Ride report: Wetleather/OBS Gather, August 25-27, 2006

What a wonderful weekend, I truly enjoyed every bit of my first
Gather. Thank you to everyone who made it a great vacation.

No drops or close calls, about 800 miles. Total Lucky mileages is 4256.
The gallery album of pictures
Bri and Lark stopped at my place Thrusday night on their way down and
we had a nice dinner, chats and scotch tasting.. Then Friday morning
pulled out of Portland around 10:15am. We got on I-84 E to 205S to get
on Hwy 224 (clackamas river road). Took that all the way to Detroit
lake. It was a nice ride. Then in Detroit as we were getting off the
bikes a woman in a forest service truck came over and asked which way 
we were going. She wanted to warn us about the police cadets shipped in 
just to catch speeders in the areas where the fire trucks are going.

Then hwy 22 all the way to 126. There were some good curves and nice
scenery. We took a relaxed pace the whole way down. Around 4ish we
pulled in to the Mackenzie shell station where we ate at the
Aufderheide run to cool off and get gas. As I was getting gas I
noticed a guy in an Aerostich riding a Guzzi. I didn't recognize the
bike but I knew it just had to be a Gatheree. So I walked over and
asked. Sure enough it was Shank who I met for the first time. As we
were getting off the bikes I saw MiG, Steve, JC and Hmarc all pulling

Then on to Hwy 19. I'm embarrased to admit I did not know until we got
on it that it was the same road we had done a few weeks ago with
Shasta's Aufderheide party. I was all excited to try yet another new
road in that area. Heh. It was fun though. I sure like that road. We
took a very relaxed pace and eventually pulled into camp around 5:30
or 6.

I somehow found the best camp site of all, not sure how you all missed
it on Thursday :) Had a private view of the lake with my own private
path leading just to my tent. I unpacked and looked around and my tent
was _filled_ with stuff. I couldn't believe I carried it all on my
bike. Sorry for all my packing anxiety but all your advice and my
deliberations really helped.

Friday dinner was great. I had volunteered to help but didn't get
there til right when they were almost done. I finished unpacking and
ran up there just in time to help serve salad. What a great way to
meet everyone right away. I was suprised how many people I already
knew. After that I was pretty tired and went to bed relatively early.
Of course not before engaging in various and sundry party type

Saturday morning I must have slept in cause breakfast was almost put
away by the time I got up there. Very unusual for me since I get up at
6am without an alarm clock on  weekends usually. Had some cereal then
tried to find someone to ride with. I was for some reason _really_
raring to get on the bike and ride fast.

JC and Brett were going to show me some hanging off and clutchless
shifting aspects of racing that I wanted to learn. Brett had offered
to let me ride pillion on my bike and show me what it could do since
he used to race ninjettes. Unfortunately it didnt work out but Im
going to take him up on it at Pass the Oyster. I tried what they
described and it worked. Just load the shifter and let go on the
throttle slightly, the clutch just shifts automatically then. Not sure
Ill do it regularly but it is interesting.

I just wanted to ride so bad I didn't want to stay and miss everyone
taking off. Brian Bucknam and Hmarc had been talking about Newberry
Crater  (Caldera)  ride the night before and it sounded like a road I
couldn't miss. I really wanted to do 19 and 242 again but didnt want
to miss a new road I had never done before.

They were not lying. It was a terrific road. Smooth pavement, nice
sweepers, clear view through the curves and not too much traffic. Not
as twisty as I wanted but it was really fun and quick. I got to work
on my leaning off technique and late turn in to see through the turn.
It was really fun and I was on Brian's tail pretty much the whole way
up (he was tired though). Then lunch at Paulina lake where we just
happend to run into Phil and Debb Kopp and Gary Wasserman.

After a pleasant lunch we left about the same time but Brian and I
went up ahead (I had to show him my passing technique cause he didn't
know I'm ok with double yellow passes if the road is deserving and the
traffic moreso.). I dont know why people underestimate the Ninjette.
It was soo much fun coming down that we had to turn around and do it
all over again. I could have done it again and again...

I had a motorcycle first on the way there though. Putting gas in the
tank I was moving around getting situated and pulled the lever out so
it pointed at the side of the tank instead of down then opened it up
and the gas splashed back into my eye, mouth, helmet all over the tank
and seat and instrument panel. I was suprised it didnt sting at all.
The gas guy was a rider and quickly got me a bunch of rags and helped
wipe off the bike. duh. My helmet finally stopped smelling like gas
about 24 hours later.

