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blues2cruise
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Chicken Strips....and I'm not talking about lunch...LOL

#41 Unread post by blues2cruise » Sun Aug 21, 2005 12:57 am

Saturday, August 20, 2005 was a day of seeing new places and meeting new people. Today I was getting to meet another internet acquaintance as well as catch up with a couple of other pals I met a few years ago. We all got to know each other through discussion forums.
Dr_bar and I had arranged to meet at the Canadian Tire on Lougheed at 10am. I was a few minutes late, so he took the opportunity to polish up the saddlebags on his bike. After the polish dried we set off east along Lougheed to access the #1 eastbound freeway entrance.
The pace I set today was brisk….in between EACH AND EVERY RED LIGHT....aaaarrrrggghhhhh....sigh….it was going to be one of those days….

Getting onto the freeway proved to be a bit of a challenge this morning partly because there was considerable volume but also there was an old geezer going w-a-a-ay-y-y-y under the speed limit. :roll: People that go as slow as he was create just as many problems as the speed demons. We were able to merge in fairly well, but it another story trying to get over to the HOV lane because I was behind this old geezer who wouldn’t get up to speed and the other lane of traffic was going so fast……finally someone realized I was trying to move over and actually slowed a bit and made a gap so I could change lanes. I made sure to wave so they knew I appreciated what they did for me. Once in the passing lane, it was then another easy lane change to the HOV lane. As before when I crossed this bridge, when I got to the other side where the HOV ends and becomes the passing lane, I moved to the “slow traffic keep right” lane.

We left the freeway at 200th Street today. We had previously decided we would go a different route to Abbotsford and Mission so that we would not get stuck in the construction zone again. We headed south along 200th Street and made a left at the Bypass. I put on my signals to turn into the mall knowing dr_bar would follow me in. I’m sure he was wondering where the heck I was going.

I pulled in the local coffee shop to get some juice. I had not been feeling well for few days which caused me to not eat much. I felt like I was running on empty and the cup of coffee I had at home made me feel dehydrated. I guess I was worse off than I thought. I swigged back a yogurt smoothie AND a fruit smoothie. I did feel somewhat revived after. We were sitting yakking while I was drinking my drink when dr_bar looked at his watch. …. :shock: ….we were going to be late getting to the Abbotsford airport if we didn’t get a move on….
We got back onto the Bypass heading east to Fraser Highway where we turned left. I have decided I like using Fraser Highway to get to the valley instead of Highway #1. Fraser Highway is much more interesting because it travels through a couple of little burbs on the way. Finally up ahead I see the sign for the airport and put on my signals to turn right. Once we got to the airport, however, we did not know where to go to meet up with our friends. These friends are from Vancouver Island and they happen to own a small plane. They were coming in just for the day. The other people we were going to meet live in Mission and had driven to the airport to pick up the island friends.
We made a circuitous route around the airport and finally found them just as they were driving out. They knew we were coming on motorcycles, so when they saw the 2 bikers, they knew who it was and stopped. After the meet and greet we were on our way to Mission for lunch.

As an aside, John, the pilot, is involved with an organization called Young Eagles. They give flights to kids to introduce them to flying. The kids then get a certificate and John gets credit for giving the flight. . Even though I may not be a kid, he given me a flight a couple of times, too. :)
Sure different flying in a Cessna than a big commercial airliner. John is also involved with “Angel Flights”. He will fly to pick up people who need medical treatment. It’s a good thing there are volunteer organizations around to help sick people in need otherwise they may not get the treatment they need.

We followed the van of our new acquaintance back to their place. I had a hard time keeping up with him and I eventually slowed down to a more manageable pace. I did, after all, have the address and a map book with me. I caught sight of them again when they had to stop at a long red light.
Our arrival in their neighbourhood caused quite a stir. We were no sooner off our bikes when the neighbour came over to see the bikes and have a chit chat about bikes.

I got the feeling this was a special day for our new acquaintance. Her husband was originally scheduled to go camping with their sons, but decided to go tomorrow instead. They had shopped and cooked and cooked and cooked. Wow!
My idea of lunch is a salad and grilled cheese sandwich….lol
She had prepared pita and humus, sourdough and spinach dip and shrimp on ice….(not that I like shrimp, but I know most of the rest of the world does) for appetizers. Given that dr_bar and I were riding and John would be flying, we were drinking iced teas and juices.
Then lunch was ready.
Lunch consisted of, lasagna, barbecued chicken kabobs, stuffed green peppers, middle eastern potatoes, a cauliflower and asparagus dish…..followed by watermelon, cantaloupe, and some Italian type of cookies and coffee. If we could have eaten more we would have because it was very good. They will have enough food for their next few dinners.
It turned out that the husband used to ride motorcycle also. Consequently the conversation would sometimes lead to motorcycles. They were talking about the chicken strips on the bikes and how some people’s bikes have chicken strips. ???? I asked, “What are chicken strips?” They explained about the sides of the tires that get no wear because some riders don’t lean over very far.
Dr_bar said you could see the chicken strips on his bike. I replied, "If your bike has chicken strips, then my bike must have the whole hen house. :laughing:
The afternoon went by quite quickly. When I looked at my watch and saw that it was after 6pm, I suggested it was a good time to leave. After much fanfare of saying goodbyes and getting some group photos, we were on our way.

We rode back through Mission to come home via Maple Ridge. Along the way, we stopped to fuel up since the gas was 15 cents a litre less than in town. While we were in the gas station at Silverdale we discussed the route we would go home. Dr_bar asked “How about the Albion Ferry tonight?”
“Yes, I like that idea, let’s go.”
We turned right out of the gas station….very carefully….the road is under construction….and has been for quite some time….they must be getting paid by the hour…. :roll:

:shock: All of a sudden there is traffic coming at me….I quickly moved to my right and carried on. This is the second time we have been through there and got caught like that. The road is very poorly marked and there is no indication you are in the wrong place until you get over the crest of the rise where you can see.

We got to the Albion Ferry and were asked to stop in the waiting area for bikes. The ferry had closed its gate and was about to leave. The lot control person radioed the ferry to ask if they had room for two bikes. They said they sure do :mrgreen: and we were able to get on the ferry immediately. They weren’t kidding about room for two bikes. The space they had left was exactly big enough and no more. The ferry trip across the river is only about 5 minutes but it is a few minutes of calm after the hectic traffic getting there. I suggested to dr_bar I would spring for some frozen concoction if we would like to stop on the way home. He smiled “Frozen concoction?” :) “You don’t have to ask me twice.” :)

After disembarking we headed into Fort Langley and parked our bikes. There were a lot of bikes out tonight. Fort Langley is usually a popular place for bikers to go through and tonight was proving no different. We walked through the town for a couple of blocks and stopped in at an Italian Gelato place. It was not an easy decision to pick out what kind of ice cream to have. Eventually I settled for a scoop of pear and a scoop of mint. Dr_bar had a scoop of black cherry and a scoop of whisky cream. He said it was delicious.

We decided to go home via some back roads and it quite enjoyable for awhile, but the sun was getting so low in the sky it was hard to see. Dr_bar eventually took the lead so I could follow him. He has a sun visor on his helmet and I think that helped to block the sun a bit. When dr_bar takes the lead, I never know where I am half the time but I know he knows where he is going so I just follow along. We took some back roads through Surrey (that I never knew existed) that took us right to the entrance of the freeway just before the Port Mann Bridge. When we came around the bend in the road and I saw the freeway beside me, I was very surprised. Once over the bridge and as we neared Brunette, we got into the right lane in preparation for exiting the freeway. Dr_bar headed north and I kept going a bit to the exit to head south. It started to get a bit dark, but since I was so close to home I didn’t stop to take off the sunglasses.
I quite like this last part of my ride home. I think it’s partly because I am so familiar with this route now, but also because it is interesting. I have noticed that my riding is better in areas I know. I think it is because I am more confident than when I am on unfamiliar roads. If I keep riding with dr_bar, I will eventually know every nook and cranny in the lower mainland. Having a postal worker for a friend does have its advantages. :)
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blues2cruise
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The stars came out in the daytime.

#42 Unread post by blues2cruise » Sun Aug 21, 2005 11:04 pm

Road Star, 1100cc V-star and 650cc V-Star that is.....

