Saturday, June 30, 2012

Pool Day

Does not mean a lot of swimming...

We have a suction style pool cleaner. We call it George. Suzanne named the first one George back in 1986, and this must be George III or IV.

We have a pool ladder. George loves the pool ladder. Snuggles right up, pokes its hose between the ladder and the vinyl liner, and vibrates. All night. ...

So, I've been trying to fill the gap with something. Went on a shopping odessey today. Finally found some foam intended to fit into your eavestrough. Triangular, put two pieces together and you get a rectangle. I attached this with plastic cable ties. While I was in the water.

Will advise if it worked.

Then, removed two deck screws that had become proud. Dianne said they would rip her bare feet. I said she should avoid bare feet on the wooden deck. So, after that,I removed the screws and hammered a couple of proud nails down for good measure.

Having a beer now.

Reading RoadRunner magazine. I like it. Planning my next trip. Likely to go back to Pennsylvania, based on this issue and past experience. Must visit Lakawaxen. Why? Because in 1870, my grandmother, Mary Kilner (née Brennan) was born there before her family moved to Manchester, England. She died in 1950. One of my earliest memories is of her funeral, at the gravesite. Dad told me to stay in the car. He is buried there with her too. So is my mother. Sort of a pilgrimage to go to Lakawaxen, where she was born. Closing a big circle, so to speak.

Reflecting on yesterday's ride with Emma as passenger. When I had a Honda 350, I thought Suzanne might like to ride with me, when her legs were long enough to reach the pegs. Never happened. Sold the bike before then. So, instead, her daughter got the ride. And, pleased the old man no end.

When Dianne told me Emma wanted a ride, the first thing I asked was if Suzanne knew about this and was told Suzanne even knew I had a second helmet in my garage. Never knew Suzanne was interested in the copious stuff in my garage until then... Had to consider the risks, but in the end, I am glad I took her for the short ride, on quiet streets, on level ground. I think it was successful. Maybe Emma will comment on this and tell me ( and all 3 others who read this blog ) what she thinks. (hey, notice the italics? I love Blogsy!)

Enough bogging for today.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Emma's First Ride

Emma and Poppy depart new house

On our way down the road

Dianne and I were asked to pick up Emma from her last day of Grade 6. When she heard I was coming on the bike, she asked if I might give her a ride.

Brought over an extra helmet, and gave her a long discussion of how bikes lean, where to hold on, how to tell me to stop doing something ( pound on back until I conform ). She is a figure skater, does stuff that would make me faint. As a result, she did not get scared and leaned with me. Perfect passenger.

We went around the block then over to the new house. Closing day today, and a nice house. Then a few more turns around the neighborhood and a few blocks back home.

Emma really enjoyed having her playmates see her arrive on a motorcycle, and enjoyed the whole experience.

I did not bring the camera connection kit, so will post some pics as soon as I can. Unlike most times, I was not fully geared up. I wanted maximum flexibility with Emma on the back as it has been a while since I had a passenger and never on the BMW. In the end, it was a piece of cake.

Careful? Of course.

Emma, thank you for being such a good, relaxed passenger.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

New Computer / Clean Bike

Picked up new computer yesterday and was up late getting it going. Had to take it back to get the right program to play blu ray discs. Then, had to play with the drives. Did it wrong last night, fixed it today.

Now have a solid state drive C: to boot from, E: for programs and likely the page file, and F: which is a raid 1 array of 2x 1TB drives. BluRay Reader/ DVD / CD Burner. 8GB RAM. 8 core AMD processor. ATI VGA / DVI / HDMI Graphics card. Boots in less than 60 seconds.

Now adding programs and testing as I go. Will take days. Skype works fine. Capture NX2 works but needs settings. Will calibrate monitor tonight, but looks great already.

Need to be ready for paying assignment starting after July 1.

Always frustrating;always a treat. " What the hell? Did I make that same mistake again? "

Oh, I washed the BMW 1200RT. Took about an hour. Looks great.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Today's Plans

I have done minimal unpacking, so that must begin. While I do it, I'm going to try to keep track of what I used and what I did not. This should help me pack less, but still take some equipment. I may make some special things, such as a small oil bottle. Did not use any on the trip, but a quarter bottle instead of a full one might be ok.

New computer should be ready for pickup - it's a bit late already. Then, it will need a bit of connection, investigation, software loading - not all for today.

Bike cleaning and maintenance - riding in the rain makes a mess of shiny parts. Looks unloved. Also, need to make a service appointment. I've put almost a third of the mileage on it in months since last September than I put on the Triumph 900 in twelve seasons.

Make social plans with old friends.

