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 . . .

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Easily out of breath

The other day I rushed home from work, changed and hopped on my bike .  We live one block off a bike

route.  There are several bike routes around Vancouver.   North to South and then East to West.   Lots of valuable info here .   You can download the map here .    Here I am crossing a major artery and for bikes, you can control the signal lights to cross by pushing the button

Soon I find myself at Queen Elizabeth Park more info  here2  

I'm not used to all of this exercise so I stop to rest.  It was uphill nearly all the way

In most of our parks, you are not allowed to ride your bike so when I see other people I dismount and walk

This is the highest point in Vancouver.  This is where our drinking water reservoir is located,  underneath where I am standing.   At one time it was a large man made lake with a fence around.   The City decided to put on a cement cover for a parking lot and then install this water feature

In the background you will notice the Bloedel Conservatory.   Inside are many varieties of flowers and birds flying around.   It is an inside tropical garden  (info here3)    Not long ago it was going to close due to lack of interest but now the City has decided to refurbish the dome at a cost of Millions of $$

I can help myself.  When I see water I just have to play in it

The water sprays different patterns . . .   and I believe there are also lights which can be turned on in the evenings

    My version of a Selfie

Hard to believe that not more than 2 months ago I could hardly walk.   All seems nearly normal now but I do take it easy and take care to not stress myself .        NO, these are not my shoes.  

See,  I'm not alone in shedding my shoes

There she is on the other side in the stunning, orangish dress with the high slit  (not that I was paying that much attention)

I ride over to the other side of the Bloedel Conservatory and you can see Downtown Vancouver in the distance.   At one time you could drive up here and watch the "submarine" races .  Ah,  the good old days

Vancouver is surrounded by mountains on the North.   It is hard to get lost here.  You are taught from a young age that the mountains = North

Queen Elizabeth Park  (QE park for short) is known for their gardens.   It is built on an old volcanic crater.   This is the sunken garden

Sort of has that Butchart Gardens feel . . .

It's been a while since I have been on the lower level

Here, at the top there is that pedestrian bridge which goes over a small creek, which then waterfalls down to the bottom

There are also many flowers which I noticed were recently planted

This sculpture looks like a piece of white cheese

and I was not the only one enjoying the view

This is another garden looking towards the East

And I met some new friends today . . .

not very talkative though . . .  but I think they liked my bike

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Temperature Gauge and Evaporative Cooling Vest

from    I wrote about receiving a box  Part 1  and then I opened the box and wrote about it here  Part 2   .

You know how I like to keep new things in their box but I relented and tried to figure out where I wanted to mount my new Formotion Thermometer  (link to product here)

I imagined it mounted to my handlebar but I didn't buy the mount

Then I thought about mounting it on my Madstat windshield bracket.  I know it would vibrate more but then again this thermometer is shock resistant and waterproof to 5 ATM

There are not a lot of places to put this Formation Thermometer and I wanted to be able to see it without looking down nor away from the road

It comes with a simple flat bracket with a slight bend and I wanted to keep it stock and not try to bend it too much

I found a high strength plastic mount from a bicycle store and tried out the mirror stem but it seems too distracting being so high

I decided to mount the bracket facing down so now it is tucked behind the brake fluid reservoir

Seems like a good place for it.   Will just have to leave it there for a while to see if I like it there.  My old digital thermometer is just to the left.  It is not waterproof but it survived the trip across the country last summer and it still works

The new Formotion Thermometer is very easy to read and does not require a battery.   The LCD one is hard to read in the sunlight and I removed it this evening

Generally when I buy clothing I keep it for a year or so before I get around to opening the package.  And removing the tags is an ordeal.    Here are the tags, which are still attached

I sure could have used this Evaporative Cooling Vest last year   (link to product)     It was my intention to buy one whilst "on the road" but I didn't go out of my way to find a motorcycle dealer and  they aren't stocked locally as we don't get that hot here.   Thinking back on it now I think I should have just ordered it on-line from   and then I would have had it

Here it is out of the package.  I noticed immediately that this garment is designed in California, USA

Not sure where it is made but it would be made to American standards so you shouldn't be concerned about the quality

Here I am modeling it for you.   Fits snug as a glove and it should so that you can get the full cooling effect .  Notice that the tags are still attached

Here's a closer view.  Of course in warm or very hot weather I would be wearing this over my tank top, but under my riding jacket so that the moisture doesn't evaporate so fast

Then I thought that perhaps it would be better to ditch the tank top, especially if it was 100°F like it was for weeks on end when I was crossing the middle of the USA in a prolonged heat wave

I'm trying my best to hold in my stomach.   I have lost nearly 6 lbs over the past 3 weeks but it is hard to hold this level.    I can't stop eating.   Right now I have been hovering around the 180 lb level.  I made it down to 178 lbs for 2 days and this morning I was 179 lbs.    Ever since  Richard and David started to gain ground on me I have been trying my best to adhere to a more stringent eating regimine.   I noticed that both of them are not posting their weights anymore so I don't know what progress they are making

So far I am liking this vest but it's still too cool to test it out and we are forecast for spotty rain the next few days and I will have to remove the tags when I soak it in water

Oh, by the way . . .   also sells the Viking line of Jackets and Motorcycle luggage.

Click here for   Viking Jackets  or   here for  Viking Bags