Yes Emily

Yes Emily, girls can ride motorcycles!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Wrong Again! - Your Canadian Weather UpDate

Right now my little weather tab is showing it will be three degrees and partially sunny, not warm enough to ride but, "Holy Snowflakes Batman", have you looked outside lately? It hasn't been sunny since it was time for the sun to come up and the snowflakes that have had me mesmerized for hours have been big enough to block any attempt that the sun may have made to shine. (Oh no, its happened - my blog has become nothing more than a weather commentary). Of course I have to admit that I'm wrong again too - Yup, I thought for sure there would be one more weekend to ride. Now with the time change leering just around the corner of next week, which means I go to work in the dark and come home in the dark I may not even have the chance, if it happens to be sunny one day, to ride the bike into storage. Don't know about you but in the winter it feels like I'm a troll, living constantly in the darkness.
I guess it's time to work on a little optimism - hey, winter, it's a great time to check out the bike shows in the area. We've got the Toronto Motorcycle Show Dec. 10 to 12, The North American International Super Show Jan. 7, 8 and 9 then the Toronto International Spring Motorcycle Show April 9 and 10 just to mention a few here in SE Ontario. One word of advice if you're planning to attend any of the Toronto shows - go early, they get crazy busy - shoulder to shoulder crowds. Now they say that parking is free for motorcycles at the December show in downtown Toronto - make sure you've got your slush tires on - it's Canada, it's winter!
And on another optimistic note, we can all plan next summer's tour - Where is it you want to go? Where have you been? Where are the best roads to ride?
Like Coolcycledude, I'm envious of those whose riding season isn't dictated by the weather. Have a Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Crazy ...

The weather has gone crazy here. Two days ago it was barely 5 degrees Celsius and I was hiding inside, cranking up the thermostat, planning to take the VStar to storage in the back of the pick up truck. Today it's 20 degrees and the doors and windows are wide open. Mother Nature has gone into a tail spin and confused her subjects for sure ... not just the humans sad to say. A little walk up my road tonight, toward the lake, found it littered (close your eyes if you're squeamish) with the squashed remains of many frogs and snakes who mistakenly thought it might be spring again and forgot to look both ways before crossing the street. Is it too early to call it Indian Summer?
The wind is howling, sounding like old man winter and a Nor'easter but it is unbelievably balmy. I'm having a hard time believing it's almost the end of October but I'm hoping that the temperature holds til the weekend because I haven't had that one last ride.
The cold weather of the weekend gave me an excuse to "Twitter" away some time and I've found some amazingly interesting folks on the WWW. I'll add links whenever I find a worthwhile (in my opinion) read - there are some amazingly interesting and often funny writers out there. Enjoy - and hey, send me links to your favorites.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

It's Coming ...

Mother Nature is bullying again. The temperature is 5 Celsius, it's raining and I know it's coming ... winter that is. Pepper - that's a photo of my road in the winter and the reason the VStar will be heading into storage sooner than later.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

For This Reason And That Reason ...

It was cold and threatening rain today (mother nature sure has become a bully) ... and for this reason and that reason I never did make it out for a ride in the three hour window she supplied this afternoon. Surely she is totally wrong for tomorrow and it won't rain all day. But in the meantime, tonight, I've gotten up to speed on the 'www' and I challenge you to find me on Twitter.
Pepper has told us she'll be riding all winter and I've been searching for my winter pics to show why I won't. However, I will be sitting here in envy of those of you who will.
This weekend I've had to join facebook too (much to the surprise of many of my friends). But it's all in fun. My 'bud' from next door challenged me to post pics of me and my Star on Facebook - So I did (Thanks Ken). If you're riding a Yamaha or know anybody who is - check it out (Canadian Biker; September 2010) "You could be in a Yamaha ad." - Submit your favourite photos to: This is my Yamaha.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

My Riding Days For This Season Are Numbered ...

The chill in the air is telling me that my riding days for this season are numbered. This morning I had intended to head to Ottawa at 7am (about 300km round trip), but 7am came and went and the temperature hadn't moved much above the zero mark. It was 8:30 before the mercury rose to near 9 degrees, 10 Celsius is usually my cut off. I could have easily convinced myself to ride in comfort, wrapped in an SUV - but the thought that this might be the last ride of the season convinced me to bundle up and hit the road despite the cold. The road was distinctly devoid of motorcycles this morning - just me and one other cold, lonely rider. The forecast had promised sunshine for the day but in the grey of the morning the streams and marshes had a distinct, "winter's coming" cold look to them. The fall colours have almost all faded to their end of season browns and the air is damp and cold. Today, the smell I noticed most, took me back to my childhood. It is the pungent smell of corn silage being harvested for the cattle this winter. By afternoon and the return trip, the sun had managed to entice the temperature to 16 and in the sun, it was ideal. But then mother nature suspended a heavy grey cloud below the sun just to remind me winter is coming whether I like it or not.
If you are in Ontario - check out this link (ride, snowmobile or boat)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Fall Festivals

Fall was in the air at the Battersea Pumpkin Festival today. It's a highlight of the season in "my" country - complete with wagon rides, pumpkin carving, pumpkin costumed dogs, giant pumpkins, pie eating contests, market vendors, crafters and of course Mrs. Hinch's famous kettle fries and lighter than air funnel cakes. Today I walked. Tomorrow is a riding day and I can't help but ask myself - will this be the last one of the season?

