Saturday, August 1, 2015

Packing for the East Trip - 1

I always find it difficult to pack for a trip on the bike. It seems to take a long time. And, this time I had decided to do some camping and wanted to keep things as compact as possible. Here is the result:

The top box is excluded at this time, I want to keep it for very light stuff and my helmet, if possible.

Also excluded is the tank bag, with camera & other stuff.


1 The saddlebags for the BMW R1200RT are a decent size and can hold a bunch of stuff. I wanted to pack heavy stuff in them. Turns out each of the above weighs 27 pounds. It was pure luck to get them equal.


2 Opened up, you can see the left side has some loose stuff, while the right side has a couple of bags.


3 The right side bags are a nice cloth bag from Canadian Tire and a fitted bag shaped to fit in the saddlebag.


4 Those loose items on the left are mostly for eating while camping. By row from the top and left to right:

Collapsable water bucket - Base for propane tank & the main stove burner (fits on tank)
Tarp & flat grill & cutting board & small water bottle - main grill pan w/ folding handle
Main pot & mini butane burner & butane (fits in pot) - nesting pans & dishtowel

The mini burner was a gift from Bob Leong on my birthday last year. The other stuff is over a decade old, used perhaps a dozen times. I don't do much camping.


5 For the right side, in the CT bag, from the top:

A white bag contains a nice LED lantern and one AA cell. The other three are in the lantern. This prevents the lamp from being turned on accidentally. The bag keeps the loose battery from being lost or getting somewhere I can't find it quickly. Next to it is the main propane tank for the main burner. I used to worry about running out of a tank on a trip. Never came close to it. But, these are very commonly available.

The black bag in the centre is a Luxurylite cot. Available here: Cot

Below that is the tent's top fly.


6 Another CT cloth bag. At the bottom of the bag is a safety triangle (if I break down), tire plugging kit (never had to use it and I now have tire puncture coverage as part of my BMW MOA membership). The grey item is the tent. The colored bag is my compact tripod.


7 The fitted bag contains clothes for the trip. It will also hold toiletries, but they are in use. I roll up long and shrort sleeve Dri-Fit shirts from Mark's Work Wearhouse, and match some Tilley underwear and socks. These can be easily washed and dry overnight. In the centre is a rain jacket which can double as a windbreaker if I am out on a chilly evening. Below that is a swimsuit.


8 The Held bag is waterproof and the long PVC container is a home-made tube that protects the tent poles from getting bent and broken. These go across the passenger seat.


9 Inside the Held bag is my sleeping bag, a bag holding an inflatable pillow, a bag with stuff (see below), and some tinfoil for cooking. The plastic bottle is kept close by the cot at night... . I have a length of cord with a weight on it to put a food bag up in a tree at night to keep critters away. The lead fishing sinker makes it easy to throw up over a tree limb. There is room to spare for more clothes and light soft stuff.


10 In the bag referenced above, I have a triangular nesting cup and pot, Then, a green folding washbasin, Sporks, soap and safety blanket, fire starter sticks, and cooking oil and detergent.

That's it.

And now the kicker - I'm leaving it all at home. I don't feel like camping this year, at least on this trip. But, I may go later in the year and wanted to be able to replicate the packing!

And besides, I promised you all I would show you what goes where.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Catching UP

Dar did not have to kick me again to update my blog. Something must be wrong...

A Titanic Ride

Back in June, Dianne and I went to see the play, Titanic. We took the GO Transit bus. Round trip for seniors is $16.50 or so. The ride is great, and this time we sat up front. So, the 401 traffic 40 minutes out from downtown Toronto looks like this:

And then,

We went to a restaurant

Then, we went to the theatre

I took this before the play started, so it was legal. Any blur is because Dianne was kicking me for taking it.

A Walk Around the Pool

I have mentioned that the backyard took a lot of work. Well, it looked pretty good right after:

I did the deck sanding and staining, but the flowers are Dianne's work.

Our Gardena watering stick broke

But Gardena replaced it at no charge. They are located near the airport so I did have to battle traffic, but it cost $53 and looked like the glue failed. Remember, those of you who like adhesive for fastening, the old saying is "all glue joints fail". Have you bought a new car recently? Well, ... .

Now, I wonder, carbon fibre for airplanes,..  Better think of other things.

Did not ride today ... Battery

Well, John B says he thought my bike started funny a year ago, but I don't recall him saying anything at the time. Bob Leong mentioned it too when I was there a few days later. Today, it started great, I moved it out of the garage, left the ignition on for a while, and got click click noises. The battery tender went into storage mode after only 1.5 hours, and it started right up. Still, it's time.

But, the dealer is moving to a new building, so it will be next Tues or so...

East Trip To Start Soon!

Perhaps Aug 5 will be a good day to depart. Gaspe, NB, maybe PEI. Depends on how I feel.

Currently loading the bike. I'm going to take camping gear, but will spend some nights in motels. Better beds and showers.

Trying to figure out how to pack the bike. I need to keep weight low or I have trouble getting it upright off the sidestand if on any slope to the left. Added another layer of insoles to the boots too. Short legs need all the eighths of an inch available.

I should be able to show some pics of how I ended up packing the bike next week.

No firm itinerary. No reservations. No real plan. Should be perfect. Weather? Well, who knows.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Deerskin Gloves - Bob's Suggestion

Bob [Bobskoot] hosted me in Vancouver last year around this time. His birthday was July 9 and mine July 13.

