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.