Alton heads up via SlashFood.
Mom- you can stop reading this paragraph and skip down to my picture… I think Alton jinxed himself with the name of his upcoming road trip show, Feasting on Asphalt. A spill on his BMW 1200 RT touring bike produced “a sound like a wooden spoon snapping” resulting in a broken clavicle. Yuck.
AB also has a nice short article up in the NYT business section. It hits on some of the highlights of riding a motorcycle: the way it puts you inside your environment, bringing the smells of your landscape to you, and the immediate changes in air temperature. The tie-in a motorcyclist has with their environment lends the inspiration to the biker slang of cagers to denote those in cars.
My Bourdain trip to Portland happily coincided with my picking up my first motorcycle, previously named Pinky the Petulant Princess. Pinky is a ’96 Yamaha Seca II, bought from a friend in Portland. Our ride back home from Portland gave us a nice leisurely route that cut through the west side of Portland, and went down past many fields and fruit stands. I concur with Alton’s sentiments on the sensory experience of riding a motorcycle… From our journey Sweets and I could see baby pale cherries clinging to their mother trees. Small fruit and flower stands have sprouted like Oregon grass along the roadsides. Fields that are often lush with glowing mustards and bushy nursery plants have pungently awoken with dark purple green crops of Oregon mint. Our noses clue us in to the nature of the mints, as the breeze seems to be enough to stir their perfume.
In addition to those exhibitionist senses, the bottled worlds of Wine Country stud the northern part of our journey. Passing through the town of Dundee we see regimented rows of grape vines drape posh looking tasting rooms. The great winery map at Oregon Wine shows that we passed through the vicinity of 76 wineries in Northern Willamette Valley alone!
This first journey home on the bike was part of our summer riding reminder of how gloriously a land can blossom under the pressures to be fertile. These sights and smells will be a welcome souvenir to evoke when the drier months of summer and fall bustle up our Willamette Valley.
Silly update: considering renaming Pinky… Lola?
Also, she’s been decorated with sticker mods!