The Species Is Evolving

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Yamaha Motorcycles Street Event - Ride


The Species Is Evolving?

It just took one motorcycle ride to realize that our species, as well as others, are evolving.

It all kind of went like this…

Sometimes I work long hours. But it's hard to tell just when I'm working and when I'm having fun because after all, I work for a motorcycle magazine.

On a recent rainy weekend however I definitely 'worked' Saturday and Sunday. With good weather on the way, I opted to take Monday off.

Long ago, motorcycle dealerships were open on Mondays. But someone got the bright idea (rumor says it was University Honda/Yamaha's Pete Wicken) to start taking Sundays and Mondays off. Before you knew it there were very few dealerships open on Monday. Think of all the holiday pay that's been saved. The species is evolving.

So I leave the house at 9am and begin my ascent into the Cascades for a lunch date with myself in Leavenworth.

I have a few questions. Why are logging trucks leaving Monroe and driving into the mountains? Are they putting the wood back? Is the species evolving, or is this de-evolution in the buff?

Later I'm dealing with not one, but two insane semi truck drivers (they only semi operated their trucks safely) in Steven's Pass, so I opt for a break and take a side trip to the city of Plain Washington.

You only need to visit this town once to know why they call it Plain.

Just as I make my way down SR207 I see a deer near the highway. I slow down, and remembering that I've equipped my bike with deer whistles, I wait to see what happens. The deer crosses the road and I begin to pass it thinking it will probably take off like a rocket from the sound of the whistles. Instead the deer turns around, looks at me and charges the bike.

Fortunately the bike is equipped with a throttle and I make my getaway after we take one last look at each other eye to eye.

That species is evolving indeed.

Now the whistles just seem to piss them off and they charge the bike, instead of sending them on the run. I guess it's kinda like if your ambulance-driver-neighbor came home from work every night… with sirens blaring.

I finally arrive in Leavenworth and proceed to start photographing the surroundings for an upcoming story, when I glance a familiar logo. In the middle of Bavaria Ville stands a Starbucks.

Four Score and Seven Years ago our fathers brought forth… Coffee.

Lots of native Washingtonians can remember when they would go to the cute little German town and never see one icon of urban living. Even today, Bainbridge has a law against that. But the east cascaders have given into commercialism and who will pay the highest rents. Today Leavenworth hosts a Starbucks, Safeway and McDonalds.

The species is evolving?

I'm making my way back home on I-90, just having come over Snoqualmie Pass heading westbound when all of the sudden I'm losing power. My little inline four needs to be switched to reserve and I check the odometer. Only 95 miles. Geez, I usually don't have to roll it until after 100. I glance at the tachometer. Oh, 10,000 rpm, uh, that's a little high. Sure enough I've been truckin' along in fifth gear for about 25 miles, but the tranny has six. I switch to reserve and finally shift into sixth gear.

My other motorcycle, a 600cc scooter, which my girlfriend refuses to term as a motorcycle, only has one speed. I love the way the species is evolving.

By the time I reach North Bend my knees are in a lot of pain and I just want to bail from the bike and do some moving around. How to get comfortable on a sport bike?

The species needs to keep evolving!


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