Monday, February 13, 2012

Getting the gunk out

One of the downsides of riding a dual-sport bike is grease and dust make a mess of the working parts. During a routine oil change, I decided to pull the plastic housing away from the clutch linkage and front sprocket. An hour later I had scraped away the semi-solid layers of gunk. It was a coagulation of road dust and chain lubricant.

Anytime I ride on a gravel road or ride in the rain, I clean and lube my chain. But the dust is especially nasty as it gets everywhere and it eventually needs to be removed. Adventure touring is a lot of fun but while I was cleaning that greasy crap from my bike I had a few moments where I contemplated keeping my V-Strom on paved roads only. Then I realized how much fun I'd be missing.

After the maintenance work, I went on an hour-long ride up Marmot and Barlow Trail Roads to work it all in and see how the bike was running. It's just shy of 45,000 miles and is still running strong.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Silverton and Ripplebrook

I took the day off Friday. Although we had a stiff east wind, the sun was shining and it was relatively warm for this time of year. I spent the middle part of the day riding 160 miles, first south through Molalla to Silverton, where I had lunch (waffle and bacon and mocha) at the Silver Creek Cafe, then backtracked to Estacada where I headed east up the Clackamas River highway to Ripplebrook Ranger Station. I stopped for a few minutes to let my hands warm up before heading back down the river to home.

There were a few bikes out and a few slow cagers, but overall it was a fantastic ride. I arrived back home tired but with a big grin on my face.