May 31, 2011

You don't look like a motorcyclist...

A statement that female riders get very often, which raises he question:
What does a woman rider look like?

Pam from Helmet or Heels gave the exact question back to her readers, and here's the answer.

Snippets of a road-trip

Things a good husband does for a wedding anniversary... knowing that the wife hates flowers, jewelery or a gift coupon for a spa: Road-trip!

A stop at a motorcycle dealer in Lynnwood (just looking...)
A room with a view in Seattle at the Mediterranean Inn
 A progressive rock concert at the EMP
 Neil Morse and Band

Mount Rainier Nationalpark and Columbia River Gorge
 A coffee stop in Elbe
 and a '77 Honda Goldwing in front of a German chapel.
 The park is open...
 ... but you don't get very far this time of the year.
 That's some snow, eh?
 Gotta love those roads along the Columbia River gorge.
 176ft high Horsetail Falls
 Windy roads
 and then some.
 Multnomah Falls with a total drop of 620ft
 Gorgeous Gorges (shamelessly stolen from Gary France)
The Eastern view
At Crown Point
 Looking West
If Oregon would have me, I would gladly move down there.
What a beautiful place!

Along the river, up the canyon, and some German food
 The area so reminds me of the Rhine, not sure why...
 Maybe it's the vineyards and orchards.
A last view back before heading North
 Yakima Canyon
 Heidi - Land?
Authentic German Bratwurst with Sauerkraut at Rudloof's in Leavenworth.
Jawohl, das ist gut!

We also used this 1,400km road-trip to do some scouting for future rides with our Vespa's. Of course we would need to travel at much slower speed, but we would love to travel some of those roads on two wheels some time. One can dream...

May 27, 2011

One Thousand

The previous owner had the 2006 Vespa Granturismo 200L for 5 years, and sold it with an odometer reading of 5,200km. Only 5 weeks in my possession, and another 1,000km were added to the clock.

Mighty 200cc, enough power to commute, zip around, and even go at highway speed if required. It offers comfortable seating, decent weather protection and storage room.

When I think of my F650GS, attributes such as reliable, robust, or efficient spring to mind. When I think Vespa I think beauty, class, style and elegance.

Mi piace il Beemer, ma Vespa mi amore. 
I like my Beemer, but I love Vespa.

Ride to work!

May 24, 2011

Victora Day Outing

Today we 'play' in Yvonne's backyard around Cascade Falls. She grew up in the area and has probably turned every stone and ridden all the farm roads many times.
Nella obviously likes being taken out the second day in a row. I hope that Paolo isn't going to pout for having been neglected over the weekend.
We are going back and forth through the valley, and do some of the twisties even twice.  Talk about exercise and fun.
After a pub grab involving wings and burgers (nothing newsworthy) we move on and go for a little walk before heading home. We both agree that this was six hours of life time well spent.

Distance: 190km  (118 mi)
Weather: sun and clouds, 17C (63F)

May 23, 2011

Going North - NOT!

The current April weather drives me crazy. The weather forecast cannot even predict the weather a couple of hours ahead. I was up early to deliver my fellow traveler to the airport. First there were overcast skies, then drizzle. Back home it rained, and I simply went back to bed until 9AM. My friend Yvonne and I had plans to go up Sea-to-Sky Highway, turnaround point being Squamish, but we were reluctant. However, I couldn't wait any longer, and so I did my usual Buntzen Lake loop to test the grounds.
The roads were drying up. Good! So I called Yvonne and met her at her place. After fueling up we were headed to North Vancouver and while crossing the Ironworkers Memorial Bridge it started pouring, in the biblical sense. A wall of water.
The roads were immediately flooded, and turned into rivers, and we were no longer comfortable riding, so we found shelter at a gas station. The storm drains couldn't cope with the massive amount of water.
While waiting for the rain to ease up we pondered about what to do next. Going North was no longer an option, so we turned around, crossed the bridge again... and there was the sun. Ok, then let's go South! And so we ended up in White Rock, where we found out that even motorcycle parking spots are not free of charge anymore. We bit the bullet and payed for the spot, at least it seemed to be tolerated for several bikes to share.
One reason for riding is finding a proper place for food intake. Yvonne and I decided to enjoy Greek cuisine on the outdoor patio of the Cosmos: Tzaziki, Pita bread, salad, souvlaki shrimp skewer, and calamari. Not cheap but well worth it. Yummy!
To work off the calories we strolled down the sea-walk to the pier. The good weather stayed with us. We haven't seen one drop of rain on our way back home, and it turned out to be a good day for riding.

Distance: 140km (89 mi)
Weather: Rain & sunshine, 16C (61F)

May 20, 2011

Mission Loop - The slow way round

Traveling on scooters is definitely a less paced affair than riding a motorcycle. And as if to prove it, it is going to take us four hours to complete a 130km loop. The weekend weather doesn't look too promising, hence we want to make the most out now: A ride, a walk and a dinner.
Along the Fraser River between Langley and Abbotsford lies Glen Valley Park.
It is hockey night again, and the area is abandoned and quiet, a small paradise.
Fraser River
This view reminds us a bit of Tuscany.
Between a vintage car and a group of Harleys, we find our parking spot. The streets of Fort Langley seem abandoned, but inside the restaurants and bars it's buzzing. The big screens are on and it's noisy. How can people enjoy dinner and conversation with the tube blaring all the time? Eventually we find a sushi place where we can have dinner without permanent media effusion.
Patience is our friend, the train pulls 86 rail cars.
We find tranquility at Hayward Lake.

Scootering is like finding balance in a rushed world.

Life is good!

May 19, 2011

Let the season begin

My usual detour after work when I'm on the bike. Rocky Point looks different every day depending on the change of seasons, time of the day, the tides and the weather.
The evening sun paints a crisp shadow of Paolo.

Somewhere in between this ocean and mountainside
I have this dream I think of it still sometimes
I know it's just the season
I sense no time or reason

"Taken from the song 'The Season' by The Dodos

The season of new life
The season to ride
 The season to enjoy the 'other' outdoors
The season to enjoy fish&chips (at Pajo's)

Life is good!