Sunday, February 3, 2013

Scratching the throttle itch

While many parts of the country are covered with a white blanket of snow, or are basking in below freezing temperatures I was able to get out my air compressor and pump up my tires


I first tried my battery powered portable unit but something is wrong with the valve attachment end and I was loosing more air than I was trying to put in, so I rolled out my 110v electric unit


It is sad to see my "R" just sitting there waiting for Spring but it is too expensive to insure more than one bike this time of year.


I can't remember the last time I started the engine but it came to life with a quick press of the starter button.   I let it warm up while I snap on the side cases and get my helmet/gloves which I keep inside where it is warm


Just a day ago I had construction debris blocking my exit, but today my gravel driveway is clear and I opened my new gate


Slow and easy does it when you haven't been riding.   I take a straight surface street and head West


Soon I am on a faster stretch where I notice a "radar trap" so I have to keep my speed below 80 km/h.   It feels nice to be riding on two wheels after what seems to be a long time ago.   I think the temps are around 7°c .   I feel the cold air on my neck but other than that it seems bearable.   I didn't know it at the time but this was the last time I am going to wear my Joe Rocket Ballistic riding jacket (with liner).   I was going to give it away to a worthy nooby and I met one when I was doing some errands on my way home.

I had just parked my bike and walking to the store when another rider found a closer parking spot.  He was riding an older Seca 750 and made a comment about how he liked my riding jacket and where I bought it.  I told him that I was going to give it away and he offered to buy it.   He had been only riding for 6 months.  He looked worthy so I gave it to him, after I rode home, of course.  


Some one from Regina recently asked me if our fog was gone and it was, but it has returned


Here is a view looking at our mountains, which you can't see.   It seems to only be clear near ground level


There is the City of Vancouver skyline in the distance and you can see the fog slowly ebbing its way down


I continue on my way, homeward bound trying to skirt around the busy parts of the city


then I decide to take the ring road around Queen Elizabeth park trying to find a vantage point for a view of the city to show you the fog


and I managed to find one with my zoom fully extended.  Those are our snow covered Lions at the top of the mountain.   The city is below and you can see the band of fog.  The temperatures are falling .    It may be around 5°c right now


It was a nice few hours and I managed to get some throttle action.   Just think, we are half way to Spring.  Can't wait . . .


39 comments:

  1. Bob - really nice gate! Can't believe you are riding in February. What a beautiful city especially/in spite of ... the fog; and everything looks so green.
    That the new rider must have been blown away by your generosity (as we all are!) Happy February, only 6 more weeks 'til spring!

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    1. Karen:

      if it weren't for the construction debris, fog and frost, we would have ridden during January too. It was just too much trouble digging my bike out. Everything would be green at your end too if the snow wasn't covering it.

      I am also "down" 2 riding boots. Only I pair of used JR Alter Ego riding pants left to give away, then I can start to wear my new TourMaster Flex

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  2. Bob, did I tell you how much I like that ratty old Vee you ride :)

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    1. David:

      You should keep your 150 and buy a Motorcycle for Touring. I think Gary will "loan" you his Venox 250cc, if you ask him nicely the next time you are here. I was going to mentor you when you were here last year, but you "ran out of time" and took off for Whistler

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  3. That really is a nice looking fence and gate. I can't wait for the virtual tour of the new construction.

    How did you get your old jacket delivered to the new rider?

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    1. Richard:

      That was my old Joe Rocket Ballistic but in a different style as current jackets. It had square hanging pockets like the BMW ones, not those diagonal hard to unzip, zippers. I had purchased many new jackets and just never got around to retiring this one. Many riders up here "donate" their used gear to new riders. Now you won't see my old blue jacket anymore in newer photos.

      I told him that I would give him the jacket the next day, which was Sunday. Sorry, I forgot to snap a photo of him, but I do have one of his classic Yamaha Seca 750 taken the previous day. It is sort of a cruiser type bike, not unlike a Honda Shadow.

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  4. Good to see you riding the Wee on some gravel Bob!

    Also nice that you could sort out that itch - mine kicks in if I don't ride once a week...

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    1. Andrew:

      Under our building bylaws, I am not permitted to cement my driveway, so it has to remain gravel for re-inspection next year. They come back to make sure it is still "Gravel".