First Ride with ISRA- BC Chapter- Sunday, August 21, 2005

Since I have been licensed I’ve been perusing the internet for local riding clubs. I received a message from a biker in Washington State telling me about a local chapter of the International Star Riders Association. Along with his message, he sent some links to the ISRA and the discussion forums for the BC Chapter.
I filled out the requisite forms to become a member of the ISRA and was informed it would take several days to get approval and be given a membership number. There must be a shortage of women members because I got my approval and number back within hours. :mrgreen:
I then visited the forums for the local chapter, registered and logged in. This group of riders seems to be fairly active in that they plan a lot of rides and get togethers. (Much like the web based hiking club I belong to).
There had been a discussion centered around a “1st Annual Ice Cream Ride” that had not been replied to for a few weeks. I figured for my first foray into their group I would jump into the ice cream thread.
“When are you planning another ice cream ride?” I asked. “How far do you go and how fast do you ride?”
I figure these are important things to know before you get hooked up with someone and then find out too late that you can’t keep up with them or that you “should have brought your passport along”. (Which I don’t have at the moment)

I got some very positive responses back and when I replied they responded again with friendliness and a bit of humour. I liked that.
They didn’t know when they were planning another “ice cream ride”, but they invited me to join their ride for the Labour Day weekend. Unfortunately it is taking place in Vernon at 10am on Saturday morning. I posted back that it was too far for me to attend and that I would keep my eyes open for something local.
A member posted in saying he would also keep his eyes open for something local and then he told me they have Sunday rides starting at noon every Sunday except when there’s ice or snow. He said sometimes a dozen show up and sometimes only one shows up, but the rides go. He said he hoped I could make it out on Sunday.
Hmmmm.
“I will try”, I said. “If I don’t go up the coast to visit my Mom I will see you at the meeting place on Sunday”.
I then asked if my friend with the Virago could join us. We could say he has a “Virago Star”. ;O) He posted in “All bikes are welcome”.
I asked what time the Sunday rides usually finish. I explained that my friend with the “Virago Star” needed to be home before 5 to get to sleep. He has a graveyard shift job. He posted in that they are usually finished before 3:30 and that the only time they were back after 5 was when they went to Princeton for lunch to meet with other members of the club.
I posted that it was funny he should mention Princeton, because my friend and I have been talking about a daytrip to Keremeos and back via the Hope Princeton Highway through Manning Park. I then recounted about our daytrip last fall in the car before I had learned to ride. I had asked my friend if he wanted to do a daytrip to Keremeos.
“What’s in Keremeos?” he asked.
“Fresh new crop apples,” I replied.
“When do you want to go?” he asked.
“It doesn’t matter to me. You’re the one that’s driving.”
“How about next weekend?” he said.
He came to pick me up at 8am and we headed to the freeway. Traffic was light and the weather was fine. We went to Keremeos and got the apples and then decided to carry on to Penticton for lunch. It was such a nice day, we decided, so we then carried on to Kelowna for lattes before heading home via the Coquihalla.
When I told this story in the ice cream thread, there was a very positive response.
“The First Annual Fresh Produce Ride!” 8)
“Mount up!”
There was humorous banter back and forth and they are now waiting for me to post a date. I checked with my friend with the “Virago Star” and it looks like we go next Saturday.
To make a long story longer….I hummed and hawed about meeting them today because it meant going back to Langley, yet again. I get somewhat nervous and anxious when it comes to meeting new people, but I do know that if I don’t make the effort I will need to stay home and do some housework. Haha
I must be a true blue biker because I went. It didn’t take me as long to get there this morning as I thought it would, so I had time to sip a juice and watch the comings and goings of the Chevron station on 232nd Street just off Highway 1. Wow! What a busy place. As I was waiting a trucker sauntered by to have a chat. He had been eyeballing my bike as he walked by, but when he looked and saw it was a woman standing by the bike his eyes opened up wide. :thumbsup: He told me he used to ride, and was very complimentary toward me and my bike. A space opened up along the curb, so I pulled my bike over and out of the way so as to open up the space for the retail crowd.
While I was sitting on the curb by my bike, a couple of fellows on Harley Davidsons rode in. You could hear them long before you saw them. As they cruised over to the gas pumps, they, too, were eyeballing my bike. When they were finished fuelling they pulled their bikes in beside mine. I complimented him on his bike. It had a gorgeous paint job. He just kind of shrugged and said, “It’s just a paint job. It’s 3 years old now.”
I said, “You must take really good care of it.”
He replied…begrudgingly….because at this point he didn’t realize I was with the “Blue Star”….”it’s dirty….not shiny like that one”….pointing to my bike. He then told me his bike was an ’89 and his friend’s (or son’s) was an ’83. They then walked away to go inside the store.
When they came back to their bikes was when he twigged that I might just be the owner of the nice shiny bike. He was a lot more friendly.
“Are you riding that?”
“Yes”, I said.
“No, I mean are you riding that?”
“Yes.”
“That’s your bike?”
“Yes, that’s my bike. That’s my midlife crisis sitting there.”
They laughed at that and were quite chatty for a few minutes. They told me they had just come down from Ashcroft and were on their way home to Nanaimo. They had been camping and to the drag races in Ashcroft. They said they would be glad to get home because traffic here is insane. I didn’t disagree with him. They wished me a good day and then were on their way.
It was getting close to noon and nobody from the club had arrived yet. Anytime I have organized something I have tried to be a bit early and anytime I have attended something (like a hike) the organizer is always a bit early. I was beginning to wonder if I would be leading my own ride today. So many bikers were riding by the station, but none of them turned in….well, actually a lot turned in but went straight for the fuel pumps and left.
It was about 12:02. I was at the point when I was considering putting on my jacket and helmet and heading home, when finally two cruisers pulled in. I walked over to them and asked if they were here for the Sunday ride. They said they were and so we made our introductions. They said they were usually the last ones to arrive. I told them I was the only one there so it would be just the three of us.
He was on a Yamaha Road Star and she on a Yamaha 1100cc V-Star. I asked her how long she had been riding her 1100cc bike.
“A month.” She replied.
“How long were you riding a smaller bike before this?” I asked.
“I wasn’t”, she said. “This is my first bike.” :shock:
(I like to ask because I am curious about other women riders and how much experience they have before getting on a big bike).
“You are very brave”, I said.
I told her I was comfortable with my 650cc. She said she had test ridden both and found the 1100 easier.
We set off with Road Star in the lead because he knows the area, 1100cc in the middle because she has even less experience than I, and me on the 650 riding sweep.

We were not off to a good start. We were sitting at the stop sign waiting to make our left turn. Finally, it cleared and we were good to go. Road Star cleared, 1100 stalled and I cleared. Road star didn’t realize his wife was still back at the stop sign, so I throttled up to get close enough to “beep, beep”, put my right blinker on and pull over to wait for her. Road star now realized what has happened so he, too, pulled over and waited…and we waited….and we waited….finally she got a clearing in the traffic and with a valiant effort made it out this time without stalling. There was a lot of revving, but she did not stall. Road star pulled out , 1100cc goes by me and I would have pulled in behind her, but some yahoo in a souped up black car has sped up, closed the gap and is now tailgating her. I pulled into traffic after the black car. We travelled along for a few blocks like that when Road Star and 1100cc finally pull over to let Yahoo pass.
The three of us were now in formation. Road Star riding dominant position, 1100cc riding in the middle in position 3 and me sweeping in dominant. We were riding at a nice easy pace because 1100cc is so new on her big bike.....and I thought I was slow. We were riding so slow, nobody’s bikes leaned at all today. Well, I think I faked it a time or two. :laughing: It was unusual for me to be riding at the back. I am used to setting the pace with my friend behind me, so it was a very different perspective for me today.
Road star is a very experienced rider, but is also very considerate of his wife’s newness and nervousness. She is a lucky person to be with someone so considerate. If I was still with my former mate, I would be left behind in his dust......
1100cc had some problems shifting and there was a lot of extraneous revving going on…..dang…she stalled again.....
When she gets that thing going again it is sure noisy. I was glad I had my earplugs in today. I needed the hearing protection from her bike, not mine today. Road star and 1100cc both changed the pipes on their bikes. On his it sounded ok. Loud, but ok. I suppose it’s because he knows how to ride. On hers, it sounded like crap. While I was riding behind her I kept thinking that her bike sounded so bad that when I am ready to move up to a bigger bike it will not be an 1100cc V-Star. I can’t believe they think it sounds ok. Oh well, to each their own.
We made a stop for refreshments at a convenience store. We got some drinks and ice cream and that’s when 1100cc enlightened me as to the fact that she just has a learner’s permit still. That explained a lot. She had only just taken the MS skills test at V-Twin school when she got her bike. She has very little road experience to this point. We made our way back to our meeting place…finally…after a few more stalls and starts. We topped up our tanks and said our good byes with a tentative “see you in a few weeks”. This time when we made our left from the stop sign, 1100cc made it just fine. Where I turned right onto the freeway entrance they kept going straight. Hands in the air to wave good bye.....it’s a long sweeping curve to get onto the freeway….I accelerated and leaned into the curve….I shoulder checked, signalled….accelerated some more, shoulder checked once more and I merged into the traffic flow easily….wahoo, my little 650 sure does move quick when I need it to. :woohoo:

