Soaring twisties, long sweepers down to the salt wind of the Pacific Ocean, heavily forested mountain climbs, high deserts and stunning cityscapes. Who wouldn’t want to be part of the Triumph Tiger Troop?
Those diverse and beautiful routes are par for the course for the Oregon-based group led by Kate Stoller, whose motto -‘there are no promises of tomorrow’ – fuels the imagination of the group’s 100 members.
“It’s a really diverse landscape here,” says Kate, who only started riding in 2012: “There are paved and unpaved roads lined with tall evergreen trees in our forested areas, as well as valleys that drop in and follow beautiful, powerful rivers. We cover most of it over the course of a year.”
The Troop’s riders all share one emotion. A desperate desire to‘get out of the mundane, and experience life outside of the cage’ whenever they possibly can. Kate – aka Trixie Tiger – is proud of the fact they ride all year round, ice and snow aside.
“We love getting out of the mundane, day-to-day grind to break out, learn new routes, try new skills, meet new people, eat great food and explore our state,” she says: “Riding all year really allows us to experience the changing views, seasons, temperatures, fragrances and environments around us.”
The group is, as the name suggests, built around the ultimate adventure bike, despite being very much an open group. They ride out on the third Saturday of every month and average 15 riders, with the largest group recorded at 33.
Attractive, tough and beautiful
Kate rides a Tiger 800, as does her husband Greg, and she says: “It’s attractive, tough and beautiful. The lines and angles catch the light and the design is sleek, fast and sporty. It offers a very comfortable riding position, which has been great for our longer rides.
“The Tigers give us the capacity to tackle any terrain and to feel confident wherever we are going, whatever time of year.
The trips are very diverse, so it’s crucial we have a bike that’s flexible and adaptable.”
Kate’s recommended rides
Along the scenic Columbia River Gorge and riding out into the high desert
North into Washington state and encircling Mount St. Helens
Riding rural roads and using the county ferry system (Canby, Wheatland and Buena Vista ferries) to cross three river sections.
The group was born during a ride in Central Oregon, when Kate and three friends rode for hours near the town of Maupin. “Camaraderie, great bikes, a comfortable ride and open roads sparked the idea of getting others to join in,” she says.
The original gang put together a list of routes, with turn-by-turn instructions, and announced the birth of the group in late 2014. Now, in December every year they publish a new list of recommended rides.
Embrace life and adventure
Most members are in their early 20s and include students as well as people working in education, finance, construction, high-tech industry and government. Kate insists: “Everyone is welcome whatever bike they ride. It’s about connecting with other people but, ultimately, it was our Triumph Tigers that brought us all together because they’re built for people who embrace life and adventure.
“The onboard technology is a treat for the rider! The benefit of cruise control and ABS is a treat, the computer is well laid out and the screen offers a good view of the status and functions. The power the Tiger offers is phenomenal, regardless of the terrain and environment.”
Find the guys and girls at Cascade Moto Classics – the TTT’s home shop in Beaverton, Oregon. The owners, Kelly and Janice, are welcoming, supportive and encouraging of TTT’s activities.
If you drop in and they’re not there, they’ll probably be either planning or away on their next great adventure. By then daughters Marin and Regan may be part of the Troop too.
Kate explains: “Two years ago, we camped our way through Canada from Banff, along the Icefields Parkway to Jasper, travelled to Whistler and across the water to Victoria as a group. It was an amazing 10-day journey.
“We planned it and did it because, as we always remind ourselves, there are no promises of tomorrow. The thrill of riding is that it enhances the senses of sight, smell and sound that you just can’t find sitting behind a desk… so it’s important we do that while we can.”
* Why do you ride? Drop us a quick email to fortheride@Triumph.co.uk with a picture and we’ll feature the best in our letters round-up.