      It it weren't for the frost and fog we could ride all year too. Felt great to be riding, leaning and shifting . . . so I know what you mean

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  5. What are the cables doing on the pictured motorcycle...electric bike I so bet. Charging it for a ride. Actually the time is here that we all embraced electric bikes. They are efficient and effective in terms of energy consumption and in checking pollution..

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    1. Perkins:

      Those cables are for my battery maintainers. Those are not electric bikes. An electric bike would be useless for commuting due to the distance and fast roads I have to navigate. It would be suicide to come out of our driveway afterwork. We are half way down a steep hill and all the cars coming down are flying at over 80 kmh and it is neary continuous streaming traffic and no one will let you in

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  6. How exciting Bob!!

    Lucky you for getting to scratch your itch, mine hasn't had any releif in a while due to either being too busy or too hot .. sheesh sometimes you just cant win eh.

    That was such a lovely gesture giving your jacket to the new rider, and I bet it's something he will remember for the rest of his life. It's things like this that make us believe in mankind all over again, nicely done Bob :)

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    1. Brenda:

      I know what you mean about the heat. It doesn't normally get hot here but last summer it was over 80°f for a couple of weeks, and with riding gear and numerous stop lights, it was just steaming inside. It was just easier to take the car and turn on the A/C.

      I think it feels good when you think that you are helping someone who appreciates it.

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  7. Glad you were able to get out for a ride Bob. Our fog hung around until after noon yesterday and even then it was cloudy and cold.

    Come on Spring. At least when it rains it warms up.

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    1. Trobairitz:

      It was nice to get out for a short ride. Most of the problem has been our construction project. Sand and debris everywhere. then piles of lumber and discards blocking the gravel driveway. then the Deere machine was in the way, then they dug out the sidewalk. In the past I could leave my bikes "ready to ride", but because of the sawdust and lack of a fence and gate I had to "lock" them both up. Then I had to cover them and still, there is sawdust all over both bikes.

      It was just too much trouble "digging" them out. Then Mrs Skoot had to be chauffeured everywhere so I could not ride, as then I would have to come home first to get the car and go downtown to pick her up.

      things are settling down now. The sidewalks cannot be poured when it is freezing. They have to wait for warmer weather. The fence is nearly done but there are tons of nails in the dirt and I have picked up quite a few.

      We are half way to Spring. Just 6 weeks left . . .

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    2. having you been sweeping with a magnet? Should help you find more nails.

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    3. Lori:

      I have failing eyes, can you come over and help me ?

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    4. Actually, concrete can be poured when it's a bit below freezing as I've been told it freezes at around 28F as the curing process generates some heat. You would also use a different mix with less water. Lots of foundations and slabs are poured up here when the snow is starting to fall. The cure time is longer and it does raise your labor costs due to the time and tenting the area. If it's way below freezing and/or the ground is really cold, forget it. The concrete may freeze and become brittle, not what you'd want for your walkway. The contractor is being conservative and that's not necessarily bad...

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    5. Richard:

      Things are 3 months behind already so it doesn't really matter anymore. I know if I were an outside worker, I would rather be inside than outside all day. It's just all that sand that gets dragged inside the house and having to park on the street.

      They have already put all the wood forms in place, all ready for the next step

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  8. Glad you're now able to get easily....now, what's this about snow covered lions? Can you get closer to those mountains?

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    1. Dom:

      You have to come up here to see what I mean. We do not have roads like you do which transverse our local mountains. You can see the mountains from a distance, but when you are "ON" the mountain, you see nothing. There is only one road up either ones and you only get a view of the city below. To get to those snow covered Lions is a major hike through challenging conditions.

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  9. Glad you got out for a tootle! I met up with some friends on Saturday for cheesecake and then we went for a short ride in the late afternoon. I was frozen by the time I got home, mostly my hands. I definitely think I need to either get heated grips or gloves. My insurance expired yesterday and I haven't renewed yet and I may skip February just to save a little money, I am finding it hard to have to renew it right after Christmas.

    Lovely pictures of the mountains! That fellow who received your coat was one very lucky dude! I try to pass on things to newbs or help find them some gently used items, just kind of extending the road karma. Hope you get out more on your bike. I do like your new fence by the way.

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    1. Dar:

      If my driveway stays clear I can ride more BUT they are going to move the scaffolding to that side for a few weeks to finish off the roof, so I will be stuck again.

      It was just by chance that I stumbled upon that new rider. I hope he enjoys the jacket.

