Having slept the night in a hotel, Rob and I were feeling pretty good on Sunday morning, the 3rd and final day of our Central Washington adventure ride. We were both glad that we departed the windy sage pit the night before. If we had stayed, it would have been to “prove a point”, and we decided there was no point to prove… Fortunate for me, there was a Starbucks nearby, and I decided it would be a good idea to start the day with a Venti bold drip. As I was finishing the “Part 5” post for this trip, Rob showed up at the Starbucks, and it was time to start thinking about a plan for the day.
Rob looked around quite a bit at satellite imagery, and he came up with a few good options- hopefully involving some good offroad, and more miles for the day. We packed our belongings, and got the bikes ready to go for the day.
Fortunate for us, the bikes were in the same condition as we left them the night before, and packup was relatively event-free. Next up, it was time to top off gas, and head for I-90. It was really nice to have sunshine- something that was missing the day before for the most part. We were also glad to be without the strong winds that had defined the previous day and had driven us to the hotel the night before…
It was nice to get on the road- we were feeling optimistic that we would have our “save the best day for last” concept play out. Once out of town a ways (we headed North) we hit the first un-paved stretch of the day Drumheller road- and an awesome one at that!
This was the kind of open country riding that we had hoped to find- and here it was! We cruised along and enjoyed getting into the swing of high-speed riding on these double-track roads. After riding a ways, we started to parallel a high bluf, and I thought it would be a good idea to try and ride straight up the hill. I realized towards the top that it got steeper and steeper, and that I hadn’t gotten enough speed at the bottom. I started to spin, and over the bike went- coming to rest on the pannier containing all of my electronics gear, including the Panasonic Toughbook. Here’s the view of me tumbling off the bike from Rob’s view:
I picked up the bike, laid it down on the other side, and then proceeded to ride the bike down the hill. No “widowmaker” win for me that day…
I found out from this experience that fuel injected bikes will run just fine upside-down, and don’t leak fuel while doing so. I didn’t let it run for long however as I’m sure the oil pump doesn’t work as well with the engine oriented this way. Here’s the view from Rob’s GoPro as we booked towards Ephrata:
Back on the road, and off towards Ephrata. At this point, we were looking for a place to eat lunch, and decided to exit Ephrata and to head up Northwest towards Sheep Canyon road. We found a nice gulley to stop at with a good rock to prop up Rob’s bike with (due to the broken kickstand), and good wind protection. I decided it would be a good time to preview some GoPro footage, so we got out the Toughbook and tried out the sunlight viewable screen (6000 nit rated :)). I was glad that the Toughbook had survived my crash in perfect condition- WHEEW.
With great weather and great diversity of roads and surroundings, this day of riding was really helping to make up for the previous troubles on the trip (oil leak, off-limits land, extreme winds).
In my next post, I’ll cover the last part of the Sunday ride. It was truly awesome!