Saturday, December 5, 2009

Cold Canada

Yes, it's that time of year again. Winter in Canada. Not really biking weather. So last weekend I winterized the bikes, and stored them in the garage. Hopefully they will come out again in March, if we're lucky. We can still get snow in March, but you have to stay positive. If not, winter depression and easily get hold of you.

The way I look at it, to get thru winter is as follows. Only 20 days to Xmas. Then you bite the bullet in January to make it to February the 1st. After that you only have 28 days before you can get your bike ready for riding again. In the mean time I ready other people's blogs, and see the world on my computer screen.
A great blog that I can recommend is by Nicky Vaux & Adam Taylor. They are the clever ones that are currently in Laos, and enjoying nice hot and humid weather. A great blog. Very entertaining and informative.

Next weekend Dec 11-13 is the Toronto motorcycle show. We are planning to go on the Sunday and check out the new bikes. I hope to see the new 2010 BMW R1200GS. I can not buy it, but I am allowed to dream and drool.

In February Wolf BMW is having a Service Seminar for the F800 and F650 Twin (Denise's bike). We are planning to attend, and hopefully learn something about the working of her bike. I've done some work on the KLR and it a very simple bike to work on. The BMW is a different beast, and I don't have confidence yet to do any work on it. Hopefully this seminar will change it.

Look out for reports on the Toronto Bike show and the BMW service seminar. Since we are not riding now, I hope to keep on blogging on anything motorcycle related.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Friday the 13th

November the 13th, and the bikes are still out. Usually this time of the year the bikes are put away and winterized for the long, cold whiteout in the north.

This past Friday the temperature went up to 12C, so we desided to use the opportunity to go ride.

In Port Dover they have a biker get together every Friday the 13th. This has been a tradition for the last 15 years, so we desided to go see what all the fuss is about.

We left at 10am in the morning, and arrived in Port Dover 90 minutes later, and only sligtly chilled. Needless to say, if you had a bike and it's was not in storage yet, you did the run to Dover. I have never seen this many bikes together before.

We spent about 25 minutes riding round town looking for parking. Eventually we found parking in one of the side streets. After moving the bikes around to fit into the limited space, locking up our helmits and grabbing the camera, we were of to look at the spectacle.

One of the nicest tank paint jobs was one of the Joker. The owner of the bike was also around for some pictures, and one of the younger onlookers could be heard saying: This is treally bad-ass."

There was a Santa with a thong on a bike, who later was seen walking down main street with red leather chaps.

Our son didn't join us on this ride, but there were many amazing sport bikes that he would have enjoyed.

A big part of the whole thing is to be seen. Some people show up and just cruise around to be seen by all the onlookers. As you can see by these two, I dont know who took the longest blowdrying their hair.

It was a good thing to see some other dual purpose bikes as well. I guess this is what all adventure riders do when they don't have money yet to go on more interesting trips.

It was a bit of a chaotic scene, and not realy well organized. Getting anything to eat or drink was virtually impossible. I guess if you were prepared to stand in a lineup for two hours, you woud be able to still your hunger or thirst.

Round 2pm we left and rode to a Tim Horton's out of town to get some coffee, and made our way home.

In the end I must say that it's not realy my scene. But I think now we can say "been there, done that, and didn't get the T-shirt".

We did however have a good time, and it beats going to work anytime.

I think the best part of all is the fact that the weather allowed us to get another ride in.

At this moment it looks like I will be able to commute to work on the bike for another week, but then the bikes will be winterized till April next year.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Size does matter

There is a saying amongst motorcyclists: "there are two kinds of riders, those who have fallen, and those that are going to fall". Well I have finally graduated to the group that has fallen. I have been riding motorcycles on and of since I was 16 years old, and this is my first accident. I guess nobody is immune to the dangers of motorcycling.

It happened yesterday when I went home for lunch, and to let the dogs out for a pee. I stopped at an intersection very close to home. The traffic light was red, and I was in the Right Turn Only lane, waiting for an opportunity to do a right on red. In the lane to my left, for traffic continuing straight ahead, was a big dump truck.

All of a sudden, the idiot in the truck decides that he wants to make a right turn as well. He cranks her steering hard to the right, and just go. Needless to say, stationary motorcycle is no contest for a moving dump truck. His bumper hits me in the ribs, and I fall over. Luckily other motorists behind me start honking their horns, and the idiot stop.

