February 28, 2011

Fade to black and white

The voice of reason (a.k.a. hubby) told me not to go out on any wheels, not on four and certainly not on two. We got about a foot of snow overnight.
While left with legs as the only means of transport for today I walked along the shore close to home.
I am not a big fan of the white stuff but I enjoyed my outing nevertheless. The snow smothered the usual background noises of the city. It was quiet except for the crunchy noises of walking in the snow.
It might take awhile before this bench will be back to its usual duties.
These palms are certainly not amused about being covered in a layer of white stuff,
while this fella in the background seems to be happy (as long as it lasts).
I am so lucky to be able to live in a spot like this, with the inlet shore and its park only a quick walk away, surrounded by mountains, yet close to the city. Life is good!

February 26, 2011

No way!

Hey, this is not what I signed up for when I decided to move to the We(s)t coast. Snow be gone! Bring on the rain and decent temperatures.

February 20, 2011

February ride

I am headed toward Harrison Hot Springs, a motorcycle welcoming village located in the beautiful Fraser Valley. I enjoy my solitude. I am not in the mood for food, company or even photo ops. It is one of those days, when pure riding is enough.
These few pictures are taken during a warm-up stop. It is getting colder and colder while I am riding Eastwards.

The spa town seems still in hibernation. Only a few other riders (all male, where the heck are the ladies?) are warming up in one of the few open restaurants. 
I enjoy the marvelous view on the glacier fed Harrison Lake with its snow-capped mountains. East of the lake are the Lillooet Ranges while to the west are the Douglas Ranges.

The weather is lovely given that it is only February but the wind gusts make me curse more than one time as they keep pushing my bike towards the wrong side of the road or into the ditch.
On my way back a bright shiny barn catches my eye. The beautiful building is the North Fraser Firehall #1.

So far the Olympia jacket has done a good job in these temperatures. Towards the end of my three and a half hour ride I am getting cold but it is still above my level of discomfort. I am not shivering, partly thanks to those heated grips. I am loving it! As long as my fingers keep warm, the rest of my body seems to do just fine.

Distance: 210km (130.5 mi)
Weather: Sunny, wind gusts, 6C to 2C (42.8F to 35.6F)

February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day Special

Cards? Chocolates? Flowers? A cute little fuzzy stuffed animal? NOT FOR ME! I am a Valentine Grinch if such a thing exist. I throw out a card after I read it, I buy sweets myself when craving occurs, and flowers are best kept in Mother Earth, and not ripped out and left to dry. I also have a sadistic streak that might lead to playing hangman with a stuffed toy.

My better half knows about my feelings towards forced upon rituals by society, and makes every effort to surprise me with gifts when I least expect it.
Last weekend we came by my favourite motorcycle shop. We browsed around, and while I briefly flirted with an R1200R, hubby discovered some Olympia AST jackets on sale. He pulled a bright one out and said, here this looks like a safe colour, I want you to wear it, this will be your Valentine. Of course I oblige, the jacket fits, it's yellow, and now it's mine.

Can you see me now?

LOVE IS... if your non-riding partner buys you motorcycle gear.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Sick of being sick

I have been down with the flu for the better part of the week, and spent most of my time confined to indoors. By Saturday I suffered from cabin fever more than anything else, but there were chores to do and it rained endlessly.
Today I sneaked out under the worried eyes of hubby reminding me, you are still sick, you know... and spent one and a half blissful hours in fresh air, just riding, and only with a quick stop at the ferry dock in Horseshoe Bay.

I have my Zen back.

Distance: 86km (53.4 mi)
Weather: cloudy, 8C (46.4F), calm

February 13, 2011

Travel Pod

When it comes to motorcycling I am usually very low tech. I hate carrying around the weight of items that might or might not be needed, and my interest in gadgets is very limited.  I barely even use a GPS although I have a RAM mount for it. My emergency kit for day trips merely consists of cell phone, camera and credit card.

Since I am riding solo quite often the only thing that kept bugging me was if I wanted to take the occasional picture with myself in it. I have a travel tripod, but it is too bulky and heavy to carry on a motorcycle.

Today I found a thing called Gorillapod in the friendly neighbourhood camera shop, and took it home.
The pod in its natural habitat. It opens up a whole new world of awkward camera positions that one never thought of before. I am pretty sure this accessory will be fun to travel with.

February 09, 2011

One more reason to ride

While surfing the net I recently came across this posting: riding-motorcycle-can-burn-calories! Well, if that isn't good news. Just go ride, and lose weight! The blogger explains the weight loss potential with using more muscles, being exposed to wind and weather, and not being able to snack. So far, so good. In theory that is. One caveat is my (and probably that of many other riders) motto: Ride to eat! To boldly dine where nobody has dined before. I often remember a place by the food I had there, good or bad. If you hear me talking about a location being nice, but... it usually has something to do with a not so exciting culinary encounter.

 Picture taken from here

I have had good meals pretty much everywhere. But one of my most memorable meals happened back in April 1994 at a small restaurant in Colle di Val D'Elsa, Tuscany, Italy. An eight course dinner with eight different wines. Ever since I associate Italian cuisine with positive culinary experience.

Of course there were plenty of average and bad food, too. Quite constant in their low quality standards was British pub food in the Manchester/Liverpool area. They really master the art on how to murder a meal and destroy their guest's taste buds. I will not tell any names but is was close to Alsager, where I almost went vegetarian. On the plus side, I learned to appreciate the Eastern Indian cuisine.

However, coming back to the point of my story: Riding and losing weight! Doesn't work for me. I want to go places and eat there, too! And what is it with people's obsession to lose weight anyway. Food should be joy and pleasure just like riding.

With this in mind I say: Mahlzeit!

Using some muscle to straighten up fully loaded Nella (photo courtesy of bobskoot). Does the bike make my ass look fat? NO! It's my ass that makes my ass look like I enjoy good food ;-)

February 04, 2011

I. AM. CANADIAN!

It was a big day! An important day, and one of the best days in my life!

I am not an Expat anymore. My Permanent Residency Card has been taken away, and replaced with something much better!

As of today I am a proud cititzen of one of the greatest and awesomest countries in the world. Thank you Canada!

Life is indeed good!