Yes Emily

Yes Emily, girls can ride motorcycles!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Snow Bound and Written Out

Just to make it clear, I've not been "written off", I'm simply, "written out" and snow bound (gotta get me a snow machine or move to a more motorcycle friendly climate.)

My 'friends' have complained that I'm not writing as much these days and to tell the truth, they're right. I have to say this blog was meant to be one part motorcycle experience, one part travel and one part this gal's take on the world. And right now, the motorcycle is deep in storage, this gal isn't goin' far and there isn't much left of my thoughts to 'take on' the world. It's report card season for teachers in Ontario and all thoughts are reserved for how our "Little Iodines" are progressing toward meeting provincial expectations! I've spent two solid days writing but not for fun. (Excuses, excuses!)

Now, that job's out of the way I can focus on the fun stuff coming up. Next trip - NYC. Yahoo! It's another girls mid week weekend to the Big Apple and I can't wait. Barbara and I are heading back to New York come March and no, it's not going to be by motorcycle! Hell! it hasn't stopped snowing this month, but we're looking forward to it just the same. Barbara is a foodie and is looking for memorable (in a good way) places to eat - has anyone got a suggestion?

After the NYC trip I will be doing some serious trip planning for July and August when I hope to hit the Lincoln Highway once again - heading to the Pacific Coast. A woman on a mission - Touring for Tummies.

By the way, I've thought about archiving my summer 2010 photos, but I just can't. Really, I'm not a hoarder, it's just that they are my inspiration for summer 2011.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Weather Deep Freeze and Passion

A beautiful day for a walk with my 'frosty' companion.

Saturday was a picture perfect Canadian winter day with temperatures hovering just around minus 10, crisp, but in the sun, absolutely beautiful – an amazing day for a walk. Not so today! I’m trapped in a deep freeze with temperatures downward of minus 25. Today only the most hardy will venture out and I’m not one of them.

Out back, Saturday, January 22, 2011
A cold day in winter, like a rainy day in summer is Mother Nature’s way of giving us a legitimate excuse to stay inside to catch up on other things … like blogging. So today I wanted to catch up on a dozen blog post ideas but I’ve decided to narrow it down to just one – PASSION!

In an attempt to get up to speed, being a relative ‘newbie’ to the whole blogger/twitter scene, I try to spend a little time reading other blogs and Twitter bios. What I’ve come to notice is there‘s a whole lot of passion going on out there. Everybody seems to be passionate about something. In less than 10 minutes I found people who were passionate about: going fast, life, blogging, social networking, media, people, communicating, increasing the energy derived from wind power, travelling, travelling and taking photos, motorcycles …Don’t get me wrong, passion is great, it’s just that I almost broke out in a sweat from reading.

So what am I passionate about? I guess… I really don’t know. I’m beginning to think that the word is getting just a bit overused on the www. What would I use the word ‘passion’ to describe that wasn’t, you know, amorous?

Passionate, according to Webster is any emotion or feeling…of a powerful or compelling nature, a strong or extravagant fondness or desire…intense or vehement emotion…

Well, today I am feeling the intensely vehement part dealing with my new Midland BT2 Bluetooth Intercom wireless multimedia system (that’s a mouthful). So far my emotions this afternoon have included love, desire, enthusiasm, anger, grief and hope, hope that I can actually conquer the darn thing. I’m not asking much, I just want to use it to communicate with my best bud, ‘Garmin Dan’ when I’m riding my VStar. I am passionate about not having my head wired to the motorcycle for another season.

Admittedly, the first bit of my passion directed at this inanimate object was my own fault. I finally gave in, read the ‘how to’ manual and now have managed to get it set up and conversing congenially with dear old Dan. However, I’m still left with the problem of attaching the blue tooth unit to the outside of my full face, modular helmet. The helmet is an HJC SY MaxII with single button chin bar/face shield release. The helmet, where the blue tooth unit could fit is curved, the surface of the blue tooth unit is flat. Other than purchasing a new helmet has anyone out there ever attempted a feat of this nature??? Please, before I become passionately violent does anyone have a suggestion? Have you connected a blue tooth unit to a HJC SYMaxII helmet?

Passionate: ardent, impassioned, excited, fervent, fervid, burning, animated, impetuous, extravagantly fond of, desirous of, or in my words- ‘just really like doing’…just in case you need a synonym .