Other people come help me to pick up the bike, and move it off the road. His excuse is the same standard one that all motorcyclist have heard before: "I did not see you".

There is hardly any damage to my bike. A small scratch on the end of the handlebar, and the road scraper on the right foot peg broke of. I don't corner that hard, so I have no need for the scraper anyway. I have a few bruises on my right knee, and my right ankle is sprained badly.

All in all I was very lucky. I wore all my riding gear, and that protected me. Without the proper riding boots, my ankle would have been seriously damaged.

Note to other motorcyclist. Always, and I mean always, wear your protective gear. The next thing is the shoulder check. We all know how to do it. You had to, to get your licence. But then we stop doing it. If I did my shoulder check, and continuously scanned my surroundings, I might have been able to get out the way.

Winter is fast approaching. So, lets ride while the weather still permits us.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Fall Colours

On Sunday morning we woke up late. Konstanz slept in till past 9:30am. Maybe we enjoyed the party too much.

Most of the adventure riders were getting ready to return home. They come up on the Friday and returned on Sunday to be back at work on Monday. Since we came up on the Saturday we had another day left to enjoy the trails and scenery.

We said bye to our new found friends and saw them off one by one. We had breakfast and started getting ready for a day of trail riding. This time we got dressed in full rain gear before we set off.

We started off taking the Trout Spawn Lake road to Dorset. This was a 2 hour ride thru the most amazing scenery you can imagine. The trail was not as challenging as we remembered from previous rides here. Maybe we are are just getting better at riding off road. It was still the most fun you can have on two wheels. Slipping and sliding, and rocks and dirt flying everywhere. I think that is why off road riding is so appealing to me. You get to play around in the mud like a kid, and the people that might frown on your immature behavior is not here to see you.

When we got to Dorset, we stopped for a bio break and had a snack, sat next to the river and enjoyed the scenery. We could not stop talking about what a great ride it was.

We then took off to look for some more trails that the riders we met the previous night, told us about. We played around for another 2 hours trying to find some more trails with limited success.
We started to get tired by this time and the sky threatened to break open over us. So we took off back to the hostel. When we got there we were both pretty cold, so we spent the next 30 minutes in the sauna warming up. We both had a shower and went for a well deserved afternoon nap. Life is so hard.
That evening we had dinner (a lot of food left over from the previous night) and chatted with other guests at the hostel. This was more the Eco Touristy type, but we had a great time talking to them.
On Monday morning we got up, had breakfast, and got ready for a cold and wet ride home. We had rain on and off the whole day but still enjoyed it. A bad day's riding is always better than a good day at work.

Adventure Rider Pow Wow

We got up early on Saturday morning and with partly cloudy skies we decided that we are going to do the trip. With winter getting closer this might be the last trip this year. We still had to pack, but by 10am we were ready and took off.
We went thru Waterloo and stopped at the West Montrose covered bridge. In this area the bridge is known as the "kissing bridge". This is also the last remaining covered bridge in Ontario.

We carried on, and after about another hour we realized that we need more layers of clothing. We stopped and dug in our bags to get some more clothes.
In this picture Konstanz just finished putting on tights. I could have taken a picture of him standing with his butt in the wind, but I thought some people might find it inappropriate to have nudity on this blog. I don't want to be flagged by the internet police.

We had an uneventful ride all the way to Huntsville where we stopped to buy some food and swing by the LCBO. At this point we were under a sunny sky, and it started to warm up a bit. We went in the local store, bought our stuff, and when we came outside, we saw the skies opened up and there was a huge thunderstorm on the go. Konstanz stayed with our groceries and I ran to the bikes to get our rain gear. We got dressed in our rain gear in the lobby of the grocery store. I think we were quite the spectacle and got some strange looks and some witty comments.
As we walked out the store in full monsoon rain attire, it stopped raining. No more rain and a beautiful rainbow stretching from horizon to horizon awaited us. This is the best picture I could get. I wasn't able to get the whole rainbow in one shot.

We only had about 35km to go to get to the hostel were we planned to stay the weekend. When we got there the sky was still threatening to lash out in a thunderstorm.

