I spent this weekend with 14 strangers, and we may have only one thing in common, motorcycles!
I would like to become a Team Oregon instructor and have applied for that very thing. These strangers were a motorcycle safety class and I was auditing.
Team Oregon is Oregon’s motorcycle rider training and education provider.
In this class were many people who had never been on a motorcycle before. It was exciting to to watch as the course transformed these people into riders.
The Basic Rider Training begins very basic. They learn where the controls are, how to start, and how to use the friction zone. They also work on safe cornering and maneuvering. One of the finial tests was an offset cone weave, very nice.
After the test is complete, a intersection is set up with a one-way circle around it. It was, as one instructor put it, “Controlled chaos.” Here is a picture.
If you are in Oregon and want to earn your motorcycle endorsement, want to develop your skills, or just understand motorcyclist better, sign up for a class with Team Oregon.
Not long ago, I was a runner. I have two marathons, two Hood-to-Coasts, one Klondike Road Relay, some half-marathons, and a quite a few other races under my belt. That, however, was another life. Currently I have no idea if I will ever be able to return to running. Last weekend I spent a little time working in the yard and it took a few hours before I could get my thyroid to settle down. That was not confidence inspiring.
So what is this picture of Tophill? Tophill is a trailhead on the Banks-Vernonia Linear Trail. It is a 21 mile trail that, who would have guessed, goes from Banks to Vernonia. It is a rails to trails park. I have spent many hours running this trail, but it was many years ago. My favorite long distance, think 10 or 20 miles, runs were on this trail. Over the years they have paved it. I have also spent a little time riding a bicycle on this trail and I have dodged horse manure too. Let’s just say I have fond memories.
I have gone for a couple of different rides where I end up on Highway 47 south of Vernonia at this trailhead, it has a pit toilet which can be helpful at times. I take a break here and remember a previous life. Here is a video, a snapshot of that area.
Friday, 2/10/17, I went for a ride. We have had a lot of rain here in the Pacific Northwest. One road I enjoy takes me by Fernhill Wetlands. The picture above shows what I encountered. My road was closed. I had to go around.
One show I have recently enjoyed watching is Long Way Round. It is about two guy riding around the world. They encounter some extremely bad roads and have some river forging to do. Well, this may be as close as I ever come to doing something like the Road of Bones.
I did not realize the mic in my camera could pick up anything I said. Come to find out, if I’m loud enough, it can. I start laughing just watching the below video.
Fighting cancer can be tough, and I take every opportunity to do something for the pure enjoyment of it. This is why I enjoy riding my motorcycle so much. I have no requirement to ride, not like the pills and other therapies I’m doing, I do it because I want to. I ride because it causes smiles and helps me deal with all the other stuff I do in order to live. So to paraphrase a famous quote, I fight cancer to add years to my life and ride to add life to my years.
Be safe out there, this life is a dangerous ride.
In the Pacific Northwest we have some great roads for motorcycling. We have stunning views with lots of twisties. We also have cool temperatures and rain. The rain is easy to handle, I’ve lived here for about 18 years and purchased rain resistant protective gear. To combat the cold I recently picked up a heated jacket. Below is a video where I talk a little about the jacket and I preview a ride on Wynoochee Valley Road which connects Montesano, WA with Wynoochee lake in the Olympic National Forest. I’ll have another post and video to discuss this road further.
I’m doing motorcycle therapy, but what which motorcycle am I riding?
On October 22, 2016, I purchased a new 2015 Honda CBR300R. Her name is Sonus, Celtic for happiness, and she is a beauty. Not an excess of power, but she does the speed limit real well. I have been as far north as Wynoochee Lake in the Olympic National Forest, and as far south as Bridge, Oregon. There is a video on my YouTube channel, Adventures with Red Beard, which shows me riding from North Bend to Bridge, Oregon.
When I was fueling Sonus one day, the attendant saw my keychain and asked if my motorcycle was the key to happiness. I looked and him and aswered, “No, that is the key to happiness, my motorcycle is happiness.”
Sonus has brought me many hours of joy. On February 3rd she went in for her 4,000 mile maintenance.
I have plans to complete a 1,000 mile loop and join the Iron Butt Association. The 1,000 mile loop is called a SS1000 or Saddle Sore 1000. My longest day so far was 550 miles.
Here is a walk around. Sorry, the date and time in the video are wrong.
With all the health issues I have, depression comes easy. I have always been active. I have ran the Hood to Coast Relay race twice, the Klondike Road Race, two marathons and work on my 5 acres. I work on cars and have a bus we want to convert to a motor home.
But something has happened. I got to feeling better, and sometimes energetic, but no stamina. Was it me being out of shape?
I ran across the Spoon Theory and cried a bit. It was at this point I understood why I can’t do what I once did. My chronic illnesses, cancer and hyperthyroidism, takes too much away from living life. I wake up with less spoons than I once did. Sometime I wake up and am already out of spoons.
This is where my motorcycle comes in. Riding on the worst day doesn’t take any spoons away and on a good day adds some. Riding my motorcycle makes me feel alive. Riding gives me time to clear my head and focus on the now.
A really interesting fact is I am not the only one who feels this way. There was an interview with Long Haul Paul, aka Paul Pelland, who discussed some extreme long distance riding and dealing with MS. Here is a link: Long Riders Radio to the podcast. The whole podcast is great, but starting at 23:00 is where he discusses how his health has improved due to riding. Paul rides to raise awareness and funds for MS. See his website here: Long Haul Paul.
It has been some time since my cancer last update. It is often hard to place myself out there. Battling cancer is hard enough.
For the last five months my cancer has been stable!
How did this happen? Was it the Hoxsey formula? Was it the carrot juice? No. I it was a combination of therapies pivoting around enzymes.
There is lots of conflicting information on the web. But after reading Suzanne Somers’s book Knockout, the Kelley Enzyme Protocol made the most sense to me. I did some searching and found a local naturopathic doctor who learned from Dr. Kelley’s only pupil.
I am on a rather large dose of enzymes. I am slowly increasing to the maximum dose because a high dose only stopped growth, I need to reverse it.
There are a few other things that I am still doing, like eating organic, drinking carrot juice and sauna therapy, but the enzymes are central to my healing.
Another therapy which helps me feel alive and beat depression is motorcycle therapy. There will be more on this later.