Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Aaron's Bike Path

We all take different paths to our first two-wheeled purchase. I'm not talking about rambling a pedal bike down a creek drainage for the first time, though the title suggests it. And I'm not talking about the '68 Rok-on that you saddled up every time you went to your cousin's farm. I'm talking about the first time the conscious decision was made and the dear cash handed over in exchange for internal combustion between two tires. When friends tell me that they want to buy their first motorcycle I tend to calculate an instant power-to-weight ratio of sorts for the rider's weight, body-type and physical ability, etc. What usually comes spilling out is a bike that is controllable and fun enough to never out-grow. But just tonight, I read an old blog from one of the Cycle World writers and I am reminded that not everyone's path is the same.


by Keith May

I am just realizing, but Nathanwide and his CB100 already understand, that sometimes it's better to just ramble along. You get to see more trees, more leaves, and take more time to stare down that Douglas Squirrel in the middle of Camp Sherman Lane. There is more experience in the world around the pavement and maybe more freedom, but even if I'm wrong about that I now believe I need to make room in my stable for smaller bikes.

So why did I decide yesterday that this was the next addition to my fleet? It only comes in that yellow and I still want it... unless I find a mid-70's XL250 before Aaron.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

TWAFR Teaser 1 HWY 138 E Crater Lake to 97 N

Below is just an unedited teaser. Camera shots are bad as the road was bumpy. But if you look closely, it is beautiful country.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

First Up

Day 2: 9:11 a.m.:

I am the first to rise, by almost two hours. Nit hardly a sound from the others, save a muffled snore from Officer Hillson, and a once and a again rustling from someone rolling against a tent wall. I keep thinking Aaron is going to rise, but he never does.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A Long Winding Road

And so we go. The six, we go. Four riding high. Two riding low. A late start, but hospitable. Pizza, and a "don't forget to pee before you go.".

Fiddling with gadgets and I'm questioning how much of a break from reality this truly will be. Videos and cameras, iPhones and Twitter. How can I share with the world when I'm trying to get away.

A long road. Salem. Then, Albany. A missed turn and...

...there it is. "did you see that sunset?!", he screams after rolling into camp. It's dark now, the camp host wishes a fun, but quiet night. A hollar..."then, that's when...it all came pouring out and I realized I was gone..here I mean. Right there in Dallas as you turn toward the west. The sun was setting right then. Pouring golden rays across the valley floor.

It's dinner now. Dogs. Not on the open fire tonight though. No real wood could be found. They said you could find some across the street at John-boys, but he too must be lost.

We did well I think, to pick this spot. Nestled in close to the Alsea river. We are probably only 20 mikes from Waldport as the crow flies. It's getting late. We are stoked to be on the road, in the quiet place.

Update: 12:07 a.m. Day 2:
I had a longer day than most, having risen at 5am. So naturally I'm the first to bed. I've got a lump under my bed. This ground is no where near even. The 5, they sit around the fuming fire, quiet yet bristling with joy and muffled laughter. They have respect for the other two campers in this 20 site campground. I'm out, sooner than I thought.

Update: 1:47 a.m. Day 2:
It's loud outside and I don't know why. It's not coherent yet. I have to wait for the scene to settle in my mind, for those gears to start turning. I look at my clock. I've only been out an hour or so. What is that ruckus?
I hear people. Are they my people? Part of us 6? I hear music, a guitar, we brought a guitar, it must be at least one of the Truebs.
Then it comes into focus. Nathan Wide is playing his guitar and singing. It's a beautiful sound when you adjust after the wakening. 10 more minutes and I'm out.

We Are They

For sake of not plagiarizing I have posted this link to my favorite Robert W. Service writing: http://www.robertwservice.com/modules/smartsection/item.php?itemid=82

Here, now, we start our adventure.