As I travelled along the freeway to come home, I suddenly remembered how congested it gets heading toward the Port Mann Bridge, so I made a snap decision to go home a different way. I exited the freeway at 200th street and headed south. At #10 Highway I made a right and travelled relatively stress free all the way to Highway 99. I must have had a subconscious desire to come this way because there are a few long sweeping curves going home this way. The exit from #10 to get onto #99 is one of those curves that I can take at speed. The Alex Fraser Bridge has lots of wide open space. The exit to New Westminster and Queensborough has those long sweeping curves I like….and I can take those at speed, too. Once across the Queensborough Bridge I got into the lane I needed to make the turn up the hill to go home. What a breeze today. I was so glad I had thought to come home this way instead of dealing with the frenzy of Hwy # 1.
I have had enough riding for the weekend. Tomorrow I will take the bus to work……
.
.
.
.
.
.maybe...... :wink:
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blues2cruise
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#43 Unread post by blues2cruise » Sun Aug 21, 2005 11:12 pm

Why the heck don't they make trailer tires more durable? I think there must be some sort of conspiracy to ruin people's vacations.

Throughout all the riding I did this weekend, I saw numerous vehicles with assorted trailers attached pulled over to the side of the road with someone fixing a flat tire.

While I was waiting at the Chevron station today, a couple more pulled in to inflate.

Wouldn't it make sense to have trailer tires just as durable as car and truck tires?
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#44 Unread post by BuzZz » Mon Aug 22, 2005 12:53 am

Real, live, actual trailer tires are considerably tougher than standard passenger car tires(with the compromised ride of a stiffer tire). However many people buy the cheapest replacements they can find.(and to be honest, many trailers come with inappropriate tires from factory to reduce cost). And these tend to be regular passenger car tires, or at best light truck tires. Real trailer tires are expensive.... for a reason, there's alot more tire there. But they can't take the load of many big trailers and 5th wheel units. But Joe Average doesn't really think this applies to him(her) and the result is what you noticed on the side of the road. Also, inflation pressures don't really count for your trailer.... in thier minds. Real life begs to differ...... :laughing:
No Witnesses.... :shifty:

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Rolling on the highway

#45 Unread post by blues2cruise » Mon Aug 22, 2005 6:46 pm

BuzZz, thanks for enlightening me. Those trailer owners also don't seem to find it important to make sure the lug nuts are tight, either. On a camping trip when I was a kid, we were towing all the camping gear in the boat on the trailer. My uncle was doing the same. As we were driving along the highway, a wheel with a tire on it came spinning by us. :shock:

One of the wheels on my uncles trailer had come off and went for a joy ride. The adults were not impressed....but us kids.... :laughing: :laughing: :laughing:
I have actually seen that happen again somewhere else.
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#46 Unread post by BuzZz » Mon Aug 22, 2005 8:19 pm

You really want to NOT get tagged by a loose wheel hummin' down the hiway. Avoidance techniques can be fun and useful. :wink:
No Witnesses.... :shifty:

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Dynamics of the "Wave".

#47 Unread post by blues2cruise » Sun Aug 28, 2005 1:56 am

Dynamics of the Wave

The more I ride, the more bikers I see. The farther away from home I ride the variety of bikers I see is endless. I have found it very interesting to see the differences in how other bikers either welcome you into this culture or barely acknowledge your existence on this planet…..if they acknowledge you at all.

Today, Saturday August 27, 2005, was my longest ride to date. I went to Keremeos via the Hope Princeton Highway and back (which I will highlight in a separate blog entry). There were more motorcyclists coming and going than I have seen so far due in part to a Sport Bike Rally in Oliver and the Ironman Triathlon in Penticton this weekend.

Halfway between Chilliwack and Hope I could see a couple of sport bikers bringing up the rear. When they got close they changed lanes to pass us. When the lead rider came up beside me, he waggled his fingers in a friendly gesture and then pulled in front of me and zoomed away. Dr_bar was sorry to see them go because apparently the second rider, who happened to be a woman, had a nice butt. (I wouldn’t know. I was watching the road.)
Several other folks on cruisers and sport bikes going the opposite direction gave the standard “hand down” wave as they passed by while others nodded their heads or merely lifted one finger off the grip.
We stopped in Hope for fuel and a coffee break at the Chevron along the old Hope highway. What a popular spot. There were lots of bikers stopping in for fuel and snacks and drinks. Some bikers are quite friendly and will chat, but others just look down their noses at you....all the while pretending not to see you....but you can see the furtive glances that tell you they are checking out your ride. :roll:

After finishing our coffee we continued on toward the freeway entrance that would take us to Highway 3. Along the way we passed another establishment where there were over a dozen bikers preparing for their ride. They all kept gawking at me as I made progress along the road. As I came along side, I gave a big wave. Not one of them even lifted a hand in salute. I think to myself, “What a bunch of snobs”. If I am good enough for you to turn your heads and follow me with your eyes, then surely I am good enough for you to wave back.

Maybe they are jealous of my pretty blue bike. :laughing: :laughing:


Through Manning Park the majority of bikers lifted a hand in acknowledgement. I do recognize there are times when one simply cannot spare a hand. When the roads are twisty and traffic situations are complex, all your concentration and both your hands are needed for the task at hand.
Heading into Princeton, I got waved to by some Hell’s Angels. :shock: Of all the bikers on the road members of the infamous Hell’s Angels are the last people I would expect to be waving at me. I surmise that they are just so secure in who they are, they see us all as part of something bigger than just the little clique in black leather and beanies back in Hope.

In a group of sport bike riders you may get one or two who will wave because they view us all as motorcyclists. The ones who don’t acknowledge you at all are usually of a mind set that people on cruisers aren’t fit to share the same roadway.
Some will lift their whole arm straight out from the shoulder, while others barely lift a finger from the grip.
I felt like I was getting a high five from one fellow who passed by today. He was a lone rider dressed in full gear and seemed really happy to say, “Hi!” I responded in kind. In fact I usually respond the same way the other person waved be it 2 fingers off the grip or the whole arm straight out.

Another interesting “dynamic” was the “ape hanger” biker. He was wearing a white t-shirt, leather vest and a beanie helmet. He and his riding partner were going the opposite direction. He ignored me but waved at dr_bar. We figured it was because I was in my yellow Joe Rocket jacket and full face helmet. It wouldn’t be seen as “cool” to acknowledge me, but dr_bar was in a t-shirt and had on a half helmet….he looked like a brother….

Another interesting aspect of waving is the kinship of having been travelling and then seeing you again somewhere else.
We passed a big red Dodge truck pulling a boat. Later they passed us. Part way through Manning Park they were pulled over so we passed them again. I never gave them another thought until we were on the freeway near Abbotsford. I could see the front end of a red truck beside me and when I turned my head I saw that it was the same red truck from back on the Hope Princeton Highway. The teenage girl in the back was smiling and waving enthusiastically at me. I waved back. I imagine they must have said, “Hey, there’s that same biker we saw in Manning Park!”
Dr_bar and I exited at the Mt. Lehman exit so that we could carry on home via the Fraser Highway instead of getting bogged down on the freeway. We travelled along the Fraser Highway all the way into Langley. We turned onto the bypass and at 200th street, who should I see again….laughing and waving at me….the girl in the red truck….I can only imagine…”Hey, there’s that biker again!”
We parted ways once again when I turned off the bypass.
I was waiting at a red light at 152nd street and 100th Ave. I saw him sitting there on his bike waiting for his light. As I made my left turn, we made eye contact…..he smiled….I smiled….no wave needed….and with a nod of our heads the moment passed.....I had to keep moving….the cagers behind me would not understand.
:wave: :wave: :wave:
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Mathematics Of Motorcycling Part 1

#48 Unread post by blues2cruise » Sun Aug 28, 2005 4:58 pm

Mathematics of Motorcycling

2 friends + 2 bikes = infinite opportunities for adventure. That may not be how a math teacher would define “equation”, but it works for me.

