Sunday, October 5, 2014

Up McKenzie Pass on the Estate Bike.

I rode up to McKenzie Pass the other day, starting at McKenzie River Ranger Station. 

You can park there in the overflow parking.  Route 242, the way to McKenzie Pass, is a mile or two up the road.

This area around here is damp rain forest, judging by the side of the road verdant moss quotient.

This is where the McKenzie Pass Highway officially starts at its intersection with 126.  There is a parking area here as well.

The first ten miles are rolling, but rising, and mostly a green tunnel.

Around mile 10, the character of the highway changes, becoming consistently uphill for about 7 miles, no flats sections whatsoever.  

Despite the climbing, one can help but noticing all the natural beauty.

Still on a consistently uphill stretch at 3k, I'm wondering if I can make the remaining 2.3k.

Hitting 4k was a morale booster.

The shoulders on the road were often precarious.  There were sections a lot worse than this, but these are the only photos I got.

 Some fall colors, but evergreens predominate on this route.

Higher altitude arid forest.

Some of the very impressive lava beds that went on for miles.

5k? Practically done.  Actually, after about 4300 feet, the ride became somewhat less steep, sort of a pleasant roll along the top of the mountain for about 5 miles before reaching the pass.

At last.

It was around 2pm when I got to the top and the weather was brilliant and short sleeve warm, actually a lot warmer than the shaded forest coming up or going down.  I hung around up top for about an hour, munching clif bars and enjoying the view.

 Then it was time to go back.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Spread

Long term readers of this blog may have noticed a slow drift in Fuji Otaku.  What originally began as strictly vintage Fuji bicycle content has veered significantly into other bicycle marques and, recently and alarmingly, even motorcycles.

Maybe the blog is having an identity crisis.  One should expect to continue bicycle/motorcycle content, as generally the philosophy around here is two wheels good, four wheels bad.  But even that is not a promise, since the Otaku stable includes original ownership of a 2001 Toyota Tacoma 4x4 that is a compelling artifact.

Anyhow, I emerged from my high-rise redoubt in downtown Eugene and nearby was this Royal Enfield Bullet 500 waiting to pose for a photo shoot.  Royal Enfields were never my bag, Triumph/Norton were the extent of my exposure to British brands growing up.

But it was very attractive and maybe some readers know a bit more about this bike.  Very impressive horn as well, always a good thing.