An Un-Answered Prayer to The Motorcycle God's

I'm not sure what it was that lead me to this. It could have been the ill timing, my inexperience, or rushing to get things done. Some how I tightened a bolt so tight that I broke (1) easy out, (5) black oxide bits, and devoured (4) grinding heads, and it is still locked in there. I prayed to the motorcycle god's, and recruited help from a friend, and after 12 or more labor hours on that bolt we finally called it quits last night so I could rest up for the big day.
Sunday night, the Captain's wife said to him, that maybe we should take this as a sign. That maybe this happened to save us from something terrible. Not quite the words one wants to hear from a family member. It was quickly shrugged off, and back to my bolt I did go. Two days ago I had readied myself for the possibility, or perhaps the reality, that I would be spending much more time with the Fly Rod, than with Two Wheels on this trip.
It's not as though we are taking an extra vehicle. A follow vehicle, and a trailer with a CB100 on it, was always the plan. My younger brother was slotted to drive the truck and trailer. He has considerably more experience than the other two with a trailer, but still less than is desired. As well, yesterday, my brother (whom just moved to Oregon from California) was told by a very friendly police officer, that he was not legal to drive in Oregon. Without getting into specific details, he could no longer drive the truck on the trip. Just the sign I needed. At that moment I realized that perhaps the bolt did break for a reason, but not to keep us from impending doom. But rather, to enable 3 other men to enjoy what will be a most spectacular trip.
Had my bolt not broken, and I was able to ride my motorcycle, I would be rather upset in the current situation; being torn between riding, and towing the trailer. But as it stands, I must resign myself to destiny, to actuality, and for the greater good of the other men on the trip.
I threw in my helmet and gear this morning, just in the off chance that I may be blessed with some riding time, on a bike that is not my own, on this wonderful first of summer trip.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Audible: A Game-Time Decision

"Far above the Rogue River's famed salmon and steelhead holes, thousands of fish per mile can be found in what is one of Oregon's most productive, yet often overlooked trout fisheries. Between Crater Lake and Lost Creek Lake, in an area known as the Rogue headwaters, anglers enjoy fish-after-fish action for feisty hatchery rainbows. Energized by the cool water trickling from deep in the Cascades, the far Upper Rogue's trout are chrome bright, full of fight, and willing biters."

I thought this was a fitting article in the May issue of Amato Publications Salmon Trout Steelheader.

Photo Courtesy of Oregon Motorcycle Adventures

Thursday, June 11, 2009


Nestled through the lush western part of Oregon, beautiful grape like bushes emerge. As ample as vines during wine season in France. Big ripe bushells, longing to be picked, plucked and eaten.
Nestled, halfway between Intestate 5 and Highway 101, lay a quaint, yet accessible 13 site campground. Perched, atop a flat meadow, looking down on the quiet Alsea River. Just 50 miles from it's north fork headwaters it winds, beckoning highway 34 to follow. Playing hide-and-seek along the way, the river dodges the highway, retreating into an every once again draw, grabbing a fresh breath, before returning to flirt with it's traveling mate through to the coast.
Two and a half hours from our trailhead, we should reach our first destination before dark. Well out of the city, it will give us a nice jump start, for our first full day, following.
This site, provides a great backdrop to begin this adventure. A common river for drift boats, and fly fishing, our silent captain will be pleased.
The meadow is framed by age old alder trees. Long and slender they stand, dancing, ballarinas on the stage, a simple quiet audience.
I hear the Trueb brothers. They are playing their guitars. Seldom too they add their vocals, sweet though they may be. The captain, is already at sea, and has been since mile one. This knowledge makes me smile, and I know this is right. This time, this place, this adventure.
My brother sees the Captain, and hearing the brothers, finally finds a place to rest. His body cries, unnoticed as he finally feels the freedom. He has let go.
Officer Hillson is always at home. This ride did not satisfy. His soul beckons more. He's wondering why we stopped and what took us so damn long.
They are pleased, them all. Each one, getting used to their own skin once again as their masks, their costumes, slowly flake away in the breeze that makes the alders dance.
I look at them. Sit back. I smile.

Monday, June 8, 2009

You Are My Hero

Too much food;
My Lady;
My bike;
My hero;

It was a busy day. Attending an event of the religiously organized only to hear a kid scream while a man in a goatee was pouring out edification, all the while..me...wanting to sucker punch a 20 something female in the face for gabbing on about the kid screaming while a man in a goatee was pouring out edification. This isn't the religiously organized event for me.
From there, a stop, for gas, a bottle of water...why'd you drink it all?
Over the St. Johns bridge the Willamette was wonderful, serene, wet, but the sun was trying to sneak through.
We stopped, with great anticipation at the honda shop in Beaverton. It's a bit large for my taste, but the guys seem to be helpful. I purchased new riding gear, black, retro-reflective. I told my wife all I need is a Katana. She asked, "whatever for?" I said, "So I can be a biker ninja!" She laughed, and said she loved me.
While at the store I stopped to look at this. My hero, my love.
The quality is great. Endorsed by some very high end athletes, and the price is very reasonable. I'm curious to know how quickly the batteries charge, and how much real recording time one can get.
This would be the perfect addition to the trip, beyond the other camera I will be obtaining.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Nathan Wide

R: Nate, I hope you saw the "interview" I did with your brother. Same style. Feel free to answer them any way that you like. You can be serious, or nervous, or just down right wacky. The idea is to give our readers an idea into who we are, or who we want them to think we are.

