Monday, March 24, 2008

Nostalgia and the 60's

Well, I'm back. computer gremlins got into my computer and logged me off the internet for a few days. I know nothing about computers, I only use it. The last time it bugged out I had to run the anti-virus, then the superspyware - so that's what I did. then reset the Modem and router, but nothing . . . so I left it overnight and tried again the next morning. reset the Modem and router again, but still nothing so off to my provider's tech support and they couldn't solve the problem on the telephone either. the solution was to send out the tech later in the day. Long story short, it now works. So all is back to normal.
I was actually waiting for a very important email (from Rocci), but I was helpless. I did not have her phone number and she did not call me back. so by the time I got back on line, she had already gone to Seattle to get her bike serviced. I would have tagged along for moral support if I had gotten the details in time to meet up with her.
Saturday started out with sunshine, a perfect day for the season opener Sport Bike ride to Harrison Hot Springs, a small group of about 100 bikes. navigating the twisty backroads of Mission

Here's a small teaser

and we had the road almost to ourselves. This is the first time I have tried to mount the camera on the bike so once I get this figured out there will be more "on the road" videos. Hang on tight, you are getting a headlight view.

Sunday we went to see the Easter parade of old cars at Oakridge Shopping centre. It was a smaller group than normal probably due to threatening rain showers, but the sun did come out in spurts and there was a misting or two.

Also, there is the closing of one of the last old time burger joints on Kingsway. Wally's burgers had been in business since 1962. Their lease was coming up at the end of the month and the property is slated for redevelopment. You have to sell a lot of hamburgers every month just to make the $6,500./mo rent (and this is not including wages).


There were lots of people there, music, muscle cars and many friends that we have not seen in a while. Wally's was a hangout for us youngsters way back when . . . when there was King's Burgers, A&W , The "IT", Texan Burgers, and we almost forgot "The Delmar". I think only White Spot and A&W are left. Did I mention that I am also a car guy. I sold my muscle car a couple of years ago, but still have my sports car, which is only insured during the summer.



Yes, Wally's will be gone forever. They are closing on March 28th, so if you are craving a Deluxe Wagon (Double Burger), you had better hurry over right now

Friday, March 7, 2008

Moving on

I finally did it. I sold my beloved Suzuki GS400s . I have had bikes since the early 60's, that is until I sold them all and was bikeless for nearly 20 years. I had numerous bikes of varying sizes until around '84 or '85 when I sold my GS1100L. I started on a small bike. I remember it was a Yamaha 80 2-stroke, 4 speed. You didn't have to mix the oil (it had posi-lube). You filled a little container on the bike and it would mix with the gas automatically. Back in those days there wasn't really any bike scene, it was just transportation. All bikes were small. I remember my friend bought a brand new Suzuki X-6 Hustler. Boy was it fast. 2-stroke power, 6 speed. He left it with me for the summer as he was going out of town and didn't want his brother to use it. In comparison there was a honda scooter rental place on Alberni street (near Burrard). We used to rent those 90cc step-thrus and ride around Stanley Park. We cranked the throttle wide open and just pushed down on the shifter . . . it would wine and just clunk into the next gear. That's how we rode back then, full speed or stopped, nothing in between.
Then I got onto the X-6 and did the same thing wide open throttle and the bike just wanted to go without you. You had to really grip the handlebar really tight or you would be left behind.
While I had many miles under my belt I wanted to get back into riding, so about 5 years ago I thought that I had the perfect solution. My wife had ridden a small scooter down in White Rock while we were visiting friends. They had a Honda Jog and a large grass field. She disappeared for what appeared to be hours. We were having a group picnic and every one was wondering where she went. Then someone spotted her at the other end of the field -- you couldn't get her off that thing. Well, we discussed it and decided to purchase a scooter. Of course I didn't really want a scooter. My ultimate plan was to get her a scooter, and I would opt for a motorcycle. We went looking at various models, but there wasn't much choice back then. It wasn't that long ago but not like today where there are lots of different makes and models to choose from. We decided to go mainstream and get something that wouldn't be a problem for parts.
We settled on a Yamaha BWS 49cc . We did our job and checked out all the ride heights, as she has a short inseam. Long story short, the BWS was too tall. My plan was to purchase a motorcycle as the second 2 wheel so we could go riding, but now we found that for safety reasons we were looking for a Yamaha Vino, which we subsequently purchased. That's how it started. We had a Yamaha BWS and a Vino. Two scooters in our stable, plus I still purchased the GS400s (since that was my original plan, almost gone astray). So that brings us to 3 bikes.
My idea was to ease back into riding with a machine that wouldn't get you into too much trouble, be cheap on insurance and have a reasonable re-sale value after a year or so. I suppose I should have upgraded it a few years ago but the bike did it's job, always started when you wanted it to and I am glad it went to a good home, another beginner who will learn how to ride and eventually pass it on to another new rider.

