Monday, September 29, 2008

Made It To Oyster Run '08

Against my better judgement we decided to go to the Oyster Run in Anacortes, WA on Sunday. It is the largest one day gathering of motorcyclists in the Western U.S. This year they expected over 30,000 bikes to attend. I estimate there were more......

We got up early and expected to get going by 9 am. From 7 o'clock on you could hear the drone of motorcycles off in the distance going up I-5. By the time we left home and merged onto I-5 heading North it was a sight to see. What a thrill it was to be on a 3 lane interstate surrounded by hundreds of motorcyclists in every lane, with only an occasional car squeezed in between the crowd. All you could see ahead or in your mirrors were motorcycles. I have never seen anything like it and it was an emotional and exhilerating experience.

We stopped about 30 miles north of home to drop in and see my son, who had a group of many friends who were gathering to go also. The gas stations in his town were filling up with hundreds of bikers meeting up. Nate and his friends were going to breakfast so we headed to the Oyster Run without them and said we would meet up later. We never found them at the event. We did, however, run into the friend who had sold Dave the Victory. What were the chances of that?

We went off of the interstate and headed towards Anacortes on the back roads which were scenic and rural. It was a clear blue day which turned out to be warm and sunny. As we neared the town of Anacortes traffic came to a halt. We crept into town inch by inch. That is when the fun ended for me. By the time we parked my clutch hand had a full cramp.

The event was interesting, with local vendors and bike builders etc. All the biker groups were there wearing their colors, but no incidents as far as I know. Everyone was happy to be there and appreciating looking at the motorcycles. We walked around in shoulder to shoulder crowds and made our way up the entire street and back the other side. There was one group doing a scheduled stunt show but we didn't wait to see it. Otherwise, it was just a large gathering. After I saw about the thousandth bike they all started looking the same.

Here is a lineup of Big Dog bikes.

Not sure what this was but when it was revved it was so loud people were covering their ears!

How's this for a motorcycle cover?

I liked this biker gorilla.

They said this bike was on Biker Build-off. They were giving it away.

As we tried to leave town the traffic was even worse than coming in. There were several directions to go but all were creeping or stopped. We headed east and found a back road with only a few bikers on it. It was a long ride home and I was very tired by the time we arrived. All day we only went a total of 155 miles, but rode for about 6 hours. My left hand turned purple from clutching. I guess I'm not as tough as I think sometimes.

I don't think I would ever attempt to go to the Oyster Run again, because it really had nothing to offer me. Crowds like that aren't my thing. I'm glad for the experience, though, and got my first bike event pin.


B.B. said...

I'm glad you got to have the experience, at least now you know for next time. The pics were awesome and it looks like you had great weather.
Hope your hand is back to normal!

Becky said...

B.B.: It's something everyone should do once. My hand is good and I rode to work today. Today may be our last day of good weather.


Rick said...

Like BB said. It is nice to say you have done that even if it wasn't your thing!

FLHX_Dave said...

Looks good to me! Awesome picts. I love being around bikes. It looked like heaven to me! Thanks!

"Joker" said...

I'm really glad you went, purple hand and all! Creeping in traffic on a bike basically sucks; I think we can all agree on that. Consider your "clutch hand" a badge of honor.

At least you can say you went and you checked it out, even if it's really not your sort of scene. What's funny is that you and I are very much alike as far as not liking crowds. I can't tell you the last time I was in a shopping mall. I rarely go, and if I have to, I go on like a Tuesday or something instead of a Saturday to avoid the crowds. After Thanksgiving, I won't get within 5 miles of one.

This may sound weird but when it comes to biker events, the crowds don't bother me at all. Sure, the heavy traffic still bites, but for once I don't mind all the people. Maybe it's because I know we all have something in common. Maybe it's because I have a better than average chance of seeing some bare tits. Maybe it's just because I feel like I belong...

Whatever the reason, these sort of events have broken me out of my crowd-avoidance shell. After Milwaukee, I'm ready for anything. I think you are too, you just maybe have to reflect more, because it did indeed have something to offer you. In your own words: "I have never seen anything like it and it was an emotional and exhilerating experience."

There's a lot of truth in the biker saying, "It's not the destination; It's the journey." One day you will again be in search of an emotional and exhilerating experience on two wheels. Remember, if nothing else, they help keep us young! See you on the road sometime Chickz. Ride Safe.

irondad said...

I think the coolest part is where you describe heading up I-5 with the freeway full of bikes. Being the majority for once would be a switch!

Becky said...

Rick: I am glad I experienced something like this. Now I know I won't ever want to do Sturgis!

flhx_dave: One person's heaven is anothers hell. It was actually very cool once we were there.

Joker: I hear you about the mall; I avoid it like the plague. Who needs to shop all the time anyway? The event wasn't bad while walking around and all the food places in town had nothing but bikers. That was cool. I heard someone say, "This would be great if it weren't for the crotch-rockets." I chuckled to myself. There were groups of them showing off.

Irondad: The ride up I-5 was the best part of the day in my opinion. I felt like bikers were in affected every town within 50 miles of the event. Cars drivers were afraid, very afraid.


Jovita said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful time, great photos and love that bike cover!