Yesterday, August 27, was the day my friend, dr_bar and I had decided would be good for my first big ride. What an adventure it was.
We had agreed to meet at the Petro Canada on Brunette Avenue at 8ish. We had a long ride and a lot of miles to cover so an early start was necessary. By the time we fuelled up, used their facilities and bought some drinks to go, it was 8:22am when we got under way. The traffic on the freeway was fairly light and not the usual frenzy so it was an easy entry and an easy maneuver to get to the HOV lane today. I was glad I had thought to put on a bandana this morning. The day was starting out cool and I was able to pull the bandana up over my neck and chin for warmth.
While we were travelling through the Fraser Valley we were passed by a significant number of sport bike riders. They were on their way to Oliver for a big rally. Our destination for today was Keremeos via Hope, Manning Park and Princeton using Highway 3. While we were riding past Chilliwack, I remembered the throttle rocker I had purchased. It was still in my pocket. It wasn’t going to do me much good sitting in my pocket, so I put on my signals well in advance to let dr_bar know I was pulling over.
The reason for the throttle rocker was that my hand is still recuperating after hand surgery and it gets quite sore if I ride for a long time. I was hoping that the throttle rocker would help to relieve some of the stress on the hand.
While we were installing the “gadget” onto my bike, dr_bar asked, “What’s with the infatuation you had with the back of that truck?”
We had been following a shiny silver milk tanker for quite a long time. He was driving very professionally and as a professional driver, I was happy to “go along for the ride”, so to speak. Besides, he was going about 5kmh over the speed limit, so I didn’t feel any need to pass. I guess dr_bar needed a change of scenery.
He was about to get it. :wink:
Between Chilliwack and Hope a couple of sport bike riders caught up to us. That in itself is nothing new because they usually ride so fast and pass us in a blur of coloured leather and fancy helmets. This time, however when they caught up to us and changed lanes to pass, the lead rider slowed as he came abreast of me. The lead rider then waggled his fingers in a friendly wave before zooming away. The second rider was a woman who had slowed to match the pace of the lead rider thus affording dr_bar his change of scenery. :roll: He informed me later he was sorry to see her go. Apparently she had a very nice rear end suspension…..and he didn’t mean the bike. :laughing:

By the time we arrived in Hope the sun was shining full force and the temperature was beginning to climb. We fuelled our bikes at the Chevron on Old Hope Road and before going inside for coffee and a quick bit to eat, we stopped to ogle a couple of nice bikes parked outside. There was a Honda Valkeryie with a map holder and an mp3 player on it. It was obvious this person was going touring. Sitting beside his Honda was a 650V-Star. They were his and hers bikes. Dr_bar was chatting to them inside. There was also a fully “tricked out” sport bike covered in chrome.
While we were inside having our coffee there was a steady flow of people on bikes coming in and taking a break form their ride. Some riders are so very friendly while others look at you like you are no better than a bug to be squashed. For example, after we left the Chevron, we continued our journey along Old Hope Road to make our way to the freeway entrance. As we passed by another establishment on our left, I spied a large group of black leather clad bikers and their bikes. They were all gawking as I passed by. Since they were all following me visually, I gave them a big wave. Not one single person in that group waved back. :o
I pondered to myself, “Maybe they don’t like my yellow jacket.”
“Or maybe they are jealous of my pretty blue bike.” :laughing: :laughing:
I didn’t care. If they wanted to be surly, let them. I was having a great day. :mrgreen:

Before we left the fuel stop, dr_bar reminded me that some of the roads we were about to ride, would be my most challenging yet. Even though I have driven that road many times in a car, riding it on 2 wheels would present a whole new set of challenges.
“Just ride your own ride,” he said.
“Ride how you are comfortable.”

We got onto Highway 3 for the steady climb into the Cascade Range, passing by the once ghostly Hope Slide area. Enough time has passed since the big slide that life has returned to the area, and you don’t get the sad feeling of lost souls here anymore.
The road was in great shape, there was not much traffic and we were able to make good time through this stretch of highway. Every once in a while I opened up the throttle to experiment with the bike.
When I first got the bike, speeds over a 100kmh made me a bit nervous. One night while trying to get home before dark (I still had my learner’s permit at the time), trying to keep up with traffic, I realized I had pushed my bike up to 120kmh. (This was before I had custom earplugs, too) The vibrations started at 120kmh and I felt like maybe the engine would explode. This was making me too anxious so I brought the speed back down to 110kmh. Even at 110kmh, I was still apprehensive, but I could live with it.

The road ahead was straight. No other vehicle in sight except for dr_bar behind me. I rolled on the throttle to see what the bike could do. 100, 110, 120, (vibrations in my teeth and shin bones, but today I was not scared), 130, 140 :shock: ok, that’s enough….I saw a curve up ahead so I slowed down back to the speed limit in preparation for the road ahead. The ride through Manning Park was fabulous. The air was so fragrant I was willing to risk getting whacked by bugs. I opened the face shield so I could have the full benefit of the pure mountain air as we rode by the river.
WHACK!
Ok, that’s enough. Those bugs felt like little bullets hitting my face. Down with the face shield. After leaving Manning Park, we continued our climb along the twisty roads to Sunday Summit. I am thankful for passing lanes, because there was the usual assortment of summer travellers hauling trailers and driving motor homes.
After Sunday Summit, the road begins it long descent towards Princeton. To get there, though, one has to conquer the infamous “Whipsaw” hill. It wasn’t as bad as I had anticipated. I utilized the posted signs as a reference guide and was able to downshift and slow to appropriate speeds for the conditions.
What’s with those signs, anyway? “Elk jumping for 20km”. In all the years I have been travelling back and forth along this highway, I have yet to see any elk. I did see some baby bears crossing the road once though.
When we got into Princeton, we pulled into the Chevron station for fuel for the bikes and a pit stop for us.
Wow! Who turned up the heat? It was smoking hot in Princeton. I couldn’t get my jacket and helmet off fast enough. When I went inside to pay for my gas, I didn’t want to leave the air conditioned confines of the store.
After I fuelled my bike I pulled it away from the pumps to make room for others arriving. As I was standing beside my bike waiting for dr_bar to finish up, a woman about my same age came over to talk to me. She thought at first that I was a passenger, but when I told her it was my bike, she smiled the biggest smile and said she was very impressed. She rides as a passenger sometimes, but has never had the nerve to learn. A few minutes later a man walked over to have a look and chat about the bike. He saw it and just had to come and have a closer look. He was signed up for some motorcycle lessons and was in the process of shopping for a bike. I obviously look very approachable, because I didn’t see those 2 people go talk to any of the “Harley riders in leather” who had pulled in.
While we standing there talking, a U-Haul rental truck towing a car on a trailer pulled in.
PEEEEEUUUWWWWWW! Smell those brakes. The woman commented about something sure smells awful. I told her it was the smell of overheated brakes. I said that if the person driving that truck had downshifted for the long hills, his brakes would probably not have overheated. She said, I should go and tell him.
My exact words to her were, Far be it from me to tell a man how to drive. As I was recounting the story to dr_bar there was man at the pumps fuelling his truck. He had overheard my story and had found it quite amusing. He smiled and laughed for quite some time.

Dr_bar asked how I was holding up. I told him I was actually doing ok and that I felt I would be able to go the distance. We needed to get a move on so we got geared up and as I was preparing to leave I heard the aforementioned woman telling the guy in the U-Haul about shifting down for the hills. It turned out they were together. Better she tell him than I. Unsolicited advice is not usually welcome.

