About Larry

I live in Bandon on the southern Oregon coast and I've been riding for a long, long time, years, decades. We won't go there kiddies but believe me, it's been awhile. During that time I've done most of my riding on the road with occasional off-road forays, most of which were intentional. Some weren't. Until just a couple of years ago I'd never ridden a hack - that's sidecar to those who aren't familiar with the lingo. I figure riding a hack up Alaska's infamous Haul road all the way to Deadhorse should top off my torture tank for quite awhile.

About Mac

Mac hails from Robins, Iowa and has been riding bikes longer than most people have been around. He managed to torture his old BMW past the 100,000 mile mark and presently rides a Yamaha FJR. His newest ride, a 2008 Ural Patrol is waiting on the dealer's highest shelf until the flood waters recede after which they'll assemble it and turn it over to him. The fact that he's heading to Alaska for his first journey on a new rig should tell you all you need to know about him...

Monday, June 23, 2008

Dana's Bucket List

A couple of days ago - Saturday morning, June 22nd to be exact - I'd gone for a ride to Charleston with riding buddy Chuck Bruce. Nothing special, just one of those get-out-of-the-house things, the sun was shining and the chores could wait. We arrived back in Bandon a few hours later and while I stopped for gas Chuck headed over to the local grocery store. Chuck rides a really nice Yamaha Star and since he's pretty cool looking a lady approached him and asked if he knew anyone with a sidecar.

Chuck has one but it's at his other place in Medford, OR so he told her he knew someone local who has one. Turns out she has a sister who has always wanted a ride in one and its on her bucket list. I'm going to presume you readers know what a bucket list is...? No? Me neither, I guess I'll have to watch the movie. Anyway Chuck told her he'd give me a call and see if I'd give her sis a ride in the Sputnik. He did, I said sure, called her and set up a time & place for 10:00 am today. Should be a piece of cake I thought. Right, a piece of cake. That was last night and I entered their address into my Garmin GPS so it would be a no-brainer finding their place. 

Today dawned bright & early, no rain albeit on the cloudy side and I hit the road around 9:30 am. Everything was running smooth as can be until just south of Bandon when the fire went out. Kaput. Nada. The end.  Figuring I'd forgotten to turn the gas on I coasted over to the side of the road and checked. It was on and the odometer showed a measly 41 miles on the tank. Still not trusting things I turned the tank onto the reserve position, hit the go-button and after a sputter or two the thumper came back to life. A short stop at the local Chevron to top off the tank required a mere 1.4 gallons. Now what? What the heck, time was running short and I had to get going or I'd be late. Whatever caused the shut down  mysteriously went away for the rest of the day, and hopefully forever. Very weird.

With the morning catastrophic failure drill out of the way I was on the road again with 10 minutes to spare. I must subconsciously require a bit of drama in my life as I discovered I'd left the note containing the ladies address and telephone number at home. That wouldn't be a big deal as long as the GPS made good on it's promise and not let me get lost, eh? Right LL. Hoo boy. Hustling north on US 101 the Garmin suddenly informed me I should be heading south. Huh? OK, no argument from me, a sharp U-turn and around I went. Those of you familiar with Garmin's products know how pissy the GPS lady gets when you're "OFF ROUTE, RECALCULATING!" Seems there was more than one approach to the address I wanted and somehow mid-way the spy-in-the-sky had an attitude adjustment. Heading south I followed her new instructions exactly and soon arrived at the chosen destination. Only it wasn't the right place, much to my chagrin and the general amusement of the little old lady whose house I was at. Ha ha Garmin, what a joker you are. Ha ha. 

Back on 101 heading north again, this time flying by the seat of my pants I located the right road and cruised up it a mile or so, thinking anyone expecting an old guy on a hack would probably be outside waving their arms frantically. No one. Nada. Nyet. Back down I went. Back up I went. On the third pass Dana caught sight of me and did the arm waving thing and I arrived, only 15 minutes late. With introductions over and a nice bag of fresh-baked home made cookies stowed carefully in my tank bag we were ready to set off. 

Heading north we swung off 101 through Bullard's Beach State Park following the road west alongside the Coquille River out to the Bandon Lighthouse. There we stopped for photos and a look around, then rode south on 101 into Bandon's Old Town district and a stop at the Bandon Coffee Cafe. Dana's sister Dawn followed us in her car, taking photos of the sights and the two people in the sidecar, much to the curiosity of the tourists. After coffee it was time for a bit more riding, this time south on 101 for a few miles and then it was time to say goodbye to new found friends. Not a bad way to spend the morning.