I'm sure Dianne will have suggestions too.

Hearing aids have gone to depot for clean / repair / add replaceable wax filter.

Coffee cooling. More later perhaps, maybe via new computer, which would be cool.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Story not Done

This would be Day - 25, except I'm home. I do have a number of topics to write about as a result of the trip, but maybe not today. Kind of a full day.

Do feel free to make comments if you choose to, on either previous or new posts.

Update: Total distance garage to garage was 9495 km = 5900 mi

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Day - 24 The Ride to Home

Last day of riding - about a half day, should be home around noon.

Was raining lightly leaving Sudbury. Let up just before Parry Sound. May clear more, or not...

First gas station was closed, but I had dismounted before figuring this out. First pump at second station was not working, but again, I had dismounted. Moved, gassed, got going. In the rain.

Perhaps fitting that the trip started and ended in rain. There was a lot of rain on the trip. I was thankful for the Aerostitch suit and the Gears heated vest.

Time to get moving...

South of Barrie now, noon arrival looks doable. When I left Parry Sound, it was raining again, but cleared up. Still grey overcast day.

Toronto area has been having a heat wave. Seems I have not to worry about that today. Usual heavy hwy 400 traffic - yes, Peter, I will be careful.

Arrived home just after noon. Found Dianne and neighbors trimming front yard trees. My job was to go buy beer and wine. We had a nice light lunch. Unpacking and other jobs - tomorrow will suffice. Will do some calculations on total distance, etc and post those too.

I am surprisingly not sore, not exhausted, but am happy to be home. Bike needs cleaning badly, and is slightly overdue for the 12,000 km service.

New desktop was ordered before I left, it may be ready tomorrow or soon...

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Day - 23 Heading for Sudbury

Nice ride this morning to Sault St Marie. Nearing there, the traffic density and population increase really hit home.

More later.

At Sudbury around 5 pm. Tired, but all went well. No pictures today.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Day - 22 Dryden ON to points East

4 hours to Thunder Bay, 4 more to Marathon. This is a big province.

Have had breakfast. Could walk to it from the Comfort Inn. Did not have to gear up and ride to it assuming there was one nearby.

A beautiful morning with nice weather ahead. Not as blistering hot as Toronto. Looks like three riding days left. Better get going...

Ok, fueled bike and myself in Thunder Bay. Lovely morning ride down to here, except for road construction and the associated delays. This has been going on since the early US part of the trip. We only have two seasons in a year, Winter and Roadwork.

Marathon will be my likely stopping point. Will update when I get there.

Here safe and sound. Great weather. From Thunder Bay to marathon, the scenery is fantastic. Will post pics after I phone home.






Hope you too get to see this in person.

Now, a story about a good restaurateur. I am staying at the Zero 100 Motor Inn, which has a restaurant attached. Mark is the owner and asked about my drink preference. He offered Ambiance wine at$16 per half litre. I said that is a bit expensive, but ok. He brought the wine, said it was a soft Malbec, he was right, called him back, he said it was not Ambiance. No shit.

If you are in the area, eat there. Say hello to Mark for me. He is a pro.

P0T 2E0 for the postal code

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Day - 21 to Winnipeg and into Ontario

Finally got something to eat! I could not find the McD where the GPS said it was in Yorkton. Gassed and rode. Gassed and rode more. Made it to Winnipeg. Will get under way after a little rest.

Kenora is only a couple hours ride, so will sleep in Ontario. More later.

Oh, the weather is sunny and warm.

In Drydan. More later, after I have eaten.

Reminder: Winnipeg Traffic

Take the bypass if possible. With no breakfast in Yorkton, it was a long ride to Winnipeg. Found a McD a Walmart. Gps took me then via downtown. Don't do this. Every street has a stoplight. All will be red. Long lights. Horror show. Never seen anything remotely worse. Fire everybody with predudice in the department concerned. Not kidding. Gross incompetence.

Then, a word about pavement. Motorcycles AR mst comfortable with level pavement. Johnwill remember pavement east of Toronto with groves. About a foot wide and a few inches deep, one for each car wheel. Threw you around.

in downtown Winnipeg, the grooves are 3 feet wide and one foot deep. For a motorcycle, this is near a death trap.

Avoid Winnipeg.

Rest of the ride to Drydan was superb with weather and road great.

Tired, bed. 3 riding days left, I figure.

I want to plug Tilley underwear. Wash it, roll it in a towel, leave it rolled for a while, say dinner, hang it over a rail overnight - good to go.

The boxer shorts I have have no seams where it may hurt. Get some.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Day - 20 Into Saskatchewan

Got on the road at 6:30. Bright, sunny day. Rode to Llyoldminster. Huge long mall on my side of the road. McD's for breakfast and blog update.