As we continued on our way to Keremeos, we also passed and were passed by a lot of different folks on motorcycles. Some wave, some do not. I’m not sure why it’s so important for bikers to wave. People in cars don’t do it. It doesn’t matter why or why not, but it sure is nice to be acknowledged as part of something. It makes you feel like you belong.

We arrived in Keremeos only to have to have dr_bar find the local pharmacy. He got stung by a wasp or bee and needed something to calm the pain. While I was standing around waiting for dr_bar to come back, one of the locals came along and started to chat. One thing about small towns is that the locals do seem friendlier than in the big city.

We rode through to the end of town to the last big produce barn. Getting some fresh produce was the “excuse” for our ride, after all. We got what we wanted and took time for a cold drink and ice cream before gearing up for the return trip.
Dr_bar asked,” Can you ride all the way around on the gravel to get on the road over there?”
I said, “I could, but why would I want to.” “I’ll meet you over there.”
Every time I cross over gravel, I hear the ping, ping of gravel and I think to myself,” Ouch, my paint job”
We took the shortest route out of the parking lot and when traffic cleared we turned left onto the highway and left again onto the bypass.
It should be noted that if you ever do go through Keremeos, keep to the posted speed limits. It is a small town and it won’t take you long to get through it. The police cruise through here regularly. The speeding tickets probably pay for his yearly salary, so unless you want to contribute, keep your speed legal.
There is an abundance of local fruits and vegetables here and it was hard to choose what to buy to take home. Next time, I will strap a bigger crate to my bike.

The return trip had its ups and downs….and I’m not talking about the hills.

Right now, I need to go and wash all the bug guts off the bike. No guts, no glory.... I had a glorious day and the bug guts to prove it.
The return trip still to come.
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blues2cruise
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Motorcycle math part 2

#49 Unread post by blues2cruise » Tue Aug 30, 2005 12:34 am

Mathematics of Motorcycling Part 2

While dr_bar and I were sitting with our cold drinks and ice cream we discussed the ride up. I told him I felt quite good about my riding and the only places where I still have any problems is with the really tight turns, especially the ones where I have no vision. He suggested something for me to try. He reminded me about staying upright in the saddle, but leaning harder on the handlebar in the direction I needed to turn. I vaguely remembered something from the motorcycle classes, but back in class I was so offended by the instructor, I don’t think I took everything in. We discussed a couple of techniques for a few more minutes and then it was time to gear up and get ready for the return ride.

We left Keremeos via the bypass and started travelling south. The road heading back to Hedley and Princeton has lots of variety from flat straight stretches to tight twisty sections and long uphill grades. It can be a real pleasure to drive or ride this highway and moving along at the speed limit you can be home in 4 hours. It once took me 6 hours to get home, because some old geezer in an equally old Cadillac would not go over 60kmh and would not pull over to let the long line of cars pass. :frusty: It’s high time they brought that law into Canada that says if you are impeding traffic you must pull over to let people pass.
We started off making good time. There wasn’t much traffic and what there was, was mostly moving faster then I. Oh, oh. Suddenly we were catching up to a long line of vehicles. I looked down at my speedo and saw that we had slowed to 60. The speed limit here was 80 and there was no excuse to be going that slow. Where there was a road sign to indicate a curve ahead, the person at the front would slow down even more. If the suggested speed for the curve was 60, he slowed to 40 or 50. I forgot to mention, it was Volkswagen camper van. For those who have nostalgic feelings for that particular vehicle….GET OVER IT….they aren’t that great.
We, along with numerous other vehicles, were stuck behind this yoyo for miles. After some time, people were starting to get frustrated, myself included. But, given that I am a law abiding citizen who doesn’t want to give bikers a bad rep, I chose to wait my turn for an opportunity to pass rather than make the illegal maneuver of passing on the right using the shoulder. I have seen other bikers do this sort of thing but it only serves to make us look bad.
There was Mustang ahead of me. It must have a big V-8 under the hood, because, even with my earplugs in, I could hear that engine revving up when the driver finally made a move to pass….illegally….cross a double solid line….in fact he did it a few times. One by one, drivers were making their moves to pass. Finally, I was the one behind the Volkswagen. It was up to me now. Dr_bar would be counting on me to make a move. Although I believe he thinks I cannot do it. (I have come a long way in the last few months…especially now that I know how quick my bike will accelerate).
Finally, I had a dotted line….I could feel my heart rate pick up…my breathing more rapid…..
Although I could see cars coming, I knew they were far enough away for me to get around the Volkswagen and back in safely. I put on my signals, shoulder checked….I made the move to pass….I rolled on the throttle and my acceleration was instant…..As I passed the driver of the Volkswagen I beeped my insignificant Yamaha horn at him to show my displeasure. He looked like he had just stepped out of the 60’s. Knitted cap and hair on his face. Maybe he had been eating too many brownies that day…. :laughing:
Dr_bar was not far behind me. His bike has way more power and he has told me never to worry about him. We kept up the speed and moved back into our lane before the oncoming traffic got too close. I could feel the smile forming under my helmet. I took on another challenge and met it head on, so to speak. A few months ago, I probably would not have done that. 8)

Finally we were zipping along at a good clip. The highway followed the river for awhile and passed by Bromley Rock. It was good to see so many people down there enjoying the river. What a great way to cool off on a hot day. After getting by the VW, we made good time to Princeton where we once again pulled into the Chevron station for fuel.
When I went inside to pay, the cashier exclaimed,” You’re back?!”
I was surprised she had remembered me. I explained that I had just gone for a daytrip and we were on our way back now.
While I was standing outside waiting for dr_bar, I caught the eye of a familiar face. “Are you still hanging around here?” I asked with a laugh.
It was the same fellow who had come over to admire my bike when we were on the way up. He had actually gone to Penticton and back and had just stopped in for a break here.
Dr_bar had made inquiries inside as to where to go for a bit to eat. When he came back outside, he recognized some bikers who had pulled in. It seems they were just day tripping, too.
We took the advice of the clerk and went to a restaurant called Belaire. It’s located on a street behind the main drag. The street also happened to have some nice shade trees on it and it was a welcome relief from the heat.
We had quick meal and decided it was time to get a move on, especially if I wanted to stop and take a couple of photos.
Once we got back on the highway, I began to put into practice, the techniques for cornering better. I was a bit tentative at first, not knowing just how hard to push on the handlebars. After a few tries I began to get a feel for it and I could actually tell I had gained more control of my bike. I began entering the corners a bit quicker and was able to lean into them a bit more. (although I suspect my chicken strip are still brand new :laughing: I think I came close to touching one though :wink: ) I was holding my line better. Although it helped that I had just ridden that highway few hours earlier, I could tell my riding was vastly improved from the morning. We made our way largely without incident (if you don’t count the bug whacks) to the entrance to Manning Park. I pulled in here because I wanted to get some photos underneath the sign so I had proof that “I was here”.
Dr_bar mentioned he noticed how much better I was riding on the return trip. I told him it was because I was putting into practice the tips he gave me. After several minutes of frivolity and picture taking, we set off again.
Sigh…..I am such a slow learner…..WHACK!......Ow, ow, ow, ow, ow….I got hit by a speeding bullet…ok, ok, it was a big bug, but this one really, really, hurt. I had to pullover and wipe off my face and massage away the hurt. It took a couple of minute for the pain to subside before I could move again. We set off again, and it was then when I figured out why I kept getting hit in the forehead and cheek area by those big bugs. They were deflecting off the top of the windshield onto my face. I flipped the visor down and it stayed down until we got to Chilliwack.
We were once again making good time through Manning Park when we once again caught up to a line of traffic going so very slow. If I thought the VW was going slow, this guy was like molasses in January. If a person cannot maintain the speed limit and the posted suggested speeds for corners, they should not be driving. Once again, this slowpoke was causing a lot of frustrated drivers. It took a long time, but finally we were getting close to a passing lane.
The sign we love to see…Passing lane 2km……I swear that 2km felt like 20. Finally it was before us…the most beautiful sight on a highway….2 lanes….I, along with everyone else made the move and we passed this yahoo with a variety of different salutes.

