Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Two rides in one

It was another summer day in the city. I had finished breakfast with the gang at our favourite motorcycle cafe in Kitsilano and fiddled around with stuff at home for a couple of hours then went out for a ride


No where particular but I ended up in Richmond and stopped to enjoy the view at a local marina .

I was very close to the Yamaha dealer and most recently I have been tormented by George who recently took possession of his Raven Super Tenere, and has been blogging about it. He has many photos of his new "lady", videos, and he is in love with his new found acquisition. Needless to say that I had nearly wiped all recollection of this beautiful bike out of my mind, until now. I sat on one at our recent motorcycle show back in January and it fit perfectly. I was thinking perhaps that due to a cancelled pre-order that one may have been available to purchase. While I was just around the corner from the "candy store" , my stomach gave me a jab and I ended up miles away


at a fast food Mexican place to have a quick lunch , while my faithful V-strom


waited patiently outside. While I was having my meal, thoughts of indiscretion were bouncing around in my mind. I mean, my bike was reliable, it was set up more or less the way I like it, and the gas range is phenomenal and the additional power is a non-issue but I do like the shaft drive. Do I go, do I not go and eventually curiosity won and I ended up


at the Yamaha dealer to see what was available. Nope, nothing of interest except for the new FZ8 so I went across the parking lot where they are also a BMW and Triumph dealer

I was greeted right away and asked some questions about the R1200RT


It looks so large and imposing, too large in fact when I should be downsizing the size and weight, but right next to it was this beauty

(BMW R1200R)

I swung my leg over this stunning machine and just loved it. It seemed so naked without a windscreen and fairings but the size was perfect. I also glanced at the Triumph Bonnevilles and Street Triple on the other side of the room and left for home shortly thereafter

where I quickly got my other steed ready for a longer ride to downtown Vancouver

(Self Portrait)

We have numerous bicycle lanes within the city criss-crossing North and South . Here we are riding on a tree-lined street with virtually non-existant vehicle traffic


by now I have reached a retail section of Broadway and lock my bike to one of many bicycle racks supplied by the city to encourage eco travel


This was a sports consignment store where I was going to purchase some accessories until I discovered that I had left all my identification & money at home. Now I felt really naked without my wallet . Sometimes I purchase a beverage but luckily today I had my water bottle.

Travelling at a slower pace you notice more photo opps and I saw a blue table


with matching blue chairs. Due to the harsh sunlight and low sun angle it didn't turn out the way I had envisioned . If you look closely at their sign


you will notice that it is indeed a Nice Cafe . About a mile or so further North you come to the Grand Central Station


This is the terminus for the Canadian Pacific Railway which travels across Canada. It houses the main bus depot for Vancouver and it would appear that there are funds to spruce up the building to its original splendor. It had been neglected for many years being in this less than desirable part of town

Everytime I notice trains or railway tracks I think of my pal Jack in West Chester PA
so I take a moment to snap a "rail porn" photo for him


In Canada's poorest Postal Code on Vancouver's downtown Eastside you will be surprised what you can find when you travel in the lanes


There are many Native Artists in the area. Actually I bumped into a Carver who was looking for a "donation" which I would have gladly given, had I had my wallet with me. He showed me some artwork which he said would be a pattern for a wood carving.

This reminds me of a time many years ago where I was offered a wood carving for a nominal amount and I passed it up. Later I found out that this Native Artist was well known but down on his luck. His pieces now command big dollars as he has since passed away.

In preparation for the darker days of fall, I purchased some LED lighting, front and rear, just in case I have to ride home after sunset. For now sunset is still around 8;30pm but days are getting shorter. I particular notice this in the mornings since it is now dark when my alarms signals the time to wake up


Cycling clears stress and clears your mind as you are merely concentrating on being able to ride up the next hill . Vancouver has a lot of hills and while it may seem easy to go Downtown, it is nearly uphill all the way home. If I had a choice between Engine, or muscle power, it would be engine and throttle everytime.

Right now, I am puckered out . . .



  1. So are you going to get a new motorcycle?? Or are you sticking with your beloved V-strom? Love the photos you took on your bicycle portion of the journey. We have been bicycling a little more lately too. I need to do some heart healthy riding, unfortunately it doesn't involve the scooter. While cycling I sometimes subconsciously go for the throttle and it isn't there.

  2. Good on ya, for getting a bicycle ride in. I find photography and bicycling to be a good mix... unless you're carrying a ton of photo equipment.

    I love NW Native American art. I love the stylized creatures and motifs, be it murals or carvings. We have a local college instructor who makes wooden masks fashioned after the NW style. I can't say how close to authentic he gets, but he certainly captures the essence and spirit of the style. I would love to see some of the Native artisans and their work.

    I'm the opposite. If I had to chose between throttle or pedal, pedal would win. I could give up the moto, but I could never give up the bicycle. Frankly I hope I don't have to give up either for a long time!

    Great closing photo! :)

  3. You mentioned in a previous post ownership of a lightweight road bike. Any chance of you posting a shot or two of that one?

  4. Bobskoot....shaft drive, I am thinking that perhaps I should have stayed in that camp, rather than all this "getting to know all about chain drives" stage I am going through.....

    I had the 1150RT and it was an awesome sport's nickname was "long distance operator" because it just ate up the miles with no issues. Bit of a pig on dirt though. : )


    Redleg's Rides

    Colorado Motorcycle Travel Examiner

  5. Looks like a great day Bob with a couple of nice rides. It is good that you were able to get in and sit on a few bikes, doesn't help with resisting temptation though.

    I really enjoyed the last picture of you on the bench. It sums up a great day in the sunshine.

    I vote for throttle power. My lungs can't always handle bicycling up hills so I would gladly give it up to keep Max. A few years ago I wouldn't have thought I'd say that, but there it is.

