Sunday, April 4, 2010

Decisions for a new season

While the season is not yet underway so many plans are in the thinking stage. What to do, where to go, travel alone or with a riding buddy. A partner will give you security if there is a problem but then there are accommodations and compromises to be made unless you are of the same mind.

(V-strom DL1000 Vee with sidecar)

I like to meet people and prefer company. That being said I have travelled alone down to Oregon, and last year travelled alone to Kelowna for the rally. Alone you are on your own timetable, no one to tell you when to stop, when to eat and sometimes this is bad like last year when I kept riding even though I was getting dizzy. Probably due to lack of nourishment and the heat.


No, this is not my Vee. It belongs to another scooter rider who trailered his scooter to Kelowna (with another driver), and rode his V-strom Hack. I am not sure what is involved with disconnecting the sidecar but "Kozak" told me that he prefers to leave it on all the time and likes to "fly the chair" . He offered me a ride last summer, but I was reluctant.


This Vee with sidecar was very nice and would suit any rider with a lack of mechanical abilities.

There are so many rides being planned by different groups. There is a ride being organized by the SOCNA (Suzuki Owner's Club of NA, BC chapter) to Vancouver Island, Tofino and Port McNeil one week before the Scooter Rally in Victoria during the May long weekend. Today my friend John told me about his trip to Bella Coola on a dual sport leaving early June. It is a strenuous route not suited for heavy bikes such as a V-strom so I could take the main road and meet him at the destination if I wanted. Then there is the BMWMOA rally in Redmond, OR in July. So many bloggers are going that I would feel left out if I didn't join them and also get a chance to head over to the Oregon coast and up Hwy 101 on my return to BC. This would necessitate passing through Corvallis and Albany to see, you know who.

(reflections in a cruiser, Kelowna. Summer, 2009)

While our roads in BC are not suited for Iron Butt riders due to the single lane each direction with lots of curves and motorhomes, with few passing lanes I managed to travel half an ironbutt last year as I got stuck on the other side of the huge forest fire in Kelowna and had to take the northern loop to get back to Vancouver. During the extreme heat of last summer I came up with the idea to stop every couple of hours to stretch my legs and have a beverage to refresh myself. Upon the advice of Sharon, in the future I plan to carry some GORP to keep me going until my next meal, either that or some apples, oranges or bananas.

There is nothing so invigorating such as riding a great motorcycle road with little traffic in tune with nature in the middle of no where. You and your machine as one, flowing though the curves with your engine making sweet music to your ears.

(between Spences Bridge & Merritt, BC)

Little did I realize at that time that this would be the last trip I would take with my Suzuki SV650nK4. I know some of you have SV's (Stacy & Chris come to mind). It's a great bike, very nimble but I found my leg position cramped. A week after this photo was taken my dealer made me an offer I couldn't refuse and I ended up with my current Suzuki V-strom DL650A K9 .

(HooDoos, east of Spences Bridge, BC)

I had a great time in Kelowna meeting and renewing old/new friendships and a ride through the mountains that still bring smiles to my face.

I am not sure if this year will be any different, though locations may change. New friends to meet, new friendships to rekindle. New experiences to exerience. New roads to conquer and I know that Oregon has the bestest roads in the country.

Sometimes things happen that defy explanation

(No comment, you had to be there to understand)

You create a bond with those you meet and take home memories of a lifetime

(Untold stories create a bond with whom were there)


  1. Nice, thought provoking post. I recognized some of the locations from our many enjoyable trips through B.C. I am looking forward to our trip this summer even if it isn't on the bike. I have never attended a "rally" before so I'm not sure what to expect in Redmond, OR.

    I usually prefer to travel on my own, not that I'm a loner, but I like the flexibility it provides. If I want to take a hike or try out some unique local cuisine, there isn't any discussion. I especially don't feel comfortable riding in a group unless I'm at the end where I can leave a comfortable gap. When I have ridden with others, we usually just have some pre-planned stops to regroup or stop for lunch or gas.

