Monday, February 1, 2016

Will Travel for Motorcycles - The Sequel

**  I had every intention of posting this report a week ago. Unfortunately due to my work schedule and computer issues at home, that didn't happen.........
*   *   *   *
(Borrowed from Interweb)
In January of 2014 we travelled to Abbotsford, British Columbia to attend the Vancouver Motorcycle Show.  We made a weekend of it and travelled with PolarBear (Andy) and his wife SweetPea (Karen). You can read about the trip at this LINK.

Last September we hatched a scheme to attend again this year. Rooms were booked at the Best Western Plus Regency Inn and Conference Centre and then we waited. 

Last Friday on January 22, 2016 we set the alarm for 4 am to get ready.  We drove across the valley to PolarBear's and piled in his rig.

It was an uneventful ride north on I-5 with intermittent rain.  We stopped for coffee and snacks along the way. We crossed the border at Sumas.

We arrived in Abbotsford early afternoon and ran a few errands before checking into the hotel.  For some reason we were given the exact same room we had last time.  Room 312. A very nice suite with a mini kitchen.  They have redecorated since 2014, so the room is even nicer than it was. This Best Western is one of the cleanest hotels we've ever been to.

For dinner Friday night we decided on Boston Pizza.  They have a lot of choices and we could have a drink or two as well.  

After eating entirely too much, we retired back to the hotel with plans to meet the next morning.

Saturday morning we met PolarBear and SweetPea in the lobby and headed out to the show after a brief detour to an ATM machine.  We arrived a smidge later than last time so there wasn't any line-up, although there seemed to be a lot more people in attendance.

I didn't seem take as many pictures as I typically do, but the camera did come out a few times. The overhead lighting was not my friend, so the quality of pics isn't great, but I'll share them anyway.

(Honda CB500x)

(Alas we could not enter to win - Canadian residents only)

(Troubadour on a Victory)

(How about a sparkly Harley?)
After wandering around looking for a few hours we were hungry for lunch. Luckily they had food trucks set up outside so people had an option besides the burgers a fries from the Tradex food court.

We decided on a veggie wrap from the Bobbies Indian food truck.  Yummy!

(Photo above borrowed from the Motorcycle Show's Facebook page)
Our phones weren't working well in Canada but SweetPea's was so she suggested sending Princess ScooterPie a text message to see if we could connect.  As we were wrapping up lunch Dar was at the food court with her Farkle Garage posse having lunch.  We met her there and we able to talk for a few minute and exchange hugs.  No one thought to get out the camera.  No pics.....did it really happen?

We left her to finish her lunch and went back to wandering.  We still had half the show to peruse.

Soon after lunch I came to my favorite bike of the show.  It was like seeing a flying car.  I'd heard about them, but didn't know they actually existed yet.  Behold the Ducati Scrambler Sixty2 in Ocean Grey color.

(2017 Ducati Scrambler Sixty2, 399 cc)

(399cc, 41hp, 403 lbs wet weight)
We spent quite a bit of time at the Ducati booth.  Both the Scrambler Sixty2 and the regular Scrambler caught our eye.  We have a friend who bought a Ducati Scrambler Urban Enduro last fall and loves it so much he is selling both his Triumph Tigers.  Hmmmm.

Also seen at the show........

(Yamaha XSR900 - pretty)

(Yamaha MT-10 - we won't be seeing these south of the border)

Another bike we were surprised to see was the prototype of the all new Suzuki SV650. I knew they were coming out with them, but had no idea we'd actually get to see one in person.  Upon sitting on it, I found the gas tank was a little narrower than on my Gladius and the seat was also a smidge lower. Me thinks it will be a bigger seller than the SFV 650 Gladius.

(Troubadour on the Suzuki SV650)
(Another shot of the Suzuki SV650)

(PolarBear on a Hayabusa - if your hat is backwards you're going faster, right?)

(Loved the color of this Moto Guzzi V7 II)

(Moto Guzzi V-7)
As soon as Troubadour tried on the helmet seen below, PolarBear proceeded to inform him he "looked like he had a bucket on his head." It did make him seem a little like a bobble-head.

(Troubadour in a Shark helmet)

The Honda booth was prominent when one entered the show.  The Africa Twin display was front and center (centre).  When we arrived that morning there were too many people oohing and ahhing that we couldn't get near it.  Not so on the way out.

(Troubadour on the Honda Africa Twin)

(I preferred the color combination of the other one on display)
We left the show at 5 pm after walking around for 7 hours.  We were all beat and looking forward to dinner out.

We decided on Mr. India as recommended by the front desk staff of the hotel.  It was a fabulous little hole in the wall with wonderful food.

From there we all retired to our respective hotel rooms until Sunday morning with plans to meet and head home.

We met Sunday morning and after a quick stop at Tim Hortons made a run for the border. We finally arrived home just after 6 Sunday night.

