Saturday, February 22, 2014

M for Motorcycles

M stands for motorcycles, but it can also stand for Meh.  And that is exactly what it was last Saturday at the International Motorcycle Show in Seattle - Meh for Motorcycles.

Months ago, or even a few weeks ago, we had no intention of attending the show in Seattle.  We'd attended the one on Abbotsford, BC and figured we didn't need to go to another.  As the weekend approached our local weather forecast was for a lot of rain and high winds so we figured why not. It would give us an opportunity to compare the show in Abbotsford to the show in Seattle back-to-back.

The Seattle show was originally in December, the weekend before Christmas.  This show season they changed it to begin on February 14th, and was the last show of the tour.  We aren't sure if that is why it was so disappointing - thinking the vendors were just tuckered out by the end of the tour.....

Troubadour and I left the house at 8:30 am and listened to the rain fall in buckets the whole way. We finally turned the radio off, it was raining too hard to hear it.  We made a few stops along the way.  In Portland we stopped by Back to Eden Bakery for some black chai tea lattes with hazelnut milk, breakfast of kale/tomato cashew tarts, and we picked up some tasty treats to go.  We also stopped in Tumwater for petrol and Starbucks.  

We arrived in Seattle just before 3 pm and had a late lunch; a vegan Thai Buffet.  Maybe if we had of ordered off the menu it might have been better or if we arrived a little earlier, but it was certainly nothing to write home about. The problem with being a reasonably good cook is that you get disappointed a lot when eating out.  So without too much fuss we headed to the convention center to the show.

We found underground parking at the show and headed in.  The usual manufacturers all had booths:  Triumph, Suzuki, Kawasaki, Can Am, Yamaha, KTM, BMW, etc.  What was sadly lacking were the vendors.  Of course Progressive Insurance (sponsor of the show) was there and also Allstate Insurance coupled with a booth or two of custom ear plugs, anti-fog products, and rescue tape.  But that was about it.

The highlight of the show was the Sound Rider motorcycle display and the vintage bike display. Here are a few pics.


(2012 Ural Yamal)
(2014 Norton Comando)
(1994 Suzuki GS 500 - ridden to Alaska and back)
(2007 Excalibur Quad Cycle- Sidecar built by Liberty in Seattle)
(1975 Honda CB125 built by - Dar you need this)
(1964 Pointer Super Lassie, one of the last off the production line)

And the Fugliest Bike Award goes to this homage to the Seattle Seahawks.  It was really hard to look at.

(Damn, that is fugly........)


(1969 Honda CL 350)

(1937 Gnome Rhone - Model AX2, 800 cc)

(1924 Brough Superior SS80, 1000 cc)
(1951 Triumph Tiger 500)

Back out and wandering the floor we saw that Yamaha had another custom Bolt on display, this one customized by Doc's Chops (soon to be Hageman Motorcycles).  Now doesn't it look like it would be fun to ride?

Triumph also had a custom Scrambler that had been thoroughly enjoyed in the wild, as well as a few flat trackers and Latus Motors Thruxton customized for the salt flats.  They also had one of Elena Myers' Daytona 675R, but I didn't get a picture of it.  Quite a few people around it.

(Latus Motors rider Jason DiSalvo's Triumph Thruxton built by Dave Rosen)
The show was spread out (I think, to try and make it look larger) over two room at the convention center and were connected by a pedestrian walkway over Pike Street with the Pike Street Market in the background.  Here is my one non-moto photo taken that day.

We left the show after wandering for just 90 minutes or so.  A far cry from the 7 hours at the Abbotsford one.  Because of the location at the convention center, the Seattle show did not include any stunt shows or trials demonstrations.  How sad.

We had a bit of a drive to our hotel in Sea-Tac so we decided to forego dinner and had the leftover bakery items in our hotel, and watched something on the telly.

After a crappy night's sleep with high winds and sirens we headed home just after 8 am on Sunday morning.  Luckily we had mostly sunny skies, that is until we crossed over into Oregon and the rains started again.

I think this might have been our last Seattle Motorcycle Show.  We've gone to the last 5 in a row and are pretty much bored with them now.  The question is - do we go to next years Abbotsford show or just let it marinate for a year or two then go again?

- Au Revoir

" We all need empty hours in our lives or we will have no time to create or dream." - Robert Coles

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Snowpocalypse II, the Sequel

A succession of three storms began Thursday morning about 5 am.  It was 23˚F (-5˚C) and coming down fast.  I wish I had the camera with me waiting at the bus stop that morning.  I must have been quite a sight clutching my lunch bag and stomping my feet to keep warm as the snow piled up on the creases of my black jeans.

As the day wore on the snow didn't let up.  By 11 am, the courthouse sent everyone home and closed.  By noon Brad's work sent everyone home too.  He stopped by my office and waited for me to close.  It took him 45 minutes to get the 20 miles to town.  Our office had some stubborn clients that insisted they drive through the snow to sign their wills rather than reschedule for next week. There was a 20 car pile up on I-5 and it was closed Southbound by Albany.  Another crash south of Albany closed the northbound lanes.

We were finally ready to leave my office by 2:30.  By this time at least 8-10 inches of snow covered the ground and it was still snowing.

We hunkered down at home with the pellet stove blazing still amazed at another snowfall this winter.  The last was in early December - technically that was still Autumn.

Unfortunately, due to the driving conditions, we had to cancel plans of going to Portland Friday to meet up with a friend. I am sure the plans will be rescheduled, but it was still disappointing. 

It also snowed all day yesterday, but the temperatures were a little warmer - almost up to freezing. Another 8 inches or so fell during the day yesterday. This morning we woke to a good 16 inches of snow and had to dig the car out to go to coffee this morning.  Did I mention the freezing rain hit this morning too on top of the snow?

(Birdbath in the backyard yesterday)

(Another backyard picture - yesterday)

(The driveway this morning.  Car was bare when we parked it Thursday)

(Back tire after some shoveling)

(Our snowy front yard this morning)

(Rev'it riding pants and Bog boots - a waterproof combination for snow removal)

And I took a few photos on the way to coffee.

(Leaving the neighborhood)

We visited at coffee this morning for a few hours.  It was a small group.  PolarBear was there with his daughter and they'd picked up another friend that didn't want to drive in.  Just the 5 of us so it was nice to visit with a small group.

After coffee we stopped for a few groceries.  The rains are making the snow heavy and tree limbs are breaking and taking out power lines.  One grocery store was using back-up power so people could still shop, but no one could buy refrigerated goods.  If the temperature drops a little, they'll have to throw it all away.

So for now we are at home drinking mugs of hot coffee and enjoying the peace and quiet with nowhere  to be until Monday morning.  It is raining fairly heavy and the temperature is hovering just above freezing.  The streets are still full of snow.

A good day to watch a movie and dream of summer road trips on two wheels.

For those interested here are a few local news stations to view the coverage of Snopocalypse II.
KVAL              KPTV             KEZI  

And a link to local webcams at OSU:  LINK

- Au Revoir

" Winter is nature's way of saying 'Up Yours'." - Robert Brault