“If there’s ever been a deputy on this road, I don’t know about it,” said our host, smiling. “And I ride this road a lot.”
The reason that definitions of the term “road bike” vary so much between riders is that de
After calmly pulling a pretty fair Grand National imitation on the orange XR, Doug peeled off near La Pine to head back and start dinner prep while we added a loop through the mountain range embracing the Mt. Bachelor ski area. After an extra 100 miles or so fumbling our way down twilit forest roads, we finally found our way back to Moto Fantasy to talk routes with other riders over leftovers. In the land of Moto Fantasy, the penalty for getting lost is a blaze-fingered reach of hallucinogenic sunset reminding you that your every atomic mote contains universes within universes.
Nah. They’re just roads. It’s just some place out there on the high plains, close enough to nowhere that you can see it from there, and Moto Fantasy is just some funky livery of weird bikes, let out by a friendly guy named Doug. Nothin’ special, really.
“It’s just a piece of metal, okay?” Doug said, stroking his hand over the seat of the R100S Motorsports that he’s owned for 90,000 spirited miles. But he knew he was lying and so do you.
You can rent that very personal ride from him and flog it all day, just like you can rent the factory racing orange XR1200, the black Dyna Glide Police Defender (!), the spanky little Duck, the CBX, or half a dozen others. New to the fleet are a new Norton Commando, 1985 Kawasaki Ninja 900R, and an ’84 Yamaha RZ350. You can bring a buddy, significant other, or your grown offspring, grab a couple of bikes from Moto and ride ‘em ‘til your ass catches fire, either on the same one all day or trading off like a harem attendant crazed with the sudden epiphany that you never were a eunuch, after all.
Moto Fantasy offers several packages including bike rental and lodging that average around $300 a day; bikes only for around $150/day. (See www.motofantasy.net for details.) Moto Fantasy also offers lifetime shares, which beat a country club membership. That may be out of reach for me (especially since Dad couldn’t hold on to the old cabin; that Odd Fellows camp was razed by the Forest Circus years ago), but I can still boom out to La Pine and ride Doug’s charming old Beemer—the special sort of bike that most of us wouldn’t loan out to our best friend.
The roads are nonpareil. The country is splashed in Western chroma and filled up with the smoke of native fry bread, and fields of 1928 Dodge Brothers coupes for sale, and steaks the size of casabas, and indolent, pie-loving sheriff’s deputies with predictable patterns of enforcement.
Moto Fantasy sits striking distance from legendary rides through Cascade Loops, Aufderheide, Prineville Reservoir, Fossil…and should you break down on one of his frailer fantasy mounts, Doug won’t waste a moment of your riding time demanding to know what you did to his fine motorbike. He’ll calmly ride out to your position with a replacement bike, trade you keys and wait patiently for the truck.
Showing nothing less than noble restraint, local hot shoes throttle back their sport bikes
The only riding experience that can compete with an eyeful of central Oregon landscape is
Riders in Switzerland fantasize about riding Northwest roads, but you can put yourself in
How long will he be there? Long enough, if you scrape your itinerary together. People save up a few thousand bucks and go ride the Alps all the time. How hard can it be to drag yourself to the Land of the Bikes That Time Forgot?
Yeah, Doug will be there, waiting and smiling. He’ll have the garage door open, your room heated up, and maybe a blues band jamming on the upstairs stage. Doug straight-up loves being an innkeeper, and riders are his favorite customers.
“I just like to see guys come through and get a ride on one of these bikes that they’ve only heard of, but never rode,” he mused over his trademark barbecued chicken. “It’s a bucket list item for them. I do this all the time. I don’t have a life,” he added.
“I have a lifestyle.”