It was an awesome weekend spent hanging out with great friends and checking out cool motorcycles.  The show may not be something to do every year, but we sure enjoy the every other year road trip.

Thank you for driving Andy!!

- Au Revoir

" Travel, in the younger sort, is apart of education; in the elder, a part of experience." - Francis Bacon

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Yeasty Beasty New Years Day Ride

A few weeks ago plans were hatched for a New Years Day ride.  The forecast was for sunny, but chilly weather.

I waffled back and forth between riding Max or riding pillion behind Troubadour.  There were pros and cons to both options.

While I wanted to ride my own ride, I worried about not having any kind of windscreen on Max. On the other hand, on Max I have heated grips and could use my heated jacket liner too.

I haven't ridden pillion in a few years so I felt it would be an adventure in and of itself. And, if my hands got too cold, I wouldn't have to worry about trying to operate the controls with numb hands.

A final check of the weather forecast Thursday night led me to err on the side of caution and I decided to ride pillion.

We woke Friday morning to 28˚F (-2˚C).  With wind chill calculated at 8˚F (-13˚C) I started layering; knee high stockings, long underwear, knee high moto-cross socks, yoga pants, and a turtle neck with a short sleeved performance shirt over top.  In my Rev'it riding pants I zipped in the quilted liner, but left out the rain liner. My Rev'it jacket had both the rain liner (for wind protection) and quilted liners installed.

(The view out our front window - frost on the Fiat and kids playing on the ice on the road)
We arrived at Coffee Culture around 10 am.  I think we were actually one of the last to arrive. Melissa arrived in her car due to her Triumph Daytona liking cold weather even less than Troubadour's Triumph.  There were 7 of us total; 5 bikes, 6 riders, and Mel in her car.

We sat, drank coffee and/or tea, and discussed potential routes.  At 11:00(ish) David started rousting us to get moving.  As we geared up I snapped a few pics.

(Mel, Bob, Jay, and David)

(Bob's MultiStrada, PolarBear's Tiger, Troubadour's Tiger)

(Bob's brand new - one day old - 2015 Ducati MultiStrada 1200S Touring)

(Lucy - Troubadour's Tiger)

(Photo by Melissa - folks getting ready)
Right after this picture was taken is when Troubadour attempted to start his beloved Lucy.  No bueno. The battery issues of last summer had followed her into the cold winter days of January.  Luckily, Jay keeps a set of jumper cables in his BMW and he was able to give her a boost.  Thanks Jay!  Soon after we were off.

We decided to forgo the original 88 mile route of Troubadour's and instead ride to Falls City to see if the Bread Board Artisan Bakery was open.  It wasn't.  On to Monmouth to the Yeasty Beasty.  A quaint little pizzeria and micro brew place. According to their website they are the home of "Pizza, Beer, and Fun".

(Our route from Corvallis to Falls City)
On arrival we noticed there was a large group of 15 or so motorcycles, mostly large cruisers, parked across the street.  Other brave souls out for a ride in the cold.  They too were partaking at the Yeasty Beasty.  Their riders took up a good portion of the restaurant but there was still a corner booth for the 7 of us.

We all ordered hot coffee or tea and perused the menu.  I decided on the mini veggie pizza with no cheese and Troubadour had the Mediterranean mini pizza with no cheese.  Sorry no food porn.  My camera was in my riding jacket at an adjacent table and inaccessible.   Well, I could have tried to retrieve the camera but it would have meant me squeezing out of the back of the booth while repeating, "excuse me, pardon me, excuse me", all to do it over again as I performed some type of yoga move trying to get back to my spot.

The service was good and the pizza tasty.  We'll definitely go back again.

Sufficiently sophonsified we started suiting up and headed outside to point the bikes towards home.   The cruiser riders had left just prior to our departure.  I snapped a quick picture.

(Other riders out braving the cold)

(Ducatis, Triumphs, and BMWs, oh my)

(The line-up in front of the Yeast Beasty in Monmouth, Oregon)
The ride home was uneventful, and that is a good thing.  The temperatures were a little warmer too, which was nice.  We headed east towards Independence then south on the Independence/ Corvallis Highway.    Melissa played tail gunner/sweep in her car for us and took a few pictures with her cell phone.

(random photo by Mel taken along the Independence Highway)

(Some nice 15mph corners - Jay on the left, Troubadour and I on the right - photo by Mel)
Folks peeled off in different directions along the way depending on where they called home.  We arrived home just after 2 pm.  First thing I did was to put my feet in hot water in the bathtub.  They were so cold even though my hands weren't too bad.

(Our route from Falls City, to Monmouth, then back to Corvallis)
To read Troubadour's take on the trip click this ----> LINK.

While I don't make New Years resolutions, I do hope to get out and do more riding in 2016.  I wish everyone a happy healthy 2016. 