After Hope, we were just flying along the highway to Chilliwack. We exited the freeway and made our way to a Shell Station. After fuelling, I suggested a quick cup of coffee at Tim Horton’s before the final leg of our journey. How convenient they happen to share the same parking lot as the gas station. While we were there I changed the visor on my helmet. A couple of days before the trip, I had purchased a tinted visor. I had that one on my helmet for the ride today. It was time, though to switch to the clear one for the remainder of the ride. The sun was going down and it wouldn’t be long before it would be dark. We got back onto the freeway, but instead of taking #1 all the way, we exited at Mt. Lehman and got onto the Fraser Highway. What a smart move that was. Unlike the freeway that was beginning to get jammed up, Fraser Highway didn’t have much traffic and it moves almost as fast as #1. Once we were on the Fraser Highway I opened the visor. We weren’t in big bug country anymore and it was so nice to feel the mild evening air on my face.
We travelled though Langley, Surrey and over the Patullo Bridge to New Westminster and on to Burnaby. Dr_bar was escorting me home so he could drop off my produce from Keremeos and to be sure I got home safely. It was good to be home.

My motorcycle math tells me that.....

13 hours + 700km (450miles) = 1 awesome day.
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blues2cruise
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The Sunshine Coast and the liquid sunshine

#50 Unread post by blues2cruise » Tue Sep 06, 2005 12:58 am

Sunshine Coast is a bit of a misnomer.

I was a bit overdue for a visit to my Mom and since Labour Day was approaching, I took the opportunity to go see her. With an extra day off work, it would mean I would still have a day to myself when I got back. I made arrangements with my work to leave a bit early on Friday, September 2 so that I would be able to get an early enough ferry to complete my ride in daylight.
In the morning I loaded my weekend bag into my $7.00 blue crate that I attached to the rack on my bike. As yet, I cannot afford to buy saddle bags and the supports, so I use a blue crate. It may not be “cool”, but it is functional. After work I once again loaded up my weekend bag into the blue crate and secured it with a blue bungee. Colour coordination is very important, after all. :laughing:
I was off work even earlier than expected so traffic was light. I managed to get onto the freeway with ease, through the tunnel and over the Second Narrows Bridge in a very relaxed fashion. Another hour later and it would be chaos. I arrived at the ferry terminal and made my way down to where the bikes are sent for loading. Wow! There were a lot of bikes going on the ferry on Friday. There must have been a dozen bikes ahead of me. I pulled in behind the last bike in line and turned off the engine. I had a chance to look at my watch then and saw that it was only 3:50pm. I smiled to myself because it meant I would be on the 4:10 sailing. A few minutes later another couple of bikes pulled in behind me and I turned around and nodded a greeting. It was an interesting sight to behold as I looked ahead at the line of bikes. Black, black, black, burgundy, black, black, black, burgundy, and more black. No wonder my bike stands out with its pretty 2 tone blue. Every rider and passenger ahead of me was in black, black and more black….except one couple who had on burgundy helmets to match their burgundy Gold Wing. Then there was me in my bright yellow.

When it was time to load, all the motorcycles had the privilege of going on first. We made our way along the port side of the ship to the bow. We all had to wait our turns while each biker ahead had to maneuver to park the bike at an angle. Finally it was my turn and just as I was finishing, the fellow behind me zipped in a bit close. Oops! Sorry about that. I tromped on his foot. :oops: Of course if he had waited a few seconds more it would not have happened. He didn’t seem to be concerned about it though. He had just put a wheel chock under his frame when I took off my helmet and looked around for another wheel chock.
“I think you’re out of luck.” he said.
“I think you may be right.” I replied.
“I think I saw some more back there.” he said as he pointed to the stern.
I went to find a wheel chock and when I came back he had peeled off his leathers and racing boots and was in shorts and sandals. Now there was a guy who knew how to travel. We chatted for a couple of minutes with the last fellow who had arrived (who was on a Suzuki 650 V-Strom. I had no idea what kind of bike the guy in the leathers was riding. It looked a bit older and had no markings on it), before making our way upstairs to the passenger deck.
I headed for the snack bar to get a cup of coffee and then sat down to phone my Mom, since she was actually expecting me on the first boat on Saturday morning.
“Hello?”
“Hi Mom, how would you like to do fish and chips tonight?”
“Where are you?”
“I’m on the ferry.”
“Oh for heavens sake.” She exclaimed.
You could say she was somewhat surprised.
“I was supposed to have dinner at Dan’s tonight,” she said, “but I will call him and tell him I can’t because you are coming up.”
Dan is the family friend that I had the big verbal altercation with over my use of brake lights when I slow down on my bike. He has not spoken to me since that night. Normally, he would have suggested I come along for supper as well, but he just told my Mom, “OK” then.” (His loss)
So, I arranged to meet my Mom at the legion at 6pm. The ferry would dock at 5 and then it’s a one hour drive to get to Pender Harbour. I should clarify that it’s one hour if you go the speed limit.
About 10 minutes before docking, most of the people head back down to the car deck. Several people came over to talk to me. It’s been quite the experience travelling by motorcycle instead of by car. So many people are interested in the why’s and how’s of riding and just walk up and start talking to you. One of these days I will meet my “Prince Charming” this way, I’m sure. Actually I think I may have met him this trip, but unfortunately we docked before I had a chance to talk more to him, (sigh…he had such nice blue eyes….he was the last one on riding the V-Strom) because the fellow with the unidentifiable sport bike beside me was so very chatty. He has nine bikes he told me. I think it must be his passion, although Mr. V-Strom laughed and said it sounded more like an obsession.
My blue crate got some attention and when I explained it was because I couldn’t afford to get saddle bags yet, Mr. V-Strom smiled and said at least it was colour coordinated. That was when the person in black leather on the other side of me got into the conversation. He showed me the saddle bags on his bike and said to make sure I got some bigger than his. He explained that although they were good, they didn’t hold enough. He then asked me how big my bike was. People are always surprised when I tell them it’s a 650cc. It has the appearance of something bigger because of the big fenders and wide gas tank.
Anyway, when I mentioned I couldn’t afford to buy saddle bags yet, Mr. Unidentifiable sport bike told me he had a set of saddle bags at home that would probably work for my bike. He said they were soft bags that wouldn’t work on his bike but he was quite certain they would work for mine. He said there was no point in hanging on to the bags if he was never going to use them, so he offered them to me “gratis.”
“Are you serious?” I asked.
“Yes,” he said. “I will give you my number and when you get back from the weekend, give me a call.”
So, we exchanged numbers and said we would talk next week. (I would have preferred to have Mr. V-Strom’s number. :wink: )

As usual I was the slowest rider heading up the bypass road. I didn’t care. If they all wanted to risk getting a ticket, that was their business. I just wanted to enjoy my ride without having to try to keep up. The speed limit is 80kmh and if I go with the flow at 85 to 90 that’s good enough for me. I followed the burgundy Gold Wing for a long time. It had Alberta plates which led me to believe the riders were not familiar with the highway because they were just barely over 80kmh. It was so nice to be on a road where people didn’t feel the “need for speed”. The ride through Gibson’s and Robert’s Creek was probably my most enjoyable trip up the coast so far. It was a warm sunny evening and traffic was calm. Not only that, but I was able to practice my new found skills for cornering. Yes, this was definitely my best ride yet. I believe I may have touched a chicken strip once or twice. I will take a look the next time I go for a ride with dr_bar.

I stopped in Sechelt for fuel. As I pulled into the Petro Canada station I noticed the long lineups for gas. I thought to myself how crazy it was that people were waiting in the long lines to save 4 cents a liter at the self serve pumps. I pulled into the full serve pump and filled up my gas tank myself. Four cents a liter was not going to make much difference to me. I was able to fill up, pay for my gas and leave the station before even one car was finished. (How much gas do you think gets used just idling in the lineup? Probably 4 cents a liter.)
After leaving Sechelt, I got in behind a line of traffic that was moving along at a decent pace. It was easy to tell that they were all people who were familiar with this highway. We maintained a nice steady pace all the way for most of the journey. Unlike the other times when I came up here on my bike, this time I was able to keep up with the flow of the traffic….even on the tight curves….I didn’t have to pull over anywhere to let anyone pass me. It was so satisfying to feel the improvement in my riding skills. I was in Pender Harbour by 5:55. I felt good about the ride up. I was looking forward to the ride home on Sunday. I have found my ride home is a bit more challenging so I was eager to see if my newfound skills had overcome my difficulties with the return trip.

