Sunday, March 10, 2013

Feels Like Spring

so naturally I went for a ride.  It was around 7:30 am when I got my V-strom ready.  First dig out my air compressor, check my tire pressures and move my bike out to the lane

With the scaffolding removed it was a breeze to roll out on my gravel driveway.   First I was headed South East to Surrey for breakfast with the guys and then South with no particular destination in mind.

I had already ridden nearly 50 kms (30 miles) before I realized that I hadn't been using my iOS Easy Trails iPhone "cookie crumb" app which was discovered by David a year ago .   If you don't know our area, it gives you a reference to where I had been.   The iOS app produces a KMZ file which can be imported by Google Maps and here it is . . .

View White rock mar 9 2013 in a larger map

I would include more maps but I am not the Google Map Guru and it doesn't always work but if this works correctly you should be able to zoom in and out and move the map around.  I had no destination in mind and I was riding at the speed limit just enjoying the sunshine.  I decided to turn right off Crescent Beach Road and ended up at the Marina

There is no one here so I stop in the middle of the boat launch ramp

It is hard to speed if you are wearing a Hi-Viz fluorescent Orange Olympia riding jacket as most riders wear the Hi-Viz Fluorescent Green, so I would be easy to track.   I only use this jacket during the Winter months as you do not need a rain liner.   The rain proof membrane in bonded to the Outer Jacket material instead of being waterlogged with the separate zip in liner underneath

It looks warmer than it feels.   I tried to remove my jacket but it was too chilly

The water is smooth as glass with little wave action.

Soon these docks will be full of activity, but today not much is happening.   With no where to go, I am in no rush.   I'm thinking how lucky we are to be living here.  It's not yet Spring but today we have Spring-like weather.   I am feeling sorry for those in other parts of the country who are snowed in, or barricaded in their Motel rooms in the mid-west

That's my Lumix TS-3  waterproof, shockproof, freezeproof P&S camera which I bought last year, and also brought to the iMBC2012 in Hell's Canyon.   I wanted a camera with "internal" focus.  I have had problems with  two previous cameras with telescoping zoom lenses as dirt got sucked inside and contaminated the sensor, which made them useless.   Also if you are riding with one hand and trying to snap photos with your left hand whist riding you have your camera on a tether.  If something happens and you have to let go of your camera it is most likely that your camera may bounce on your extended lens which will damage the zoom mechanism.  This won't happen with a camera with internal focus

As I am leaving I see the train trestle so I may a quick U-turn for another photo opp .   I decided to leave and head over to Crescent Beach

    Blackie Spit, Crescent Beach, Surrey BC

and manage to keep upright on the gravel parking lot.   That's Boundary Bay in the background

I think the long grass are remnants from last year.   The beach is more gravel than sand and I notice the tide is out, so naturally I had to take a seat on the rock and soak in the sunshine

then it was time to go for a quick walk.  I love to walk in the sand.  I would also have walked down to the mud flats but there was no where to clean up afterwards.

With no specific destination I was not in a rush to leave so I just sat and watched the tide come in

When you don't have a riding buddy you can spend as much or as little time as you want but eventually it was time to move on and head East to White Rock

    East Beach,  White Rock

It is still early and most of the residents don't seem to be awake yet.   I have the roads nearly to myself

White Rock is a beach community with railway tracks which travel between the beach and shopping areas.  You can barely make out the famous White Rock Pier in the background (top left)

Oh, I notice a nice Suzuki V-strom parked on the left . . .

There is no free parking in White Rock, unless you like to walk.

Across the bay is the Semiahmoo Resort which is on the other side of the border in the USA

You can just make out their water tower on the horizon

I decide to head North up Hwy 99A.    Before the freeway was built, this was the only way from Vancouver to the USA border.   I remember passing this place when I was very young.

