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.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Eugene and BMW K100RS

Quite a bit has happened since I last posted to this blog.  To some extent, this is an experiment to see how much audience remains.

Long-time readers know that my family (wife/son) recently resides in Japan while I split my time between there and the U.S.  Recently, I moved our U.S. homeport, so to speak, from its 17 year tenure in Washington DC to Eugene, Oregon.

This was an epic undertaking which including towing a trailer of possessions coast to coast.  I've only sort of got settled in here in Eugene a week or two ago.  Given that Eugene is one of the great bicycling cities of the world, it would be remiss of me not to take note of this in the Fuji Otaku blog.

So here I am, at least a bicycling provincial capital of the world, and the first thing I do is run out and land this:

A 1985 BMW K100RS.

More to come....

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


Some time back, I posted the draft of a story about my encounter w/a notorious serial killer.  I didn't leave it up for long because it was a draft and various people said I should get it published in a conventional magazine.

So I finished the story and then worked with Orange Coast Magazine to edit it to their liking/usages.

My title for the story was "The Crack Of A Twig", but we decided on a different name for their version of the story.

Orange Coast Magazine just published the web version of the story here.  It is a strange, dark tale.

I've been cycling a bit here in Japan.  I brought my wife's Trek 720 to Japan and managed to promptly wreck it.

I have made a lot of observations about cycling in Japan, I'll share them when I get more time.

In happier news, my little clan went to Azuchi the other day, rented some cycles, went riding through the town and countryside.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

A 520 By Any Other Name Would Ride As Sweet - 1986 Trek 500 Tri Series

Well, it is turning into a veritable Trek-fest around here.  I got intrigued enough to buy this 1986 Trek 500 Tri Series.

It is a bit of an unusual animal - when I think of tri bikes now, my image is something as scaled back and as pared of fat as the triathletes themselves are.

I ran some triathlons back in the mid 80's, I just remember using whatever race bike we had at hand.  Trek seemed to think, in 1986 anyhow, that a Trek 520 touring frame, but with caliper brakes instead of cantis, was the ticket.

If you check the brochure on the Vintage Trek website, you'll see that the two frames have identical geometry and tubing materials. 

The Trek 500 Tri Series even has fender eyelets.  So despite the name, it actually has the makings of a nice sport-tourer, which for me and my purposes these days is the ideal bike.

I'm even thinking that this could be a good 650b candidate, although the bottom bracket drop is a bit largish at 7.2 cm.

The look, with the pewter paint and black headtube, is pretty conservative in contrast to the other paint job available for this model, a red/white fade that is a classic 80's Miami Vice bike.

Trek was still carrying a little water for the French manufacturers, as the wheels on this bike are built upon Maillard 600 Sealed Bearing hubs, nice and shiny they are indeed.