    Here's hoping to some more sunny days of riding before our rains return.

  6. I like all the bicycle shots, but photography is a great (convenient) reason to stop. You always need to take pictures at the top of long grades or steep climbs. I noticed that you now have a mirror on the handle bar. Does that work better than the mirror on the glasses?

    It sounds like you are slowly talking yourself into a new ride....

  7. Dar:

    I used to be a serious cyclist until I rode too much and ruined my knee. Then my riding friend had a mishap, so we just parked our bikes and let the tires go flat. Victoria is so much more bike friendly. I notice that the cars stop even if you are thinking about crossing the street. Now that the bike is back on the road I am going to take it easier and smell the roses.


    I just carry my pocket camera, a Lumix but last time I brought my G10 which I normally don't use, but I was thinking of shooting more RAW images. This means that I can leave the larger Canon dSLR at home. I have a C-clamp camera mount and may also mount my GoProHD, not sure yet. If I find that Native carver I will give him a "donation" and ask how much for a carving.

    You are still young with young legs and good muscles, as you get older (such as I) you will find that you will appreciate self propelled modes of transport easier

    It was you that shamed me into pumping up my tires, now it's Irondad's turn


    what good memory and eyes you have. I purchased a light frame, most likely a high end race bike but painted over to hide the ID. It has 100 psi road tires. I have to dig it out and pump the tires. It would probably make the hills disappear


    Sometimes I too think "shaft drive", but with all the chain drives used on many makes and models, the chain failure is rare. I'll just be sure to change mine before mileage gets too high.

  8. Trobairitz:

    I'm still trying to build up endurance on the bike so I go a few days without riding in between. There are places downtown where a bike is easier to park and get around . Here in Vancouver, a bike is KING. The Mayor is a cyclist and promotes bike lanes, bike racks and other forms of eco transportation options.

    I thought Oregon had flat roads ? unlike up here where there are too many steep hills


    WOW, I went back and looked at the photos and you can hardly see the little bar end mirror. I find with the glass mount I move my head a lot, the handlebar mount is more steady, sort of like "IS", image stabilization. For a while I was using both. I think the glasses mount would be good if you were a tourist somewhere with pickpocks around

    as for the bike, my V-strom is set up the way I like it, and I like the idea that it is large and cumbersome. It has enough power, smooth and fuel efficient with good range, also has ABS brakes. Hard to justify spending another $10K+ right now unless I had a cross country trip in mind.

  9. I, for one, can completely agree with you on liking the BMW R1200R. Mine is a 2007 model, black of course, and is the PERFECT bike for me. It's light and nimble enough to be a great sport bike, and with the BMW luggage attached, it's a great touring bike. I just got back a week ago from a great tour of Washington State and the R performed beautifully.
    You'd be hard pressed to find a flaw with it!

  10. Dear Bobskoot:

    Thank you for thinking about me whenever you encounter train tracks,train stations, or just trains in general. Those huge, vast train stations are monuments to the transportation of a nation, and should have the highest priority for preservation. It was the thoughtless demolition of Penn Station (New York City) that led to the hue and cry to preserve these structures.

    I am delighted to see the German marque still dancing in your dreams. I torment the "R" bike readers of my blog... But as of next year, the ancient order of the "R" bike is going to get a long awaited make-over, with a liquid-cooled engine. It will look just like the original in many respects, but with a proper cooling system.

    All will be right in God's good heaven. Then again, the "R" bike has been trend-setting since 1923. Make no mistake, they have plenty of quirks, and you'll write a few chapters in your checkbook, but your grandson will be riding that bike.

    I am amazed at how well you're pushing the bike? Food discomfort gone? It sure looks like it.

    Fondest regards,
    Twisted Roads

  11. I got 42,000 miles out of my last chain and I haven't adjusted my new one in 5,000 miles. o ring chains and a Loobman are the way to go. However, the big question is will you keep the fork brace? Your next bike might have a weak set of forks too. Mind you the fugly R1200 has a paralever so that wont work.

  12. Bob

    We are staying in a hostel in Kharkov and Mrs Nikos is asking who you are and why you want me to wear pink crocs(tm).

    This is hard to explain but I would like to point out that the watercooled boxer will be known as the R LC series and cleverly is designed with a 90 degree rotation of the cylinder head to allow for the exhaust to exit down and the inlet to come in at the top.


  13. Beautiful day to get in two different rides. One takes you great geographical distances and the other takes you great psychological distances.

    Nice photos. Prefer the last one, than one of you hunkered over the handlebars with sweat rolling down your face. :)

    Steel Cupcake

    PS. For Nikos...Sorry!! hehehe

  14. Zedman, Mike:

    Thanks for visiting. Your site has just come alive again. Yes I really like your R1200R . Want to read more of your WA getaway. We were just down in WA, OR, ID, MT during July and the V-strom also hummed along without incident


    In my mind, Trains = Jack, railtracks = Jack, Locomotives = Jack, I have been brainwashed.

    I am not really back to normal, but getting there. I still have to take it easy and make sure to wear shoes as I need the extra cushioning.

    I just read something about R bikes inverting the cylinder 90° to allow the exhaust to exit from the bottom. sounds like a nightmare to purchase the new design.

    Mr Conchscooter:

    OKay, you have talked me into it. I will look into the Loobman, but where to buy one ? Or I could make my own with a plastic bottle and tubing from the auto store. I also require a solenoid valve shut off for when I turn the bike off


    I guess you're not man enough to wear pink. Pink crocs are now collector's items as they discontinued that colour

    Steel Cupcake:

    I still prefer self propelled power, over what few muscles I still have, which reminds me that I have to go for another ride soon before they forget how to pedal.