Ride report: Aufderheide II and Eugene MeatFest July 28-29, 2006

Friday I finally got on the road at 8:10pm after Lucky being reluctant
to start. Some said possibly gas not being in the carbs or bad gas or
it just being a cold starter, but really I think it was the two cute
girls watching. Finally she started and we headed down I-5. It was
windy and cold and got really dark about half way. I stopped and put
on all my warm clothes and remembered my gerbing and heatroller
sitting on my bed, I had room but just decided I wouldnt need it.
Being July and all.

Pulled into Shastas a few mintues before 10pm had a great chat with
Mig and Shasta over a beer til going to bed around 11:30pm. Morning
was nice and relaxed with good food, coffee, tea and company all
meeting at Shastas. Most people arrived around 9 or 9:30 and we left I
think around 10:30. It was fun riding in formation with OBS'ers and
following Mike and Gustavo (who had swtiched bikes). The gravel strips
of missing pavement were fine. Not fun but fine to go over. Just as
long as you hit it straight up and down and head on. by about the 10th
one I started getting (suprise! impatient) and confident. Since they
were right in the corners I tooks one and slightly off center so I
didnt have to totally straighten up before hitting it. Nope. not a
great idea. the back end slid a bit so was careful after that. When I
saw that "End Construction" sign I gave a little holler of joy.

I don't know what happened but I was just really in the groove,
relaxed and wanted to practice late turn in and leaning over.
Following Mike and Gustavo were good practice for that. I also like
seeing if I can get my bike to keep up with the Litre bikes. It did
quite well on this route. It did even better the tighter the twisties
got. I still have a lot of room for improvement but I was having fun.

Except for the part where I came around a corner and saw Sal on it's
side and Shasta standing and walking up from the ditch. She looked OK
but I stopped quickly and pulled over.  I was a little freaked so got
off quickly. As I got off the bike fell down. Didnt get the kickstand
down all the way. But in breaking with tradition (and common sense) I
caught it before it hit the ground and just lifted it back up using
adreniline and improper bike picking up technique. (My back is
reminding me of it today. ) Then walked over to check on Shasta. She
wasn't happy. Everyone else shows up and starts pulling over. Shasta
is with the right group of people to need bike help. Bob Actis has all
the electrical fixing equipment needed to get her bike started and
signals working, Steve Dagget was much help. I went up ahead to get
Gustavo who by this point must be miles away (he was). The upper half
of Auferdeide is such a great road. I was glad to sacrifice and have
to ride it twice. ; )

By the time I got back Sal was sorted out and they got it started up
the first time they tried. As we were workign on it we heard a
motorcycle come around the coner. Bright orange with yellow ears and
tail on the helmet. Gooz! we waved, he stopped. Then Adrian came
around. You meet the nicest people on the road.

Then off to lunch. I went up the road as Adrian was up ahead, I had to
pass cause my bike just really loves the twisties. When I came out and
waited at the Stop I couldnt remember which way to go so I was going
to wait for Gustavo and the others. Adrian said he knew the way so off
we went. About 5 minutes later I realized Adrian may not know where we
were going and I thought we had made a wrong turn. Signaled to him and
we pulled off. I called Gustavo and by great luck not only was there
reception but he answered. We turned around and met everyone for

Lunch was good, got to decompress wiht Shasta and talk about it all. I
am just so glad things turned out OK. It could have been worse. I have
been on rides where someone broke their neck (ok now) and another
friend broke his leg so bad he could have bled to death if it wasn't
for his leather pants holding his bones together (1 year later 2nd
major surgery). I can't count the number of minor crashes where the
bike had to be driven home in a pick up truck. It could have been
worse. Shasta rode the bike home and was at the party.

Shasta's accident reminded me of something I did once on my mountain
bike following someone up a steep birm to get over a gate. Before I
went up I thought, I can never do this. When I got to the top I slowed
down, looked at the 4 foot drop off to the road thought, I am going to
fall and down I went.  fell right down into it with my bike on top of
me. Had to ride home 7 miles with the shifter stuck in the hard gears
and a damanged knee. Learned a few lessons.

After Lunch we went up to hwy 242. I was behind Mike and Bob (Gustavo
went back to the restarant or something). As the road got twistier the
Liter bikes started to get in my way : ) so I went up in the lead and
man was it a blast. Gustavo finally caught up (I still get scared at
hairpin switchbacks with gravel and cliffs so I took those really
slowly) and I followed him for a while. Once we got to a straightish
part he pulled out his camera and started taking pictures of me behind
him. It was cracking me up for some reason. A road that some might
think is challenging and here he is taking and looking at pictures!

At the top of 242 it was soo beautiful. The black lava fields with
patches of white dead burnt out tree's was eery and awsome. I walked a
little ways up but started getting hot in my leathers and let
Steve,Kittin and Scott all go on up to the observatory. Mig decided to
head home 126 but Mike, Bob, Gustavo and I all wanted to ride some
more so we were going to take 20 back to Eugene. First we had to get
down 242. Generally I much prefer and am more skilled at twisties that
go uphill than down so knew I would be slower going down.

Gustavo followed me and once I got in the groove and relaxed I was
having fun and there were even a few parts where I _wasn't_ totally
slowing him down ; ) I am now able to take good lines and follow a
late apex more than 75% of the time as long as there isnt a lot of
gravel in the road. It was fun. Then onto 20. Unfortunately we hit
construction and traffic and a 1.5 hour ride turned into 2.5 hours. I
wanted to get to Portland that night so had to leave the party around
8 but we didn't get there until 7.

The party was nice. Got to talk to people I hadn't seen in a while and
see Mike and Judy's house. I instantly recognized one of the many
beautful quilts as one that I had seen and admired at the country fair
a couple weeks ago. Judy is very talented! The brats were tasty and
company fine. The rev off was loud and I still think Mig's bike does
sound great.

We didnt leave until 9pm finally but with G in the lead we made very
good time. My bike seems to catch the wind a lot more with the bags on
the back, sorta like a sail. but it was fine, just had to compensate
and prepare to get hit by wind. I had remembered how cold it was on
the way down so I wore 3 long shirts this time and it was fine. Got
home at 10:50 and was in bed lights out by 11:14. I was tiired. Almost
600 miles in 24 hours. Not quite a record but still a long day.

I had an epiphany and thank Shasta for putting me up friday night and
helping me to relax and enjoy the ride. I hope taking care of guests
didn't contribute to headaches... sorry about Sal and Shasta's
soreness (do get checked out and massaged) I hope you will be back on
the road as soon as you want to be. I will be happy to ride with you
anytime, you were doing great.

Thanks Everyone.

Hanna (3250 miles and _still_ no permanent license plate!).

ps- For those wondering, coffee was very nice and only 3 hours long : )

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