Touring on a VStar 650 Custom: “I haven't a clue as to how my story will end. But that's all right. When you set out on a journey and night covers the road, you don't conclude the road has vanished. And how else could we discover the stars?" (unknown)
They say a picture's worth a thousand words ... but when it came to the Lucas Push in the Big Smoke last night I had a thousand pictures - is that worth a million words?
Queen's Park - Toronto
The 2014 Lucas Push ... just the usual small bunch of folks (and one party crasher) in the middle of a big town having way too much fun pushing a vintage motorbike around (pub to pub.) It gave the Big Smoke a bit of a 'little neighborhood' feel that I've never experienced in the city before.
My first Lucas Push: an evening of fine spirits, food, fun, great people, laughter and a lot of talk about motor-bikes with a little hockey thrown in of course (eh!)
Old York CVMG you may have discovered the cure for the Canadian February BLAHS. Hope I'm invited back next year - CHEERS!
Finding motorcycle related events in the midst of one of
this areas nastiest winters in recent history is hard (to say the least,) so
imagine how excited I am to be invited to the 21st annual Joseph
Lucas Memorial Push next weekend in ‘Old Fort York’ (aka Toronto.) Now I've been
told you don’t actually have to be invited, you just have to know it’s
happening and show up, but I prefer to think I’m special and got invited.
The “Lucas Push” is the brain child event of the Old Fort
York section of the CVMG (Canadian Vintage Motorcycle Group) where a robust group
gathers to push a motorcycle equipped with Lucas parts (as the story goes - all motorcycles equipped with Lucas parts end
up being pushed) from pub to pub, after dark, in the midst of winter. Poor Mr.
Lucas and his company, the brunt of so many jokes – what, with having been
accredited with such things as the world’s first self-dimming head lamps and
other shoddily manufactured parts. I might have been reluctant to poke fun at the
man if I hadn’t fell upon this post quoting an article written by Joseph Lucas himself in which
he clearly demonstrated his British sense of humor and ability to take the criticism
“Positive ground depends on
proper circuit functioning, which is the transmission of negative ions by
retention of the visible spectral manifestation known as "smoke".
Smoke is the thing that makes electrical circuits work. We know this to be true
because every time one lets the smoke out of an electrical circuit, it stops
working. This can be verified repeatedly through empirical testing. For example,
if one places a copper bar across the terminals of a battery, prodigious
quantities of smoke are liberated and the battery shortly ceases to function.
In addition, if one observes smoke escaping from an electrical component such
as a Lucas voltage regulator, it will also be observed that the component no
longer functions. The logic is elementary and inescapable!
The function of the wiring harness is to conduct the smoke from one device to
another. When the wiring springs a leak and lets all the smoke out of the
system, nothing works afterward.
Starter motors were considered unsuitable for British motorcycles for some time
largely because they consumed large quantities of
smoke, requiring very unsightly large wires.
It has been reported that Lucas electrical components are possibly more prone
to electrical leakage than their Bosch, Japanese or American counterparts.
Experts point out that this is because Lucas is British, and all things British
leak. British engines leak oil, British shock absorbers, hydraulic forks and
disk brake systems leak fluid, British tires leak air and British Intelligence
leaks national defence secrets. Therefore, it follows that British electrical
systems must leak smoke. Once again, the logic is clear and inescapable.
In conclusion, the basic concept of transmission of electrical energy in the
form of smoke provides a logical explanation of the mysteries of electrical
components - especially British units manufactured by Joseph Lucas, Ltd.
"A gentleman does not motor about after dark."”
Joseph Lucas (1842 - 1903)
The last jokes on the nay-sayers, as the Lucas Company is
now a thriving multinational company laughing their way to the bank and smiling
as vintage 'restorationists' scour the world looking for those genuine (malfunctioning,
smoke loosing) Lucas parts!
Not being a vintage motorcycle enthusiast, though I like to
admire them, and definitely not being a restoration mechanic … if I hadn’t been
invited I’d never have heard of Joseph Lucas. Mr. Lucas they won’t be motoring,
they’ll be pushing, after all, I expect they are all gentlemen (and ladies of
I’ve learned a bit this weekend and I’ll keep you posted.
The snow is (I've lost count of how many feet) deep. Right
now riding season is just a dream and so my philosophy is, if you can’t ride … dream!
You might remember I started dreaming at the International Motorcycle
Show in January and did a little shopping at the same time. Thursday, a month almost to the day later, Canada Post left a little
love note in my mail box letting me know the new luggage had finally arrived.
abounded as I unpacked the gear, the family not offering a bit of advice
on how to insert the ridged bottoms into the saddle bags.
Proudly, it was done –
(one saddle bag, molded top, a bit squished from shipping) and sitting on the
dining room table. Now what? Put them back in the shipping box and store them
until – who knows when. They look a little small, and they're not expandable, time will tell.
So, here’s what I got to replace the sorely disappointing*
Tour Master Nylon Cruiser III XL Saddle Bags featuring adjustable
mounting yoke and something I’m thinking will be really handy; zipper removal system. Thanks Tour Master for the website photos. Plus ...
I got an Iron Rider Main Bag (or as I call it – a trunk- thanks Iron Rider website for the photo). Time will tell how well they stand up to riding and sun ... if the snow ever melts and I'm ever able to get the Star out of paddock again I'll let you know.
*Gears Bags, after three summers – zipper pulls had broken
(first year out), faded from black to near white and totally lost shape, sagging and dragging to an extent I'd call embarrassing: Gears Trunk also faded, zipper broken and drooped
over luggage rack and listed to one side uncontrollably. Neither bags nor trunk stood up to the test of time. For what it's worth, though they held a lot of stuff, I'd not recommend them.
If you're going to hold an International Bike Show and charge $20 admission, wouldn't you think it wise to have enough vendors to delay the average patron (walking at a slow speed) more than 20 minutes (tops) to circumvent the entire venue (twice)?
Not so at the EY Centre, Ottawa Bike Show. In 20 minutes I had time to walk the entire show a couple of times, talk to three vendors, take a number of pictures and stand for what seemed like an eternity, scratching my chin wondering what the logical connection between pole dancers and motorcycles might be, even if, according to one of the vendors, "they're a heck a lot better than the trash they had here last year!" It was a really small show, and size should ... really does matter. At the price I figure the show cost me a buck a minute plus gas ... but I'm not really complaining. How can I complain about a day without snow, a day with nearly bare roads and a chance for a road trip to look at motorcycles. Just the same, don't think I'll go out of my way to get there next year.
My pick of the litter today - this neat little Bonneville. Clean lines, simple, basic. Nice little bike.
And though I don't really care for the custom machines there's always some morbid fascination that makes me stop and take a picture. Maybe it's all the glitter and glitz ... It's those shiny things.
In the northern most parts of Canada the indigenous peoples have many words to describe snow. I'm beginning to understand why now as I create my own list of superlatives to drescribe the white stuff as I look outside and it's snowing again, yet, still ... seems like it's been snowing forever.
With nothing else to do on a snowy day I've succumbed to overwhelming peer pressure and with thanks to Bobskoot and Riding The Wet Coast, I've added the infamous rainy day photo to my blog header.