This is my new-to-me Suzuki SV650n K4:

And with my new 44L topcase & Givi Bracket:

The riding season is nearly here and I've been busy getting it ready for the road. Whenever you purchase something used there are things that must be attended to. Unlike myself. When anyone purchases anything from me there are no surprises, as I make sure that everything is attended to. I find that when people sell things they don't usually fix it up to sell, rather they sell so they don't have to fix it up.
That was the case with the SV. I have just had it serviced; oil, filter & antifreeze flush, new tires (Michelin Pilot Powers front & back) and a new chain while the rear wheel was off, and new front brakes (double rotors). Everything else is ship shape. Concessions for travelling is the new Givi Bracket and Top box, looks sort of out of place right now, but the saddle bags will balance it out somewhat.
Now if only the sun would come out

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Happy Birthday, Yvonne

Have a very Happy Birthday. Today is your day.

love, bob

Monday, March 3, 2008

New shoes

Last year around October the rear tire on our Vino went flat. We were prepping it for one last end of season ride over to Sechelt (which involves a short ferry ride from Horseshoe Bay) . The Vino didn't get used very much last season, only 2 group rides in total and that was to Steveston, BC in early Spring and it has just sat around ever since. The irony is that I was actually on my way to a local scooter shop to have the bike 'checked' out for the ride and it went flat on the way. It was pouring rain and I was stranded on Wolfe Avenue, between Granville & Oak streets. I called the shop but was told that Wayne was away, so what to do. There was no choice really, as I tried to push it but then the rim would just rip the tire to shreds. The tire was really, really, flat and the bead had lost contact with the rim.
One phone call and a long 45min wait later comes my wife in the car to pick me up, then back home to connect our 3-rail trailer (to the rescue). There was no cover during the monsoon-like rains an I was just soaked. We got the scoot back home, fired up the compressor and got the tire inflated back to recommended pressure. Everything seemed fine so the next day off on our last ride of the season.
Fast forward to today. In the back of my mind I had a mental note to look into new tires for this years new riding season. As the scoot is not currently insured, out came the trailer again to take it to the scooter shop.

Loaded up and ready for the trip to Richmond:

I'm no expert when it comes to securing the scoot to the trailer so I used 2 anchors on each side; one cam lock and one ratcheting thingy, and one strap to secure the tail. My general rule is to check the looseness/or slack every 20 minutes to make sure it doesn't fall off. I know that you are supposed to compress the front shocks and ratchet the front end down a few inches.

We finally arrive at Wayne@Scooter in Richmond:

As you will notice, we made it safetly to Wayne's shop. I unloaded the scoot and thought that I would just start it up . . . but NO KEY ! OH NO, in my haste to rush down to Richmond I remembered that I had to put the key into the GIVI top case to detach it from the docking base, thus when I put the GIVI in the garage I inadvertently left the keys in the case. More wasted time, I was intending to rush down to the local Vespa dealer where Robert was making Cappucinos (funds for charity). Now I had to make another return trip from home/Richmond just to bring the key for the scoot. The traffic was very heavy down Oak Street, bumper to bumper traffic for miles before we could even get near to the Bridge. I was dreading the return trip that was caused by my own forgetfullness.

Finally I arrive at VV:

Well, I finally get to VV. Better to arrive late than never, but a beverage was not to be. Robert informs me that he has run out of milk. No milk means no Cappucino for me today. I don't think my SV looks too out of place amounts the little guys. I had to get it out for exercise (but that's a story for another day). Since I arrived late, which I rarely do, I have missed the crowd. Delia picked up her new S90, Paul came on his new (to him) Silverwing, then I find out that Tony waited at Waynes for me to show up, but I got there late.

Oh, another use for a 3-rail motorcycle trailer:

Excellent way to dispose of a hot water heater. I had a new water heater installed back in September, but as there was a civic garbage strike, there was no way I could get ride of that thing, until now . . .