I’ve had some time off of work and took the opportunity to get some long day rides under my belt. My first trip was up the Clackamas river road to Ripplebrook ranger station. Not wanting to turn back, I kept going up toward Lake Harriett. My intention was to keep riding toward Timothy Lake until snow or road conditions forced me to turn back. Unfortunately they had the road gated closed about a mile past Harriet and I had to turn around and head back.

Gated road to the back side of Timothy Lake

I veered off onto the gravel road to Lake Harriet and rode past a half dozen die-hard fishermen trying to catch brown trout at Harriet. Several looked at me funny but nodded in approval anyway as I rode past.

Two days later I took a jaunt south toward Stayton. I stopped at the Silver Creek Coffee House in Silverton for a mocha and chatted with Greg, the new owner. He had ridden a lot as a young man but now had too many other hobbies to afford a motorcycle (including working 7 days a week at his coffee shop). Warmed up, I continued south until I got to a crossroad with highway 214. I headed east on 214 and rode the loop past Silver Falls State Park which brought me back into Silverton. There was quite a bit of gravel on the road from recent freezes so I had to take it slow when riding through the park. I fueled up in Molalla on my way back home.

Between the two rides my bike was filthy but happy sitting in my garage. Riding this time of year usually involves cold temperatures and precipitation, so my bike tends to have a dull well-ridden look. I also have my outdoor water faucets turned off to prevent freezing so washing the bike is not an easy option.

In a product related note, I’ve been wearing a pair of Aerostich triple-digit glove covers during the colder rides lately. They work as advertised, keeping moisture away from my gloves underneath and adding warmth. A more accurate way to describe their function is they enable me to ride longer in the winter before my hands get cold — which they eventually do no matter what.