Sunday, 15 July 2018

No choice at all

I haven’t been doing much blogging lately as enjoying this summer weather has been my first priority. So when it comes down to sitting at the computer, or this…..

Gone fishin'

Well, there’s really no choice at all.

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Is 210 km too far to go for coffee?

Not if you’re on two wheels, eh?

With an unexpectedly freed-up afternoon and beautiful weather it was the perfect opportunity to go for a ride. And while not every ride needs a purpose mine generally involve at least one stop at a Tim Hortons for one of their addictive Iced Cappuccinos and possibly an apple fritter. I also needed some fishing sinkers and hooks to replace the ones the bass made off with the other night.

The nearest Tim’s is in Arnprior, but when I hit the four corners in White Lake I decided that wasn’t far enough; Perth was a better option. So I headed straight through to Burnstown. From Burnstown to Calabogie is a nice ride with a few curves to keep the rider awake, but the best road starts at Calabogie and heads directly to Perth.

Highway 511 has been a favoured riding destination for me for decades. Of course increased traffic and road improvements such as straightening some curves (damn them!) mean it’s not quite as exciting as it was in days of yore when we’d hammer along at ridiculous speeds on our Nortons or Hondas or whatever, but it’s still a fun ride.

After an hour or so the Perth Tim Hortons sign appeared and it was time for a break. As usual there were some riders in the parking lot and conversation ensued. Turns out we had a few friends in common (the riding community really is a small world) and we traded war stories while enjoying our drinks. To add some excitement a squeal of tires across the street was followed by a loud crunch as someone drove his/her car straight into a telephone pole. After the ambulance, police, and wreckage were finally gone it was time to hit the road, homeward bound.

The trip home was a bit longer than I expected because I had to go in search of lead-free sinkers, which, it turns out, are a lot harder to find than one would think with all the concerns about lead poisoning fish, loons, and other aquatic life. But that’s the topic for a future rant.

With all the stops it was about a 4-hour ride covering a little over 200 kilometers. A great afternoon outing for a coffee!

Perth loop

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

In search of quiet air

For my first few riding decades (Yes, it’s been that long.) I rode naked, so to speak, with no windscreen blocking the wind and rain. I did have a 1/2 fairing on my RD350LC, but that hardly counts as a windshield as it was definitely more cosmetic than functional. But on all my other bikes it was just me, meeting the wind and bugs head-on.

Then, 10 years ago, my first Harley came with a windscreen and I finally realized what I had been missing all that time. Long rides weren’t nearly as exhausting, fewer bugs met their fates on my face, and a sore neck and shoulders weren’t the automatic result of a day in the saddle. But it also had a downside. The wind flowing around/over/under the windshield created a turbulence resulting in helmet buffeting which, in the extreme, created its own issues like blurred vision and headaches from the constant shaking. This condition is certainly not unknown to riders and so we are always looking for solutions to minimize, or at least reduce, the effects.

One option, which reportedly does work, is to have a reverse curve at the top lip of the shield, thus lifting the turbulent air up and over the rider’s helmet. That’s the theory anyway; the physics involved are beyond my understanding. But I’ve read enough reviews to at least give it a try, so my Klock Werks Flare Billboard Windshield arrived today in the post. Twenty minutes later it was installed and ready for a test run. Just about the same time as the rain hit, so that will have to wait until tomorrow.

Klock Werks

I have high expectations that this windshield will give me a bubble of quiet air, so I hope I’m not to be disappointed.

Thursday, 14 June 2018

And time goes by….

We all make fun of the weatherman’s accuracy (or lack of same) but then get pissed when he’s right. Especially when he’s right about crappy weather. Like today. Predicted as being “October’ish”, it’s currently 13C, raining, and windy with gusts up to 40kph. And it’s men’s night today at the golf club. Figures.

At any rate, that’s all apropos of the fact that I haven’t posted anything for a while and there’s nothing enticing about being out of doors at the moment. So here I am. Blogging.

Aside from all the yard work and winter cleanup tasks that are an annual occurrence, my project this spring has been to build a shed to relieve some of the space pressure caused by having too many motorcycles in the garage.

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I know that’s a problem a lot of folks would like to have but it does get tedious moving stuff around all the time. Especially stuff that isn’t currently being worked on. So a shed was called for.

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This is, for the most part, a build it with what’s lying around project. Cedar post framing, recycled lumber, left-over shingles… you get the idea. There’s still quite a bit of work to finish it but slow and steady will get the job done.

There were no snakes harmed in the creation of this shed, but they were quite perturbed at the destruction of the lumber pile, which had become their adopted home. I hope they find new digs nearby because they are great to have around the garden.

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But it hasn’t all been snakes, bad weather and serfdom. On Tuesday I downed tools and took a short, 2-hour ride around the ‘hood to get a coffee at a not-quite-local Tim Hortons. It was one of those perfect riding days where the sun’s out, it’s not too hot, and most of the idiots one usually encounters on the road were at home watching the soaps.

 Renfrew Fig 8

The King on the road

One of those days a rider lives for.


Thursday, 24 May 2018

What a deal! Not.

An annual event is a 3-day spring golf outing to Niagara Falls. Organized by friends in Southern Ontario I get to go along to provide comic relief on the course and help fund the winner’s take. (I could just send money, but what’s the fun in that?)

This year the organizer got us a “good” rate at the Ramada. Practically next door to the casino and close to all the courses we play, $59.95 a night seemed a good deal. Until we got our bills.

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All the sundry facility fees, parking charges, tourism improvement fees, and taxes on all the above, bumped the $59.95 to $93.93, a nearly 60% increase over the quoted rate. Which makes me wonder if hotels will soon start quoting rates without housekeeping and then adding that in as a separate line item. Should be worth about $10 a night I figure. An elevator fee might be another $5. The desk clerk, another $5 a night. Now we’re down to $39.95 a night – a real bargain! And that’s not including potential  “convenience fees” for offering web-based booking and check-in/-out services.

Perhaps it’s time for the hotel industry to require their members to quote all inclusive rates so the traveling public has some idea what their real costs will be. Just like the airlines have been forced to do.