Road is still great, a divided highway with little traffic. Except here, near urban living. Will add more down the road. Will be past Saskatoon by lunch. Bike running well, as usual, and as expected.

Gassed up. 1st Petrocan was out of order, Esso got the business. At McD!'s for coffee break. North Battleford is a poor city, bad paving.

Saskatoon is a poor city as well. Lunch at McD 'cause they have wifi. Mgr agreed with me they are the only one without it. Some schetchy clients there as well, so I got away fast.

Long ride to Yorkton. Bad pavement again. Run down motels. More schetchy folks. Ate at Boston Pizza. Asked for wifi password. Waitress said it was down temporarily. I asked how long. She said couple of months. Couple at next table laughed. I said that was preposterous. Yes, I use words like that.

Sipping my beer, when the two dots leaped up and hit me where it hurts. Then, they drew a line between them all on their own! In RED.

Loiter control.

And the innocent lose again.

Just so you know, I am no longer a dilettante rider: 782.6 km today.

Learned : in the rain, visor collects drops. Lower electrically powered windscreen and drops get blown off, like in a car wash...

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Day - 19 Jasper to ? Via Edmonton

Left in steady light rain. It stopped just before I found a McD's for breakfast. Suit does its job, but I'm still in need of some warmth.

Not sure how far I will get if rain continues.

Ok, rain all the way from the last stop. Sure glad I renewed the Dubbin on my boots. Feet get a bit cold, but so far, the boots are not getting soaked.

The rain has stopped again. Hope it stays stopped. I have about 2 hours more to get to Edmonton. The map sure looks good at this point.

The road is now a divided highway, like an interstate. Easy curves, boring, except for poor visibility.

Just looked out window. Heavy rain. Here for a while, I guess.

Looked at the weather map. No point in leaving until about 11:30, but then I should be ok. Looks like no rain at least to Edmonton.

After leaving, the left lane became "loose chips", which is sort of gravel. I was glad I was in the right lane. Came a bridge, both lanes now, but it was fine crossing the bridge. Sign says 45 km of road construction, and it looked like they were doing the left lane. Nope. The bike is so good there was no problem at an time. I had a loose grip and the bike did not squirm at all. This is in a downpour reducing visibility to nil. It ended eventually.

Then came the highway across Edmonton. With traffic lights. Then, total stop. The left two lanes were closed by a serious accident. Eventually got by it.

So, I'm at Vegreville, East of Edmonton. Small motel, not great, but I'm writing this in Boston Pizza. Looking at at plate of spaghetti and meatballs that would feed four. Later...

Well, not much later. My first time at Boston Pizza. Worst spaghetti I have ever been served. Ate the meatball, a portion of spaghetti, and just stopped. Burped twice. At least they have wifi...

Will be in bed early, methinks.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Day 18 update

More rain. Visibility poor. Decided to stop @11:30 for a Subway meatball sandwich and coffee and stretch.

May decide to stop at Valemount unless the weather changes. We'll see.

Hwy 5 north from Kamloops is a nice road. In a valley, mild twists and turns except for some 70 kph ones.

It's the trucks that get you, in the rain. One passed me, got ahead a bit. Car passed. Downhill stretch came up, car brake lights came on, then the truck let loose his horn. Loud horn, facing away from me. Would have made me jump if he did it to me. He was angry at a car, probably was already angry I had slowed him down.

Well, no wifi here at Subway, so I will post this later.

Ok, getting near Jasper. Has been periods of light rain. With the 'Stich suit, no leaks, no wet crotch, just keep moving on. Worth every penny.

Finally, sunshine! I'll let you judge:


When I stopped, a train was going by. By the time i got my helmet and gloves off, I could only get the last car, which should have been a caboose...







From here to Jasper was an easy run. Oh, I forgot. On the road, the Feds have a booth and collect 9.80 from anybody not going through. Honest Ed says he is staying overnight in Jasper, and sweet young thing gives change. During this,she leans out and says STOP! to a big white semi trying together past me. Scared the crap out of me.

Got toJasper and used the GPS to find a hotel. A bit expensive. Splurged on a meal with wine an Drambuie.

All is ok. GPS has the route home from here. Edmonton, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, ... Hotel tofrontdoor is 3771 km.

More tomorrow.

Day 18 - on to Jasper

Got a good start at just after 6 am. Good decision to stop early yesterday.

Road to Cache Creek was wet, rain light. Slow is smooth and smooth is fast, and safe. If the sign said 30 kph, I did 30 or less. Tried to work on cornering techniques and after a while things got ok, and faster. Just out of Lillooet,I saw a deer cross well ahead. A few minutes later, another one.