Alas, it was not to be. Sunday morning it was raining. No, raining sounds like …well…just some rain….Sunday morning was more like a torrential downpour. It was raining so hard it was loud. Loud and dark. Even though I had ridden home in that kind of weather before, my Mom was scared about me heading out in it, so I stayed for awhile. We drank coffee. We watched a movie. We made tea. We played cards. Still it kept raining. It rained so hard the water was pooling on the deck. The driveway had puddles of water in it. The possibility of my having to stay another night was becoming a close reality. :frusty: I was beginning to feel drowsy, so I decided that if I couldn’t leave just yet, I was going to have a snooze.
I slept for awhile until the neighbour’s dog starting barking. When I got up and looked out the window I saw that the rain had stopped and there were a few speckles of blue sky. :)
I immediately got ready to go and loaded up my bag into the blue crate. The ferry was an hour ride in good weather when the roads are dry but it would take a bit longer with the wet roads, so I wanted to get going. As with most parents, my Mom tries to make the visit last as long as possible, but I gently made my escape and headed back to the highway for my trip home. I would have to wait for another day to test my skills on the ride home. The road was too wet today. Nonetheless, it was still an enjoyable ride.

Because I was so far ahead of schedule for the 5:35 ferry, there was next to no traffic on the highway. I was able to take my time on the twisty sections that were still wet. With no vehicles behind me getting impatient with the slow curves, I quite enjoyed the ride. It started to rain again which made visibility difficult but because I had treated the visor on the helmet I still had some vision through the rain. By the time I got to Sechelt, the roads were dry and the sky clear and blue. I was now getting into more traffic but it moved along very well today. Tomorrow would be another story with the long weekend travellers all going home.

I decided that since I had so much time to spare, I would stop in at Wheatberries bakery. My friend, Catherine, loves their tarts and since she seldom gets a chance to come here I would bring some home for her. After my stop at Wheatberries, I made another stop at Starbucks. Now that I had stopped riding I could feel the heat of the day. As I walked into the Starbucks, a fellow sitting outside complimented me on my bike. I thanked him and then asked if it had even rained at all in Gibsons that day. It was so hot and sunny and the roads were bone dry. I got a café latte to go (with a sticker over the drink hole). I had just enough room in the crate to wedge the coffee so the cup would not tip. I was willing to take the risk of spillage because I knew I would have to wash the bike anyway after the wet muddy ride home. I headed back to the road and made my way to the ferry terminal which is about 5 minutes away now at this point. After arriving, turning off the bike and getting out of my helmet and rain jacket, I grabbed my coffee and went to buy a newspaper. (I never lost a drop of the coffee) By the time I came back to my bike there were several more bikers. The custom chopper sure generated a lot of interest. It was quite a dramatic looking bike beside all the other standard cruisers and sport bikes.
I spent some time chatting with a guy from Calgary. He was riding a Suzuki 800cc cruiser. He had ridden from Calgary to Powell River via Washington and Oregon for his annual vacation and fishing trip. He was now on the last leg of his journey to go home to Calgary. It had been a long wait but the time went by quickly because of the good company in the parking lot. When the ferry finally arrived and unloaded, the lot worker directed us to the ramp and let us board first. I think I may have been the only person to use a wheel chock. Although incidents are rare, things can and do happen once in a while so it is wise to put a wheel chock under the frame of your bike for stability.

Once back down on the car decks getting prepared for unloading, a few people came by to chat. I spent a few more minutes with some local info for the guy from Calgary and then suddenly the ramp was down and it was time to mount up. As usual as soon as the first bike is out, it feels like a race up to the top of the hill. After getting to the top of the hill, I noticed a red dot flapping in the breeze before my eyes. :shock: It was the snap on the chin strap. I had forgotten to do up my helmet. I pulled over to the side of the highway to take care of the helmet situation and then had to wait a few minutes for a clearing in the traffic before I could get back onto the highway. When close to 500 cars leave the ferry, it can be hard to find a space in traffic. Once I got back in to the flow of traffic, the rest of my ride home was (for a change) largely uneventful. It was, in fact, a very pleasant ride home. I pulled up to the garage, fumbled in my pocket for the garage door opener, pushed the button and…ahhhh…home at last…..

After parking my bike and unloading my stuff, I went in and emailed dr_bar. If the weather is good, wanna ride tomorrow?

I just can’t seem to get enough of it. I have only had my bike since October 15 and it has almost 9,000km on it. Given that during the winter I could only ride on the weekends due to daylight restrictions and given that I could not ride for 2 months in the spring due to reconstructive surgery on my hand, I sure have put on a lot of miles in a short space of time. Ah well, it will soon be getting dark after work and I won’t be as likely to rack up so many miles. I will want to trade this in when I trade up so I hope the mileage won’t be so high as to make it difficult to sell. No matter, this bike has served me well and saw me through my first nervous days in a parking lot to my triumphant rides on the Hope Princeton, the Sea 2 Sky, and the Sunshine Coast highways.

Coming soon, losing my virginity...:wink: …the chicken strips have been kissed.........by pavement....and are smudged….. :laughing:
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Due to my emotional ups and downs at the present time

#51 Unread post by blues2cruise » Sun Sep 11, 2005 11:38 pm

I have not been able to write. However, I have a few photos from my Hope, Manning, Princeton, Keremeos big 700km ride a couple of weeks ago.

Parked in Keremeos
http://photobucket.com/albums/b334/blue ... 3_q001.jpg

Gearing up after dinner in Princeton....helmet hair unavoidable :wink:
http://photobucket.com/albums/b334/blue ... 2_q001.jpg

Stopping for a photo op to prove I was here.
http://photobucket.com/albums/b334/blue ... 7_q001.jpg

Why I have a bad hair day everyday
http://photobucket.com/albums/b334/blue ... 9_q001.jpg

....although hiking hair runs a close second. :laughing: along with the red face from the climb to the top of Goat Mountain.
http://photobucket.com/albums/b334/blue ... 3_q001.jpg

Dr_bar allowed me to take a pic to show he was there, too.
http://photobucket.com/albums/b334/blue ... 5_q001.jpg
http://photobucket.com/albums/b334/blue ... 4_q001.jpg
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My joy has become my grief

#52 Unread post by blues2cruise » Wed Sep 14, 2005 11:17 pm

So much joy and so much grief from one blue machine

It is ironic that the one thing that has brought so much joy into my life is also the one thing that has caused me so much grief.

I am sensitive at the best of times and I don’t have very broad shoulders which is why I find myself at a crossroad on my journey as a motorcyclist. I have been inundated with opinions and advice from the first day I brought home my bike. I have tried to ride the way I was taught but yet somehow I never feel like I quite measure up.

Complete strangers approach me and start telling me what I should do or not do with my bike. They tell me things I don’t want to hear or don’t need to know. The last thing I need is for some man who “used to ride” to start “dissecting” my bike and then embellishing with a story that if I don’t do what he says I will crash and get my legs chopped off.
I have no problem asking questions if I don’t know something so I truly don’t appreciate unsolicited opinions, advice or comments. It’s never women who start telling me negative stuff. It’s always men. I have always received such positive feedback from women but for some reason some men feel the need to “tell me what to do” or put down my bike because it’s “not a Harley Davidson”. I always tell them the same thing. I like my bike. If you want a Harley you can go get one. Someone even suggested I take the logo off the gas tank so it wouldn’t look like a Yamaha.
Why?
I get given a hard time about everything. I can’t even put on some lipstick without someone giving me the gears. I have had men give me a hard time about my choice of helmet. Men have made comments about my lack of armour in the sleeves of my jacket. Total strangers have come up to me and started hassling me about my boots. Men from work say things about the clothes. In the beginning comments were made because I rode “too cautious” and now that I have a lot more confidence comments have been made about my “daring” because I can finally have some fun. I've even been told the way I shoulder check is wrong. Well, I need to turn my head as far as I do to see around the edge of my helmet. :roll:
People keep telling me I need to get this for my bike or that for my bike. I don’t have the cash and I am beginning to feel like I am such a loser because I don’t have the “right stuff” accessorizing my bike.
When I made the mistake of saying out loud that I was considering selling my car, you would have thought I committing a crime. Gasp! You can’t sell your car! And on and on and on. It’s more people telling me what I should do or not do.
I struggled financially and emotionally to achieve what I have achieved with my motorcycling. I can no longer take the relentless comments made by the men I have come across. I am so bereft at the present time I don’t know which way is up anymore. I took the bus to work the last 2 days. I have put insurance on my car for the upcoming weekend. I am going to go backpacking for a couple of days and have a cooling off period.
It hasn’t been just strangers either. Men who are supposed to be my friends have also had their jabs. I just don’t know how to handle these situations. I was brought up to be polite and being rude is something I am not good at. Although if I am pushed I will fight back but then I am left feeling drained. I don’t want to be rude to my friends but I don’t know how to tell them to quit giving me hard time about everything without offending. I have been given a hard time because I choose not to drink alcohol. Why does it have to turn into almost a shouting match to get some guy to get off my case because I don’t want to drink? I never, ever, drink and ride or drive. Ever.

