Writing from Brookings, OR.
Today – day 2 of the tour – was the first of many days to come where I will be traveling all new roads – roads I have never traveled on or it has been so long that I don’t remember them. Today was all new. A few observations about new roads.
I drive slower, pay attention more in turns. My mind wandered less than when I am riding in familiar territory.
I appreciated the scenery more. After spending the better part of the day on 101 on the Oregon coast – which is lovely – I was wowed by the coast. Interestingly, a similarly lovely scene in a familiar harbor might not seem so amazing.
Experiencing something for the first time is special – the magic and emotion and intensity quotients are all higher. Perhaps this is why some people gravitate to careers where things constantly change. Perhaps this is why we go away for vacation even if we live in places where other people spend thousands of dollars to see and experience. Perhaps this is why we love gift wrapped presents (not in bags, but with real wrapping paper).
Taking a road trip on new roads (I mean this literally and figuratively) is catalytic and a great way to reinvigorate our senses. Reenvisioning your familiar roads in new ways can be great too (but should not replace all exploration of truly new roads). How much time do you spend traveling new roads?
A bit about the day:
This was a very long day of driving. I knew this and had planned it this way. I will be here in Brookings for two days, so I get the day off from big miles on the bike tomorrow. I only encountered rain a few times and for a few minutes each time. Along the coast, the wind was a bear – it knocked me all over the road. Motorcycles are engineering marvels and can handle wind with no problem, but it does make the driving more strenuous. There were several times I thought my shoulders and upper arms were on fire. I stretched and moved them around as much as possible.
In Oregon, you can’t pump your own gas. I have driven my car in Oregon many times and knew this, but this was the first time I took a motorcycle into Oregon. I was pleased that the station attendants let me pump my own gas. I think they get it that bikers want to fill their tanks in a particular way and guard against getting gas on the tank finish.
I underestimated: knee pain - The pressure of keeping legs tucked in against the wind force that is moving them outward - pressure point = the knees.
I overestimated: hand pain - knock on wood. I though my hands would be the most painful spot. It has not been that bad compared to other spots.
I WAY underestimated: the amount of time I need to plan to repack the bike bags and load them and lock them on the bike. I got started later than I had planned today because it took bout an hour to get my bags repacked and loaded. Note to self: Set alarm 30 minutes earlier! I would also hope that I get a system down where I get more efficient.
I want to thank the Kuryakyn Company for making such great touring bags for motorcycles. These are definitely worth the price. They are made just for motorcycles and do a beautiful job. I have the full dresser sissy bar bag (with wheels – common in business luggage, rare in biker luggage) and a roll bag. Each bag has it’s own raincoat, is made of strong materials, and has lots of straps and d-rings to make it easy to tie down. This is important because imagine what would happen if your gear shifted while leaning in a turn?
The first two days focused on traveling. Tomorrow I have my first event – a presentation combines with a musical performance with my bother, Perry Devine. Details here. The way we are working this is that I will talk for a bit then he will play a song that ties in. We do that about five times. Should be very fun. I hope to have some pictures to share.