This past weekend I finally had the opportunity to do some weekend camping and put to the test beyond a day ride a MotoFizz
seat bag, and a Ztechnik
touring windshield. I loaded the bike with all my camping belongings on Thursday night and commuted to work on Friday and headed to Mount Rainier
after work. The plan was to make it to camp Ike Kinswa (155 miles)for the first night and Camp Cougar (just past Logmire) inside Mount Rainier national park. At Camp Cougar on Saturday I spent most of the day hiking some of nearby trails.
Next morning (Sunday), I packed up and headed to Paradise; I had planned to ride on 123 north to the eastern side of the mountain towards Sunrise, but the road at Ohnapecosh is still closed due to extreme washouts from last winter severe floods. After a brief stop at Paradise and Reflection Lakes I headed south towards Mount St Helens
National Volcanic Monument. My wife and I had been to Mt St Helens years ago to the Johnson Ridge observatory, but I had never visited the southern edge of the volcano.
The ride south was pleasant with mild 70s temps, but once I started to climb towards St Helens the weather turned hot, very windy, and the pace was much slower since the road was litter with rock debris every couple of 100 yards. Had a quick stop at the end of the road at Windy Ridge; the view was spectacular with clear skies.
By this time itís almost 1pm and I still had one more volcano to visit, Mount Hood
I headed south on highway 503 towards highway 14 east to Cascade Locks along the Columbia Gorge. Once at Hood River I had a quick snack, gas and kept going, because by then itís almost 4pm. At exactly 6pm I pulled in to the parking lot of Timberline Lodge
for the last set of pictures, I actually had only one picture left on the disposable camera and the spare camera was deep in the seat bag.
All and all (786 miles later) the touring windshield and seat bag worked fantastic and canít wait for the next longer ride. Lessons learned; pack and repack a week before the ride and figure out all of the various tide downs and where best to position your items inside and outside. From camping experience I used stuff sacks for everything; this makes it easy to pull stuff in and out.
Also, as the ride progresses check the load position, towards the end (heading home) the bag felt as it was pushing me a bit too much toward the tank, it felt as if I had an undisciplined pillion. And most important with heavy loads, make your kickstand is fully engaged before you start to lift your right leg.
I was so careful all weekend to make sure I placed the bike in the most stabled place for photo ops, but had the misfortune of the bike pulling me over. I failed to fully engage the kickstand and once the bike was past 10 deg it was too late for me to hold it. This was towards the end of a long ride. The results were minor scratches to the left mirror, shift lever, and rear peg; thank goodness for crash pads, and shoulder pads; still bit sore today so I drove to work.