January 31, 2011

My reward for a busy week

After three weeks sans riding, Nella and I are back on the road, and although I didn't have her on a battery tender she started on the first push of the starter button. Good girl!
These farm roads are not very busy on a Winter Sunday.
Catching myself in the mirror.
Some barn porn. Being a city brat I always enjoy the picturesque scenery of farm land.
If if wouldn't be for yellow Nella, this picture would have been as pretty in black and white. A Thruxton would have gone nicely with a B/W shot in front of the barn...
View of clear blue skies and snow capped mountains. And yes, the gras is green, even in January.
Not being equipped with heated gear, the cold starts to set in, and it is time to return home. The wind gusts make the ride somewhat difficult, and it is really tough to keep a straight line.
Back home Nella says hi to her new neighbour.

Distance: 148km (92mi)
Weather: Sunny,  wind gust 39 km/h, 3C (37.4F)

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For Lori (beemergirl)
Thanks for the inspiration!

January 23, 2011

The Show

Between (too much) work and home renovation we took a few hours off and visited the Vancouver Motorcycle Show. Not only that entry fee and parking is much cheaper, it's also close to home, and all the brands that I had missed so dearly on the Seattle trade show were present. Why did we even bother to visit event in Seattle in the first place?
 
I was still looking for a winter ride (although we are back again to balmy temperatures and torrential rains), and found a Royal Enfield with a Cosy(?) sidecar. But I also wouldn't mind getting me one of those: A Yamaha TW200. I definitely like the big knobby tires.
Of course my main interest was to take a gander at the new Triumph Tiger 800 series. And I was not the only one, there was a huge line-up. Everybody wanted to try it. Finally it was our turn, and while I ended up dangling my legs in mid air, it still wasn't high enough to provide a comfy position for hubby.
The Tiger XC is somewhat an eye catcher, the stripped version however, is not. It was bland, boring and made me want to have a look at the original:
 
And while the BMW F800GS was intimidating, when I had the opportunity to ride pillion with my friend Guido on a Christmas morning in 2009, this bike felt darn right 13 months later. No baby Tiger for me, I'm gonna stick with the original!

There is however a certain Triumph that has a special place in my heart. The new Thruxton. Sigh!
And come February the friendly neighbourhood dealer of  BMW and Yamaha will also become the new official dealer for Triumph... food for thoughts.

January 12, 2011

I want donuts!

I am not talking Krispy Kreme or Tim Horton's. We have heavy snowfall warning in the Vancouver area. For a change the weather forecast is correct, and the flurries have indeed already begun to cover the roads. So, no more riding for Sonja & Nella until the white stuff goes away.

Meanwhile Charlie6 a.k.a. Dom from redlegsrides and Chris from everydayriding have a blast with their winter escapades and spin said donuts on frozen lakes or even in front of the house with under age passengers on board. After enjoying their videos I did the next best thing and googled... THIS!
The Kendrick Family's BMW F650GS with Sputnik Sidecar as featured in the 2005 Issue of the BMW Owner's News Magazine! A Sputnik sidecar, and it comes in yellow! Ah, this would be the perfect winter ride. Alas this model doesn't seem no longer available. But wouldn't that be something? One can dream...

January 09, 2011

Never looking back

Screen shot taken from a highway camera close to my former home in Alberta. Brrrr. I guess I wouldn't be riding under these conditions and suffering from cabin fever. Once more I am thankful that I was given the opportunity to move to the albeit occasionally quite rainy but much warmer We(s)t Coast. Life can be good.

January's First Outing

With great anticipation I watch the thermometer climb above 0C (32F). I am really excited to get out, and bordering on impatience because getting dressed takes forever today... three layers of everything. But no, I don't need no stinkin' heated vest.
With no particular direction in mind I meander along Fraser River towards the coast and finally end up in Ladner.
Except for a short hailstorm which make for some funny noises on my helmet and visor, weather and temperatures are bearable. I am happy to see at least five other motorcycle riders on the road. Way to go, guys! (No gals on bikes to be seen though.)
On the last stretch riding home the cold is finally creeping in. I start shivering a bit and crank up my heated grips to the max. Maybe a heated vest is not such a bad idea after all. Back home a hot shower marathon ensues, meanwhile hubby makes me a steaming bowl of chicken noodle soup. Life is good!

Keep sMiling!

Distance: 132km (82mi)
Weather: Cloudy, 4C (40F), short hailstorm

January 04, 2011

Winter Wonderland - West coast style

We came HOME last night (yes, big letters). The trip to Germany was fun and it was good to see family and friends, but the thing that we call life happens here in Canada, and we are thankful for having the option to chose between two great places to live.

This time we flew from Duesseldorf to Amsterdam to Seattle and drove back to Vancouver. All in all fairly uneventful except for the long line-up at US immigration. Having traveled all over Europe without ever showing my passport, it never ceases to irritate me when the authorities request to take my picture and finger prints every friggin' time I cross the border. Come on, I haven't changed in ten days... Since it usually doesn't serve the process to start arguing with a customs officer I went opportunistic and kept my mouth shut (with a 'but...' on my tongue and a forever digitized 'whatever-look' on my face).

Today I was waiting for the frost covered roads to thaw up but the shadows never left the streets, hence my bike had to stay indoors.
It was foggy with temperatures around minus 3C (26F), so decided to go out for a stroll in the fields and meadows instead.
The hoar frost re-sculptured trees and branches, and made for a slippery walk on the dykes.
Towards noon the fog gave way to Mrs Sun and Mr Blue Sky. Canada has a lot of beautiful places but every time I am in 'my' meadows I feel the most connected to this land.
The ever present Mt. Baker is calling me over for a visit, but this beautiful piece of geomorphology is located in the States and has to wait until I am ready to have my picture taken... again!
Why aren't there more songs and poems about Canadian landscapes?
Even a simple point and shoot camera can create pictures like paintings from this.
 The road doesn't show but it is covered with frost from the receding fog.
Icicles hanging from the trees reflect the sunlight.
Pitt Lake landing is abandoned. Although the lake is open there is no boat to be seen.
The bog is in winter mode, frozen solid and waiting for better times to come.
A good walk in familiar places is a great energizer after a long journey. Life is good!

Keep sMiling.

January 01, 2011

Drool-Time 2011

HAPPY NEW RIDING YEAR!

Here's something that will definitely sweeten up my bitter (cold and rainy) Winter days:

from January 20 to 23
at the Tradex Exhibition Center 
in Abbotsford

Gotta love their slogan: