Visited the Rally from Folsom, Ca. I spent two days puttering up on my G11 the 650 miles.
First day leave at 10 am Folsom to Oroville, 90 minutes of drone on a two lane Hwy then take 70 up into the mountains. Great road, lots of tunnels, 35-55 sweepers just right for the GRiSO. Then intersect 395 and cruise up to Goose Lake, 350 miles or so.
Backpacking gear and RK panniers worked great on the GRiSO, only lost my 25 year old MSR Dromedary water bag due to my poor lashings. I have a policy of taking enough water for a 20 mile walk on trips - just in case. Goose lake was a great place to camp, not far off the road, grass lawn, showers and all for $22 bucks now if they could just get rid of the mosquitoes. (not really that bad for a shallow lake)
Next day up at 4:30 (I work construction and we don't keep bankers hours), loaded and on the road at 6:00. I actually found a gas station open at 6:15 in Lakeville and was very happy to fill up. All the rest had been closed. Next came the nasty run past Albert lake up to the next gas station 90 miles away. No cars either way, a herd of antelope crossed in front of me just to see if I was paying attention. It was really cold in the shadow of the ridges and once I made it out into the desert it got worse. I had to stop 4 times during the passage to put on more clothes and try to warm up. Life on a naked bike. There's a pit toilet at the 45 mile mark and I hid inside trying to get warm. It was strange seeing sand dunes on both sides of the road in Oregon. The roads were straight for 10 mile chunks then over a little rise and straight again. The headwind was beating me about the helmet so I eventually slowed to 55 just to keep the pressure down on my helmet. Chest pressure was no problem. On my last warming stop I seriously considered erecting the tent and using the sleeping bag to warm up. The severe shivering was really getting to me. As it was I stopped on a rise and could see habitation on the horizon so away so I kept going.
The last 75 miles into John Day was great with sweepers but I still kept my speed down due to the headwind. Played tag with a Harley on this portion. He'd run far away from me on the straights and I'd catch him in the sweepers. I finally passed him on a short straight after a great set of turns. I guess the apes and forward pegs don't help with spirited riding. Made it to John Day after 2 or so Friday night and visited.
A great diversity of Guzzis/Italians, only four GRiSO's, 30 or so Stelvios, Norges, Ambo's, Eldos, Larios, Lemans, V50's, V7's, the new Eldo, Camponords, an Elephant, a couple of sidecars, even a Laverda sport touring. Still for me it was about the ride more than anything.
The Saturday morning I went on a solo Dawn Patrol and found that Eastern Oregon has lots of unpaved roads. Not good for the GRiSO. Back at camp a couple of fellas I knew talked about getting a head start to their home, San Jose area, to be back at work on Monday. I knew the best way home as I used to take it 40 years ago when working in Alturas & Ravendale California building Fire Stations in the remote country. I'm slower than these two track guys (one highly modified Lemans and a SV650) so I figured what the hell, packed up and took off earlier than them at 11:00 am. I made my usual fuel stops, lunch stops and rested at the pit toilet in the desert. It was much warmer. I could hear the one fella's Lemans coming from miles away so I walked out into the road and waved them as they passed. I caught them at the next gas stop, waved and kept going. I figured we'd leap-frog until Hallaluja junction. Well it didn't work out that way. They took a safer route. I just rode my own style. Without a head wind I'd keep the GRiSO between 75 and 80 indicating. Sure enough things had changed in 40 years so I got lost and found my way back. I'd stop every 80-90 miles rest a little and get on the bike.
I made it home @ 11:00 pm. 650 miles and thirteen hours in the stock saddle that day. Not bad for a chubby 62 year old.
Still I think 10 hour days are more comfortable.