Alex @ South Sound BMW…

Posted: August 5, 2011 in Touring
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250kms from Victoria BC to Tacoma Wa…

I had a bit of time before I needed to tackle my next work project and I have a KLR650 that still needs some break in miles so I decided to take the ferry from Victoria BC to Port Angles WA and then ride down highway 101 to Olympia WA. I have an old friend who works at South Sound BMW in Tacoma so I figured that was a good spot to head for once I reached the I-5.

This is Alex and I more than 10yrs ago…

I hadn’t seen Alex for a long long time so I was stoked to chat with him face to face and check out South Sound BMW.

Only 3 bikes on the ferry…

My KLR was one of only 3 bikes on the ferry to Port Angles. The guy who owned the cruiser next to me also owned a KLR and the US Customs officer I spoke to had been looking at a KLR as his next bike. We got to load our bikes first before all the cars which was nice so we could get up on the top deck to enjoy the sunshine while the 100 or so cars slowly loaded. The 90 min ferry ride was uneventful and the lack of waves meant I didn’t worry too much my KLR would end up laying down sideways on the vehicle deck!

About half of South Sound BMW…

The ride down highway 101 was fun. It’s twisty and scenic ride most of the way to Olympia WA. I stopped in the village of Quilcene to strip off some layers and get a cold drink as it was getting really hot – for the PNW anyways! Sadly after the lady at the local cafe had my soda poured I realized I only had Canadian cash on me. She didn’t want it so I walked back out to my bike and thought about riding north to the ATM so I could pay for the drink. It was so hot I just sat there for a minute or two in the shade considering my options when a guy who had been eating with his family comes out and gives me the drink. He heard me talking to the waitress and paid for my drink. Awesome – people are so nice…=-)

Refreshed I hit the road and enjoyed the rest of highway 101. At Olympia I took the I-5 north to Tacoma. Riding the interstate on a KLR isn’t the most fun thing to do, but she handled herself just fine. I’m looking forward to adding a 16T sprocket up front to drop the high speed revs down a notch or two from the stock 15T unit. The great thing about riding a dualsport on the highway is that when you hit a section of rough pavement that makes cars and street bikes unhappy you just don’t care!

The F800GS is a nice looking bike…

Google Maps has South Sound BMW at its old location so if you are using GPS and end up at a Harley Davidson dealer that’s why! You are close – just go the other way down 20th St. It was great to see Alex and it turns out I showed up on his birthday by accident which was a nice surprise. He had 2hrs of work left so I killed some time at South Sound by trying on expensive riding gear!

Olympia X-Moto Jacket & Pants…

I ended up buying an Olympia X-Moto jacket and pants. I liked the BMW clothing a lot, but I got a complete Olympia setup for less than just the BMW jacket. After Alex was done work we headed out for a nice dinner with his wife and friends to celebrate his birthday. I goofed and didn’t take any photos at dinner or of Alex’s kick ass BMW HP2 bike…=-( I’ll document the trip better next time.

My KLR650 waiting for the ferry home…

I read my ferry schedule wrong so I hit the road at 6:15am from Tacoma thinking I was heading for the 1030am ferry. Too bad the next boat was at 1245pm! I also forgot how cold it was to be on a bike in the early AM. I almost stopped and put on all my clothes to warm up, but I thought I needed to keep moving for the early ferry so I didn’t bother. After a couple of chilly hours on the bike it did warm up and I obviously got to the Port Angeles ferry terminal in plenty of time! I killed the extra time by chatting with a BMW rider from Vancouver and a HD rider from Hawaii – interesting folks!

Victoria BC harbour…

 The ferry home was sunny and warm so I hung out on the top deck to soak in the heat after the morning’s chilly ride. I got through Canadian customs fairly quickly and the nice Customs Officer didn’t hassle me about the Olympia stuff I bought so I saved an extra $100 in taxes – sweet!

Overall the trip was short, but fun. It’s a nice ride and getting to hang out with an old friend was a bonus for sure…=-) South Sound BMW has a nice selection of adventure touring gear and great prices so I’ll definitely do more shopping there sometime down the road when I drop in on Alex again.

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