I see you guys out there in the student lot, with that hog, the mid-sized Rebel, and that incredibly quaint Vespa. More and more Tacomen and Tacowomen are choosing the cooler way to get to school. Environmentally cool, that is. With most motos yielding anywhere from 35 to 60 mpg, it just makes sense. Here are a few short local motorcycle rides and their preferred musical accompaniments for the McQueen at heart.
- Industrial Playground– This route is best in the A.M. hours and accompanied with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7- li, also known as “Speaking Unto Nations” from “The Kings Speech.” This route starts with ONE hard cider at Bob’s Java Jive on S. Tacoma WA and then spelunks you into downhill switchbacks in total darkness. If you are lucky, you can race the train to your left. Just watch out for hobos, naturally. When you reach the bottom, take a hard left at the light and enjoy a seemingly deserted city. All of the lights are bestowing their illumination upon you, as you zip past century-old buildings that once toiled with the grit of blue collar labor. Pacific Avenue will eventually wind and dine you down Ruston’s sea breeze. You journey’s end will be marked by a tunnel that you should most certainly scream at the top of your lungs while under. This road will bring you to the Antique Sandwich Shop and a Chevron, both at your disposal.
- 5 Mile Drive– 5 Mile Drive is a lovely forest ride where your leaning skills will be tested, depending on your disposition to the speed limit. The entirety of the “Darjeeling Limited” soundtrack works as your accompaniment here, but if Wes Anderson is your cup of chai, Karen O’s “Where the Wild Things Are” soundtrack seems to be pitch perfect. This route is pretty standard, as any deviation will require you to have a grippy pair of knobbies with a healthy disrespect of trails to boot. The trail ends where you start.
- Old Steilacoom– Across the street from the pet cemetery, just before you get to Chamber’s Creek, there is a road that ends at a mental hospital, yet it’s the “getting there” that is worth it. Cue David Bowie’s “Rebel Rebel” and shoot down a hill only fast enough to downshift down to second gear as there will be a very narrow bridge. Much of the scenery of this route is of decrepit buildings and structures until it opens up into an ocean view. Behold, Old Steilacoom, one of the quaintest cities by the sea, with an old timey barber shop, post office (snarky post office man included), and a little cafe that big burly bikers will stop in for ice cream. Take a left before the post office and one more left at the intersection and you will find yourself on a forest road straight out of a movie. You can catch falling leaves whilst riding, assuming you can one-hand it like a boss. This road eventually will end with Western State Mental Institution in sight. You can either tour the grounds which used to be a military base, or double back for a downhill adventure.