Today was day 1 of my road trip taking me from PoCo to Aberdeen Washington. A day of Freeway riding, aching shoulders and searing temperatures.
Finally the day had arrived. The Short(er) Way Round was no longer a dream, the bike was packed, fueled and ready to roll and just past 9am I set off for the US border.
I’d managed to pick what must have been the hottest day of the year to start my adventure and there I was, clad in black bike gear. Actually, the gear I’d invested in was perfect. The Firstgear jacket has plenty of vents and the pants were a mesh fabric so I remained as cool as I could given the temperatures were around the mid 90’s.
Apprehension turned in to enthusiasm turned in to boredom as I gradually pushed the bike towards the US border. The line up was taking an hour to get through and the bike would have overheated so it made sense to switch off and push. If I haven’t lost weight today I’d like to know why.
Once through the border it was I5/405 all the way to Olympia. After Bellingham the scenery shifted from stunning to monotonous the closer I got to Seattle. However, the purpose of the freeway ride was to get as close to Oregon on day 1 as possible.
This was to be the furthest I’d ridden in 1 day and for the the longest time. I really didn’t know how I’d fare, but apart from achy shoulders I think I’ve come through with flying colours. Not sure what I’ll be like by day 7 or 8 though!
Over the course of the day the whole big North American cruiser bike gradually made more and more sense. The Ducati I’m riding can certainly cover the miles effortlessly, however, watching the big Harley’s and other cruisers fly past, riders with feet up made it so clear that these machines are meant to be real mile munchers, made for travelling long distances and affording the rider real comfort. Having been very anti these enormous beasts, I’m coming around to the idea that that have their place in the whole bike food chain.
So, after a refueling stop and a couple of stretch and take on liquid breaks I arrived in Aberdeen, the birth place of one Kurt Cobain. I was where grunge was born. Now, I’m probably being unfair to Aberdeen as if one stays at a budget motel, it’s likely not to be in an upscale area of town, but I feel that I’ll leave Aberdeen with an understanding of where Cobain’s angst and anger came from. Aberdeen was grey.
Over the course of the day I’d ridden around 340 Km (240 miles) in temperatures ranging from the mid 90’s to mid 70’s F (35 – 24 C). The shoulder ache quickly subsided and hopefully after a good night’s sleep I will be moving on to the real deal of the Oregon coast. Road trip day 1 complete.