We also got a great surprise when showed up and saw that there was a group of adventure riders for the weekend. When I made our reservations earlier in the week I was told that there will be a group of adventure riders, but I was expecting to see about 6 to 10 bikes. Instead the group consisted of 40 riders. The great thing was that all the bikes were dual sport bikes and that they also liked to play on the logging trails in the area. There were KLRs, BMWs and KTMs everywhere. It was like being in motorcycle heaven. The interesting thing was that this group was not a motorcycle club, but just a group of adventure riders that met on the internet thru advrider, and decided to get away for the weekend and do some trail rides together. Check out , it is a great site for motorcycle travelers.

This was an absolute great group of people. They welcomed Konstanz and me like we were old buddies. As we got off our bikes they were there to greet us. They had a pot luck dinner and invited us to partake. In the picture of the food table it only shows about a third of all the food that was there. Amongst the things that we ate were, venison slices on cocktail buns and moose curry. There was food for Africa.

The interesting thing was that all this food was brought there on motorcycles. There was even a chocolate cake. I wasn't able to find the person who brought the cake (I would have liked to know how they managed to bring it there on the back of a motorcycle). But as one person explained to me: "just pack less clothes and more food".
They also had two kegs of beer (these were brought on a pickup) for everyone to enjoy. And did we enjoy.

We met great, friendly and interesting people from all walks of life, and the thing that brought us together was our passion for motorcycles. GREAT TIMES.

Thanks to all the guys and gals from advrider. We had a great time, and you made us feel like we were old pals.

Just a few more party pictures.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Weekend trip or not.

Since we were back at work after our trip, there were not any real travel news to update. It is hard being back at work after such a great experience. but I guess that is life for you. You have to work to get the money to do the things that you really enjoy doing. Now if I can only come up with an idea to travel on my bike, and get paid for it, life will be perfect. So if you have any ideas, or wish to sponsor us, do not hesitate to contact me with your proposal.

About 2 weeks ago we went for a long ride on the Sunday to Port Dover. We went with our friends Debbie and Sjon, and we all had a great time. We had great sunny weather, and had a fantastic lunch at Willies on the beachfront. We all liked Port Dover and will definitely go there again, maybe for a Friday the 13th rally.

Konstanz and I are planning to do a trip this weekend to the Algonquin area again. From what I can see on the web, it seems like the Fall colours are at their peak right now, and it should last for about another 7 days. Since we live in the Great White North, it is starting to get cold, and the weather this weekend might be wet and cold. So we plan to look at the weather tomorrow morning, and then determine if the trip is going to happen or not. So hopefully the weather will play along, and tomorrow night there will be an update with some fall scenery pictures.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Trip retrospect.

This trip was an experience of a lifetime. Denise and I enjoyed it so much, we could just have kept going. We missed the kids and couldn't wait to see them both. This trip was a test to see if we could live on the road for 2 weeks, and I must say it was fantastic. We both can (and will in the future) longer and more extensive trips.

As for the gear we picked prior to the trip, we were spot on with our choices. We had everything we needed and never during the whole trip did we miss anything that we should have packed. Our camping gear worked great, and we took just the right amount of clothes. We always had clean clothes, and only did laundry once after a week. With the gear we had we would be able to do a much longer trip without taking any more gear.

We covered 4125km in 2 weeks. That was too much distance covered in too short a period. Next time we will do less distance in a 2 week period or try to have more time to do a trip of this length. We passed interesting places but did not have the time to deviate from our route and explore a bit more. We planned on doing the Cabot Trail in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park, a must do for any motorcyclist, and just ran out of time. I guess that will have to wait for another day. We were 30 minutes away from Mount Washington in New Hampshire, and did not have the time to explore the area. I think in future doing 150km to 250km a day would be a more realistic goal and give us the freedom to explore more, and take some interesting side roads off the main route.

Camping. I am still in two minds about it. If the weather holds, it is always a great option. First off, you can save a lot of money on accommodation, and we both like the freedom of camping. Being outdoors in summer is also great. We both also find that you have a lot more privacy while camping. When you step out of your hotel or motel room, you are with other people. The only private space you have is in your room.

When the weather turns on you, camping can go pear shaped very quickly. Packing wet gear in the morning sucks big time. When your gear gets wet, you need good weather the next evening to give your tent some time to dry out. Camping is also time consuming. Getting a campsite is not always easy, and you can spend a lot of time driving around to find something suitable. The campsites are usually on the outskirts of town, and going into town and exploring and enjoying the night life is most of the time not practical. Packing up your gear in the morning also takes longer. On average it took us an hour longer in the morning before we could get going when we were camping.