Among our many discussions, I lamented that I could not operate my GoPro camera controls wearing my Joe Rocket waterproof gloves. He said I needed to wear Deerskin ones.

So here it is almost a year later and I just put on a new pair of Deerskin gloves. Tight, but they are stretching nicely. I have tried them with both the camera and the remote dongle which also gave me infinite frustration last year.

No problem!

Once again, Bob gave me great advice.

We exchanged gifts last year. He gave me a very small gas powered burner. Also we went to MEC where he showed me what pot to buy. Once home and playing with my new toys, I noticed the gas canister had a concave bottom. I put the cannister in the pot with the concave facing up/out. Then, I put in the burner and both fit nicely. This while Bob was saying it would not fit. When he saw it did fit, he admitted he had never thought about putting the gas in that way. This was about the only time I recall teaching Bob anything. Mostly it was the other way around. A lot.

Thanks again, Bob.

I am preparing for a bike trip "East". Not sure yet of exact route and timing. Might just leave it that way and see what happens.

70th Birthday Party: tomorrow. Until now, 70 was sort of expected, but kind of theoretical, if you know what I mean. Good thing 70 is the new 40, sort of, almost....

Hope you all have a nice day tomorrow. It's pretty much guaranteed that I will!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

June has been busy...

Only one ride, main on-suite bathroom reno completed, birthday for daughter, concert for granddaughter. Stories and pics below.

After lots of gofer stuff during Marek's reno work plus outdoor stuff both sides of the pool, I took a ride on a local curvy road. The new tires really worked well. I entered a curve signed 30 km a bit faster than that, leaned a bit more than usual and was through it with no drama. I did feel the road on the left side of my boot sole for a gentle and short kiss, but that is likely because I did not have the boot as close to the engine as it should have been. Did not feel the peg feeler touch down. Dar might want to tell her students about boot / peg positioning.

The bathroom reno went really well, thanks to Marek. He has now done all of them. In the en-suite, we kept a tub and put in a rain head as well as an adjustable wand. The vertical niche is a new product from Kohler called a Shower Plinth. Marek recommended it and we were happy to take his advice.

 7 Watt LED pot lights run cool and work great. They are a new product.

 Tub before shower glass is installed.

 Vanity upper is mirrored everywhere.

Installed grab bars because we are getting older. In the shower too.
The shower fixtures are Riobel, made in Quebec. Excellent stuff.

The drain is known as an infinity drain, no barrier to entry as shown in photo above. We now have three of them and they work great. The trick is to shave the joists under the floor so as to create a slope.

Outside, behind the pool, I had torn out the deck last Fall. Now, we had soil and mulch added to clean it up. Looking good now and  Dianne is eager to get her flowers planted.

I had to add a bit of concrete behind the pool steps to accommodate the straps that will hold the mesh-style winter cover we will install in September. That meant replacing some deck structure and deck boards. I ended up sanding the whole same-level area and applying protector. Looks much more uniform now.

See the new concrete. Cheap. Wood rework, not expensive.
 See the pool equipment. Not so cheap.

 Mix of old wood with solid stain, newer wood without treatment gone silver. Sanded with small belt sander.

Back of pool needed grading.

 Ugly deck before and after sanding plus clear protector.
Back of pool will be great in a very short time.

Had a nice birthday dinner for Suzanne and a great Beatles concert by Emma's chorus organization

 She got them all with a single try!
Emma really enjoys her choral group. They do a terrific job.
How they get hundreds of kids from 3 to 17 to all sing so wonderfully together is just amazing!

You can hear it for yourself!

And, now for summer fun!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

A Bunch of Topics

Dar sent me a message today asking if all was well, given my lack of postings.Yes, all is well. I'm afraid I have been a bit lazy.

We spent January on the Big Island of Hawaii. It was great. It was our second visit and we took it very easy.

February was cold everywhere, but unusually so here near Toronto. But, we survived.

At the end of the riding season, my tires looked like this:

Then, in mid-March, I rode to the dealers to get a new set of Michelin Pilot Road 4 tires. Here are a few shots:

 It was too cold to ride there on the scheduled Monday (-10 C), but the next day was balmy (-1 C). With the Aerostich suit, the electric vest, the heated grips and seat, plus the excellent R1200 RT fairing, I made it there and back.

The 4-digit code "3714" means the tires were made around mid-October.

It was warm enough on some days to clean up the garage floor, after the dripping of salt from the car and tires:

And, towards the end of March, the snow was almost gone from my front lawn:

I finally got out for a short ride but that was two weeks ago! Rainy and windy and frost in the mornings. And, we are starting yet another bathroom reno. We are changing the tub, vanity, shower stall. At this point it looks like this:

New style LED pot lights can have their aluminum controller box in direct contact with insulation. 7W, but 50W worth of light. dimmable.

Dimmers now come with a low-range limit adjuster to avoid flickering.

 The old shower stall is being replaced.
And, instead of a round centre drain, there is a long "infinity" drain at the back. We have used these in the other two renos and love them. There is no raised sill to step over. No, the water does not flow out because the floor joists are shaved a bit to be lower at the back. Takes skill.

The tub will go here, and the windows will get Hunter Douglas shades.

We have used Panasonic fans on the previous two renos. Quiet and powerful. If you buy them at an electrical distributor like Westbourne Electric, they cost about half of what a retail bathroom store charges.
 Next, will open the pool, do some deck repair, and try to fit in a bit of riding during what is left of this month and hopefully have a relatively free summer.

And, that is about all for the moment.