Yes Emily

Yes Emily, girls can ride motorcycles!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Getting Things Ready

I finally gave up waiting for the rain to stop and headed out on the ailing VStar to KTek Moto Services for repairs. Par for the course, at the end of the short, wet, 30km ride I took off my helmet and the sun burst through the clouds. (Oh, well!)

KTek’s job - find the gremlin that has the ‘ometers’ screwed up, thoroughly check all (other) cables and install new battery. (There’s been no problem with the old battery but it is now a full 5 summers old. Batteries have a tendency to be fine and then just die so I decided while it’s in the shop I'd have it changed - call me paranoid!) That was yesterday.

Today it’s been all about the maps. I took a quick trip to the CAA office for new, fresh, un-mucked maps and now I’m just waiting for the 3 hour Garmin Dan map up-dates to finish. (It always amazes me that I remember where the connector cables for these devices are.) I’m not familiar with other Garmin models but the Zumo 660 comes with lifetime map updates. I didn’t update last year and found Dan thinking I was riding through the bush a few times. Since it’s raining again it seemed like the best thing to do. I am getting things ready.

This summer’s destination? Coop’s corner of the world is looking more and more interesting but I’ve promised to meet ArtRider in PEI again so I guess I’m headed west via PEI.

Soon ...

Sunday, June 14, 2015

If It Ends In 'Ometer" ...

The stars of time and weather aligned. I managed to scratch a few things from my to do list, the sky was blue and I was wondering if the little coffee shop on highway 7, at Maberly was open for business yet. Any excuse right! The umbrellas weren’t out yet but I had a lovely cappuccino, maybe not as good as I remembered but it was nice to take a break on the deck for a bit. Where to go next? I headed east again hoping to get to Delta and back through the historic little village of Lyndhurst.
Déjà vu! Riding back into Perth I started hearing an unusual (but familiar) noise coming from the VStar. Ironically, I was riding through Perth last fall the first time I heard this strange ‘scritch scritch’ noise. My mechanic told me he thought he’d found the problem and fixed it this spring and I hadn’t heard it, until now.
Long story short I decided to keep on going to Delta, mainly because it was another route home and it wasn’t under construction … 200 km and a couple of speed bumps on a wooden bridge later and I had a check engine light. Suddenly, if it ended in ‘ometer’ it was dead. The ‘scritch scritch’ was fixed but I had no speedometer, no odometer and no tripometer and I was headed down a winding road with no shoulders. U turn, back to the main road. It would be a few kilometers longer but at least in an emergency stop situation I’d have a wide shoulder to wait on.
The bike seemed to be running fine but I considered it might be a good idea to pull over and ask for advice. After some consultation with my motorcycle Guru friend Ken and putting some of the facts together I opted to make a run for it. It’s back in the paddock. My guess (and Ken’s) the speedometer cable is broken, time to go to the yama-doctor.
All in all it was a good ride, just took a little longer than expected. But it ended well. What is life without a little challenge. This was the first mechanical issue I've had with the Star since I bought her, not bad.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Saturday Morning ...

Saturday morning found me sitting in front of a computer screen working on homework thinking I’d rather be riding on a Star when just before noon I heard the familiar ‘tone out’ of my son’s pager. The weather was gorgeous outside but the voice was chilling, as it always is. “Stations 5 and 7 respond.” (Neither is my son’s station but in rural areas the emergency 911 calls tone to all first responders due to the nature of the volunteer system.) “Multi vehicle collision on Perth Road, one male possible VSA; tractor trailer may have been involved.”

Perth Road from Inverary to Westport is very popular with motorcyclists in the area and is one of, if not my favorite local road for a motorcycle ride. It is hilly and filled with gentle curves many of them with speed limits of 50 to 70 kilometers per hour. It’s the road I most certainly would have been riding on Saturday morning if not for work and luck.

 A motorcyclist was killed after a three vehicle motor-vehicle collision on Perth Road north of Buck Lake in South Frontenac north of Kingston, Ont. on Saturday May 30, 2015. Steph Crosier/Kingston Whig-Standard/Postmedia Network
The local newspaper reported today that the truck most likely crossed the centre line on a curve; the first two of the group of three motorcycles managed to maneuver around the oncoming truck, the third motorcycle and the SUV following did not.

I recall, back in 2012, Trobairitz commenting on how funny it is to trust that all of those other drivers will stay on their side of the road … sometimes that trust is, I guess, misplaced and that breach is fatal. My heart goes out to the family of the rider, Ryan New.