Sunday, September 18, 2011

Chena Hot Springs Ride

Today, the very loosely organized group of BMW riders met for the now traditional "first last ride of the season". It is called the first last ride to reserve the option of having a second, third, and so on. Two years ago, I believe they went up to a fourth last ride which occurred on October 23rd. There was a pretty good turnout with at least 25 bikes starting out. Several more joined in sometime during the trip. There is no structure or organization beyond everyone agreeing on the destination, which in this case was Chena Hot Springs. The ride was not limited to BMW's as there were a couple of Hondas and several Royal Enfields along for the ride. About half of the bikes were older BMW airheads.

This 1984 R100RT is not typical of the bikes as this one is absolutely flawless. Even the snowflake cast wheels have been powder coated white to match the fairing and the tops of the Bing carbs are chrome. A beautiful airhead. Most of the rest of the bikes were GS types of various vintages with the requisite aluminum luggage. There was one K bike in the group. Two sidecar rigs, an R60 and a one of the new new Royal Enfields. At around 1:00, folks started to head out and took off in just about every possible direction. Most were in groups of three or four and I ended up following a couple two up on an R60/5. Their speed was comfortable for me and when we arrived, they asked how fast they were going as the speedometer has been broken for years. (Though the tach did work). Other wise, their R60 had been meticulously gone through and looked and sounded great. No effort was made to "restore" the bike but just make it clean and reliable for them. It had a 2 into 1 exhaust that I've never seen before and powder coated valve covers. The bike was not spotless and does get ridden just about everyday during the summer. It was an absolutely beautiful ride out with the yellow leaves in stark contrast with the dark blue sky, the rivers and ponds along the road.

Looking towards the airstrip
The group right in front of us encountered a moose cow right in the middle of the road causing them to come to a complete stop as the moose refused to move off of the road. She was not intimidated at all by a bunch of BMW riders wearing hi-viz. A car came up behind them, pulled around and pulled up right to the the moose and laid on it's horn. She slowly moved off giving the car the evil eye. We sort of took over the dining room at the resort and had lunch. Some were opting to stay and go swimming in the hot springs but I had promised to be home by 5pm so I took off right after lunch. Only 134 miles and the weather out and back was beautiful. It warmed up to about 55°F by the middle of the day but was a chilly 34°F in the morning.

View Larger Map

BTW, I just noticed in the Google Maps image you can see the smoke from a brush fire north of the resort. This suggests that the image is probably at least a couple of years old.


  1. Sounds like a nice ride. I think Inwould have liked to have a dunk in the hot springs. I like the groups idea of having the first last ride & so on. When do you usually get snow up there?

  2. Dar:
    First snow is usually around now but it usually doesn't "stick" until October sometime. I suspect that there will be at least one more group ride. In the meantime, I'm still commuting everyday. The best time for the hot springs is in the middle of the winter. Nothing like jumping in the outdoor pool when it's -40.


  3. Dear Richard:

    I took my time going through this piece, clicking on each picture to get maximum magnification. I especially wanted to see the snowflake wheels powdercoated to match the rest of the bike. I am discovering that the number of "R" bike covens and cults in the hinterlands dramatically outnumber the "K" bike reformed faithful.

    Now, other than hitting one, can a moose be regarded as something that could bring sa premature end to a motorcyclr ride? Are they really dangerous?

    Fondest regards,
    Twisted Roads

  4. I am glad you are still getting some beautiful sunshine and rides in. Won't be long until the snow flies but fingers are crossed you get at least one more big ride in.

  5. JackR:
    As you probably know, moose are huge animals and just about anything that is normally driven on the road will be totalled upon collision. Plus their long legs ensure that they will probably end up going through the windshield if hit. Exceptions are trains and semi tractors with "moose bars" which are similar to "roo bars" only made of much heavier stock. Moose can also be fairly aggressive if provoked and could easily trample a rider and his bike. People sometimes try to pass and get a hoof through their window when the moose will take another shot as you go by.

    Thank you all for stopping by and commenting.