Thursday, May 27, 2010

Summer Night Market, Richmond BC

After a long day of riding to Harrison Hot Springs with SonjaM
I returned home with a dirty chain


It's a never ending battle of cleaning and lubing so I got out my rag and brushed some of the grime off the chain and sprocket. With the V-strom on the centre stand I re-lubricated the chain with Motul Chain lube. It is always preferable to do this while the chain is warm and left to sit overnight. Soon Mrs Skoot arrived home from work and we headed down to the Richmond Night Market for dinner. They are noted for having a multitude of food vendors and surely there is something for every palate.

The Night Market is modeled after those in Asia and is held every weekend; Friday, Saturday & Sunday nights (plus holidays) in the evenings after 7pm . We have two night markets in Vancouver with the smaller one in Vancouver's historic chinatown area. More information can be obtained here

By the time we arrive and get to the main food area we are confronted with crowds of people with the same idea.


Our normal procedure is to do a circle and scan the vendors to see what looks interesting. As I am hungry I usually grab some tidbit to tide me over until I find what I want. I came to this booth and noticed the Butter Chicken & Tandori Chicken


I just love Butter Chicken so I plunked down my Cdn$5. for this bowl with the sauce and chicken over rice. It is more filling than it looks but it was sooooooo good that I went back for seconds


Gunnar was the owner of this booth and he was explaining the recipe and how he made it. We go to the Night Market often during the summer and I look forward to having another bowl the next time. Just looking at this photo makes me salivate.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Shake-down ride #1: Harrison Hot Springs

Now it was time to get down to serious business. The business of having an early breakfast somewhere in Coquitlam for an early ride into the depths of the Fraser Valley. We decided to meet early, if you consider 9am early. I left home just after 8am for the 45 minute ride to our rendezvous point. As I arrived I noticed Jeff already waiting there with his GSXR600R. Right behind me was SonjaM on her "new to her" BMW F650GS being shadowed by Mr SonjaM (aka: Roland) in the cage.


How would I know that this Pub/restaurant would not be open yet? We headed across the street to another eating establishment. We had to have substenance before our journey Eastward

(Jeff, Ms SonjaM (aka: Roland) & SonjaM, author invisible behind the camera)

I managed to divert Mr SonjaM's (aka: Roland) attention to the menu long enough to snap this cozy photo


soon our orders arrived and we were filling our stomachs with; oatmeal, eggs benedicts, sausage & eggs and a healthy fruit bowl


after all, what is a ride without food ?


photos often don't tell the correct story. I noticed that SonjaM was walking precariously close to the shore with a drop off so was attempting to drag her back to safe ground. Unfortunately it looks otherwise.

(Stave Lake)

SonjaM is trying out the GSXR for size


A day riding is more than just the riding. It is about friendships, scenery, taking photos and enjoying the day with others of the same mind

(group photo: Dewdney, BC)

While it is spring, Mother nature conspired to throw everything our way. Dark thunderclouds, rain, showers, torential rains and even hail but what can I say, we live on the Wet Coast

(Hailing in Historic Kilby, BC)

Soon we arrived in Harrison Hot Springs, BC for our next meal stop at a nice, clean Japanese Restaurant overlooking the lake

(My bento Box)

While on our way out of town I noticed these wood carvings and the hazelnut sign reminiscent of Freshly Squeezed Florida
and Barberville Produce. The carved wood figures attracted my attention and I just had to stop for a few photos for Ms Suzanne .

We don't have many roadside attactions around here and the owner was a character, offering us Strawberries and morcels of sweet Chilliwack Corn


Our bikes were parked in front of his roadside stand and I captured another photo of our bikes


To my dismay I turned around and found SonjaM trying to devour a large corn on the cob while seated in a carved out wooden log chair. Although we had just eaten she was taking on the corn without shucking it first


Lots of dustcatchers were available for the asking


Harrison Hot Springs is a very friendly place. As we were about to depart we were approached by these gals with the friendly smiles.


As it turns out, they were here for a staggette for Belinda (in the PINK). I am somehow attracted to Pink attire so we hit it off instantly

and I have this photo to prove it.


