Sunday morning the sun was out early. Doug would be joining me on my first Pacific Ocean loop of 2014. The Ducati is ready!
Because one of my neighbors’ cats picked the Ducati as a territory marker (he has done it twice – forcing me to wash the bike each time to get rid of the stench and to protect the bike from corrosion) I now have to set the bike up inside the garage, closing the door when I’m not there because he shows up out of nowhere to do his deed. I’m researching (google, of course) ways to prevent that behavior, but I already learned it is a difficult and practically impossible task.
I’m thinking a battery operated low voltage electric fence, like the ones used with cattle, at the right height around the bike should do it without hurting the cat. Maybe it is too much work. What about pine-sol or citric oil on the ground by the garage door or around the bike when it is outside? I’ve also heard that once a marking spot is established, cats never let go of them, and other cats start using that spot as well. Rest assured I’m not going to go as far as this guy on the video below went to stop cats from marking on his car. It is worth a watch! (no cats were “damaged” in this “humane” process, I believe).
Cats aside, the day was promising, weather forecast mentioned a dry Sunday in the area and coast. Doug showed up and we took the bikes to the gas station to top them off with non-ethanol gas. My plan is to ride enough miles to use most of the gasoline in the tank and then get a full tank of new, fresh, non-ethanol gasoline. Two things I noticed on the bike, after being in storage for four months. First was the start button getting stuck on the depressed position. To bring it back I had to remove the gloves and dig it back by its edges manually. Ducati has sent me a new button, but it has since been back to normal operation by itself so I won’t install the new one.
The second thing was condensation on the main dash area.
It went away at some point during the day (here it was already going away, only around the RPM numbers between the 2K and 9.5K numbers). But it came back on the next ride (yesterday) and also went away during the ride. I’m not too concerned about it, soon it will be dry enough that it won’t be there again. But it worries me if that will happen every winter, as I fear eventually it will damage the dashboard.
From the gas station we rode 99 north towards 34 and from 34 we went west towards Alsea. It was not raining, but most roads were wet in forested areas. We made a detour to Mary’s Peak and the road had probably just been opened for the season. It was covered by a real mess of branches, leaves, gravel and water. Closer to the top, there were patches of snow to make things yet more interesting.
Doug climbed that mountain like a maniac. By the time I got to the parking area at the end of the road, his bike’s motor had probably cooled down already. I don’t know how he manages to ride so fast on treacherous pavement conditions but then slows down on dirt roads. He probably thinks the same about me, but on reverse, how do I ride faster then him om dirt and chicken out on pavement under certain surface conditions.
The views were really clear. Sisters and Mount Bachelor at the Cascades.
It was cold up there, just above freezing. We went down the mountain, towards Alsea.
Doug suggested we had a cup of coffee at Deb’s Cafe in Alsea. Good idea to warm up our hands on a hot coffee cup and stay indoors for a little while. I had started with minimum heat on my hand grips, by the time we stopped at Deb’s Cafe at had it on medium. On my way back from the coast I had it on maximum.
We met two fishermen at the cafe, working their way to get steel head trouts. Once they heard about my connections with Brazil they wanted to know about fishing over there. I recommended Argentina to the south, instead, for fly fishing. They talked about expeditions in the tributaries of the Amazon river, a completely different experience than fly fishing in southern Argentina. I’ve never been to the Amazon region in Brazil except for an airplane fuel stop once, and it was at night.
We continued our journey towards the coast and eventually found our way to Yachats.
We had lunch at the Ona restaurant, where else. When we left the restaurant we encountered persistent rain. Great weather forecast, where is the “promised” dry Sunday?
Nothing to do but carry on. We made a stop at the Heceta light. Now it is the “getting wet” type of rain as it is really coming down. And Doug pointed out to me that he does ride in the rain (a remark from my comments on two of our last Steens adventures). Well, he really doesn’t like riding in the rain on dirt roads. And you know, between you and me, he is right.
Anyway, he has been hinting that he wants to ride my Ducati and complaints I’m not letting him ride it.
- He already rode one bike exactly like mine when we tested the Multistradas 2010 and 2013 back to back in February 2013 (it was reported here) so why bother riding it again?
- If he buys the KTM 1190 (which he talked about in the past weeks and now he dismisses it) I will gladly exchange bikes with him for at least one entire leg of one of these rides. That would be a fair exchange wouldn’t it?
Anyway, there we were, the wet bike and the Heceta Lighthouse.
And it was nice to see it working on low visibility, how lighthouses are designed to operate.
We continued south under steady rain to Florence and from there we went east to Mapleton where we stopped for “clear” gas as some people call the non-ethanol gas.
Soon we were on 36 for the home stretch. The further from the Ocean we got the less rain we encountered. I got back home at about 5 pm I believe.
It was great to be back on the saddle. The bike performed really well.
This ride took place in February 2014, and it was a great reminder for why I got this bike in the first place. This ride was long overdue, since, except for the few miles the day before, I had not ridden since October 2013, which makes about 4 months without riding this winter! Well, at least I’ve been riding my bicycle to and from work.
Next will be the ride I did yesterday, with Doug and Ricardo. Same loop.