2013 Flying 15 MC Spring Opener Rally

I finally participated in my first official Motorcycle Rally. Typically I'm not much of one for big group rides, but I went out on a limb and did the Flying 15 Motorcycle Club's Spring Opener Rally this year. The weather was supposed to be good, I needed some new ride ideas, and figured it'd be sweet to see some of the other rider's in Portland. It was all that, plus I even got myself a little lost on some winding dirt roads. Definitely a win.

For the record I wouldn't recommend this ride as a complete loop, but many of the roads on the map should definitely be included if you're planning on cruising through the area. There's some damn good roads to be had.

The ride started at Kelly's Olympian downtown. A bar with more than enough moto-eyecandy hanging from the ceiling. Go there, check it out. I woke up a little later than I had planned (let's just say there was good reason to stay in bed...), quickly took the dog for a walk and hopped on the KLR. Already I felt it was going to be one of those "nothing's gonna get you down" kind of rides. The sky was party cloudy, air temp not too cold, and the bike was running strong. Aaaaaand then suddenly while I was headed down Powell a white SUV changed lanes into me. I thankfully saw it out of the corner of my eye in time to gas it and get around by riding the double yellow. Definitely a close call.

I coulda been pissed, sure, but I figured the driver might have been sleepy too so I just kept an eye on him in my mirror. Next thing I know the suv makes moves to pull back up along side me. I get ready for that epic "you're an asshole" staredown and as he pulls up. Then he blows my mind and very clearly mouths the words, "I'm SO sorry". Haha, you're alright dude. Thumbs up, we're all good here. (Seriously, when do they go out of their way to apologize?! I respect that). Nothing's gonna get me down.

 Outside of Kelly's the bikes were stacking up deep. They lined the streets for blocks, and grouped on the sidewalks in the sunshine. A damn good turnout. The line inside was decently long, and not wanting to have to wait any longer than necessary I got my registration, and got out without taking the time to get coffee. A mistake, I'd later find out.

Slowly a few of my friends showed up, we did a little wandering, scoping out bikes, and then I promptly ditched them. Don't get me wrong, I WANTED to ride with them, but I was getting antsy. Sorry guys, but  the standing around before a ride has always driven me bonkers. I like to talk about it all AFTER. It's my problem, not theirs. Obviously.

The ride map directed us out to a place in Hillsboro called Social Lies (yup, it's real) and I followed the directions taking Hwy 26 straight out there. Dumb, dumb idea. Like seriously there are so many other ways I could have taken to get there. Can you say Cornelius Pass Road? Skyline? I don't know what I was thinking, but I do know that when I pulled into the parking lot at the second stop I wished I had avoided 26 altogether.  I had damn well better get some coffee finally and get my head straight. Thankfully the very cute/sweet staff at Social Lies helped with both (thank you).

The ride then headed south on 219, supposedly to Newberg, but a road closure forced me to make a decision: head left like the police officers wanted me to, or right onto the narrow farm road. Yeah, I'm from Idaho... I know that narrow farm roads mean good riding. And it was. Having no idea where I was going I got nice and lost and before I knew it was rallying through dirt and gravel amongst rolling hills (Dixon Mills Road to be more specific). So my Hwy 26 mistake was amended by this fortunate detour. Eventually I found myself on familiar roads from a Yamhill Lavender Festival ride I'd done last year, and caught back up with the ride map.

Next stop was at Finnigan's in Newberg. It was at this point I started to realize just how many Triumphs were on the ride. Speed Triples in particular... What's up with that?

From Newberg I dropped down south onto one of the more enjoyable roads of the ride: NE Wilsonville Road (eventually turning into SW Wilsonville Rd). I probably never would have linked up with this road. It looks really boring on a map, but in reality has some good fast and hard curves alongside the river. From there over to SW Advance Rd (watch out for the hard s-curve on this one), North onto SW Mountain Rd., and SW Schaffer road over through Oregon City. Really these whole section was one of the better ways to get from Newberg to West Linn without too much Freeway/Traffic BS.

The next stop was the Redland Cafe on South Redland Road. This is starting to get into all of the good riding off of Hwy 224, and has some great winding roads. A good choice for the club to send the ride out here. A good taste of all of the Portland-area countryside.

The last stop on the ride was up on SE Foster... Now before you hate, remember there's often some good eye candy in that part of town:

The car, not the old lady...

Anyway the last stop was at O'Malleys, for the raffle and afterparty.  They've got good grinders, and more than ample bike parking out front. I got there a bit early... I think I didn't follow anyone's lead and stop and eat/drink at the establishments on the ride and just kept on the road as much as possible. So I took the time to order up some grub here (Chicken Pesto, hell yeah!) and watch the riders come in.

Lots of sweet rides came in that I hadn't seen earlier that morning. Sure, lots of harleys, and more of those darn Triumphs... But there was also THIS cool dynamic:

Triumph Tigress, meet Triumph Tiger. I made the joke that apparently "woman came before man afterall!" (Ok, not entirely accurate based on actual manufacturing years of the "Tiger" and "Tigress" models, but shut up and go with it). Also, for you non-scooter-fans out there this Tigress is insanely rare, and in damn good shape. You gotta respect classic two-wheel vehicles of all varieties. Another example is the Indian shown at the top of the post. So much style...

In conclusion I had a lot of fun, and was thoroughly entertained on the ride. A great kickoff to spring, and I found some sweet new roads to hit up. I'm stoked big group rides like this exist, even if I spent the whole time riding by myself. Thanks FFMC, well done.

Check out more info on The Flying 15 here: Flying 15 Motorcycle Club.


  1. Thanks for posting this. I was out riding Sunday by myself and decided to follow the groups of riders going down the Cornelius Pass area towards Hillsboro. I discovered the huge meet-up at Social Lies and was trying to Google what was going on and didn't find anything until your post here. I didn't stop to chat with anyone and instead just rode up and down NE Logie Trail a few times.


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