So, it is decision time.

A: I am thinking of selling my bike and just tell myself I did it…I achieved it and take satisfaction from that and move on.

B: I can park it for the winter and decide in the spring what to do.

The insurance on the bike expires October 15. The bike will be exactly one year old. The whole process of learning, buying, riding, getting licensed and having adventures has been a mixture of sweat, tears, smiles and laughter. It has also been fraught with a lot of tension due to the snobs and know it alls who won’t mind their own business and keep giving me unsolicited advice and a hard time about everything.

If anyone reading this has had the same problems feel free to add a post. Is it just because I am a woman or do some of the men also have the same problems? Tell me how you dealt with your situations. Maybe I can learn some tactics from you. I would once again like to be a happy motorcyclist, but 30 days from tomorrow may be my last day if I don’t resolve my dilemma and my sad/bad feelings. :(
Last edited by blues2cruise on Thu Sep 15, 2005 7:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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#53 Unread post by Mintbread » Wed Sep 14, 2005 11:36 pm

I am sorry to hear about the situation you are faced with, but I am sure if you gave it all away you would regret it forever after.
I had a friend many years ago that got a taste of riding on the back of her boyfriends bike and he was constantly irritated by her leaning harder through corners than he was, so she went out and bought her own bike. She was about four foot nothing and looked absolutely tiny on the bike, but it was something she wanted to do regardless of what others said to her. She was constantly being told that the bike was too big for her etc (she required help on more than one occasion to get the bike back up after mishaps with the side stand) but she believed that as soon as she was out and riding, these people couldn't see how much see enjoyed it and had no idea how it felt out on the road.

Ignore the nay sayers, take "advice" from the peanut gallery with a grain of salt and repay them with that dirty great big smile you get when you take off down the road on your beloved motorcycle.
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#54 Unread post by Gummiente » Thu Sep 15, 2005 4:41 am

Blues, go for a ride. Don't talk to anyone, don't stop for a coffee anywhere, just clear your mind, hum your favourite tune and go for a ride. If it still makes you feel all warm 'n fuzzy inside, then DO NOT sell the bike. You've gone through too much to just give it all up because of some jack*sses who can't keep their opinions to themselves.

I can empathise with your being sensitive, I can understand how much it hurts to have complete strangers try to knock you off your perch, but you're going to have to learn how to suck it up and give it right back to the naysayers if you want to continue riding. You can still be hurting on the inside, just don't show it on the outside. And unless these twits are the ones who are making the bike payments for you and making the insurance payments, then their opinions really don't matter do they?

Get nasty, get right back in their face or ignore them completely - do what you have to do but DON'T SELL THE BIKE.

And FWIW, if you're ever out my way I'll ride with you. I don't care what you ride, how you dress or what gender you are, if you like bikes I'll ride with you any day. I know that there's many, many people with the same attitude as I have out in BC, you just haven't found them all yet. Keep riding, keep looking and just ignore the trash.

You go, girl!
:canada: Mike :gummiente:
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#55 Unread post by BuzZz » Fri Sep 16, 2005 3:25 am

They are right, you know.

Who are you to think you need or want anything different than exactly what everyone else thinks they want? Do you really think your opinions about how to live your life count for more than some other fools idea of what's best for you? You got some nerve, Lady. :wink:

I'm sorry to hear that these loudmouth wannabes and know-it-alls have got you so bummed out. Maybe it's time for you to take the outlaw image to heart and ride what and how you like, To Hell with what 'they' think or say. Unless you want to live the same lifestyle as those people giving this advice...... but I doubt that's the case. The only person you have to please is yourself. The Hippy-tree-hugger-image-over-substance-I-care-more-than-you-so-my-opinion-counts-more-do-what-I-say West Coasters can kiss your fanny.

Would you have had the experiances and feelings you've had over the past year if you listened to the loser you work beside. Would you be as fullfilled if you did what some stranger at the gasbar said was 'the best way to go'?

Like the man said, go for a ride. Ride your bike and enjoy it. Ignore the human detritis you see out there, and enjoy what you enjoy doing. Let them enjoy thier narrow-focused little worlds and don't let them intrude into yours. If that means selling your car, sell it. If it means keeping it as bad wheather back-up, keep it. But do it because you want to.

I think you should keep your bike. But don't listen to me. You do what makes you most happy. :wink:
No Witnesses.... :shifty:

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Re: My joy has become my grief

#56 Unread post by Loonette » Fri Sep 16, 2005 4:48 am

blues2cruise wrote: I don’t want to be rude to my friends but I don’t know how to tell them to quit giving me hard time about everything without offending.
Who's being rude to whom? I have one basic requirement for any relationship in which I'll engage; respect. First, you need to make it clear to your friends how their comments make you feel. Remind them of how important your personal biking experience is to you. If they are truly good friends, then they should have enough respect for you to back off with their ribbing. And if biking is important enough to you, and if they were to continue with disrespectful behavior, you could just ride more and hang out with your friends a lot less.

As far as strangers are concerned... there's a large number of people in the world who just can't keep their yaps shut. I found being pregnant to be the all-time worst magnet for nosy do-gooders. The unsolicited and highly useless advice was abundant. I get the same questions that you mentioned when I run into Harley riders. It really does get old, but most of the guys I talk to are genuinely curious - they just can't understand why you'd pick an import. I lie and mention price as being the main reason I had to stay away from a Harley. They can understand that logic! If I don't know the person, I don't feel I necessarily owe them a truthful answer - just a polite one.

Try not to let these things get to you. It can be overwhelming at times, dealing with the social retardation of some people. But most people don't mean harm. And really - it should all be about biking. Your biking! Try and stay focused on why you want to ride your beautiful bike in the first place. Now go for a ride!!

Cheers,
Loonette
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#57 Unread post by blues2cruise » Fri Sep 16, 2005 7:56 am

Thanks everyone for your words of wisdom. Sometimes it's hard to think rationally when feelings are so mixed.

Your words have helped me with my indecision. When my insurance is up middle of next month, I will not renew for now. I will park the bike (prepped for storage of course) and have a cooling off period over the winter.
I will take the advice of "go for a ride and see how you feel"...next week.

I put 3 days worth of insurance on my car for this weekend and am going hiking and camping. I think the weather is supposed to be half decent, too. A change of pace/locale/people may be just what I need. I may even hug a tree just for BuzZz. :lol:
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#58 Unread post by BuzZz » Fri Sep 16, 2005 12:56 pm

Forget the tree...... Buzz needs a hug. :wink: :laughing:

Sounds like you could use one, yourself..... :group:
No Witnesses.... :shifty:

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#59 Unread post by cb360 » Fri Sep 16, 2005 1:05 pm

I don't get a tenth of the comments you seem to endure. If I got that much unsolicited advice I think I'd start cutting them off mid-sentence... 'I'm not looking for any advice - thank you though!"
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#60 Unread post by cb360 » Fri Sep 16, 2005 1:21 pm

Hey - are you sure letting the insurance lapse is a good idea financially orks differently in Canada, but here in the US it can actually cost MORE when you renew if you've let it lapse and try to re-up in the riding season.

Of course the fact that you can get car insurance for 3 days is a completely foreign idea to me. I've had car insurance continually for the last 23 years and if I ever didn't have it for a period I'd get a huge upcharge for 'no prior insurance'. They even got me for being in the Peace Corps for two years - I told them. "There wasn't a car in the entire village!" - didn't matter, I had to pay waht is essentially a penAlty for no prior insu5rance until I'd been insured for a year. What a racket.
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