On our trip we found that Ontario's accommodation is the most expensive. I personally think the most expensive in the whole of the American continent. So until we win the lottery, camping will always be in our future.

As for the bikes, they both performed excellently. The F650 was exceptional, on any kind of road. The KLR was great, seeing that it was loaded a lot heavier than the F650. The KLR had a bit of a hard time riding on the interstate highways. When it was revving high for and extended period of time it burned some oil. I knew this beforehand and took some motorcycle oil with, and topped it up when needed. Not a big deal.

Sharing the road with other vehicles. Drivers in the US are better than drivers in Canada, hands down. They stick to the speed limit, and generally are better, more relaxed, and more disciplined drivers.

Driving in Quebec is not as bad as everybody would like to tell you. Although Quebec drivers have a bit more aggressive driving style, they are generally better drivers and we did not have any issues with them. They kept their distance behind us, which is really important for a motorcyclist.

And then you get to Ontario, especially South Western Ontario. Here you have to be on the lookout for idiots all the time. They are always in a rush, aggressive and on their cell phones.

I have to agree with Herman's thoughts and wanted to add some of my own. I really loved the trip and Herman and I get along so well that most things we do together are fun. We have a balance where we allow each other to have our freedom even when we are doing things together, and it works for us.

Herman leads most of the time, mostly because he has the GPS, but in future we are hoping to get another GPS for my bike to switch this challenging role. It can ge difficult to check GPS and traffic and signs all in the middle of a busy Interstate, while taking care not to lose the bike following you, not to mention a little dangerous.

We would definitely do a blog (or website) again for our next trip. We would try to have more money as a buffer in case anything goes wrong.

Costs on this trip were what we budgeted and we were under on food and gas, we were over on accommodation, but overall we ended within $100 of our original budget - not bad for a first trip. We were spot on with "other", but this was mostly because of self control and limits on what you can take on a bike.

Accommodation was very interesting. We stayed in two really good motels - the Moose Creek Motel in New Hampshire, and the Skip Shipp Motel in New Brunswick. Their pricing was very similar. The three cheaper motels we stayed in, were what we expected and were adequate. The camp sites in New York State and Nova Scotia were much nicer than the site in Ontario, with more amenities. We stayed at the Coastal Inn in Dartmouth and that was a really great price and a good clean room with continental breakfast included and a small kitchenette in the room. They advertised a special rate if you stay at one of their other hotels in the Maritimes, but when we went to the next Coastal Inn in Fredericton, they did not know about this offer. In Port Hope we stayed at the Comfort Inn, which was the most expensive room we booked (we took a suite for our last night) and even though the room was great, the upholstery and carpet were more stained than the cheapest motel room we stayed in. Overall I can honestly say that the accommodations depend a lot on your own attitude.

It is really important to find someone you can trust and who has the same expectation from the journey as you. Try a few short trips before you pick a partner for a long trip where there is no escape. My riding partner is the best, but unfortunately not for rent or sale. Make sure you can ride your bike on all terrain for even just short distances. You will be challened with roads that you don't expect. I love my F650 and will recommend it for all types of terrain.

Friday, August 21, 2009

The End

When you travel through Canada, you always stop at Tim Hortons. It is the best known and best supported coffee shop in the country and often can be found south of the border too. Every man, woman and child know this place as the place to find coffee, tim bits (the middle of the donuts) and a lunch sandwich or cookie. We are not immune to the draw of Tim Hortons, and Herman is especially prone to make immediate left/right turns when he spots one on the way. I, on the other hand, am only interested in their peanut butter cookies, but not at the expense of safety. These off the cuff manouvres of his, have caused many an argument, but at least I am easily quieted by the purchase of one of their famous PB cookies... This time, on the way home, we decided it was time to take a picture of one such stop, at least this one was not at the risk of life and limb...

We found out late last night that there were several tornado touch downs and that Vaughan was declared a state of emergency after the storms that passed through. We were in the Inn only short while before the storm went through there, so we were once again lucky not to have camped last night!

