Very few places on the west coast allow you to operate a vehicle on the beach. When Thor Drake of SeeSee Motorcycles told us about a stretch of beach in the southwest corner of Washington State where you can ride right onto the sand, we knew we had to make journey. How often to you get to “do the ton” on the beach? Little did we know that would be the beginning of an awesome two-wheeled adventure.
When we were in Portland for the One Motorcycle Show in February we met up with our good friends from RAEN and stopped by the Portland flagship store of POLER STUFF. Poler is doing great things and was generous enough to outfit us for the road ahead with some packs and a tent to ensure maximum #campvibes.. After the show wrapped we hopped on four #BCBUILT machines. We had Back to Basics, The Dirt Bike, The Tribute, and a Tracker/Cafe rendition of Cafe Racer Deux. These bikes were chosen for their function, which inspires the characters that ride them.
The road from Portland to Astoria is one of those stretches of highway that you never forget. It’s just you, your fellow riders and the open road. Starting out in Portland, we headed Northwest through the Tillamook State Forest and then up the coast to Astoria. The quiet seaside town has been host to numerous Hollywood productions (The Goonies, Kindergarten Cop, Into The Wild) but spends most of the year as a sleepy fishing town with occasional stops by cruise ships and poetic fisherman looking to channel their inner-Hemingway in the annual Fisher Poets Gathering.
Spanning the Columbia is the longest continuous truss bridge in North America, the Astoria-Megler bridge. This served as the backdrop to our morning coffee and led our crew into Washington state after our nights stay in Astoria. We buzzed by the Goonies house for a touch of nostalgia but figured we’d leave One-Eyed Willie’s treasures for another band of misfits: the rumble of four #BCbuilt Modern Classics begging to rev kept us moving.
Across the Columbia River sits the town Long Beach, WA, which is home to the “world’s longest beach.” This stretch of beach has been the setting of car commercials and clam digs for decades. The area is known for is mild climate and welcoming locals and this trip did not disappoint. Pulling into town we were greeted with smiles and sunshine. At a local gas station The Dirt Bike got the approval of several locals. Heading down the main drag we turned down Bolstad Street to enter the beach. The street transitioned from asphalt to sand and the fun began.
We had barely made it 100 feet before the sand started flyin’. The Long Beach Peninsula stretches for twenty-eight uninterrupted miles and the entrance to the beach is at its thickest spot. Liz Horton on the street tire equipped cafe racer, Back 2 Basics, trudged through the choppy sand in 1st gear until we hit the water line, BC Ambassador Austin Dixon on the Re/Deux (an aggressive rebuild of the lauded Cafe Racer Deux), our own Matt Frey on the purpose built dirt tracker, The Tribute, and Wesley Case on the long travel suspension-equipped Scrambler aka The Dirt Bike weren’t far behind. It didn’t take long for the crew to master the conditions and cruise the shoreline with the ease and grace of Dakar veterans.
Liz was still riding a confident wave from the proposed nuptials just nights before. In a true motorcycle romance Wesley proposed on the band stage at The One Motorcycle Show. Announcing the engagement Wesley proudly stated “She’s my best friend, my partner in crime and the babe of all babes!” She left all of us in her dust at least once, and her hubby-to-be more so than the rest.
It didn’t take long for us to figure out the sweet spot along the Peninsula. Riding in the crest of the incoming tide, the combination of sand and water delivered an experience that none of us will ever forget. The Tribute and Dirt Bike handled in the sand with surprising grace, drifting through the waterline. Re/Deux and Back to Basics proved to be natural-born drag racers with pilots Liz and Austin. Locals began to appear, some with thumbs raised in approval, others with small shovels in hand. Apparently our method of digging for razor clams wasn’t the most effective, it just happened to be the most fun. There’s just something about letting loose at the beach that brings out the five year old in all of us.
After a day in the sun, playing in the sand, diggin’ up clams and filling the Pacific Northwest with that classic British Customs’ exhaust note, we headed out. First stop was the car wash. With the adventure just beginning we got some grub and hit the road. Next stop: #campvibes
Coming Soon | Part 2 of the BC X RAEN X POLER Adventure Series.