Road trip – preparation

I’m heading off to Oregon on a road trip. It’s the first time I’ve tried something like this and I’ve probably under-prepared. Here’s the story so far.

Oregon trip plannerInspired by the Long Way Round when I moved to Canada I started to dream about riding down the west coast highway. Plan A was to ride from Vancouver to San Diego, however, only having 15 days of holiday a year meant that I needed to rethink the ride, at least for the moment. Some simple research indicated that just riding down the Oregon coast would be a fantastic experience, with several locals telling me how beautiful that part of the country was. Hence Plan A.2 (there is no Plan B).

My plan was very straight forward, map out a Short(er) Way Round ride that took in the coast and forests. I would take my Ducati GT1000 on a journey that neither bike nor rider had experienced before. It would be a mini adventure in lieu of the full blown coastal ride.

Outlining the adventureI spent some time brain storming and outlining the route and everything I’d need from kit I’d need to insurances, places to stay and so forth, then I hit Google maps to get a route together. I didn’t want to overstretch myself so decided the maxi,um riding time would be 6 hours a day or a distance of around 400-500 Km. I ended up with the route in the pic that takes me  straight down to Seattle and across to Aberdeen on day 1, then down Highway 101 – Cannon Beach, Newport, Florence down as far as Crescent City at the tip of California.

The Short(er) Way Round route

The return journey would be inland and through the forests via Bend and Yakima. The Short(er) Way Round was coming together.

Over a few weeks I gradually added to my outline as well as addressing tasks on the ‘to do’ list. Bike serviced, better kit bought, luggage bought. Now there’s a story, the luggage. Ducati sell some rather splendid saddle bags in leather at a mere $1400 for the pair. I have to admit that I couldn’t bring myself to shell out so much and so looked around for alternatives. I ended up, on recommendation, at Modern Motorcycling at Commercial and 12th in Vancouver. An old school accessory and bike sale place, I picked up some generic Oxford saddle bags, plus a pillion bag for the princely sum of $200. Far more palatable.

So, the plan came together and on July 8th I head off in to the unknown. Okay, it’s not exactly off the beaten track. but it’ll be my adventure, and that’s what counts.

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