Wednesday, January 02, 2013
A group of us from the Patriot Guard Riders (PGR) did the Polar Bear Run yesterday in Portland, Oregon. This is attended by bikers from all over Oregon and Washington. This is an annual event, 29th annual. Some people jump into icy waters, we ride motorcycles. I will have to say I forgot to take my "smart-pills" when I decided to take this motorcycle trip on New Years Day. (Both groups need smart-pills). It was 25 degrees when I left the house for "Breakfast at Valerie's" restaurant in Vancouver, Washington. We were meeting there at 8:00 AM. Found my buddy Santa Ed, by himself, already chowing down. I looked at my watch and it was 7:45. He said the time was changed to 9:00 AM. So instead of watching him eat I ordered breakfast. After a while we were joined by 12 others. WE turned off Hwy I-5 Washington onto WA-503, S. when we came upon black-ice. We turned around at this point after a group of bikers stopped us. They had 2 bikes go down on the ice. I am glad they stopped us because picking up a 900 lb motorcycle on ice would have been a big job.
Our fearless leader, Santa Ed, headed us back and decided to take us on the scenic route, instead of I-5, on old Hwy 99 heading South to La Center, WA. After about 3 minutes on hwy 99 I think most of us would have rather been on the corner with the black-ice. Since we could not turn around, safely, we were committed and proceeded onward. Wish we could have taken a picture but could not stop for fear of not getting enough traction to restart. Finally got to La Center, WA. and told a few bench-racing type stories, with big smiles, that we made it without incident. Thought we had it made with clear sailing as we headed for I-5 from La Center, but mother nature had more snow in our path, but once again we all made it to the I-5 Fwy. Clear roads all the way to Oregon City, end of Run, and had Pizza, and stuff, at Jimmy O's Pizzeria.
By the time I got home I had logged-in more than 185 miles for the day. It had warmed-up to a toasty 41 degrees by 5:30 PM. Most of the ride however was in mid-20's temps. My thanks to Santa Ed for an exciting trip. Good leaders gets the pack through. I will admit that I did have fun!!! Will I do it again???? I may take my smart-pills next year.
One last comment: Oregon valleys are like Arizona compared to Washington. Cold but no ice or snow!! It is amazing just a few miles from home across the Columbia River, it was like entering Winter Wonderland. It was beautiful.