Sunday, March 31, 2013

Meandering with Wayne

Yes, this is the same Wayne as in Meandering in Lotus Land  .   He is prolific with his camera and you will usually find him wearing his trademark hat.  Actually I have never seen him without a hat.   If you follow his blog you will become intimate with the real Vancouver.  He has a way with words.   I manage to bump into Wayne now and again and today we managed to meet up by chance at the Easter Parade of vintage & classic cars at the Oakridge Shopping Centre

Here he is doing his magic with that Messerschmitt KR175/200 in the background.  He is very deliberate in his "framing the image" technique.   I try to be careful not to disturb the Master in action

He managed to spare a few hours so we went for lunch in Ladner and enjoyed our meal under the warm Spring sunshine where he talked about his recent travels.

As photographers were are always looking for "texture" shots and the river level was much lower than usual

    Ladner, BC   just behind Sharkey's

We had a relaxing lunch and then decided to head over to the George C Reifel bird sanctuary on Westham Island

    Catching Wayne in action

Where there were a Gazillion Ducks there waiting for a handout of bird seed.  There were brown ones, and ones with green heads (technical terms) , along with a few geese.    I am sure there were more inside but we didn't bring gumboots (bird poop), nor did we wish to spurge for admission

Did I mention that the river levels seemed very low.   That is a new floating home community in the background.

We really lucked out with good weather and warm temperatures.  It nearly felt like summer.  And to Wayne,  thank you for allowing us to spend a few hours together.  We should do it again sometime soon . . .

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Sunny and a cool 8°c

Last Sunday was a beautiful but cold day.  The sun was deceiving as it looked warmer than it felt.   Vancouver is surrounded by water on 3 sides and accessed by many bridges.    There are two bridges which connect to North and West Vancouver.   The Lion's Gate bridge is fondly known, by the locals, as the First Narrows Bridge.  The Iron Worker's Memorial Bridge is known as the Second Narrows Bridge

    Looking Southward from the 2nd Narrows Bridge.  

This section of highway is part of the Trans Canada Hwy 1 ( also known as Hwy 401 ).   Vancouver is built on 7 hills, some of which could have been small volcanos .   (not unlike QE park where the flowers are growing in the crater)

Visitors may not realize that North Vancouver & West Vancouver are separate cities with their own Mayor,  elected officials and city hall  (municipal offices).    The even have their own Police Force (administered by the RCMP)      In Vancouver we have our own VPD: Vancouver Police Department

Being a Sunday the traffic is not that bad.   During rush hours this would be like a parking lot with bumper to bumper cars

Yes, those are the snow covered Lions in the background

This is the view of our harbour, Burrard Inlet.   That's the Lion's Gate Bridge in the distance  (ie First Narrows Bridge)

It's a working harbour where there is no public access.   Another view of the Lions on the top right.

Dar wrote a post  (here)  about wearing Pink riding gear.   I have many pink casual wear items and it was also warm enough to wear my shorts for the first time this year

Sunny and warmer temperatures are forecast for this weekend.   Perfect for riding . . .

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Is it Spring Yet ?

The Sun is out
The Sky is blue
There's not a cloud to spoil the view
but it's  .  .  . (not)  raining . . . raining in your heart . . .   la  la  la

   The Five Sails, Convention Centre, Vancouver, BC

It's looks like Spring but it's chilly like Winter with a high of only 8°c

It was a good day to take my Aunt out for Brunch and a ride .  Along the way we saw a sign

and I'm still trying to figure it out

I was expecting to pick up my bike on Friday after it had been checked out but there was no time for my mechanic to go to Surrey to pick up my signal lights so after breakfast on Saturday I picked the parts up myself

where I saw a nice Gladius.   I saw many bikes out and I wished I was riding too

Here they are, only $80. each and they are side specific being different part numbers

I seldom ride without sidecases.  I prefer a wider road presence as I feel it is safer and you never know when you may need the extra storage space

Here's Ted from EMS: Essential Motorcycle Services working on my bike.  You don't need to remove any plastic but you require small hands to snap the small connectors together

It only took a few minutes and then I was off to take care of some travel insurance renewals were I met another Beemer "K" rider.    Here is Erik

We ended up chatting for a while.  You know how it is.  We finish our business in the office and end up in the parking lot looking at what he has done to his bike.   We finally parted ways and when I arrived home I couldn't help but

admire my new right and

Left signal lights

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about a mural down in Chinatown  (Read Here).    I also rode into the heart of an area where it is difficult to snap photos.   There were less people there than usual due to the rain.  Because street people have no regard for rules many are getting hit by cars as they cross the street where and when they feel like it so to keep them safe, the City has punished the rest of us by reducing the speed limits on Hastings Street to a mere 30 kmh

Hastings Street near Carrall,  Vancouver, BC

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

My bike was pushed over

It started out as a glorious morning.  It was cool around 2°c , lightly sprinking but bright, so I decided to ride my bike to work for the first time this year.  Up until now I had only been riding on weekends.  It was nice to slalom my way to work and savor the freshness of the morning

I arrive at work and park in my usual spot outside my office window where I can stare at it all day.   After work I eventually make my way home to see a few piles of dirt

I didn't think anything of it at the time but notice that white truck on the right of my bike.   I usually park in the  back under my carport

but they brought back the Deere machine and added a few inches of sand.

