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Wild Horse Wind Farm Meet-up

The 2012 Sound RIDER! Spring Opener brings together riders from all over the Northwest

In 2009, Sound RIDER! held its first Spring Opener at the newly opened Wild Horse Wind Farm facility. On that first Sunday of April, riders rode in from all over the Northwest with more than 200 motorcyclists converging at 3,000 feet above sea level for one of the first gatherings of the year. We lament it often. So much so that we're doing it again.

Join us Sunday, April 1st 2012 (NO FOOLIN') on top of Whiskey Dick Mountain high above the Columbia River and the Ellensburg farmlands, dead smack on the 47th parallel at the Wild Horse Wind and Solar Facility to celebrate the arrival of spring and all things new. Riders of ALL makes and models are welcome to this FREE event.

The day begins at 9 a.m. with riders converging on the Wind Farm. There will be a series of seminars throughout the day (the wind farm has a very nice meeting room indoors). The outdoor concourse will be lined with the latest in electric motorcycle technology and we'll do the essential group photo at noon on the concourse. Weather permitting there will be a big fat Mt. Rainier popping out of the Cascades in the photo.

From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. attendees will have the opportunity to tour one of the many wind turbines. Leave your fear of heights at the door.

Riders are encouraged to pack a lunch and enjoy it on the patio, which features a 360 degree view of the Cascades, Mt. Rainier, Mt. Adams, the surrounding farmlands, Columbia Basin and more.

Seminars include two travel seminars by SR! publisher Tom Mehren, featuring some of the must-tour locations in the Northwest. The morning version will be dual sport focused, while the afternoon edition will be pavement focused. Mehren has recently released his fourth Northwest tour book providing 25 hidden rides in Western Oregon. His books reach well beyond commonly known rides such as the Oregon Coast or the WABDR. Come discover the secrets within.

Philip Buonpastore will celebrate the release of his new book, Shifting Gears at 50, with a seminar focused on some of the content within the book. Buonpastore is a busy, freelance moto-journalist with recent articles appearing in Rider, Motorcyclist, and  American Motorcyclist. Shifting Gears at 50 is a must read for any rider entering or re-entering the sport in their 40s or older.

At noon the Electric bikes will be brought down from the concourse and attendees will get a chance to test ride them. Signups for the test rides begin at 9 a.m. and are first come first served. An endorsement and insurance card are required. Special thanks to the staff at Cycle Barn for making the trek and making these demo rides on their Zero motorcycles possible.

The Wild Horse Wind Farm is located along the Vantage Highway, 16 miles east of Ellensburg. The entrance is obvious when you arrive.

Before departing the area, dual sport riders are encouraged to pair up and ride the FS 35 road north of Ellensburg to the snowline on Table Mountain. How far can you go today?

Road riders who attend may want to later explore the Ginkgo Petrified Forest just east on Vantage Highway. Their interpretive Center provides a wealth of geological information and history of the formation of the Columbia River and its nearby Gorge. It's a fun ride there, too!

On Sunday morning, start with a check online before you leave. A forecast of freezing temperatures and/or snow in Snoqualmie Pass may mean riding is not advisable for riders coming from the Puget Sound. In 2009 there was a mild freeze and a number of riders hopped in their cages and made the trek none the less. Better safe than sorry. There's plenty of parking for cars and motorcycles at the facility.

SCHEDULE

  • 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.  Electric Motorcycle Display on Concourse
  • 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.  Guided Tours into/up facility wind turbines
  • 10 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. Dual Sport Touring in the Northwest (seminar)
  • 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.  BYOL picnic on the patio
  • 12 p.m.  Group photo on patio
  • 12 p.m. - 2 p.m. Zero Electric Motorcycle Demo Rides courtesy of Cycle Barn (sign up early)
  • 12:10 p.m. - 12:40 p.m. Shifting Gears at 50 (seminar)
  • 1 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. Road Touring in the Northwest

 


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