BACK OFF, I saw her first (esp Jackie "r") Nothing beats a day of riding with friends


Addendum: I suppose that I didn't elaborate about the title, Shake Down ride. Our epic ride to Redmond, Oregon in July will an epic ride in terms of mileage for SonjaM who has to build up her endurance. We are basically undertaking half of an IronButt to be able to make it from Vancouver to Redmond within 12 hours. This was her first ride with square side cases which are not very aerodynamic, and our route will take us down NF25 which will eat up valuable time. Plus factor in our numerous photo stops which will include the Windy Ridge viewpoint overlooking the back side of Mt St Helens. We are trying to determine what other accessories she will need, esp a throttle lock of some sort

Thursday, May 20, 2010

BCSB: Bike Night #1 2010

I frequent a local bike forum here in Vancouver, (BCSB for short) and it gives you a chance to mix and mingle with familiar faces .


It is not intended to be a money making event but our sponsor 5th Gear in Richmond is our host and they set up a BBQ for hamburgers, hot dogs. For a suggested $5. donation you are welcome to a 'burger, beverage and a bag of chips. It is here where I recently purchased my GoProHD video cam


Every 2nd Wednesday all through the summer between 7 - 9pm until the weather turns cool in the fall, usually to late September as it starts to get dark earlier in the fall.


This is usually held every 2 weeks during the summer subject to good weather . Riders come and go and the place is a bee hive of activity for a couple of hours


We are in an industrial area and bikes are lined up in all directions as the other business' are closed in the evening


I can't help myself, for some reason I am attracted to this PINK machine which is owned by PINK CHICK (forum nom-de plume)


After all, I have the matching PINK crocs


I heard that there were upwards of 60+ bikes there tonight. Sometimes there is more than just chatting and having a quick meal and tonight was no exception . We were given the opportunity to witness these large Honda Goldwings doing "follow the leader" on some tight maneuvers. The are from the Roadcraft Motorcycle Academy, instructional M/C school. Their niche is to train experienced riders to higher competancy, they do not do basic MSF training. Their specialty is slow speed handling


Their routine is on the last half of the video . I wished that I could be so competant

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Video: "new to her" F650GS

I finally had a chance to put together the video from last Saturday of SonjaM's "new to her" BMW F650GS, and our first ride together.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

SonjaM: 1st day with her "new to her" F650GS

It's been a long week in anticipation of physically seeing SonjaM's "new to her" GS. I am sure also a week of anticipation of waiting for her as well as the plan was to pick it up the previous Saturday . The previous owner didn't surrender it in time for it to be detailed, refuelled and new front tire to be installed. I asked permission to offer her moral support and perhaps a short ride somewhere to get used to the new wheels. As it happened Mrs SonjM (Roland, for short) was on hand

(Left: SonjaM Right: Mrs SonjaM (Roland, for short)

I know all of you like to see photos of our meals, esp Gary France (Mr H-D from the UK) as was recently requested via one of his recent comments. Many of you already know that rides always begin or end with food, and often we stop during rides for food.


Amazingly, both SonjaM & myself devoured our meals to the last crumb, but Mrs SonjaM (aka: Roland) couldn't finish his meal.

After the salesman finished with describing all the controls, how to start the bike, and how to balance, SonjaM was finally ready to go "solo" . She mounted her GS and we were off for the day.


It was a strange feeling asking Mrs SonjaM (aka: Roland) to go home and wait for us to return but I think I did ask for his permission to take SonjaM out for the day.

We left the dealership around 11am and not to put SonjaM under too much stress by taking the freeway, we navigated the urban mess of Vancouver on slower routes so that she could get used to shifting & balancing in our heavy traffic (I am led to believe that our traffic is much worse than Chicago)

We finally make our way to Surrey where we board a small ferry which crosses the Fraser River. The ferry has a steel deck, impregnated with layers of slippery oil and it was a challenge to turn the bikes around. This ferry only has one ramp and cars have to either drive on and back off, or back on and drive off. Bikes have to load first and turn around to ready for unloading.


You probably didn't notice how close our bikes are. I think they are growing an attachment to each other

There is only one road on Barnston Island which circumnavigates the island, and a smaller road half way around which cuts the island in half. I think the main road is only around 8km long, so we stop for a photo & rest break.

