Sunday, June 29, 2014

1st day of Summer 2014

was last Saturday and I had plans to ride my bike all day.  Since we have a lot of hills in Vancouver I was also scanning Craigslist ads for a bike carrier so I could explore different areas.  I started riding around our area but since we are at the top of the hill in every direction I couldn't bring myself into pedalling very far and returned home to try to contact some bike carrier vendors

There were two possible candidates but I settled on the farthest one which took nearly 45 minutes by freeway to the Newton area.  Of course I had to drive my car to make sure it fit

On the way home I stopped at the local Triumph dealer as they were having a demo day, and a BBQ

Not much of a line and I noticed that some burgers were ready

So here's my complimentary lunch.   Things always taste better when you are hungry and don't have to pay.  I also opted for a diet beverage as I am watching my weight.    I have been 180 or less for the past week and for the past few days I have reached a low of 178

Not many demo riders.  Today you would have had a good chance to try out the Triumph of your choice

some customer bikes parked in the lot

here's the sign up table.  I think slots are available but I didn't bring any riding gear.

some demo bikes just waiting to be ridden .   I also chatted with Trevor who rode his R1150R from Tofino where he lives

He was looking for another bike and had his eye on an R1200GS.   I arrived home and double checked the bike rack to make sure it was firmly attached

I stopped at a local  Home Depot  (No Lowes around where we live)  and bought some pipe insulation so I could put them on the arms of the rack.  I just taped the two ends and hope they stay in place

I then brought out my bike to see how I could secure it.    I used a few bungie cords to hold it down and checked the security of the rack, one arm of which rests on the rear bumper which seems to absorb most of the bike's weight

Fast forward to last Wednesday.   My car gave me a service warning last week for an A3 service.  This means that in addition to the regular oil/filter change, I also needed a transmission flush.   For expensive stuff like this I tend to avoid the Honda dealership and prefer to use my long time mechanic, who are Honda specialists who also spend their time racing . . .

They used to race Hondas, but have since changed over to Porsche.  Much of their equipment is racing related and is for their own use.   They have a Honda computer, just like the dealer which was used on their Honda race vehicles.   They also have a 4 wheel laser alignment machine and high speed balancer.  When I bought my Honda it was upon their recommendations . . .

In the front of their shop I noticed this beautiful Beemer with collector plactes

and beside the Beemer was this nice 3 cyclinder 2-stroke 500cc Kawasaki

I dropped off my car Wednesday after work and then I started walking . . .

I had planned to just walk home but I tire more easily now and had to rest a few times

I guess age is catching up to me so I decide to walk to the bus stop instead and take the bus home

They have lower fares for seniors and the Government issues Gold care cards which confirm your age and discount status.   This card can also be used for discounted ferry fares, lower driver license fees and other Government services.   I thought that since I didn't appear to look that old I would flash my Gold CareCard when I paid my discounted bus fare.   The bus driver said "Lucky you . . ."

There were still some vacant seats on the bus but I opted to be manly and just stand in the isle and hold onto the overhead straps.  After a few miles the girl which was seated next to me offered me her seat.   I thanked her and said NO but then I countered with "do I look that old ?"    Of course she said "not really"

I got off the bus and walked the short distance home.

The plan was to come back Thursday after work to pick up the keys to my car,  ride my Vstrom home and then ride my bicycle back to get my car .   I got home and changed into my cycling gear; which are shorts and my cycling sandals

and took one of our many bike lanes heading towards downtown.   I happened to pass this house

and noticed this old tractor parked on the front lawn.   I have no idea where you would be able to use a tractor in the middle of the city where the lots are small

I eventually get to my car and take my New to Me bike rack from the trunk

and soon I have my bike mounted and ready for my trip home.   In addition to my oil & filter change, they also flushed my brake system (new fluid), changed the fluid in my clutch system, and of course changed the transmission fluid as well as rotate the tires as they had to remove the wheels in order to flush the brake fluid

I am loving the versatility of having a bike rack . . .


  1. That looks like one of my bike racks. Very versatile and folds flat for hanging up in the garage. I thing I still have maybe three or four racks. Given a choice, I like the roof mount and hitch receiver ones the best as you don't block access to the trunk when on road trips. And there are no straps to mess with.