      The fence gives us back some privacy but I wished that I had a way to turn my bike around in the carport. I need a rotating turntable

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    2. Bob, lucky you to actually get out for a Feb. ride. There are riders around here that make the effort to get out at least once a month, all year long...I'm not one. As mentioned before, it's the road chemicals that keep me away and that's assuming that there isn't ice and snow on the roads.

      The last few days are my first shot at getting serious out in the shop. My little Cafe Project has been on the lift since last April when I brought it home (I don't work on bikes during riding season). Now, after the holidays and some other more important priorities have been taken care of, work on the fleet has commenced. While I'm not riding, it's been feeling awfully nice just to be working on them. Ride planning continues in the evenings when I can keep the cats off from my maps....my Google Calendar is getting full!!

      I STILL like your fence.

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    3. Coop:

      When it is foggy or frosty we don't ride here either. I don't mind the cold but not slippy roads. usually by noon the roads are clear, so often we can ride on the weekends.

      Can't wait to see your Cafe Racer project. I wished I knew more about mechanics and had a place inside to work on them.

      If you are riding this way during the summer let us know ahead of time. It's nice to have a fence, gate and some privacy back

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  10. Ah, I'm glad you got out to ride. I'm actually a bit jealous. The ole itch to ride has started.

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    1. Kathy:

      so sorry (no I'm not) for teasing you with ride photos. I just had to do it. Finally the fog lifted and the debris was cleared from our driveway so I just "had to do it". It felt great to be shifting and leaning into the corners.

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  11. As some others have commented: That is a very impressive gate! Glad you were able to get out and ride.
    ~Keith

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    1. Keith:

      I'm not as hardcore as you who rides nearly everyday. We have too much frost and ice when I go to work and I don't take chances anymore. Often the roads are clear at home, but I encounter frost/ice on the hills on the way to work, and often our parking lot is like an ice rink.

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  12. Glad you stretched the vee's legs. It needed it. :)

    That is a good looking gate and fence. Love the color of the wood.

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    1. Lori:

      We actually have the same design fence on both sides of our yard, plus 4 gates, 2 on each side. I can't use the other side because it is presently dug up and forms ready for cement but it is too cold to pour the cement.

      It was nice to be able to just ride my bike out to the lane with nothing stacked in the way. The problem now is turning my bike around in the carport. I need one of those rails, with rollers on it.

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  13. Lovely gate. You will soon be rid of the construction people.
    Very generous with the jacket.
    Glad you got to ride.

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    1. Gary:

      I guess you know all about construction. I should have hired YOU, but then I couldn't afford you.

      As for that jacket, I have had it too long. I have purchased several jackets since then and hardly use them. You know how it is, you buy a new jacket to replace the older one, except you keep wearing the old one so you can keep the new one, New.

      It was the same with my older laptop. I bought a new i7 4 core Dec 2011 Boxing week, except I kept using the OLD one. Now I have migrated to my old new one and given my older Core2 duo away.

      I presume you are renting a bike in NZ ? Hope Rogey takes care of you over there


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  14. Sorry about the seasons thing. Here it's just one dreary day after another of cool breezes and hot sunshine, with more of the same to look forward to until summer and beyond. Are the wife's medical bills getting you down? Oh no wait a minute...bloody socialists.

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    1. Mr Conchscooter:

      I can't help the seasons or the weather. It is what it is. This is the best place to be if you are in Canada. I wouldn't mind Hawai'ian weather all the time, but being stranded on an island in the middle of nowhere doesn't give you many riding options, sort of like Flatistan KW

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  15. When it is foggy or frosty its tricky to ride my bike because of the cold weather. But am happy the snow is over and soon I can ride my motorcycle and have fun. I got this new Pirelli Motorcycle Tires installed for spring I need to try them out.

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    1. Charity:

      I would NEVER buy Pirelli. I LOVE Michellins . . . but thanks for visiting

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  16. Geez it's so nice to see the road and mountains and the beach...I'm one of those who you say has been "basking in the below freezing temps". That made me giggle...have a great day!

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    1. Suzu:

      I just checked your weather forecast. YIKES -11°c (but feels like -20°c) You should come out here. I may go back to the beach on the weekend. The rain is supposed to stop and temps go up to 9°c, beach weather for us on the Coast.

      Also Fog in the mornings for the next few days

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  17. Bob: I have the same pump that you do and the hose doesn't work on mine either. When Craftsman stuff was made in the US or Japan it was first rate; not any more. Bah humbug......Nevermore!!!!!!

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