(Golden Ears toll bridge)

This island which is a speck in the middle of the Fraser River is a popular place for bicyclists as there are few cars and no facilities for non-residents. There is no charge for using the ferry

SonjaM was reluctant to take the lead but I told her that as there was only ONE road on the island she shouldn't worry about getting lost. The road would eventually wind its way back to the ferry dock and we could just meet there. As I was in the rear and noticed a flock of cows, I just had to stop and see if I could locate "108" (<-- link) . I stopped and SonjaM kept pushing on and soon she was out of view. I couldn't help but notice this sad cow staring at me


It was soon time to head back to the mainland and reboard the ferry


This particular ferry is like a barge with a moveable ramp and propelled by a boat tied to the side. Not unlike a 1 wheel drive pusher wheel on a Hack (aka: bike with sidecar)

From Ft Langley we try to stay away from congested areas and take secondary roads through farmlands all the way to Tsawwassen where we head to Boundary Bay for some sand and beach action. It's a hot day (not KW hot, but Cdn Hot) so we rid ourselves of our riding boots and frolic around barefoot in the sand, when I suddenly notice SonjaM lustfully eyeing my cherished PINK crocs


She mentioned how she wants to purchase either a pair of PINK ones, or YELLOW to match the colour of her "new to her" GS

Today (the day after our ride, which was yesterday), I happened to be downtown on Robson Street and entered the official CROC store and noticed


Yes, CROCS in all colours. Pink, Orange, Mauve, Red, Green and also Yellow

We head down to the First Nations Land over some slightly gravel roads


We are running out of day and we decide to part our ways at Queensboro Landing, which is about half way between us


Riding is thirsty business so we decide to have "one for the road"


Coke for SonjaM, and Root beer for me, in ice-cold frosted mugs. It was a great day, riding, enjoying the scenery & stopping to smell the roses. I hope that Mrs SonjaM (aka: Roland) had a good day too.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Another Open House & a few Beemers

I am not actually a member of the SOCna: Suzuki Owner's Club but on their forum they posted an early morning breakfast then the group would ride over to Motorcycle World in Surrey, BC for their open house. They had demo rides, BBQ and special pricing on all their products for ONE day only. I was actually in the market for another pair of riding boots. Saturday I usually meet the guys in Kitsilano but they bailed so I was on my own. It takes nearly an hour to ride to Langley so I left the garage just before 8am and headed towards the freeway


I arrive a little early and park next to Bob who rides a cruiser. Soon more cruisers arrive and I am surrounded


Soon another rider comes in on his V-strom and more cruisers arrive


This nice two tone one belongs to Lynda


Here is Bill, the President of the BC chapter, arriving on his cruiser


That's Greg in the background with his tripod attempting to take a group photo. Thank goodness he came on his V-strom, so now we have 3 stroms and the rest cruisers. Today we are outnumbered. Of course cruiser people are trying to persude us to come over to the "other" side so I reluctantly accepted an offer to sit on one


I like the low seat height and I would imagine it is easy to ride because of the higher low speed torque but I would need new sunglasses to shield my eyes from the glare of the chrome and ear plugs to muffle the loud pipes. I would need to trade in my riding gear for leather chaps, grow a beard, get a new supply of T-shirts, purchase a beanie and walk around talking like, "hey man . . .' I suppose it wouldn't be too hard to go to the "other side", but I don't know if I could handle the forward controls, running board and toe and heel shifter.


After I left the Open House I thought that I would try to find SonjaM as I was guessing that she was over at JV to pick up her "new to her" F650GS . I didn't notice her around, nor her yellow GS so I went inside to peer at the bikes and prices


The 1200 GS's looked like monsters so I stayed away from them. At the end of the row was this nice looking F800ST, the same bike that Sharon has . I sat on it and it felt very comfy. I think I could manage to ride this great distances. I didn't like the price as I am sure that it is much less expensive across the border.


Here is a view of the instrument cluster showing the tachometer among other things. If I purchased this bike I would certainly install a larger windscreen. As Jack rIEPE has mentioned on several occassions that tachs come standard on every model that BMW produce.


I also liked the new F800GS but it did seem a little high for my short legs


It was soon time to stop daydreaming and hit the road. I moseyed back to my mighty V-strom and headed home. I will try to meet up with SonjaM next Saturday when she picks up her "new to her" GS and perhaps guide her on a short ride, if she wants to.


Motorcycle World, King George Hwy, Surrey, BC OPEN HOUSE, selling only Suzuki products