Sunday, January 9, 2011

North American International Motorcycle Supershow 2011

Vintage 1972 Yamaha RD 250 at the show
 North American International Motorcycle Supershow 2011 and I almost cancelled out because of the weather. The last couple of days have reminded me that I really do live in Canada but this morning the snow was light so I decided to go for it. After the first 30 km the weather changed in my favor and I had hopes of clear highways all the way. It didn’t happen. ‘Round about Ajax, just east of Toronto, the highway started to show the effects of winter once again. By Toronto the roads were hazardous. It wasn’t the snow coming down as much as the slush flying up that was causing problems. Traffic in the city was moving slowly. Ah, the Canadian highway in winter. Where else would you see five mighty machines, spread across as many lanes of traffic, outfitted with snow pushing blades all driving together in a perfect wing formation. It was an amazing sight! If I hadn’t been so totally concerned with keeping my own ‘girlie’ truck from skating across the pavement I’d have snapped a photo of this snow plow dance.

Sometimes I give good advice and this time I should have listened to it. I told everybody else to get there early. Well … I should have gotten there early, but I didn’t. I planned on it, I really did - but didn’t. The worst part of the show was the hour it took to drive one kilometer of road just to get into the parking lot. Now I don’t want to say folks in the parking lot were rude but hey, when you see somebody with their signal light on trying to back into a spot isn’t it kind of nasty to crowd behind them so they can’t, then pull into the spot yourself? If I’d only had some muscle to back me up!

Get your 'deals' in a row
 In my opinion the motorcycle industry should look at the attendance for this show. This show isn’t about the shiny, new, top of the line, high priced motorcycles (though there were a few sparklers in the crowd). This show was about accessories, parts, apparel, last year’s unsold and used bikes – lots and lots of used bikes at near bargain prices. This show was jam packed with customers looking for deals. Maybe what we need is a little more emphasis on the so called entry level, affordable bikes rather than the big ticket models as pretty as they are. Hey, it wasn’t just the kids who were sitting on these bargains either. At December’s Toronto Motorcycle Show I saw lots of beautiful bikes – but this time I saw lots of enthusiastic bikers not to mention a number of ‘sold’ signs. Maybe, there was a time, it’s just not this time. Of course, that’s just my opinion!

Bright Ride Finish Display
Lots of other things were going on at the show, clubs, groups, displays. I had the chance to chat about sore backs with Clinton Smout – rider trainer (and MMM contributor) who I’d met at the Women’s Conference in August and yes, Ken I also found the Canadian Motorcycle Hall of Fame booth. In all honesty I found it by accident while I was looking for food. Pizza first! I’m not in the market for a new bike so enjoyed looking at all the vintage models – I even found vintage Yamahas, who’d have thought?

Canadian Motorcycle Hall of Fame
 I accomplished my main mission for the day. I was prepared. I’d researched a number of saddle bag brands and prices, knew exactly what I wanted and how much they might cost. I found them. Funny thing, they look almost like the old ones without the holes in the top that is. I bought another set of GEARS, this time the Ultra Max bags. The show price was $20 less than the lowest online price and for the show there was no sales tax – bonus savings! GEARS seem to be the only ones I’ve found that fit my size requirements (18.5” tent poles must fit inside) they measure 19”. They’re expandable and the Ultra Max models have an inside zipper mesh pocket, an extra outside pocket plus a lower pocket for the rain covers. They still have the handy front, open mesh pocket where I like to keep my water bottle. I also picked up a Navigator Tour Bag because it was a terrific deal and they knocked a few extra bucks off ‘cause I bought two things. I didn’t have measurements but guessed that my netbook and a few other goodies would fit inside. Perfect fit and after a good half hour fight I’ve managed to finally get the ‘semi rigid plastic sheet system’ in place and they’re ready to go, I just need spring and a week to figure out all the tether straps.

On that note I want to ask you, can five hundred Canadian Geese be wrong? I saw several flocks flying north today. Is it a sign?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A Household Divided

Two wheels verses four wheels, on road verses off road - I live in a divided household. I ride a Yamaha VStar and my son rides a Honda Rincon.

I've never been an ATV rider but with the weather ups and downs we have here in Ontario I'm beginning to see his attraction for the sport. Unlike motorcycling and snowmobiling which are so dependant on mother nature, ATV riders give her the finger and keep on riding. Here I sit, my ride in storage, wondering what I could possibly blog about in January while he's out riding - happy as a pig in mud.

This Christmas brought new Mudlite XL tires for my son's 2008 Honda Rincon 680. These tires have killer lugs meant for serious mud-traction, but let's be honest, I've never really been attracted to mud let alone put a tire on a bike with the word 'mud' built into the name. For him mud = fun. The temperature hit double digits for the second day in a row and there's nothing but mud, mud, mud - just the thing that gets an off road rider itching to go. Fun, fun, fun!

Of course I've never thought having a winch on the front of my bike quite necessary either. I'm thinking if I have to plan to winch myself out of the mud, I should plan better in the first place. Ah, just two different ways of riding (or is it my old age?) Have fun and ride safe in 2011 - whatever your ride. 

Are you heading to the North American International Motorcycle Supershow 2011 in Toronto January 7, 8 and 9?