R: Cool?

R: Okay, here we go

R: So Nate? Nathan? Natey? Frank? What do you prefer to go by?

N: Usually people call me Nathan, and sometimes Nate. That's about it. Not too exciting. Maybe the trip will be a good place to receive a nickname.

R: Cool, so I guess we should start by asking who you are, and why I'm doing an interview with you?

N: I am Nathan Trueb. I'm a musician who lives in Portland that likes all things vintage, including motorcycles.

R: Okay, so that's cool and all, but really, in the big scheme of things...who are you? I mean as it pertains to the universe.

N: Dust in the wind... right? Did I get it right?

R: So I think everyone knows what this trip is and where we are going. How'd you get hooked up with me and Eliot for this trip. I don't even think I know how you got roped into these shenanigans..

N: Eliot definitely coaxed me into going. We were hanging out welding a statue of a large-mouth-bass and taking copious amounts of Peyote, and it hit me... my whole life has been leading up to this trip. Oreo, his pet chicken, squawked in a way that spoke volumes of knowledge, knowledge from the future, and that future involved three things: hot springs, men, and fried trout. That's when I knew.

R: Wow, okay men and fried trout eh? Not my thing but okay... so what is your goal for this trip? Anything profound or are you just coming to ride bikes and drink beer?

N: I hope to discover a part of Oregon that has not yet been discovered. I've been trying to bone-up on my cartography skills, and I've also read Sun Tzu's, "The Art of War", 7 times... just in case.

R: Whats your lady friend going to do while you are gone? Are you going to call her while you are gone?

N: She will probably be hard at work fixing a hole where the rain gets in. Yes, I will call her, as my service allows.

R: Ha, leave the lady to do the mans work huh?
So the other day we were hanging out at the.barrage, and you were wearing cut off jean shorts. Whats up with that? Are you trying to make some sort of retro statement or something?

N: I actually hate wearing shorts. I don't know if it's due to some traumatic experience that I have repressed, but what I do know is that I would rather where cut-off jean-shorts than any other kind of shorts, and I have no idea why.

R: Okay, switching gears here. We're on the road-trip, and the world ends, or at least life as we know it. No phones, cars stop working, but motorbikes still work. We have to stick together or die. What do you do? What skills do you have that keep you alive?

N: Funny you should ask. I'm an expert with toddlers, and I am working on a shot that gives friends the flu... as a joke.

R: Also, are you wearing underwear...

N: ... ...

R: no..? weird, but okay.

R: So hows your music career coming? Tell us more about that?

N: I am making a living playing and teaching and that is more than I
could ask for. My favorite part of my music career is making music
with the band Aaron and I started called, Tango Alpha Tango. We are
always recording and playing live, which is really great. The only
thing that we haven't done much of is get on the road. I feel like I
was one of the few people made for a life on the road. I love
traveling in vans/buses around the country playing music. It's what I
hope to do. A lot of musicians that "make it" always complain about
life on the road... I don't think I would be one of those people.
Maybe that's another reason why this trip sounded so appealing...
because I have never done a road trip with motorcycles, camping, and
fishing, etc.

R: You are really taking some time away to come on this trip then, you could be
writing music or practicing. Is this going to hurt you going into the
summer, or do you think ti's going to help?

N: It will help. It's always a good thing to "take a break" from the
monotony of life. Often times when I'm forced to do that, like going
on a trip like this, I come back to music, and my instrument with a
very fresh approach, and new ideas. Of course, I'm sure we'll have an
acoustic or two, so I won't be completely removed, I guess.

R: Can I play the mouth harp in one of your songs?

N: No. Well, maybe, what do I get out of the deal?

R: Umm....you get to have me play the mouth harp in one of your songs....nevermind?

R: Do you think you'll figure out how to plug motorcycles into your next
album? either in lyrics, artwork, or as an instrumental? I have to say,
throwing some motorbike in somewhere might give you a bit of street cred!

N: Not sure if there will be any motorcycle references... you know the
last album had a line,

"I heard from the man who reads the polls,
That you still had a motorcycle of a soul"

From- "I Have Stopped Thinking About You"

R: Cool, well I'm hungry, and you're kinda boring, so whats one last thing you
want to say to all of our hip followers?

N: Well, just so you know I'm watching you, literally. Right this
moment. And no, you don't look good in your wife's heels.

R: Haha, well that's great... Well thanks for your time Nathan. We'll look for you on the road!