AltRider, Bikini Barrista & Chuckanut in the Dark
November 19th 2014 – My Seattle Day Trippin’ to AltRider!
All pics clickable and videos throughout this post…short clips
Mileage 678 KM’s – left at 0600 and arrive home at 1930. Weather? Perfect, cloudy, some sun, cool temperatures and NO RAIN!
I left in the dark and came home in the dark. LOVE my new Aux lights and the LED low beam. Truly helped me when I decided to ride a road in Washington called the Chuckanut Drive. More about that later.
Once again I made an impromptu decision to finally get down to AltRider to meet Erik to get some upper crash bars installed on my bike. Erik and I tried to arrange this prior to my X Country 2014 Trip
but we could not arrange it in time for my departure May 17. Better late than never as they say. I woke up to a very dark cool morning. Cool enough all the day to use my heated gear. Once again I headed down to Washington via the Sumas border crossing in Canada and took the back roads. Roads I have recently been riding quite a lot. I have done more riding this Fall than any other year. Time away from work, dogs being cared for by the ex I have a new found freedom. A freedom I am still getting used to. I mean I no longer have anyone to inform where I am or going. I can leave as I please when the dogs aren’t here. All this sounds like an ideal situation but for me after 17 years of checking in it seems still a bit surreal but I am getting used to it.
My route for this trip see below
I have been very busy this Fall as I have said riding…here is a screen shot from my SPOTWalla page for Fall Trips 2014
Not sure the total KM’s…lost track but has been a very productive Fall full of lot’s of surprises and interesting weather.
One of my concerns about installing the new upper crash bars was will they fit my lowers. My crash bars have been tested many times with fully loaded luggage dumps and even a small slow speed dump after a guy crashed in front of me on a dual sport ride. The bars did their job, protected my expensive parts and apparently did not bend too much because the upper bars fit perfectly. The installation was easy and seamless. AltRider makes premium equipment for your bike. Absolutely one of the best companies to protect your bike. Available at Revzilla too.My bike looks mean and it is even more protected now. If I did not install my AUX lights with the Denali brackets I would have used a clamp to mount them on the uppers. That would be a perfect place for floods.
More pics of the uppers
The clip mount uses stainless bolts and attaches perfectly. Very sturdy and looks really good even these were developed way after the lower bars.
You can see scratch marks on my lowers. Need to use some touch up paint. 😉 I have to say this. When I walked in to AltRider I was greeted by Matt. Nice guy who we chatted about my blog, stats on web sites, social media stuff too. Met Mitchell, I really hope that is his name. Nice young guy who rides a speed Triple and is in charge of their affiliate program and social media. Now…the one female in the office. I am so sorry but forgot her name but she was so friendly and kind as well. This company is small but have a large array of accessories for many bikes. They take a lot of pride in not being mass-produced like some other companies and you can tell in the quality and well thought out farkles.
Erik not only installed the uppers on my bike but I also go some extras.
My bike is sooooo dirty. I can see it clearly in these pics.
After I was done at AltRider I set my GPS to home. I kept changing the avoidance set up based on time. Also, I kept changing my mind as well. I think I confused my GPS and me because I ended up riding places, side roads, taking a ferry all unexpectedly. This is the fun part when you have been in this area millions of times yet still find hidden gems. No paper map just me and my Montana. The best part was when I stumbled across the 12 min ferry ride to Whidbey Island.
Ended up in Coupeville, Washington. Another very cute waterfront town with old charm.
I decided I was hungry since I have not eaten since 0600. And Toby’s is an apparent icon in this town. Love finding out new stuff.
Basic menu but really good. Especially since I had not eaten anything since before I left at 0600
Mount Baker was in plain view from this town. It was so crisp and clear out. Perfect Fall Day.
random video 😉
It was here I posted on FaceBook on the North Cascades Lady Riders page that I was looking to meet up with Claudette. She lives on Whidbey and thought by chance…only chance that she may see my message. Claudette did while on a bus home from work and actually got in touch with me, hopped off the bus before I left Toby’s and we got to chat for an hour or so. I feel so badly I forgot to take a picture of us. So, another trip where I got to meet a virtual rider in real life. Nice meeting you Claudette and thanks for the offer to stay over in your guest room. I wanted to get home but I would have if I had time.
Another unexpected was needing a coffee for the last leg home. Coming off of the Island I stopped at one of the many coffee side bars all over Washington. They sure take their coffee seriously down there and I have no issues skipping a Starbucks to get my coffee from one of these. I walked up to the window. Can’t drive up because of the bike and looked inside and I see a half-naked Hailey. I said “OH, HELLO!. Are you cold?” LMAO She said nope just turned on the heat and made me an Americana. We got to talking about life, her goals and aspirations.
Haily wants to be a nurse. She is from a very small town in WA, wants to break the mold, travel and see the world. I say go for it Haily. Don’t let a guy or anything stop you. Be proud of what you do and you sure do have a nice shape. 😉 But I told you that in person and hope you get to read this. Told you I would post a bit about YOU! Stay in touch, I enjoyed meeting and talking to you.
Once again off I went into the dark heading North to Canada. It was really dark and my GPS said I was heading to the Chuckanut Drive.
State Route 11 is a 21.28-mile long state highway that serves Skagit and Whatcom counties in the U.S. state of Washington
This is a short road that is a tourist trap and traffic jam in the warmer months. I found out that at night it was just me and the curves. Thank gawd I had my Aux lights and LED low beam. It was BLACK up there. No street lights no cars as well. Sort of eerie but cool.
Lighting up the road and my AUX lights are pointed down for everyday traffic. Should have turned them upwards a bit more for this run.
After starting my day with what I thought would be an easy in and out of Seattle after AltRider…turned into a 13.5 hour day ride with lots of twists and turns on all levels. I love getting out as most know but as soon I get home I want to leave again. Heading to NEW YORK, my home state this weekend for a week. Maybe when I get back another 2 niter might be just what the doctor orders to help me make the decision, sell my house, move back to the east coast USA? When if I am? What to do….stay tuned. A this was a really great day to be out and about. LOVE my bike, LOVE what AltRider did to it and if you have a bike they can protect, I highly recommend their goodies. Give them a call…mention my blog and name. Maybe they will cut you a deal. I know you will be impressed with all they offer and their customer service. Leslie