We rode home this morning with a wet start, and went through the Durham region where a rather large tornado touched down, and the roads were already cleared of debris by around 11am. We saw some of the damage, but mostly were impressed with the cleanup that seemed to have achived quite a bit in such a short time.
We are amazed at the things we missed on the trip; I missed rice the most (I am sure I was oriental in a previous life) and Herman craved a toasted peanut butter sandwich (the man has no taste, except for marrying me). I didn't have rice for dinner, but Herman had the sandwich...
We're home now, and working out ways to do the next trip. I was really glad to see Konstanz and can't wait to see Dominique tomorrow. Herman was equally excited about seeing Konstanz and seriously misses his little girl. The german shepard is happy that some of her lost flock have returned, but the schnautzer was sleeping when we arrived, and was only excited once she realized it was us. The cats - well, let's just say, they're glad their staff have returned.
Sometime over the next few days we will summarize our overall indivual experiences of the trip and what we would keep the same or change on the next one, as well as the general thoughts on the service and driving in the four states and four provinces we travelled in. Overall we did 4,121km. We rock and we know it.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Day 13 - Sad way home

We were both awake before 6pm this morning. We left early and headed west and home. Througout the ride, I kept on thinking of positive things to make the return less sad, but I couldn't come up with anything, except that we both really miss Konstanz and Dominique. If not for them, who knows...

The morning started with sunshine and warm weather. A little way into our trip, I was cold, so we pulled over and I put my inner lining back into my jacket and chaps over my jeans.

When we got to Ganagoque, we took the thousand island parkway and stopped for a few photographs of the St Lawrence and one of the parks along the road. It is a spectacular view of the river and the "cottages" along its shores and on the islands. The sky darkened and it started to rain, so we pulled off to put on our rain pants. Once in Gononoque we stopped again to change our biking jackets for our rain coats. We took highway 2 for a bit, but traffic was too slow and rain was tapering off, so we could rid ourselves of the suits, and stopped along a country road where a few cows were chilling in the fields. Back onto the 401 west.
We decided to stop in Port Hope at the Comfort Inn and treated ourselves to some royal living and got a suite to celebrate the time we had over the last two weeks. When we watched the weather forecast for tonight and tomorrow, this was a great decision, because storms are expected all night, and camping would have been a challenge.

Dominique sent me a text that she was at my sister's house until Saturday when my parents will bring her home. I called her just to hear her voice.
Tonight is our last night on the road and we are both sad to have to see it coming to an end, but we are also looking forward to seeing the kids, dogs and cats (our regular zoo). Now we can start working towards our next trip.
Tomorrow morning we will ride back home on the backroads to make it a little more interesting than just the 401 and also because they call for rain again tomorrow. Welcome back to the colder, wetter weather of "summer" 2009 in Ontario.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Day 12 - Europe or Quebec?

We headed out from our Motel early this morning, and arrived in the old city in Quebec at 7am. Luckily you don't need to pay parking until 9am, so off we went into the European-looking city.

We parked near the Frontenac hotel and walked along beautiful streets lined with shops and restaurants. Old Quebec is known for it's many museums historical buildings and parks and especially for its European feel. I knew Herman would love it, but I underestimated how much. He was like a little kid at Christmas in and toy store with a blank cheque. I was slowly walking along, while continuously waiting for his to catch up because he was taking so many pictures. It was definitely worth weathering the storm to get here.

One of the most important things to do, was to have a croissant and coffee at an outdoor cafe, so we stormed into the first bistro that opened. Luckily the locals didn't mind accommodating our lack of French and we were soon sitting outside watching people commute to work, and some other tourists walking by.
We walked further into the old town, and came upon a small entry that we assume were for very small people, because even I would not walk upright into this doorway. Perhaps Dominique can (ha-ha).
The building with the blue window frames is the Quebec Chamber of Commerce.

Down the steep stairs we walked to discover even more beautiful streets and came across a store that is framed with a yellow border and lots of flowers, which only sells glass blown art.
There is so much to see in the city, that you need at least a week to see all the interesting places, but if you don't know at least a little French, it would definitely be a challenge - all the signs in Quebec is only in French, and everyone speaks only French.

At around 9am we had to get going to make it back to our bikes on time for the parking meter, so we started walking back. I realized after a few minutes that the road we were on wasn't going back the way we thought, and we had to turn around. In the lower part of old Quebec, there is a tram that takes you up to the upper levels, and we hopped on this. I got to the meter
with one minute to spare. Our parking spots were just outside the US Consulate, where full time security staff monitors the sidewalks outside the building. The guard on duty came over to us and started telling us about his bike, and we ended up discussing the insurance rates in Quebec for motorcyles, and I was totally blown away by how low they are. It makes me want to learn French and move there - if only it wasn't colder than Ontario. He gave us some directions of a scenic road back to the highway and off we went.