Saturday night was a lot of fun. I wasn't too tired to enjoy the party
this time. Got a chance to connect with a few people I havent seen in
a while and a few I hadnt had a chance to talk to much before. I love
talking about motorcycles and riding and made a point of talking
about them _alot_.

I even rode a mini bike that Dave Morgan brought. I figured it was
about the only bike I could test ride so I had to do it. I hopped on
(the drinking probably didnt help so much with the judgement part) and
when I got down to the lower area and it started going into a tank
slapper and I was target fixating on a shiny pretty bike parked on the
side I suddenly realized I didnt have any gear on and it would really
hurt if I fell. So I did what I would do on a normal bike. Off the
throttlel, relaxed my shoulders and looked where I wanted to go. Yay,
disaster averted. But it was scary and one lap was more than enough.

JC was in full gear waiting to ride when I got off, they were timing
laps by this point. He came around the corner the fastest of anyone.
Then tried leaning this little bike over and lowsided down the hill
toward the lower area. No harm done and luckily Dave Morgan should be
able to fix the bike pretty easily. It provided some entertainment for

Dinner was _Deeee-licous_! Thanks so much to everyone for the great
BBQ ribs, corn, beans, cols slaw, bbq sauce and chicken. Mmm. Mmm.
More drinking and telling of tales the rest the night. I hope Tim
makes it home  OK with his Battery juice issues. I wish I had gotten a
picture of his John Player Norton, it was in really nice condition and
cool looking bike.

After a brief stint at the Truth and Dare game I was just too tired to
participate and I went  to bed relatively early again cause I was
excited to do 19 and 242 on my way home.  although as many people
pointed it, 242 isnt exactly on the way home. I didnt care. I figured
I had so much fun last time I had to do it again.

Sunday morning I woke up earlier. I completely missed the rev-off. My
ear plugs and distant camp spot made it so I didnt even know it
occured. I had a little yogurt and packed up my stuff on the bike.
Brian had agreed to do FS19 with me (aka Beths Favorite Road aka
Aufderheide) on his way to the coast. I was going to do 242 on my own
if I felt like it then take 20 to I-5.

We ran into Steve Lewis and Jocelyn at the Oakridge Chevron, doing the
same thing I was. Eating. I realized I needed a bigger breakfast to do
a long days riding.

Then onto FS19. I had soooooooo much fun. Too much probably. I had
gotten Lucky leaned over all the way on the Newberry crater the day
before and today  was really having fun in the twisties. I shouldn't
take all the credit. Lucky _really_ _really_ likes twisties. The
tighter the better. I had to pass Brian early on. He kept looking at
the scenery and slowing me down! :) Apparently I kept a good pace
cause I led the whole rest the trip.

Then he decided he wanted to go up 242 and take 20 as well. That was
really fun too. 242 is a string of 15-20-30's  tight switchbacks up a
mountain for about 25 miles. Gravel in the corners kept the pace down
and I never push myself beyond my limits. I dont even push myself too
my limits anymore, learned that lesson long ago. But I was definitely
doing well and having a terrific time. We stopped at the top and had
some snacks then headed back down. For some reason 242 is even more
fun down than up.

We also really lucked out and hwy 20 had almost zero traffic. Last
time when Mike Mackey took Gustavo and I and Bob on it all we hit was
traffic. This time we dispatched with a few cars but for the most part
had it to ourselves. That was also extremly fun. Lots of 30-40mph
curves down a hill.

Then we were onto the straight part and stopped in Sweet Home to cool
off (it was really hot) and rest before the long stretch home. I waved
goodbye to Brian as I got on I-5 and he was going to take some fun
gravel roads home.

I-5 sucked rotten eggs. I'm still glad I took it cause its soo
efficient but damn my ass hurt by then and the slow traffic in the
high heat was wearing me out. I had to pull over when traffic stopped
past woodburn just to get off the bike in some shade by the side of
the road and drink some water. I decided to get back on I-5 since I
was sooo close to home and traffic was moving. I pulled a U-turn in
the middle of the road and realized an LEO was the car coming down the
road... Luckily I didnt seem to interest him at the moment. phew.

Only one hour on 1-5. Got on at Lebanon and pulled into my driveway
around 5:20. Had a cold shower and had to write this up (so I dont end
up  doing at work like I usually do).

It was a wonderful weekend, a turning point in my riding career and
just a plain old great time with friends new and old. Can't wait for
the next event. Pass the Oyster it is...

The only thing I'm sorry about is that I didn't get to talk to
everyone (or get pictures of everyone's bikes).

Looking forward to next year already.


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