    That's a nice looking R100RS at the shop. "Vintage plates", eh? I think that bike is about the same age as mine...

  2. Great idea getting the bike rack. Makes it easier to go different places to ride and you noticed how handy when you needed to pick up the Honda.

    We finally got a bike rack delivered last Wednesday. Our old one would not work with the step through style bike I bought. We bought a hitch receiver mounted one.

  3. A bike rack is also very high on our list of things to buy. We have looked at different models but are undecided about where to put the rack. On the roof? On the hatchback or on the tow hitch? For now we just throw them in the back of our car but it can be messy and you can't really transport something else.

    Looks like it will be a healthy summer for all of us with all the cycling and walking, and weight watching.

  4. Richard, Trobairitz & Sonja:

    I do have a receiver hitch type bike rack. I really like it. The rack locks to the receiver with the locking pin and then the bikes are locked to the bars, screw type clamps with locks so it is very secure and no bungies needed except for stopping the front wheels from spinning in the wind.

    BUT: . . .

    I had a receiver hitch mounted on my prev car, Sebring convertible. It cost a fortune plus I thought I might as well add the controller for the light harness so I could also tow my 3 rail motorcycle trailer. I mean, what good is a hitch if you can't tow a small trailer. When I bought my Honda the dealer said hitches weren't recommended and would invalidate my 6 year optional warranty. If I had any problems with overheating, or brakes or transmission they would have blamed the hitch and presume I was towing something. Now that my warranty is expired I don't want to spend the $500 for the hitch and harness as I may not be keeping the car much longer

    When we bought our Subaru Crosstrek XV I wanted a hitch installed, with light module but it would have cost $700 or more because you have to remove the mufflers and buy a custom hidden bracket as it is hidden high up under the rear deck and Mrs Skoot didn't want to pay that much for something that isn't used much. So for now I have a motorcycle trailer and we have no vehicles able to tow it anywhere.

    I had a roof sportrack on a previous car which had 2 rails which mounted where the doors closed. Most cars now do not have a drip rail and then you mounted your bikes upside down and secured by the handlebars and the seat which fit into a moulded pad and strapped down. I did use it on the highway a few times but I always thought it would blow off. Depending upon the weight of your bike it is an effort to bring it upside down on the roof of your car without dropping it and denting (your roof).

    Using the roof mount, you staggered your bikes, one in each direction so the handlebars don't touch.

    For me the best solution is this portable rack which can also be used on both my Honda and the Crosstrek XV


    I liked that Beemer. It is mostly original except that the front fairing was repainted


    Your step style should mount on your rack "upside down". I used to mount my older bike upside down all the time "wheels up" but the receiver type is much more secure and you can get those turnable locks to lock your bike to the rack, and also a locking pin for the receiver hitch


    throwing your bikes in the back can get them scratched more easily. The tow hitch is the most secure but then you might as well install the light module for the trailer lights. I used to have a cheaper version of the one I just bought. This seems like a better made one. New ones here are around $150. Mine is almost new and I got it for $40. in original packing with instructions. Do you have a Craigslist or similar where you are ?

  5. The Prius is one of those "towing not permitted" cars but I did find a receiver hitch for it to hold a bike rack. It was only about $80 or so and took about 20 minutes to install. No wiring installed as there are no plans to tow anything with it. Especially since we still have the truck (towing capacity 16k lbs).

    1. Richard:

      I do not wish to spend any $$ on a car which I may not have much longer. My last hitch cost $600 and I do have a receiver bike rack which holds 3 bikes. If I installed a hitch, I would for sure get the tail light module too as I still have a 3 rail motorcycle trailer which I cannot use. We have no vehicle that is able to tow it. We cannot get cheap stuff here

  6. Next time the urge strikes to think about a bike ride you will be fully equipped to plan it. I had lunch with riepe yesterday and he sends his love and asks why you haven't called about August. he's free and waiting.

    1. Mr Conchscooter:

      I did speak to Jack about a month ago and we did make arrangements to meet on August 21st in Harrisburg. If you are near Panama City, FL around Sept 5th w/e, I will bump into you. I tried to phone him again but he seldom answers, otherwise I will be in Tom River next Summer and hunt him down