August 30, 2012

Bike Night

I hadn't been on EMS Bike Night for a very long time but I found myself in need of two-wheeled company tonight and scootered to the motorcycle service shop after work. The shop does everything service related, only way cheaper than any dealer would do. Also, you don't have to make an appointment, you ride there and get it done. And it is probably the only shop that employs female mechanics.
Bikes kept rolling in and the shop talk began.
Soon the lot was full of bikes, and cars became a visible minority (I wish we could have this ratio on the road more often.).
Paolo felt a little out of place surrounded all those high powered bikes. He remained the only scooter that evening.
People kept lining up for the barbeque. Not me though. But going meatless didn't mean I couldn't enjoy the mouthwatering smells of hamburgers and sausages.
Kelly checking out my Vespa. Not sure I could convince him to buy a scooter for commuting though.
The Three Stooges, members of the Vancouver Scootering Club.

The light began to fade and I was cold so I headed home, not without seizing a quick photo ops at Fraser River.
Half an hour later, I was on my last leg home it started raining. As it was getting dark quickly now I was really thankful for my hi-viz Olympia jacket and my brand new head lamp.
Paolo's bright eye! Burning like fire...

August 27, 2012

The Tacoma Time Machine

We left home Saturday morning to drive down South across the border to Tacoma to visit the Vintage Motorcycle Show co-sponsored by the famous ACE CAFE London.

Below Tacoma Downdown as seen from our Hotel window. The weather greeted us with balmy temperatures and clear blue skies.

We got to hook up with a certain vegan motorcycling blogging couple (Brad and Brandy), and had excellent lunch at Quickie Too, a vegan restaurant with a Jamaican twist before we joined the crowds at the exhibition.
The show was fairly small yet offered a lot to drool over. I will let the pictures do the talk. Feel free to pick a favourite. Honestly, I had a hard time making my choice.
It probably doesn't come to anybody's surprise that I am somewhat partial to British bikes. Norton, Vincent, BSA, and Triumph.
Roland standing beside a similar model of the first motorcycle I rode pillion on. The back story can be found here.
And more pics: I couldn't decide which photos to select for the blog, so I had to post them all. Sorry for that.
Roland was particularly interested in a Goggo scooter. We knew the Goggomobil (my aunt had one back in the days) which is an ugly micro car built in the Sixties but we didn't know that they built pretty scooters, too.
 This Lammy is beautiful.

After getting enough two-wheeled infusion we visited the LeMay Museum which was generously included in the cost of the ticket for the motorcycle show.
Back in the days when American cars were pretty...
We found an impressive selection of cars. Most of them American... hence the name 'America's Car Museum'.
And these extra-continental exhibits made our visit more than worthwhile: A Karmann, an Isetta and a Vespa.
 And look, there is a Lammy, too.
 A Messerschmitt and a Citroen 2CV.
If you are in the area, please visit the LeMay Museum. It is well worth the stop in Tacoma.

Overwhelmed by all those two or more wheeled pretty shiny things, we headed back to the hotel (a five minute walk), took a a power nap and went out for Vietnamese Dinner at Pho 701 after.
The downtown architecture was quite interesting, alas the light was fading, and we were hungry, hence didn't pay much attention anymore. Food became priority number one.

Saving the best for last ;-) Food Porn!
All vegan lunch at Quickie Too:
and all vegan dinner at Pho 701:
Except for Roland's dish which was a chicken something.
It was a dinner with a pleasant surprise: The chef had been sick that evening, hence the sous chef prepared the meals. As the food presentation didn't turn out to the manager's quality standards he decided to give us our dishes free of charge. We were flabergasted because we couldn't find anything wrong with it. As a matter of fact it was delicious, and we wanted to pay the bill but he didn't want our money.
A wonderful day came to an end, and we regretted that it was only a short weekend of a get-together with our friends from Oregon.

We met again in the morning, planning to have Vegan/Veggie breakfast at a place we found on the net, however when we got there we found the Caffe Dei closed, and it didn't look like it was still in business. So, plan B came to pass: a Starbucks around the corner. Time flew by as we chatted about this and that, and way too soon we had to part, but not without the promise to meet again some time soon. Thank you guys, for a wonderful 'couple weekend'.

August 19, 2012

Paolo's on the Road again

Paolo's front tire was giving me grief. Brand new, and already flat the very next day. I had pumped it up to check for punctures, and it hold its air until... it was flat again.

Richard was on the right track, a damaged valve core was the culprit. Hence, yesterday evening the Vespa dealer of my choice picked up the scooter, replaced the faulty valve, and today we are back on air and on the road again.
Located west of the Olympic Village at False Creek sits the Vancouver Mill Machinery Building. Hopefully the rusty reminiscence of a once busy industrial area will be restored and preserved similar to the Salt Building below because it makes for a beautiful contrast between old and new.
This district has been completely reshaped with condo developments and waterfront walkways.
Not the worst place to live if you ask me. There is still a lot of construction ongoing but once that's gone, it will be a prime area for those who can afford to pay the price.

August 15, 2012

It's Nice to have Options

 Honda Jazz spotted while going by.

Yesterday I had to chauffeur the better half to the airport, hence the use of the car was necessary. Paolo must have taken it the wrong way, and became all huffy and sported a flat front tire this morning, which is quite annoying because the rubber is brand new (<100 km)! I checked for punctures but couldn't detect anything. Maybe it's the valve. 

Eventually I had to get going. I wasn't even thinking of taking the car (or one of the other bikes for that matter). Without further ado I went upstairs, grabbed Bella's key and took her to work and back and around the block.
It surprises me every time how different the red Vespa is. One instantly feels the 50cc's extra when accelerating. Also, Bella speaks with a 'softer voice', and is a much smoother ride. Paolo's rough character reminds me more of a plumber (Super Mario comes to mind), while Bella would be Princess Peach.
Needless to say that I enjoyed riding the red beauty as much as my other two-wheeled companions. And the husband will be delighted to hear that Bella got some exercise during the week.