Have you ever noticed that sometimes there is one ride/route above all others that lifts your spirits and gets your head on straight again?
I have two such rides. And tonight I decided that I needed to do one.
A quick blast to the ice cream shack at Qualicum Beach was the remedy of the day. 25 min up the road. Perfect weather. Awesome company.
Ahhhhhhhh. A great night for a ride.
So I think the time has come to look for new chaps. The bottom seam on mine are coming apart, the snaps are broken and they’re starting to be ineffective.
For using those of you who don’t know, I prefer chaps with fringes on them. Some people ask me whether the fringes are just for looks – and I explain to them the story of why I prefer fringes.
I grew up on the prairies in Canada, and as some of you know the prairies in Canada can be very very cold during the winter times. What this means is that you have to learn that the weather can’t keep you inside or limit what you want to do. On the prairies we got lots of snow during the season and that meant that winter sports was something that I learned to do at a very early age. One of my favourite pastimes was snowshoeing. Every winter I would go out snowshoeing with my father or friends. And I learned that the value of having a jacket with long fringes was almost a necessity . On the prairies the first nations would wear buckskin jackets with extra long fringe. When I am asked why I was giving the explanation that when snowshoeing, if a person got a stick through the gutting/webbing, it would render the shoe useless. Therefore the long fringe was not for looks – they were for necessity. The extra long fringe that adorned the jacket were used for a temporary fix on the webbing of the snowshoe until a more permanent fix could be made.
Fast forward to riding. I noticed quite a few of the old bikers used to wear chaps with fringes. Because I’m that kind of a person, I asked why do you wear chaps with fringes? That’s when I was told by an old-time biker the reason he wore fringes was because when riding if it started to rain, the fringes acted as a wick to pull the water away from the chaps and shake it off. If there’s no fringes he explained that the wind would actually blow the water around the chaps to the back and then drive the water up and across the underside of the thigh into the crotch. Sounded reasonable but a little bit improbable. And I do admit I am a sceptic.
Shortly after that, I was riding and got caught in the rain storm. My chaps didn’t have fringes and sure enough as I watched the water kicking up from my front tire, it hit my chaps, wrapped around to the back and because of the wind from the road as well as the front of the engine, it drove the water to the backside of my leg, up the back, under the thigh and to my crotch and my seat. A great deal of amusement was had when we stopped at a restaurant and the only spot that was wet for me when I peeled off my chaps was my crotch.
Needless to say, I made sure my next pair had fringes. Low and behold – the next time it rained, my crotch did not get nearly as wet.
It pays to listen to the ones that have been riding for a while. They know what they are talking about.
So very soon I will be on the hunt for a new pair of chaps, and – yes – they will have fringes.
Travel safe. Ride well.
The Law of “What could possibly go wrong?” came into play at 9:45pm the day before our holiday.
At 9 the conversation was started with:
I’m just going into the garage to throw some last minute things on the bike.
Honey? Do you smell gas?
And so it began. The dreams of our trip that took a year to plan – stalled. It would seem that the coupling on my gas tank decided to give way the night before our trip. So at 9:30 pm the drip became a small trickle then a stream of gas before a stressed phone call to a friend (whom I personally think wears blue tights and a red cape) came over to look at the problem. Being a mechanic by trade , this guy knows what he’s doing and a heck of a lot more than my husband and I combined.
By midnight we had looked at the manual, consulted the web, searched YouTube and Google and placed a very frantic phone call to a local emergency mechanic number stating “Please help! We are trying to leave for Sturgis in the morning! Please call when you get this!”
Somewhere at 11:15 pm we all looked at my husbands perfectly packed Electra Glide and made the call that it now needed to be striped of all the packed gear and re packed with gear for two.
Off came the tent….off came the sleeping bags…….and the foamies…….and the rain gear…….and the camp chairs. Basically everything that was deemed nonessential was striped off and turfed on the garage floor. Debates and decision waged. The final outcome was that we would buy a tent and sleeping bags when we reached Gillette WY. It was the only way. And if they didn’t have tents-a tarp with rope, tent pegs, two poles, and we would switch off using the foamy. (when you get old, sleeping directly on the ground loses its appeal pretty quickly).
Midnight rolled around to find us repacked and laying in bed staring at the ceiling – myself wondering how our plans had so quickly evaporated – my poor husband wondering when I had developed Tourette’s and how the hell we were going to survive the trip. (As a side note – after so many years of riding my own bike I am fully cognizant of the fact that I do not make a good passenger).
There was no question of cancelling this trip. A year in the planning. Non refundable hotels and camping reservations. A celebration of 25 years of marriage.
Let the adventures begin.
Every year I add a little ‘something’ to the saddlebags. Each piece has to fit a certain criteria. It has to be light weight, durable, inexpensive and small enough to fit into a motorcycle saddle bag.
While working up north I stumbled upon the idea of a Bluetooth wireless rechargeable keyboard. I’d heard rumours of such an animal, but never seen one – until I stumbled on one by accident.
Small and portable, this little marvel is a little larger than my 5″ x 9″ journal. It can be charged overnight in a wall socket and stowed in relatively small space. A very reasonable investment of $25 on sale found this little gem in my purse (yes it’s that small!), and an invaluable tool that turns my iPhone into a word processor.
The problem with buying a secondhand bike, is that as you start to learn about the bike, and ride it, and get to know the bike for what it is, you start to discover some of the things that were done by the previous owner. One of the things I discovered was that the highway pegs had been installed upside down. Sometimes, a person just has to scratch their head.
I’m starting to get to know the bike and today was a perfect day to take it out for a long ride. A trip to the bike games in Nanaimo and a sunny day with a long ride was exactly what was needed. I saw lots of friends, that I hadn’t seen before. I also met up with people I hadn’t seen for a long time. It was a good day with good weather and a good ride.
For those of you who do not know, I live in the Province of British Columbia in Canada. Sometimes my travels take me outside of my home province and with that, I understand that my medical coverage might be lacking. Quite recently I have discovered how lacking that is. From what I understand, BC medical coverage (and one other province) has the lowest rates for provincial coverage in Canada. This means, if I travel to Alberta and get sick, my provincial coverage is not enough and I will incur extra costs regarding this.
Where can you get extra coverage? Some people get coverage through their local Automobile Association. Some people have coverage through work. I opted to contact one of my local travel agents because in my reasoning, hey! you people do this all the time so you should know what you are talking about. Low and behold, they did!
I was surprised at how affordable it was as well. For the cost of $41 I am covered for my entire foray outside my province and have piece of mind as well. I know. I know. A small thing – but still one less thing I have to worry about.