Monday, July 13, 2009

Mumblings: Two

I think this is a great idea to write about my mumblings, sort of like Vignettes from my colleague Key West Diary (<-- example here) . Sort of not enough information for a complete essay but rather a few short paragraphs of thoughts.



Look what caught my eye last Sunday. During the summer, the Lion's Club of Tsawwassen hosts a parking lot car sale in the Safeway parking lot. Individuals can rent a spot (for a fee) to display their vehicles for sale. They can be cars, trucks, campers, boats and motorcycles. I like to go down there once in a while to see what is available and to monitor the pricing, which is very reasonable. There was a BMW Z3 ($18k), Porsche Boxster ($18k), carrera, 'vette and cars of all types. Most of the current owners are by their vehicles and you are able to ask all sort of questions


This is a rare sportbike of the late 70's. 500cc of V-twin power. It looks very nimble and small but has twin front rotors, rear disks


and also sports a shaft drive train. The rear disk is also encased in a shielded cover


I couldn't keep my eyes off this machine. I really wanted it to follow me home. It was in original unrestored, sort of showroom condition. I don't know how many times I walked up to it


only 7,200 original kms, virtually new. But in the end I walked away . . . As I look at these photos I still can't get it out of my mind

Looking for a new ride, sort of:

I was thinking of updated my current bike to something more highway capable and came across this


I believe that this is the first year that Honda has imported this model into Canada.


It's a nice looking bike but probably pricey, as are all Hondas

Parking downtown Vancouver, BC

Some friends from LA were in town the past few days waiting to board their ship for an Alaskan Cruise so we met downtown at a restaurant near their hotel for lunch. We arranged to meet at the restaurant at 11am. There is very limited street parking in the downtown area but there are a few parking garages nearby. I was very lucky to find a meter nearly across the street. For Vancouver, I think that our meter prices are too high. I found my change and proceeded to "plug" the meter. For $1. the meter allows you 12 minutes, another dollar and I now have 24 minutes. I grab a handful of quarters and each one is good for 3 minutes. I get the meter up to 32 minutes and proceed across the street to meet our guests. I know that I do not have enough time but I will have to come back and add more $$ .

As luck would have it, the restaurant did not open until 12 noon. They suggested another restaurant up the street. I decided to ride the scoot up to the next block when I noticed this sign


I couldn't believe my eyes. 2 hour limit and no parking meter that I could notice


I am in good company. It would appear that others also know of these spaces. I am surrounded by other 2 wheeled machines. When I first arrived I parked next to a small Moped.


This is so unlike the City of Vancouver to allow free parking for bikes and scooters. I have heard that they also have a few other spots scattered around the Downtown area just like this one.


I will make a point of parking here again. It is on Howe Street just half a block north of the Pacific Centre Mall


I am leaving Friday for a bike trip into the Okanagan staying in Kelowna for the weekend to attend a scooter rally, but this year I intend to take my SV650. I am getting everything ready and attempting to pack what I consider essentials even with my limited storage options. While I have an Acer One net book I will leave it behind as I have nowhere to put it. I will have to rely on my Smart phone to access the internet and my emails.

I am nearly packed and there is no room for clothes, except perhaps for a couple of T-shirts and a pair of jeans. So far I have packed; tire repair kits (both types: worms and Mushrooms), 12V air compressor, small 1/4" drive socket set, and small T-bar, collapsible screw driver set/bits, allen keys, installed 2 ram mounts (for GPS & video cam).

Temperatures are forecast for 38C so I am bringing the riding jacket which turns into a full mesh by removing panels, and my riding pants. Even the liners take up a fair amount of space so I will have to carry another small sports bag to contain them and perhaps put my tripod in there too. All electronic stuff, cameras and chargers can share the lockable top case with my helmet. I jury-rigged a throttle rocker to make cruising easier, hope it works.

In past years I have taken Friday off, but this year my assistant has taken the day off and one of us has to be in the office. I am planning to leave directly from work and take the COCA COLA highway (known as the Coquihalla highway) as I cannot spare the time to take the longer, more scenic route as I wish to be there in time for the Friday night meet and greet, and also relax before the night ride up Knox Mountain.


  1. Dear Bobskoot:

    If I lived in Vancouver, I would depants one of the elected officials, paint his ass blue, and leave hin handcuffed to a parking meter that was $1 for 12 minutes.

    Tell me, does the parking fee include some element of health care?

    Enjoy your scooter rally.

    Fondes regards,
    Jack "reep" Toad
    On The Road to Tennessee
    Twisted Roads

  2. Agreeing with Jack, those parking meter rates are ridiculous! I just went downstairs from my office and 25 cents gets you 75 minutes but there is a 2 hour time limit.
    Do your meters take. Looneys and Twoneys? Did I spell that right?

  3. Hey Bob.

    If you are looking for an upgrade in your sv650, let me know if you are planning on letting that one go. (Just finished my course at PRS and got my learners on Thursday). I was thinking of that kind of bike, or perhaps a GS500 (would have really liked your GS400S, but that was a bit early for me to get.)

  4. I keep coming back to the picture of the V50. I have had a desire for a Moto Guzzi since I can remember, and for one reason or another never followed through ( they are owned by Piaggio which means they have crap dealers in the US and non responsive customer care). My fantasy isn't a winter in Key West it's a garage with room enough for a few fantasy bikes and this would be one of them ( next to a V7 Sport or a Lemans MkI).
    I perceived a more mature tone in this essay, as though perhaps time's winged chariot has been nibbling at you.

  5. And Canada gets the Varadero but the US doesn't. I would prefer the Deauville (a small sports tourer) but I find I want nothing more than the Bonneville so Honda probably shouldn't pay attention to my unfocussed lust.
    I want to read a convincing essay why you "need" "more" than your excellent SV650.
    You have American-itis, and yes there is a substitute for cubic inches.

  6. Bob, I hope you have a great trip. You exhibited great restraint with the Moto Guzzi - that is a beautiful bike!

  7. Hi Bob,

    Have a great trip, dont forget to take photos one handed as you ride along.

    The Guzzi was in excellent condition for a bike 30 years old, a real tempter but for reliability you cant beet the Varadero, the traffic police use them here.




  8. John:
    Thank you, I plan to

    Mr Jack:
    A lot of scooterists also have motorcycles. I may post a few pictures on a future post.

    the day of cheap parking in Vancouver, are over. It's just a money grab now, and if you don't pay, they ticket you

    It's a great bike, much better than the GS400. Lots more power and it is FI too. You should sit on it to make sure it fits.

    You have lots of room under the stilts. Just purchase more of those storage containers and surround the open space to construct your garage.

    As for the SV650 I had a lot of time to myself this past weekend and may be the subject of a future post along with my ideas. That was the reason that I took the SV on this 1,200 km journey along mixed roads of all types from super highway to urban secondary roads. I was putting it through its paces and we have bonded.

    I was really going to bring it home with me but I am a little leary of not purchasing mainstream, and difficulty with parts availability. I would imagine that there were supply problems even when it was new, but it's a neat little machine

    Dave & Linda:
    Our roads are too twisty to handle a camera with one hand. I decided that I would resort to rolling video on this trip to allow my hands to be free. you were so lucky to have your own passenger photographer, until now . . .

    keep those pictures of Linda coming, we love to look at them (Right Breve ?)

    I sat on the Veradero but I think I want something more along the lines of the Triumph Sprint ST