and "welcome to California" Aha! And now I start speeding for real. Down the twisty mountainside, weaving in and out of the cars. (just because you bought a car that looked fast in the ad doesn't mean it should reside in the "fast lane")
There's a cop at the bottom, but again, he has just missed my REAL speeding. heh. Two more cops within 50 or so miles. Fuckers. But somehow I am getting away with it.

It's fucking hot in California and there are too many cars. All sitting in the left lane. Now I'm weaving, and my gas mileage has dropped dramatically. There's a huge backup in the pass by Shasta, which I fortunately am able to lanesplit. Fuck those other states, there's no way I'd give up lanesplitting.
Somehow I missed the 505 and ended up going all the way out to Excremento. Whatever, I was home by 10, in time for the Simpsons. Most importantly, there was a Guinness left in the refrigerator. Yay!

So that was the first long trip by myself, first long trip on the SV. Here's what I learned:
- I LOVE Seattle. I already knew that. But I'll never live somewhere that I can't lanesplit.
- The scenic route through Oregon was nice, especially the Dunes. But the rest of the coast up there- never again. Too many flurking RV's. And that was on a Thursday morning!
- Bring extra keys for everything that takes a key.
- Things I can’t do without: electric vest, MP3 player (with earplug speakers)
- That windscreen is cute and all, but it’s never going on a long trip with me again. I’ll leave it on for around town, but I’d rather ride naked than have that fucking thing blow ALL the air directly at my head all day. I found that if I popped my head around the side, or leaned up and back, the wind noise it created dropped a lot. Kept wanting to take it off but couldn’t figure out how to get it home without breaking it.
- The “long way” scenic route is often quicker since there’s less traffic, and more speeding.
- Seattle to San Francisco needs to be two days: For one thing, it’s scenic if you do it right, and it blows if you do it wrong. Also, a ride that long and boring is just a recipe for speeding tickets. I have no idea how I made it home with my license intact, but I shouldn’t push my luck.
- I MUST go ride the Washington forests again. Mt. Rainier was beautiful, and I just got a little taste.
- I should have planned more of what I wanted to do in Portland and Seattle before I got there.
- I have a new favorite bar. It is very far away. Boo.
- I want more road tripping.

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