Then I notice that they also moved the Toilet booth under the carport which infringes on the space where I normally park my Vstrom, so I decided to just leave my bike out on the street in front of our house, lock it up with my cables and put my motorcycle cover over it

As I knew that workers would be here the next day to smooth out the sand and topsoil, I was respectful to park my bike at the end of our newly poured sidewalk to keep out of their way

Safe and sound, so I thought.    I didn't ride to work this morning as there was frost on my windshield and I don't ride when there is threat of slippage on the roads.   I commute to work in my commuter car (the Honda in the background) and when I come home after work I glance at my bike and I notice that

There are some scuffs on my bike cover and some dirt on my front wheel.   I decided to remove my bike cover when I notice

a broken left turn signal with bits and pieces of plastic on the ground.  My crash bar is also closer to the bodywork than the other side.   Further inspection reveals some scuff marks on my front fender

I look up and notice that my right signal stalk is also broken

On the ground is my broken RAM Mount

I am a bit confused, how could both signal lights be broken.  My bike cover is also shredded in a few different places on the left side too

I managed to find a few plastic pieces on the ground, along with my broken RAM mount.

It turns out that the white truck was returning with another load of topsoil and parked on the right side of my bike but due to the weight it rolled back and bumped into my bike on the right side where it fell onto the ground on its left/kickstand side.    The tailgate must have hit the right signal light directly and ripped the bike cover at the same time.   When it fell it scrapped the side cases and ripped the bike cover in several places as well as pushing in the crash bar.

After this happened they must have lifted the bike back onto its side stand but I knew the moment I saw it that something was not right

We immediately complained to the Contractor and it appears that it was already reported to them by the landscaper subcontractor.   I suppose that having more battle scars is a badge of honour.  

I wasn't very happy at the time but thankfully there are honest people in this world

Sunday, March 17, 2013

No it didn't snow, went for a ride

Ask any motorcyclist what the weather is, and they will immediately relay back the weather forecast.   I like to plan my weekends ahead of time so near the beginning of the week I start monitoring the advanced 5 day forecast, hoping for warm, sunny weekends

Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose.   In our area we have been lucky more often than we should where it would rain during the week, while we are at work and then like magic, the clouds disappear on Saturday mornings as if by magic

I can't tell you have happy we are to be living in this corner of Canada, on the Coast in Southern BC where we have mild Winters.   With the exception of a few hours of frost in the mornings, we are able to ride nearly every day.     Of course, I am not that lucky as I have to be at work before 8am so with the frost I cannot use my bike to commute, but the roads are usually clear by late morning.

With daylight savings time it is now bright in the mornings as I left home at 7:30am yesterday for my weekly rendezvous with my Saturday breakfast club.    It was raining lightly, then came down heavier as I was heading South on my short 30 minute ride to our breakfast table in Steveston.   I was just cruising, listening to my engine, shifting and my thoughts were thinking about some of my blogging friends who are still held hostage by the snow and ice, or the ice over mud in WI.

Here we are riding our bikes and enjoying the day while they are only dreaming of the time when Spring will come to their respective areas.   The air is fresh and cool but twisting your wrist and leaning into the corners is a sensation which brings a thrill no matter what time of year.

I find myself at the Steveston Government Wharf.    I come here often so you may recognize the fishing boats in the background.   Because of the rain and wind there are not many people walking about

There is another private wharf "down the way" which is usually crowed with parked cars.   Today there is no one here so I can pose my bike again

There is another small Marina a bit farther East which caters to commercial fishing boats, and again I stop.   I am just enjoying the day and being out with my bike

The road parallels the Fraser River and I stop again in a deserted parking lot.   As I was snapping this photo a rumbling HD passes by.   Another rider enjoying the day on his bike

I found myself on a less traveled road so I posed my bike, and then thought of ErikR who posed his Ninja in a similar manner but his bike was much closer

so naturally, I snapped a closer photo.   As I meandered my way beside the farmland I remember that there was a "meet the suppliers" day at my local BMW dealer 

Meet Mr Rok Straps, this is Dave.  He is the numero Uno and if you need to ask him anything, then just ask.   He is a Triumph Sprint Rider and originally from the UK

His products are so good that he uses them himself.   He was here for a few hours to demo his products and show you how to use them

No, your head is not crooked, I was trying for an artistic angle

While I was there I tried to snap a self portrait using the MotoGuzzi mirrored tank

I had to run a few more errands, check out some electronic stuff and I finally made it home about 8 hours later.   It really was a great day to be out riding