Friday, October 2, 2009

Summer's fading light

It is during this time of year when our days grow shorter and the heat of the sun diminishes. It is getting darker by the day. During the height of summer, the sun rose before 5am, now it barely rises before 7am and soon it will be dark when I get ready for my morning commute. As I head Eastward I caught the sun at a very low angle

(West Broadway near Renfrew eastbound)

You are so vulnerable on a bike. You do not have proper visors to shield the light from hitting your eyes and sometimes you are momentarily blinded. Not a good situation when you are riding into the bright light and not being able to see the traffic ahead. It's as if the sun is lying directly on the roadway ahead. Either that or a heavily farkled K75 (<-- click link) with lights as powerful as the sun is making its way in the opposite direction.

It's also getting darker earlier. A couple of weeks ago I took this photo around 7pm


The sun is still high on the horizon but now it is around sunset


Recently there has been a lot of interest in Hacks (Motorcycles with sidecars) . You can read about Charlie6's Redleg's Rides (<-- click link) adventures with his "new to him" Ural named Natasha.

I am starting to notice Hacks more and one of our scooter riders has outfitted his V-strom DL1000 with a sidecar which he also rode to Kelowna last July for the Kelowna scooter rally

(Suzuki DL1000 V-strom with sidecar)

(Rear view)

I don't know who manufactured this model but I will pay closer attention the next time I see it. All I know is that he told me it cost around Cdn$3,000.


The last Bike Night of the year was a grand affair. They arranged for a portable Dyno for those who wanted to test their bikes


As it was cool and getting dark fast there were less riders there but the BBQ was manned and churning out hamburgers and hotdogs


BCStunters were putting on their show


And they even arranged for a live band, who were in the process of "setting up"


Tony was so hungry that he even forgot to open the bag


He is a scooter rider, recently converted to motorcycles. Here is a shot of his "new to him" Suzuki Bandit 400 which he only purchased that afternoon

(Suzuki Bandit 400 classic water cooled 4 valve)


Many of you may know that I also belong to the BC Corvette Club of Vancouver (<-- click link) . We have hamburger nights throughout the summer, but this was the last one of the year. We meet for dinner and go for a group ride to various local destinations.


Here is a 1959 'Vette which has been owned by Dan since 1969. He drives it everywhere. Recently he went to Texas and drove along Route 66.

(1959 Corvette)

I normally order the special, Burger, caesar salad, blueberry pie with whipping cream, and soda beverage of your choice. Not bad for Cdn$10. car service


Here is another shot of my Red Chariot

(C5 Corvette Roadster, torch red)


Last year we had the worst Winter in over 50 years. My car was snowed in for 3 weeks. Even our AWD Subaru had difficulty because of the high snowbanks and ice which was higher than the undercarriage. So I told myself that NOT this year, I am going to be prepared so in the heat of summer I purchased by 4 snow tires. I had to put two in the back seat


and the other two in the trunk


I get them home and stack them in the carport


along with my case of DE-icer antifreeze


The next step is to purchase 4 steel rims to mount my snow tires. Last year there was a shortage of snow tires because of the new law in Quebec and most tire shops will not sell you just 2 tires because of an expensive lawsuit a few years ago which caused a large tire company to go out of business. I know Murphy's Law will come into play this year and I don't think we will get any snow but I am prepared for it if it should come


Recently while at my Suzuki dealer there was a Triumph parked next to me

(Triumph Thunderbird)

It was a beautiful bike with a large engine


(Yep, it's got a TACH)


I didn't want to let the Triumph have the last word, so here is a pair of V-Stroms

(Both with Tachs, incidentally)


  1. The Thunderbird weirdly is no bigger than the Bonneville but it's a much taller bike, It was Triumph's earlier attempt at a "classic retro."
    I've wondered about a hack if I get another dog but gas mileage goes to pieces and sidecars seem to put a lot of stress on the bike. And then you lose all the advantages for parking and crap out on your ability to pass slowpokes and slip in between cars. Remind me again why you would ride around in a three wheeler?

  2. Bob, I love your shot of the V-Strom twins. Your "in-car dining" meal looks pretty delicious, too.

    I'm bemoaning the shorter days as well. The bonus, however, is less guilt about an early evening nap -:))

  3. Bob, nice pics all, especially your vette and it's older sibling. Red is a very nice color. Feel free to post more pictures of Triumphs.

  4. Hi Bob,

    Gosh the winter comes early in your part of the World, its cold here now also, barely 30c today. I love the retro look of the Triumph, nice photos as always Bob.



  5. Nice Vette Bob. You must have fun with that and the club. Nice looking food at those events too.

  6. Dear Bobscoot:

    There is something harder about starting the day when it is still dark. First light came here at about 6:20am this morning, and I was verey disinclined to get my ass in gear before then.

    It was very kind of you to refer to my blog in the opening paragraph. Thank you. Do you with all those damn lights on my bike, I have to to ride in in the dark. I'm going to do this week.

    You have quite a stable of machines, Bob. A 'Vette, a scooter, and a bike... I think that accounts for all the toys. The 'Vette must be pure fun to drive.

    I didn't realize you had a son who rode, until I read Lance's comments. Do you ever go riding with your boy?

    It's somewhat sad when the big outdoor events stop with the warmer weather. I am glad I belong to a riding club -- The Mac Pac -- which holds monthly dinners and breakfasts throughout the year.

    That Triumph Thunderbird is a glorious-looking retro bike. And amazingly enough, the tach seems to have been standard equipment.

    Thanks for the great pictures and commentary Bob.
    I will go out in the yard tonight, as it is still fairly warm, and raise a glass of whiskey to you and my other friends, as I rage against the fading of the light.

    Fondest regards,
    Jack • reep • Toad
    Twisted Roads

  7. Hey Bob.

    Thanks for the plug. Just starting to get the "feel" of it. The Bandit is quite a bit different than the scooter, that's for sure.

    Thanks for the saddlebags setup. Remind me that I owe you some money for that!!! (Great dumplings by the way!!!!)

    Missed you at the Toy Run the other day.

  8. Mr Conchscooter:

    That Thunderbird had a very large engine. Moments earlier they had it on a Dyno to check out the power. I think a Hack would be just the thing on icey or gravel roads, not so much perhaps for those in KW


    I really dislike this time of year. Cold is okay, but ice isn't. It's already forecast to be -9c in Princeton this Friday.


    If truth be known I hardly use the 'vette. I'm always out riding my bike(s). But I like the social interaction with the Club


    You don't have to rub it in. 30c is in the sweat range. Right now it's getting down to 4c at nights. Days are pleasant enough but chilly at nights. If it gets too cold here I'll be looking for some accommodations in your Dungeon


    This year was very HOT and I normally only use the vette with the top down. since it was too hot we didn't use it much preferring to use my Honda and turn the A/C on

    Jack "r":

    With the 'Vette club we have activities year round. In the winter we have get togethers and go out for group dinners. During the summer we go away for weekends. It's nice to be able to feel the wind in your hair and not have to wear a helmet.

    Hey Tony:

    Noticed that I said "Hey". If you want to go for a ride let me know. Saturday is always good. We can do the slow crawl to Squamish or go out to Harrison Hot Springs. You need some experience on the open road. I went to La Conner a couple of Saturdays ago, it would have been a good ride for you. I think I passed you on your bike a couple of weeks ago going to work around QE park just after 7am. Was it you ?