- Au Revoir

"A happy New Year! Grant that I may bring no tear to any eye. When this New Year in time shall end, let it be said I've played the friend, have lived and loved and labored here, and made of it a happy year." - Edgar Guest

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Opting Outside

This year REI started a campaign in which they closed their store on the Friday after Thanksgiving (Black Friday) and gave all their employees the day off with pay.  They also urged others to 'opt outside' instead of shopping. The State of Oregon also decided to waive all parking fees at any State Park for the day.

Friday morning the temperature in Corvallis was below freezing at 20˚F (-6.6˚C). While that was not encouraging for motorcycling, we did opt to get outside anyway.  We chose to take the Fiat and drive to the coast where the high temperatures were forecast to be at least 50˚F (10˚C).

Our destination was Lincoln City.  A group gets together a few times a year and hides glass floats on the beaches - they call them "glass art drops".  There were 100 glass floats to be hidden for Thanksgiving.

(Corvallis , OR to Lincoln City, OR via Hwy 99w and Hwy 22)
We took the route in the screenshot above and arrive in Lincoln City about 1 pm.  We stopped at the Jasmine Thai restaurant for lunch.  It wasn't great, but at least they have vegan options when you ask them to omit the egg.

After lunch we tried looking for beach access that wasn't too busy.  No such luck and we weren't willing to brave the crowds to search for the floats.  We drove a little south on Highway 101 and stopped at a State Park in Gleneden Beach where we watched the ocean and took a few pictures. I was surprised at how loud the waves were when breaking.

(Pacific Ocean at Gleneden, OR)

(Looking southwest at Gleneden, OR)
After a few minutes we went a little further south and Troubadour turned down a side road towards the beach.  We parked and watched two surfers paddle in the water.

(A surfer, just south of Gleneden, OR - photo taken through tinted windshield)
Further south we drove until we arrived at Fogarty Creek State Park.  A place we've never stopped in all the times we've driven Hwy 101.  There weren't too many cars in the parking lot, which was promising.  After parking it is a short walk along the creek and under Hwy 101 to the beach. Luckily the tide was on its way out.

(Looking southwest at Fogarty Creek State Park)

(Looking North at Fogarty Creek State Park)

(Starfish in the tide pool)

(Troubadour showing off his find - he put it back in the water just after the picture)

(A second starfish was also spotted by Troubadour)

(My Oakleys were no match for the bright sunshine - and yes I cut off my long hair back in January)

(Troubadour went for a climb)

(I zoomed out for scale - this is the same rock formation as in the first pic I took at this beach)

(Sun starting to go down)
As the sun began its descent, we started retreating inland and to the north to get back into the sunshine.  We seem to have found the 'golden hour', as Dom would call it.

(Troubadour spooking a seagull)

(the ebb and flow of the tide)

(Shadow play)

(Notice the concrete support pillars and that the fence on the left is just hanging)

(Starting to see some nice reflections on the water)

(Troubadour takes a break)

(Interesting caves eroded into the cliffside)

(Looking north- we eventually sat on the medium rock in the foreground to watch the sunset)

(Trees surviving in the wind and salt spray)

(The Pacific Ocean at Fogarty Creek State Park)

(Trobairitz and Troubadour)

(Seagull carrying around a starfish)

(The colors really starting to show)

(Thinking of Bobskoot - we had to take a shoe picture)

(When zoomed in the colors are brighter with the Canon)

(Troubadour by the sea)

(Troubadour had the idea to take a picture through my polarized Oakley lenses)

(Getting lower.......)




(Almost back at the parking lot)
As we were walking back to the parking lot we marveled that the sun we had just watch set on Friday at 4:30 - 5:00 pm was the same sun that folks in New Zealand were seeing at 12:30 - 1:00 pm on Saturday. Now that is amazing.

Back in the parking lot we saw the bridge below and the signs for the Oregon Coast Trail (OCT). The OCT is a hiking route along the Pacific Coast in Oregon approximately 425 miles in length. MAP

(Wooden bridge with Oregon Coast Trail sign)

(Close up of the bridge/sign)
We headed south into Newport so that we could stop at Starbucks for hot chai tea soy lattes.  A nice way to end the day.  Traffic was surprisingly light on the way home via Highway 20.  We arrived home about 6:30 pm and the temperatures had once again dipped down below freezing.

(Our route from Lincoln City home to Corvallis via Newport)
The rest of the weekend saw overnight lows in the 20s and high temperatures in the low 40's. We did not get outside much.  Saturday we went to coffee and ran a few errands and Sunday we bummed around the house and went and fetched groceries.

I am happy to report our temperatures have finally returned to normal for this time of year (lows in the 40's).  Good timing since the rains have returned.

- Au Revoir

"Thanksgiving Day comes, by statute, once a year; to the honest man it comes as frequently as the heart of gratitude will allow." - Edward Sandford Martin