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A noob's first day of summer ride: Seattle to Neah Bay on a DRZ SM

Discussion in 'Ride Reports' started by paradox206, Jun 20, 2012.

  1. "They" said it couldn't be done (or shouldn't be done).

    When I first got my DRZ I had a lot of people that I know poo pooing it and saying that I wouldn't be riding more than a little ways out of Seattle. I've had it a little longer than three months now (first bike/hit 2000 miles personally ridden today) and today was my longest ride to date (previous was about 200 miles). Yesterday I saw that the weather was going to be awesome and with the blessing of my employees, I took the day off and pointed it towards Neah Bay.

    I hopped on the 7:55 ferry from Seattle to Bainbridge...first time with a bike. Of course I got in the wrong staging area but that was an easy fix and then I was off! When I got to Bainbridge I felt bad for all the people having to head off to work...well, not too bad. Typically when I've gone out there it was with a bunch of friends piled into my car but being by myself this time around definitely had some benifits. It's beautiful out there and I really got to absorb it unlike ever before. Everyone was going the opposite direction so I had an open road infront of me the whole time until about the Hood Canal Bridge and then most of the way after that to Port Angeles...loved it!

    I made awesome time to Port Angeles which I was hoping for. While the ride there was nice, I was really looking forward to riding down 112. In the past, I'd taken my STi down 112 and it was a blast so I was looking forward to practicing my SR's on something other than the city streets of Seattle. I remembered it being a bit bumpy and dirty but I figured it couldn't be any worse than my daily pothole-ridden commute. I forgot about the logging trucks and poorly resurfaced blind corners though. That slowed down the pace a bit but it was still a good time.

    By the time I was getting near Clallam Bay, I started realizing the challenge that is fuel management with a stock DRZ gas tank. I considered the Clarke 3.9gal tank when I first got the bike and at that point I was kind of wishing I had picked one. Now I wasn't running out of gas or anything but I prefer not to be surprised by the warning sputter at inopportune times (especially on a twisty road like 112). I timed it perfect though, .4gal left right when I hit the Shell station. This was also a good time to pop my first Alieve because my ass was starting to tingle a bit.

    Hopped back on the bike and started rolling down the last stretch of 112 before Neah Bay. This is about when I started wishing I brought my backpack w/layers. It was a little brisk but tollerable inland but once I was riding right along the water I was freezing! There wasn't much I could do at that point though so I just pointed it and hopped I wouldn't be a Joecicle by the time I got to Neah Bay.

    I love that last stretch of 112 before Neah Bay. There are so many awesome views that scream "Look at me!!". I looked once and found myself heading towards a guard rail so I decided to save the looking for another time and just concentrated on my SR's and the logging trucks that were taking the road at break-neck speeds. I swear, some of those guys should be rally racers. None of them were crossing the centerline (at least none that I saw) but they were using the hell out of the shoulder.

    Got to Neah Bay and treated myself with lunch and a thermal top from the general store. I putted around town for a bit, checked out some of the views I like and then pointed the bike back towards Seattle. Yes, I know this sounds a bit crazy. "So you ride 150 miles to get Fish & Chips, another layer, very little sight seeing and then you head home?!" Let me put it this way, when I first got my STi I got a wild hair at midnight one night to go to Lake Chelan (Manson to be specific) to play one hand of poker and did just that. Yup, I'm a bit broken.

    So this time around I decided to take the easy way back, 112 to 113 to 101 instead of 112 to 101...this was a good choice. I've never been on 113 or that part of 101 and I really though it was great. It was nice and chill so I got to, yet again, soak in all the natural beauty. Then I hit Lake Crescent...what an awesome piece of road! I took it at a brisk pace until I found myself behind a car and then just took it easy because hey, why ride up someones ass on such a nice day (or ever really). It seemed like everyone knew though that I deserved to be in front of them because without ass-riding, everyone was pulling over in the turn-offs so I could move on by! If it wasn't for me wanting to get home at a decent time I would have turned around, done it west bound and then again east bound. I'm in love with that stretch of 101.

    The rest of the trip was pretty much the same as the begining of the trip, just a little warmer and my ass was a little sorer (OK, it was really sore...damn stock seat!). I definitely chose wisely taking the day off and choosing the trek I took. Google says it is 315 miles (yeah, the ferry did part of the work but I paid for it so I'm counting it) so today's trip is my new longest haul on the DRZ. I'll now be looking into a new (or modified) seat and a new route for my next day off ride. I'm thinking a trip to Ocean City and then 101 all the way around the Olympics to Bainbridge...we'll see!
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2012
  2. Grantizzle

    Grantizzle Moderator Staff Member

    sounds like fun.

    what is a "SR?"

  3. Survival reactions....I've watched the "Twist of the Wrist" video too many times in the last month. ;)
  4. I've done 300-450 miles in a day several times on my retard.. you just have to get used to it!

    Sounds like a killer ride! Good write up
  5. Good times! Perks of being the boss?
  6. sunofnun: Thanks for the props! It definitely gets easier as time goes on. The seat is still like a 2x4 but the better I get at riding the more fun I have and the less I mind the discomfort (still wouldn't mind a better seat!).

    Andy: It's definitely good to be the boss. I put my guys first most of the time though so when it's my time they're usually like, "Get the hell out of here!!". It makes it easier to forget about work completely for a day with that kind of relationship.
  7. Oh.. a quick tip.. if you have a backpack.. throw a metal fuel bottle in there so you don't get that "Uh-Oh" feeling..

    Esp when riding alone.

    I've had to ride buddies with drz's to the gas station and use the empty water bottle trick. My katoom does about 120 miles before reserve these days (bigger tank)
  8. Grantizzle

    Grantizzle Moderator Staff Member

    PM wyckedan on here if you wanna talk seats. he's really good.
  9. truth!!!!!!
  10. You know, I've thought about carrying a metal fuel container or two as a fuel reserve, especially for a ride like the north cascades highway (which I think would be pretty difficult without some or a larger tank). I still have some apprehension about carrying fuel on my back but then I guess it isn't much worse than a bunch of fuel in a tank between my legs!

    And thanks for the seat advice! I think I saw a thread about his seat skills last week or so? I'll have to get in touch with him when my budget has room for an upgrade (hopefully next month!).
  11. Heh, I saw that tank too! Not sure if the yellow would go well with my black bike although I could get it painted or vinyl wrapped. My only problem with the tank (other than sinking 2nd bike money into it) is that it kinda makes your bike look like it's sprouting a volcano. I'm hoping to get a 01-03 CBR F4i this fall/winter to become my "beyond the city" bike so adding range capabilities to the DRZ might become a moot point (still needs a better seat though!).
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2012
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