On the way to Cornwall we stopped at a few rest stops and took a few last pictures. We hit serious construction and traffic in Montreal, and just passed by thinking that the traffic is pretty much as bad as that of Toronto.
Once at the motel in Cornwall we were both in the shower in no time, and then off WalMart to buy some more motorcycle oil for the KLR. Now we're "chilling" in our room, and catching our breath for the rest of the road home.
So far, the travelling was great and we are enjoying every minute and we can both just keep on going. We are learning a lot about travelling on motorcycles and what works and what doesn't, but that will be shared later on.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Day 11 - Quebec

When you ride on a motorcycle you find many ways to pass the time when the road is boring, Charlie Boorman did wheelies and stood on his seat, I, on the other hand am a little less adventurous, but with my wonderful singing voice, I entertain myself with trying to sing songs as loud as possible without actually scaring the passing motorists. Herman and I don't listen to iPods when we ride, because we enjoy the feeling of being alone with our thoughts. Mine tend to lean towards the darker side, but that's another story. On with the road trip.
We realized that Herman's bike is less fuel efficient than mine, even though it's a smaller engine, but perhaps because of the gear and rider being a little heavier. We also realized that his bike gurgles down oil. Luckily Herman knew this and has oil with him on the bike. So when we stop at night, that's one more task to complete: check the oil in the KLR.
We said goodbye to New Brunswick and arrived in glorious heat in Quebec. Yesterday the temperature was 32.5 degrees C and today it was 31 degrees. Quebec features excellent rest stops along the retard highway, and the scenery is much improved with forests on both sides, and the inevitable signs of moose crossings. I am still perplexed by the evasive moves I will have to take, but I digress.

Sometimes when I stop, I check my cell to see if the kids have sent any text messages. When we crossed into Quebec it was the first time that I wasn't roaming for about two days straight. Most of NB was in a roaming area.
It was at one of these lovely rest stops (see pictures) when I noticed that there is a really dark cloud down the road, but with the heat thunderstorm or two can be expected. We both decided to head out and get wet to relieve some of the heat. A nice heavy downpour and some strong winds almost lifted me off seat, but the road was straight and with the roadworks making the road narrower and the traffic slower, we kept going. It lasted just for about 5 minutes and then the sun came out, so on we went. About 60km later another little spat, and then we were pretty much surrounded by dark clouds, and nearing Quebec City. Did I mention that it was now the middle of Tuesday afternoon rush hour traffic? Well, it was. Only now Herman is trying to navigate at the same time, and of course a car pulls inbetween us, and we cannot see each other. We have to go right, so I catch up with him again, and just then the skies open once again, and we pull off to the right of the highway under an overpass. Another motorcyclist (about 70 years old) is also there, and welcomes the sight of two other idiots on bikes in the storm. We spent ten minutes trying to communicate with our no French and his somewhat English and then the sun came out, so off we go into speeding traffic from the shoulder of a six-lane highway on a wet surface, but we all made the crossing over the bridge alive, despite the 1.5 m steel joints on the bridge (did I mention wet surface). I think some Country Singer can write a song about this...
Anyway, we head off down the other side thanking our lucky stars that we didn't skid out on the joints, when once again, traffic comes to an almost complete stop due to roadworks. There are now seven lanes of traffic reduced into five lanes of traffic, four different directions and the skies open again with the mother of all downpours. Rain suits were purchased prior to this trip, but they are on the back of Herman's bike, and you cannot stop in the middle of a highway to change gear, so we get soaked! I could actually feel the water run down my legs into my boots. Suddenly the traffic starts moving again, and the now four lanes are reduced to three and at least five cars cut inbetween our bikes, so now I cannot see Herman at all. It is still raining when I decide that the next exit looks like it has a biker on it, so I change lanes at the speed of pretty fast, and lo and behold it is Herman, but before I can catch up to him, a policeman on a bike cuts over the two lanes of the off ramp to get back onto the highway right in front of little old me, but we all make it safely to the traffic light. A few turns away, some more construction and we reach our destination. Needless to say there won't be any painting of the town tonight. We will head out first thing and see what we can see of the old city in the morning.
The motel owner was kind enough to let me dry our clothes in their dryer, so at least our jeans are dry. The boots and jackets will probably dry out on the road tomorrow.
Another adventurous day on the journey. And people ask me how we managed to stay married for this long...