Motorcycle Riding Tree Hugger
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
In case you were wondering, in Motorcycle USA’s recent travel feature, Ghosts of the Oregon Coast
, I’m the tree hugger. That’s right, I hugged a tree and ain’t ashamed that the entire known universe (that’s connected to the Internet at least) knows the fact.
It's true what they say about some of them left coast folks...
Motorcycle USA is based in Medford, Oregon, nestled in the Rogue River Valley, and one of the benefits of my Southern Oregon home is plenty of twisty mountain roads, some of which lead to the Pacific Coast. One such ride is US-199, otherwise known as the Redwood Highway. It starts in Grants Pass and makes its way through rinky dink logging/hippie towns in Western Oregon before dropping into California and following the Smith River all the way to the Pacific.
The highlight of 199, for me at least, is the brief three to four-mile stretch that terminates with US-101. Those final miles cut through the remaining belt of ancient Coast Redwoods that line the northern California coast. It doesn’t hurt that the road is fantastically swoopy there as well, delivering some of the best curves on the entire 199.
A couple months back, I met an old friend who was moving up from California in nearby Crescent City for a weekend ride. It was his first time in the area and we kept doubling back and forth on that amazing stretch of Redwoods. Twisting the grip as the world’s tallest trees blurred by was memorable indeed. Almost as memorable as getting out to saunter through the handful of groves littering the roadside of some of my most prized motorcycle real estate.
Long story short, while testing the latest batch of sport-tourers in our recent 2009 Sport-Touring Comparison
, the photographer asked me to hug the tree at one of our favorite photo ops. I didn’t hesitate. I love riding 199 and I love those big old trees.
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