I forgot to post that I saw a bear off the road at Whistler. Too close for that.

From Cache Creek to Kamloops, the road is big, fast, mostly 100 kph.

Had breakfast at Cache Creek. Now at McD's for warmup coffee.

It's about 12 C and i find that i cool down Even with the vest on. It was not on until Cache Creek, and that may have made me a bit colder than usual.

Still not used to cliff drop offs with no guardrail. They would provide a good visual reference. Not ever looking over that way, but peripheral vision sees something or rather nothing...

Some scenery is astounding, but most of the times the curves take my attention.

Not listening to music so my attention is on the road.

More to come later in the day.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

A few pictures of Lillooet

Went out for a walk to take a few pictures of Lillooet. Small town on a Sunday.





There are very impressive vistas on the way into town. A helmet mounted camera would be the way to go for bike photography in these challenging areas.

But, I don't have one and am not likely to be back here again. Sure hope there are turnouts on the road near Jasper.

Pictures of Bike Dammage

Just two problem areas, cosmetic and will be addressed when I get home.

First, the right hard bag got a few scrapes:

The exterior lower edge of the right mirror has rubbed the pavement:

All in all, it was minimal. I was pretty near stopped and could not hold it up.

A few hours later, I have no physical injuries - maybe a sore left hip, not much worse than a long day.

Day - 17 Duncan to Lilloolet

Only to there? Had to ride to Nanaimo, get the ferry to Horseshoe Bay, ride past Whistler and eventually to Lillooet.

Just past Pemberton, a bit east, the road rises up a mountain. To start this off right, there is a 20 kmph 180-degree hairpin turn to the left. As you go around, you have to climb a steep hill as well. There are no yellow lines that I remember. Well, I almost made it. Ended up dropping the bike at close to zero speed. I'm fine. Bike has two small scratches that you would have to hunt to find. There was no other traffic at the time, but a minute after, a young couple in a camper truck, and two others in a truck following them helped pick it up. It started, I got on and rode on to Lillooet, where I called it a day.

The scenery in these mountains is spectacular. However, the roads have little or no shoulder, and certainly no guardrails 90 per cent of the time. Cliff on one side, rock mountain on the other. Curves are continuous, and some are 20 kph. Two more are 180 degree hairpins, but these are on the downward side, and I had no further issues. A lot of white-knuckle riding, and I was now nervous and extra careful. Tiring, so I stopped for the day.

I should mention the single-lane bridges too. They often have a hard turn at the other side. Makes it hard to see if traffic is coming, especially if you are the direction that must stop short. Well, we handled that too.

No pictures today. Too dangerous to stop and take pictures.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Day - 16 Last Day in Duncan

John provided materials to wash the bike, so it looks pretty nice. Was not really dirty, is easy to clean.

It's nearly 2pm and I am mostly packed too. Carole made sure my clothes are clean, so I'm good to go. Next time I will pack less. Really, I will! I promise!

I'll get a ferry to Horseshoe Bay early tomorrow, Sunday, and head up Hwy 99. Weather reports a few days ago promised sun; may not work out that way. But, that is why I have the Aerostitch and electric vest.

While gone, there was a pool plumbing problem. Dianne had good advice from a neighbour that it was the pump. Good friend Richard, same fellow who showed up unexpectedly at the start of this journey, has disassembled it, cleaned the impeller, and set it to work. Dianne is delighted, means Suzanne and Emma will probably have a pool party tomorrow.

So, Richard, thanks for the rescue. I appreciate it greatly.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Day - 15 Misc

Oil Change: warmed it up with a short ride to Maple Bay, then John changed the oil. No problems.

Lunch: off to Glenterra Winery for lunch. Will review it when we return.


My sister Mary has a friend Helen whose sister Ruth and family run Glenterra Winery. You can just imagine my having to explain to my sister that I could cross the country and get close but not visit the winery. So, John and Carole and drove there.

I am very glad I did and they look pretty happy too.


J&C had the Prawn Cakes. I had the Salmon. We liked it all.

We also had a bottle of the Gewürztraminer wine and it is Recomended if you are lucky enough to be able to go there.



And, I had a taste of the Merlot. Really fine wine that. Also Recommended.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Day - 14 Photo tour around Duncan

We were going for a ride today to Port Renfrew but it was bad weather in the area and cold. So, used the car instead, and John seems to know every road around Duncan. Here are some shots:















There may still be some duplicates in this post. Blogging with iPad apps is a bit more difficult than with a full computer. Apps are free or $5 tops, but they crash...

Hope you enjoy...