I have never stopped here before, but today I did to snap a photo for you.   From here I headed farther East and take 168th Northbound

I stop at the top of the hill to show you where I am headed.   It is a fairly steep hill with a stop sign at the bottom

For some reason I go farther East and end up in Langley.  I have nothing to buy but I stop at Princess Auto, which is sort of like Harbor Freight in the USA.   They have a washroom here.   I go up and down the aisles and make mental notes of what I may need for my R1200R, but first I have to make a list of what size Torx bits to buy.   It seems that all the bolts on my Beemer are various sizes of Torx and I may be somewhere this Summer where I may need them.   I pick up a few things and head for the cashier when I hear a voice

Voice:  "excuse me, is that your V-strom parked outside"

Me: "Yes . . ."

Voice:  "I notice you have some nice accessories installed, just what I am looking for"

Me:  "we can go outside and I can show you what I have"

So we head out to the parking lot and I see his Kawasaki Versys parked in front of me

When I park in a lot with lots of pickup trucks I usually stay to the rear of the space.  I park headed IN or OUT depending upon the terrain as I need more lean angle than what my kick stand will allow

It's a nice looking bike.  I actually sat on one before I bought my 'Strom

Meet Tyler.   We chatted about this and that and we plan to get together again to go over RAM mounts and talk about cameras, laptops and external drives whilst on Road Trips.  He plans to leave in 6 weeks, for a 4 month bike trip to Mexico.  

He just purchased this bike for his trip and now need to outfit it for Touring.  He is fabricating his own Panniers and his father is a machinist.

I was not in a rush to go anywhere so we chatted a bit more, then finally parted ways.   I was headed back to town and he had more things to do in the Langley area.   He had just been to Abbotsford to buy a Hennessy Hammock for his extended motorcycle trip.  We exchanged contact numbers and he actually lives in Vancouver too.  We are not that far away from each other.

You know how it is.  You both have bikes, you meet and then you can't stop talking.  Today was one of those days . . .


as you probably know our house has been in a construction war zone since last May.  Our sidewalks were ripped out and the ground was prepped and waiting for new cement

It's been like this for a few weeks.   The rebar grid was put into place and they were just waiting for warmer weather and also for the rain to stop.   Before the rebar, it was just sand and dirt which has been tracking inside and making a mess.

Finally last Thursday the cement came and when I got home they were doing the finishing touches

Now we all know that wet cement is "soft" so everyone was taking so much care not to step on it until it had hardened .   I am so happy that soon we won't have to walk on the dirt and gravel to get inside.  The first thing I do when I leave for work on Friday morning was to admire our new sidewalk, and then I saw IT . . .  FOOTPRINTS !!

My shadow is pointing out the mysterious footprint.  It is hard to see from this angle but here is the view looking the other way

There are two footprints and it is depressed a bit into the cement.  I mean how inconsiderate this is.  It wouldn't have been so bad it it had been my own footprints.   I did think about putting some toe prints into it but decided that wasn't such a good idea.  I'm not sure this can be "buffed out" or not.  Perhaps when the cement hardens it can be sanded a bit

One thing for sure.  It wasn't me, it is a larger foot than mine and I don't leave the same type of imprints


  1. It does look like a beautiful day and no frost in the morning. Is it nice enough to start commuting yet?

    1. Richard:

      It's been frost all week, but not so much on Saturday otherwise I would have gone for breakfast first, then came back for the bike. I did encounter frost in Burnaby on way way. Car windows were all frosted up.

      No commuting yet until low temps go up to 5°C, even at 3°C there is frost on the roads. I'm not cold but I worry about lack of traction and slippage.

  2. How wonderful to be riding in March. Love the pictures.

    1. Pam:

      Due to frost we can usually ride all year from about 10am to 6pm. We just have to wait for the frost to melt. But as I leave for work before 7am I can't commute on the bike, so this just leaves the weekend (for riding).

      It was a nice day for a ride. I rode about 200 kms but mostly city riding. I love to walk in the sand . . .

  3. Wasn't it a great day to be out and about... beginning of March? Wonderful pictures, and we live indeed in a beautiful spot. I love the mild weather, especially when it doesn't rain...