Monday, October 11, 2010

Beauty with a warning...

Posted by Picasa

Another absolutely fabulous day for yet another little ride to Prince Edward County, perhaps the last of the season. It turned out to be a bit cooler today than yesterday but the temperature was above 10 degrees C when Ron and I headed west toward highway 33 and the shore of Lake Ontario. The morning's long fall shadows stretched across the tree lined road; shadow broken with flashes of bright sunshine. This beauty comes with a word of warning...I realized that the strobe like effect of riding through the light and shadow were slightly hypnotic and I found myself in "lala" land. Take care, you might have to consciously work at staying alert riding through autumn's beauty. I love the sky above the lake and today the clouds looked like great grey geese with wings outstretched in flight. The crisp, cool air seemed apple scented as we neared 'the County' known for its luscious orchards and vineyards. I could smell smoke, not the smoke of summer's campfires but the smoke of comfortable home fires burning. We stopped for a wonderful, fresh from the garden lunch at the Tall Poppy Cafe in Wellington and then turned to go our separate ways. The maple canopies today were spectacular. I'm sure that even the sun was jealous of their blaze of colour. 423 km this weekend. I am glad that I had Alpine Star lined Gloves to keep fingers toasty warm.

And At The End Of The Road There Was Turkey ...

It was another spectacular Sunday exploding with glorious autumn colours - a terrific day for a ride, and it's Thanksgiving, so, at the end of the road there was turkey. I ask you again, "Could life get any better?"
Today I went riding with 'the boys.' Really, I'm lucky they let me, like the proverbial little sister, tag along. Being the tail of the trio, behind two former racers, of course they dusted me on all of the corners like I knew they would. Both Ron and Ken are former racers and though they may not fit into the racing suits from their twenties (really, like who does?), they both still have what it takes and there was no way I was going to keep up on the serpentine north country roads - but it didn't matter, at least not to me. Riding behind the two of them I got to enjoy the graceful, two wheeled ballet ahead of me and hey, I knew what direction we were going so I was confident I'd catch up sooner or later. Like I tell them, I don't go fast but I go the distance!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Sometimes you've just got to walk ...

Even though the riding season is fast coming to an end and most riders are squeezing in every last second on two wheels, sometimes you've just got to walk. You've got to walk to see the season's subtle masterpiece by the roadside. Tonight, between rain storms I decided to take time to walk and I found a scene I couldn't capture with a camera. The dampness in the air didn't dampen the delicate, wild roadside garden - wild asters in amethyst and purple, bouquets of brilliant goldenrod and pallid Queen Anne's lace, wispy, white milkweed pods exploding their softness over greens in olive and sage, deep maroon ivies, burnt red velvet tufts of sumac all coming into their own amidst the dying splendor of the maples. Take time - enjoy.
Send a link to share the autumn splendor where you live.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Fall Colours

Beautiful autumn colours, lunch at Wheeler's Pancake House and a tour of Kiwi Gardens... these are the things that added up to yet another glorious Sunday ride on the VStar. Sadly I can feel it though, the season, like Monday after a weekend, is coming all too soon to an end. A chill is in the air and winter is beginning to hint of its impending arrival. In all honesty, this morning with the temperature at 5 degrees C, had I not realized that the riding days are numbered, I could have easily cancelled. But instead I hauled all of the cold weather gear I could find from the closet - adding layer after layer until, like a toddler in a snowsuit, I could barely move. The sun was shining as I met up with my friends to follow their Jaguar in the annual Boot and Bonnet Car Club fall colours tour (yes, I'm a 'car' party crasher). I have to admit that somewhere about thirty minutes north of Westport, when the clouds covered the sun, I was questioning the sanity of my choice and thinking, "Are we there yet? Are we actually going to get there before my fingers freeze?" But one warm cup of coffee in the wonderful rustic surroundings amidst the beautiful scenery and the cold fingers were quickly forgotten. It turned out to be another near perfect day in Ontario that I'm glad I didn't miss (note to self, life would be more comfortable with heated grips and perhaps a heated vest).