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)

21 comments:

  1. Nice barn pic. I like the contrast with the sky. What are the hot springs like? I've seen that place on the map and have been tempted to stop and look around.

    Thanks for the tour.
    Richard

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  2. Good stuff Sonja!
    I have days too when I want to ride and not stop for photos because it disrupts the flow. Absolutely nothing wrong in that as it disrupts the flow.

    Interesting comment about not wanting company on the ride. I think we all enjoy those days when we're alone with our thoughts and riding at our pace without interruption.

    Nice post!

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  3. @RichardM: It's a bit of an upscale spa&resort place. I like hot springs better when they are a little more, well... rustic such as the Takhini close to Whitehorse.
    @Geoff: Exactly as you say. Sometimes I need those moments to clear my head. But there are other days when I crave company.

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  4. Awesome pictures Sonja.

    I was driving back from Eugene yesterday after picking up a bike part for Troubadour and was thinking to myself how nice it would be tooling around the backroads on my motorcycle without a group.

    Good for you and your solo adventure. Glad your jacket is keeping you toasty too.

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  5. Glad you did stop for pictures, I especially like the first one. Nice post!

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  6. Great photos and great weather up north! We are in a rain storm at the moment - about 6 inches in 5 days or so. Getting "cabin fever" even after this short time.

    Fortunately the weather is expected to clear up again and I might be able to ride a bit soon!

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  7. @Trobairitz: Brandy, I have read your time will come soon. Looking forward to your solo adventures.
    @Ken: Thanks, Ken. It was not really a photo op. I just stopped to put my silk liners in my gloves ;-)
    @Guido: Yep, two days in a row sans rain. But rain, hail and snow expected soon... Hope you get to ride tomorrow.

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  8. Today is a day of discovery. I'm enjoying reading new (to me) bloggers and what they are doing these last few months of winter! The photos are brilliant. The stories are fun and exciting. I'll be making time for more visits! Excellent Sonja.

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  9. What a beautiful day! Blue skies and blue water. I love the shot with the big barn and Nella. I'm hoping to get a short ride in today. We have snow rumored to be coming later this week :(

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  10. Hi SonjaM! For stating that it was a picture taking day, you managed to snap a couple of great ones. Glad it was relaxing and enjoyable and you were able to enjoy two wheels!

    -Lori

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  11. @chessie: Hi Chessie. I have been a fan of your blog for quite some time now. Thanks a bunch for stopping by.
    @bluekat: Kari, I hope you get out. Winter is returning again to us, too. with negative C's and snow. ARGH!
    @BeemerGirl: Lori, these were indeed all the pics I took. Usually I come home with 30 odd photos, and less miles traveled.

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  12. I agree, there are times when I just wanna go anywhere alone, not be bothered by others, solitude can be nice :-)
    Love the red barn.

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  13. Nice pic of the glacier fed Harrison Lake with the snow in background.

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  14. Sonja, good to see you riding....

    On windy days, I was told and have been able to prove it in practice, to relax the hand that's downwind.

    For example, if the wind gusts are hitting you on the left side, you relax the grip on the right-hand side handlebar grip/throttle Yes, you keep the throttle in right position but the hand does not play a part in keeping you going straight instead of sideways.

    If the wind is hitting you on the right side of the motorcycle, you relax the grip on the left hand grip. I basically just rest my hand on top of it, ready to grab if needed.

    The idea is that if you're gripping tightly with both hands (which by the way is the instinctive reaction), you're not only fighting the wind while leaning your motorcycle into it to keep going straight but your hands are fighting each other as well.

    Try it, next windy day, with no traffic around you....it makes a difference for me.

    cheers

    dom


    Colorado Motorcycle Travel Examiner

    Redleg's Rides

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  15. SonjaM:

    a cool brisk ride cleanses the soul. with no distractions sometimes I get to solve the world's problems

    bob
    Wet Coast Scootin

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  16. @GeorgeF: I couldn't agree more.
    @Dave: Thanks, man. Appreciate it.
    @Charlie6: Great advise. Will try that next time. The thing that bothered me most is the high gravity center. The wind was pushing most in the lower part of the bike, and made me feel like almost losing my balance. Wasn't a nice feeling I can tell you.
    @bobskoot: Haven't gotten to the world's problem's yet, but solved some of mine ;-)

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  17. SonjaM:

    Notwithstanding Dom's comments, I read an article about wind buffeting and their advice was to create a "sail" on the opposing side to counterbalance the wind force, such as letting your legs hang out to "catch" the wind to equilize the forces.

    The most challenging Wind ride I have endured was in the Columbia Gorge heading east for about 100 miles from Carson, WA. There were constant gusts of wind, you never knew when it was going to catch you, and also no wind in the underpasses, that and the grated bridges scare me

    bob
    Wet Coast Scootin

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  18. @bobskoot: I remembered your scare in the gorge when I was experiencing those nasty wind gusts. I will try the leg dangling together with Dom's advice next time I am encountering this.

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  19. I'd never heard the advice Charlie has given before about relaxing the hand that is downwind. I'm going to have to give that a try, too.

    Beautiful pics as always, Sonja. You live in a gorgeous part of the world.

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  20. Sonja, you live in an area that is on wish list to ride!
    About that relaxing the opposite hand in high winds, I will also give it a try, although as I sit here and recall the crazy winds I encountered in Montana, I could not imagine having only a grip on one side! My lordy... that wind was moving me sideways 6 feet at a time, scared the daylights out of me when it first happened. I was exhausted at the end of that 35 mile leg. Thankfully it was the end of the day, and I could relax. (and shake for a while) When I checked into the hotel, the people were talking about golf ball sized hail in the next town! I was audibly saying prayers of thanksgiving!
    I will be checking back to your blog! Love your bike. :)

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  21. Hi Sonja, I didn't realize what I advised re relaxing the leeward or downwind hand was such a rarely known technique for dealing with strong sideways winds.

    I'd like to reinforce what I said. I do almost let go of the downwind grip, just hovering my hand on top of it if I can while dealing with the sideward forces caused by the upwind side of the motorcycle being hit by the wind.

    Bobskoot mentioned hanging out your knee on the leeward side, I found that interesting. I tend to need to hang out the knee on the windward side or the upwind side per se. Must try the other way next time.

    Finally, I will say this...one must ride one's own ride...you make the judgement as to what to do in your specific circustances. It works for me but if the winds are strong enough, I'll stop and wait it out in a sheltered area. : )

    cheers!

    dom


    Colorado Motorcycle Travel Examiner

    Redleg's Rides

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