    1. Sonja:

      It was nice to get a few more miles out of town. I saw a few bikes out, mostly Harleys. It was not cold riding but too cool to remove my jacket while at the beach. It was nice to be able to go left or right on a whim as you reached an intersection. That's how I ended up in Langley

  4. lovely day to be out! what was the temp? we made it out today and enjoyed a spectacular 70F day. like you with blue skies and high clouds.

    1. Hi Lori:

      It looked warmer than it was but I was not cold when riding. Temps were about 8°c (~45°F). It was warmer where you are. I would have preferred your 70°F. I was gone for over 8 hours then I had to come home to go grocery shopping

  5. Wow, Bob...

    I watch a show that comes on TV sometimes that is filmed in White Rock, but I have never been there myself. You guys have nice looking bikes. Glad you met a new friend to talk shop with. Sorry about the cement. That was rude whoever did it...:-(.

    1. Pat:

      WHAT ! Never been to White Rock ? It gets very crowded during the Summer. Right now you can find parking.

      Most riders are friendly when you are stopped somewhere. We must have chatted for half an hour

      I'm still a bit upset about the footprint on the cement. I hope it can be fixed when the cement dries. Otherwise it will be there "forever". If it were softer I could have put a barefoot print over it.

  6. I'll allow you to feel sorry for me. I'm having a hard time not feeling sorry for myself and my cats, so I'll let you take some of that weight off my shoulders. What a lovely ride you had. I need to hit a couple banks and move on up your way.

    So is that baby blue long underwear hanging around your cuffs, or your jammies? For me, it would be long underwear. It's not time to take them off just yet.

    :*^ C

    1. Martha:

      All I can think of is your photo of the snow wall looking out your window, and being "trapped" inside, rather than exploring all over the place. We were lucky this year (so far, fingers crossed) that this had been a mild winter for us. We only had a bit of snow in December and nothing since, except for frost in the mornings. It doesn't look like any snow is on the horizon as our night temps are increasing and we are getting torrential rains from the Tropics. (if I had your PayPal info, I could help a bit)

      You have good eyes, but that blue is the bottom of my tattered blue jeans. My riding pants are one size larger so I can wear pants underneath, easier to change out of when I get to work and I wear shorts under during the heat of summer. Sorry, No Jammies I prefer au naturalle at night, less confining. If it gets really cold I have a set of fleece undergarments, sort of like long johns

    2. And thank you for your offer to donate to my lameness, but I have to earn this round.

  7. Re the boot's just the workman's signature. Smile.

    1. Martha:

      I don't think those were made by work boots. They look like shoes. Notice in the photo that the workman was very careful when working on the cement. They didn't put barriers on the sides of the walkway to prevent walking over it

    2. Sprinkle flour around the garages of your neighbors and match the tread!
      :^ D

  8. I am glad you are having sunny spring weather, your cement was poured, and you met a new riding friend.

    A great way to end the week.

    1. Trobairitz:

      Since I don't have anyone to ride with, I usually stick close to home or go somewhere close like Steveston but you get tired of taking photos at the same places all the time. Saturday I just felt like riding someplace different and I was not in a rush. I went with the flow and just went the speed limit, let all the cars pass and it was relaxing to watch the scenery, listen to the engine and shift up and down. Me and my bike in Harmony with each other.

      It would be the sort of ride you would be doing when Troubadour is teaching, and you rode somewhere for a few hours on a beautiful sunny day after your Saturday Coffee gathering. I would imagine you would be riding to the "Coast" , have a clam chowder at Mo's/Chowder House and then ride home

  9. Bob

    It was a gorgeous day here on the Island too. I hear you about rain commuting and agressive drivers. I am starting to take the easy path by taking the bus now just because I then don't have to hassle with wet gear hanging in the office, my hair doesn't look like a strawpile and its just easier. I did my time as a year rounder a year ago and I am happy I did it.

