Friday, August 20, 2010

Day 6 - California

Greetings from Redding California!

I won’t get all cheesy and say it was nirvana again but it was a really, really good day of riding! We spent the night in a very nice river-front park in Homedale Idaho and took advantage of the amenities to have a leisurly coffee and shower etc before hitting the road around 8:00 Central time. Within the first hour we crossed into Oregon and the next few hours were great. Very nice scenery, low hills, sweeping curves and little traffic. It was also like Idaho for a while, in that there was lots of agriculture with farms and huge ground crops. Eventually though, we hit the part of Oregon that more resembles Nevada than anything else. Pretty much miles and miles of miles and miles. Straight stretches of 15 klm or more, desert landscape and that disconcerting feeling that if one were to break down all they would find is your dried up bones somewhere along the side of the road.

Bike don’t fail me now!

The amazing thing about a trip like this though is how much ground you can cover and how much you can see along the way. By mid afternoon we crossed into California and started to see evergreen forests and Mt Shasta in the distance.

We also put on more miles than we planned. It’s all well and good to say you’re going to call it an early day but if the magic number of klm turns out to be the middle of nowhere you might as well keep going…..and so on and so on…..until eventually you hit 800 klm and 11 hours - like today - but it’s all part of the game!

Tomorrow we’re detouring to Eureka California because I have to install a new chain. I didn’t think I’d need to until I finished the trip but it’s stretching quite a bit and I can’t take up any more slack by adjusting the tension. It doesn’t owe me anything though. The average for a chain is 25,000 - 40,000 and I’m now at 32,000 and I push my bike hard. Just because the bike is capable of what I ask of it doesn’t mean it’s designed for it. I’m afraid Mr Suzuki didn’t think anyone would be crazy enough to ride for 800 klm at a stretch - at an average of 140 kph- for days on end!

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