  2. Having just finished my 1,300 km road trip throuth the Southern part of the Northern Kiwi Island (although in a car), I have to admit, I enjoy company, at least at the end of the day to share what you have seen, encountered and enjoyed. I certainly like Richard's idea, to pre-plan stops in the middle or at the end of a day, so that everybody can travel in their own time and speed.
    Cheers from NZ, SonjaM

  3. Bob - When I first started reading this post and saw the pictures of the bike with the sidecar, I thought you had been influenced by Charlie6 and Chris Luhman and you were going to say that your decision for the new season was to buy a new bike with a sidecar!

    It was only after getting past the first few paragraphs that I realised that wasn't where you were going with the posting.

    My own preference for riding alone or with others varies. On a ride for just a single day, I like to ride in a group. You generally have a destination in mind and it is not so much hassle to only have to decide where and when to refuel and have lunch. We tend to make just one person responsible for the decisions that day and simply stick to what they want.

    Sometimes I go on paid-for organised group rides in other countries in Europe. I speak English ok and a little French, but that is it. Having a professional tour organiser make all the arrangements is fine, plus as they are generally good at doing this, so it is nice not to have to think about the arrangements and just enjoy the ride. This is really fun and I enjoy getting to know the other riders.

    The trouble comes when a small group of you go away for a few days or a week and then have to try to agree where to stay, what time to start, when to stop, when to carry on riding, etc etc. At times like these, it is sometimes easier to be on your own and then you can go at your own pace, do what you want to do, stop when you want etc.

    When riding alone, like you Bob, I like to meet people, so at the end of each day it is important for me to be sociable wherever I am and just start talking to people.

    I hope you plan a full and rewarding seasons riding.

  4. Hi Bob,

    You look very different an a bra and wig, it knocked years off you mate!!

    Yeah, the ride together or ride alone thing, both have their merits but if security is ever an issue then small group or just a buddy wins every time.

    Our little riding group still want me to come along even though the 650's going and I will be back to a 250 two up for a while..its going to take quite some adjustment lol.



  5. I actually drew up a little list of places I would like to ride to this year. Most on the list will be solo rides. Our scooter club will provide many opportunities for group rides. Let the planning commence!
    Hope your summer is full of good rides and memories.

  6. hmmm, i cant help it, i love the variety of toenail polish and tanned marks!!! :)

    i tend to ride solo, mostly because people just dont share my riding style. but, i have found some kindred spirits recently who, when riding together, we feel as though we are riding with family. and go figure, they are fellow bloggers. woohoo!! :)

    the ride and the connection with others that ride (whether riding together or not) to me is priceless.

  7. Nice post. It made me think back to my riding trips in 2009 on the SV. I like taking a lot of photos when I travel, so alone is usually best as it's hard to find someone else who also wants to stop a lot.

    Which windshield is that on your SV?

    A sidecar is a pain to take on and off. It's more than just bolts. You have to adjust the angles - toe in, camber, etc. Sidecars are fun, you should get one. I mean, you only have ONE bike. I don't know how you survive! :)

  8. This brings back many memories of my SV650, my first real love. Nice post!

  9. Choosing the polish color for your toes IS INDEED a big decision for the coming season. Pick carefully ... your choice needs to at least blend with your Crocs ... matching, obviously, would be better! LOL!!

  10. Mostly I ride alone. Katie is always welcome on the back. I enjoy the company of others, but I find riding with others work. Hard to explain.

    So I like to plan a ride where we meet somewhere for a meal. Then everyone makes their own way there.

    However, there are exceptions. Like not wanting to miss the opportunity to see brightly painted toenails.

    Or this one: It would be a great honor to ride with you. Here, Redmond, or who knows?

  11. Dear Bob:

    I must say this little photo spread says quite a bit about your riding companions -- and their favorite nail polish colors. I had no trouble picking out your foot with the purple toes.

    I don't mind riding alone, but all my recent experience has ben in groups -- a small group of three yesterday, ans a larger group of 30 two weeks ago. I take what comes.

    Fondest regards,
    Jack • reep • Toad