I rolled into the lovely town of Bellingham in Washington and stayed with Ian, another Adventure Motorcyclist who had done some impressive trips of his own. We chatted about bikes and he recommended I ride the lakeside road out in the morning.
The lake was indeed gorgeous and the road twisted around in tight curves marked 25 miles an hour. I was going about 35, jamming to my iPod and grinning with every turn.
Then I hit one marked 15mph…but there wasn’t time to really slow down. I leaned the bike over as hard as I could, I swear I felt completely horizontal and was just waiting to hear scraping, but the bike kept leaning. I should have just kept going for it, I may have made it, but foolishly I began to wonder what would happen if I slid out. I glanced to the side of the road at the muddy rut that awaited me and next thing I knew the bike bolted up and started heading right at it. Since I wasn’t leaned over, I thought I could hit it dead on and ride it back out onto the road again, but the grass was slippery and the bike spun sideways, hitting the embankment and bucking into the air.
I was suddenly splayed out face down in the mud, with my bike upside-down, backwards, on top of my head. I reached up and blindly pushed the bike off of me, grabbing onto some searing hot piece of engine which promptly melted through my glove and the first few layers of skin.
I stood up and checked my body all over. Aside from neck soreness, hand burn and a killer headache, I was alright.
“Holy shit!” A young guy driving by had seen my crash and thought I was toast. He kindly helped me drag my bike out of the muddy ditch, asking me about a hundred times if I was really okay before he continued on down the road.
The bike is facing the opposite way of my original direction, you can see the pile of dirt where we hauled the bike out of the muddy ditch. I had some nice grassy handlebar fringe for a while too…
The bike fired right up. My mirror had broken and my headphone cord had snapped, but all in all I knew I got off easy.
My forks were twisted at an absurd angle, but I just rode on with the handlebars cocked. On a mission to reach the ferry on schedule which would take me to Port Townsend and the 101. I pulled in at an auto zone and got a hand straightening my forks back out and made the ferry on time…only to find out it was cancelled.
The next one wasn’t for two hours, but I felt like that was probably for the best anyway, I was still pretty dazed to be riding around. I took my place in the loading line and waited patiently.
Bikes have their own loading lane, first ones on, first ones off!
the other riders were friendly and one offered to take a picture of me.
View from the ferry
Approaching the dock
Washington was full of nice hilly roads with lots of trees.
I took the 101 down the coast into Oregon and stayed at a very cozy hostel in Seaside.