I finally clocked over 100 miles on June 8! A wimpy ten miles started my season while riding my bike back from the shop after my right fork seal popped this Spring. Understand that my forks failed in 2011 towards the end of my return trip from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska to Seattle, Washington. So my aging 2006 F650GS single, with 23,000 miles is turning into a lemon. A salt road crusted heap of motor goodness. I asked the shop for a root cause and got no response. Tsk.

This first season’s run had me wondering why I hadn’t gotten out earlier. By this time last year, I had 6,000 miles under my belt. Weather has been stellar, but I’ve been busy living a good life and working hard.

Favorite feelings of freedom returned: no seat belts, the zip of my chaps, the weak start of my bike’s engine, my bump starting Pearl down the hill. Then avoiding traffic to race to the ferry–ah the ferries. Such a fun way to begin any ride here in Seattle.

Luckily, my friends read the ferry schedule wrong and I made the 10:10am boat. I came into the ferry terminal hot while the Vashon vehicles were unloading. I kept my engine running until I boarded the vessel to try and charge my battery a bit more. Worked just fine the rest of the day. We stayed on the ferry at the Vashon Island stop to continue to Southworth to ride the Kitsap Peninsula.


Fourteen of us gathered through various online channels, and I knew a few of the gents from two memorial rides in 2013; and, I caught up with close friends, too. Amazing to think I’ve been riding with these folks for six years. Both time and miles have flown by like a jet.

Wiggling through Southworth was peaceful. A quick stop to admire a residential herd of goats, and then we took our time twisting along the loopy roads. Full throttle through the straightaways.

One gent toward the end of the moto line up had a vintage 250cc Honda. It kept cutting out in turns, and I held back to make sure that nothing had happened to him and my friend who was acting as the rear sweep. So, it was a lot of stopping and waiting, but we never left them behind.

Okay, yeah, at one point I stopped and directed him and the sweep left, but he flew past me and kept going straight. Fastest we had seen him move the whole day. Learned later that he thought I was directing him straight. Me and the sweep caught up with the group, said we figured he was connecting with a friend he had mentioned earlier, said meh, and off we went again. He posted later that he got my direction wrong, but c’est la vie. We’ll ride with him another day.

If my battery would have acted up, I would have insisted the group continue on without me. I’ve got AAA, so I would be fine. I’d feel horrible to drag a group down and wait for me, but that’s me.

After a big lunch at The Red Barn, we scooted along some tight and twisty roads near Tahuya Park–an off-roader’s playground.


After lunch and back on the road, the sweep was no longer in sight and I turned back around. She is a seasoned rider so I was surprised. Luckily, only a bee got stuck in her helmet and she had to stop to clear it out. We were very far behind the group, didn’t know the next turn, and I stopped rather quick at an intersection we had passed earlier thinking we may need to take a right. The sweep was caught off guard and dropped her bike as she stopped. A superficial drop, but a drop all the same.

I sprung from my bike, hit the emergency switch on her bike, and was apparently ranting repeatedly and in a strong Minnesotan accent, “Hey, you okay, eh?” She and I were luckily laughing as we pulled her bike upright.

We elected to go straight, and soon found one of our group’s riders coming back to collect us. We waved and kept riding. We caught up to the crew and just laughed. They had concerned then relieved expressions on their faces as we giggled to tell the story.

We skipped the trip to Seabeck and returned to the ferry at Southworth. A short day of riding since I had other commitments later that night, but a fun day nonetheless.

Here’s to more days like these.

Ride safe.