    I was just on a radio show about distracted/aggressive drivers talking about it from a motorcyclists perspective and it went pretty well. Check out Cfax 1070 Frank Stanford's March 7th podcast.

    Its always nice to make new moto friends! As for the cement footprinter that totally sucks! I think you should have put free ranging toe prints on the cement, kind of a Bob was here thing. :)

    1. Dar:

      Maybe we like your strawpile, makes you look like a mean mama . When I had my scooters I felt it was a badge of honour to ride all year. Now when I see a rider out when the roads are icy, all I think of now is How Stupid he is. It proves nothing. I think driving when your "third" sense tells you not to ride, is wise.

      Good for you to be on the radio. It's not so bad in Victoria. I remember standing on the corner and not even thinking about crossing the street, and the cars stopped ! This would never happen over here

      I thought about toe prints in the cement but I have to act my age sometimes, even though I was strongly tempted . . .

  10. Looks like a lovely day. And you made a new friend. He's cute. I'm sure you'll do a great job helping him get outfitted. Those footprints will probably be there forever, sorry to say. But no one will notice unless they look really hard. And if they're looking that hard at YOUR driveway, there's probably something wrong with them anyway. :-)

    I like the Versys. Didn't know Kawasaki made such a bike.

    1. Kathy:

      I hope those prints can be removed when the cement has hardened. It bothers me. If I did it then that would be different.

      I like the Versys but there are more accessories available for the V-strom. Otherwise it seems like a good machine

      It was a great day here. I was thinking how lucky we are when some of you are still snowed in back East

  11. Bob,
    All I can say, and it's a lot, your entire post made me feel warm all over (and it's NOT my cup of cocoa). I went back and went through it once more.

    Thank you.

    1. Coop:

      I would love to live where you live, but only during the Summer. I can't imagine that much privacy. I live in the city and you know how close your neighbours can be.

      Golly Gee Wizz, for making you feel warm and fuzzy. I put the map there for you because I think you like maps. If you zoom in you will be able to see where I went. If I knew how to put "markers" on the map, I could have tagged the locations for the Marina and the Beach

      I'm keeping a mental note of your driveway and hope the river gushing over your driveway is dry when I get there, someday

  12. When you get a Tuesday off, I'll ride with you some place (How about Harrison Hot Springs or Othello Tunnels?). We can meet together with my coffee guys @ Ricky's and head out from there.

    As always, I enjoys your posts & photos.

    Keep looking up & pressing forward!

    1. Robert:

      I was just thinking about you and how our times don't line up. I'm free on your work days. I remember the last time we went to Point Roberts . . . Maybe when the weather gets a bit warmer

  13. Replies
    1. Benny:

      so sorry to hear about your "budgie" . Nearly time for you to dust off your wheels and ride to work on Saturday(s)

  14. A day walking near the beach and making a new rider friend...does it get any better?

    1. Suzu:

      I love to walk on the beach and feel the sand . . . In the summer there are too many people. This time of year you have the beach to yourself, but just a bit cooler

      When you see other riders, naturally you talk to each other. It's the way it is. Hope your insurance meeting goes your way

  15. Good thing you were wearing that bright orange jacket - otherwise you wouldn't have been highly visible to the nice young man who's planning a trip to Mexico by motorycle. You meet the nicest folks when ....
    Nice driveway - looks like the perfect spot to move motorcycles through - and a footprint in the sidewalk only gives it character, like a wrinkle on the face. Sounds like you had a great day!

    1. Karen:

      wearing that Hi-Viz fluorescent orange is too visible but I gave my old blue JR riding jacket away. I only wear it during the winter. That guy was so excited about his Mexico trip and is getting his bike ready. He just bought a Hennessy Hammock, and Lumix LX7 camera and was looking at my farkles.

      My old driveway used to be paved (asphalt), but my new one is gravel and sand. The City won't let me pave it. Perhaps I could put in paving stones or grass seeds.

      It was a great day but being alone I didn't feel like putting on the miles. I like to sit in the sun and relax without my boots.