Sunday, April 29, 2012

Bath time

This weekend I decided to drag my car out of hibernation, purchase insurance for the summer and get it ready for a new season. The forecast was for a beautiful sunny day so the first thing I did when I awoke was to get my bathing supplies ready. Bucket, soap and my waterproof, car washing un-shoes


I haven't used it since last October and it needed a bath.


The dirt is easily washed away due to the previous wax treatments and I use Meguiars car wash which is gentle to the paint & wax


It takes a lot of effort to wash the sides and having to lean over to clean the wheels, but soon I am in the final stages

As I move my car I notice that Mrs Skoot's WRX is also filthy, so I decided to wash it too. So while I am huffing & puffing away with the cleaning, she is making breakfast.


I am not used to this physical exertion. I am getting tired & hot so I ditch my T-shirt for a more air conditioned tank top . If I had muscles I could have called it a muscle shirt


It feels good to have two clean cars


Breakfast is ready, time to put away my washing supplies and rinse my un-shoes


By now it is nearly mid-afternoon. Today is the large motorcycle swap meet in Tsawwassen and there are usually many bikes on display, and some for sale, like this one


Saturday, April 28, 2012

Looking for deals

I started in Steveston for our weekly breakfast with the guys. This time of year many of our motorcycle dealers have specials on accessories and riding gear. I decided to head over to Westminster Hwy to visit the local Triumph/Bmw dealer and what do I see


it was a pristine 'Guzzi . Here is a closer view of the v-twin engine. you can barely make out my self portrait reflected in the chrome


It was a beautiful spring day and I had decided to head over to Langley for another "open house". I was on the search for a replacement riding jacket. At the Richmond dealer they had Olympia Hi-Viz jackets discounted but I already had one which I don't use much. I was looking for something that had removeable panels for all season use. I had a convertible jacket which I wore to Oregon two years ago but it was tight and I don't think I can squeeze into it anymore. In the heat of Oregon I wanted the panels to be removeable to reveal a mesh jacket underneath.


It is also hayfever time and I know that when spring arrives my nose is constantly dripping. I had to stop under an overpass so I could get my kleenex tissues. I don't usually stop on the freeways but traffic was light and today I made an exception. You don't know what a relief it is to finally be able to blow your nose. (I know, too much information)

Lately I have been "going with the flow", riding close to the speed limit and just letting the agressive cars pass. I don't feel the need to always be in the lead. It seems more relaxing to just follow the car ahead and enjoy the air, the rumble of the engine and breathe in the passing scenery


I finally arrive at Western Motorsports in Langley. Today they have an open house, Demo rides for Triumph bikes, charity hot dogs and basically everything in the store is "on sale" .

I can help but OOOOH and AAAAAH at the bikes in the showroom


I couldn't help myself, I just had to try them on for size, especially the Tiger 800


I have been drawn to them lately. I sat on them in Richmond, both the 800XC and the non XC versions. There is also a white Tiger 800XC demo which felt very comfortable. It didn't seem so high as the others I have tried. The salesperson said that the seat has Hi and Low positions.

I don't mind telling you that when I saw that Yamaha Tenere I immediately thought of GeorgeF. When I noticed this colourful Bonneville I thought of Dar. All of us friends brought together through Blogging.


I went upstairs to the 2nd floor to look at all the goodies. I tried some stuff on and eventually noticed this Joe Rocket Alter Ego Ballistic 11.0 jacket. My current JR jacket is probably 5+ years old, time to be retired . . . to be given away to a noobie rider. I just have to figure out how to wash it first.


All merchandise is discounted at least 15%, and others on another rack are $100. off the regular price. So I just had to treat myself. I don't plan to wear it yet. I'm going to put it next to the new AlpineStar* boots I purchased last August. Now all I need are new riding pants. I'm getting new riding gear for my riding tour to Oregon this summer


I stuffed my new Jacket into my sidecase and came back to the showroom for another peek, before I had had a quick snack


While munching on my Hot Dog, my eyes got diverted to this curvacious


Beemer R1200R. It's another bike that I can't get out of my mind. Can you imagine having one of these scrumptious bikes and just let it sit in the garage because you are out riding your GS instead ? It's a crying shame, I tell you

I eventually left and headed towards home, but first I stopped by the marina to grasp a few rays of sun and just enjoy the day. I seem to come here often. It's peaceful, a place to think and gather your thoughts.


My older JR jacket is longer than my new one and often "rides up" when riding. This new Ballistic Alter Ego 11.0 is a bit shorter and feels just right


Thursday, April 26, 2012

No Man Cave here

There is currently a challenge from Flyboy (A view from Above), for photos of your man cave. I sure wished I had one like the one he built for himself. I don't even have a cave for my commuter car which has to sit outside by the curb. I have a crawl space for my sports car, but everything else has to sit outside under the carport, which has a roof but no sides


we have an inner single space carport, and a double carport which opens to the lane. If you want to use the inner vehicle you have to do the car shuffle. It's not easy when everyone gets home and leaves for work at different times. My convertible roadster is usually in the crawl space as I only insure it during the summer months. It will be insured shortly and it will have to share the single carport with my V-strom


A man cave is only a distant dream

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Maui: North Island Hwy 340

I've gotten behind . In January we went to Maui, Hawai'i and I saved one post of the most delightful road that we discovered when we were exploring the Island. We had been to the Big Island of Hawai'i before but this was the first time we came to Maui and when I was searching for things to do, the only "Must Do" was to drive the Road to Hana. (click HERE for prev Post)

Other than Hana, we were going to relax and just enjoy the warm, summerlike weather. We don't feel comfortable being in high end resorts (in general) so decided to stay in Lahaina. Luckily the place is full of tourists and had many restaurants & stores which were open late for us to browse and fondle. It seems that we chose a place right in the middle of the action on the main street. Back at our hotel we could just sit on our lanai and watch the constant streams of cars and people walking up and down the strip.

Now Maui is not a big Island and there are not that many roads. We managed to sightsee a bit and went south to the beach areas in Kihei where our friends usually stay. We also found the "clothing optional" beach but we arrived very late in the afternoon and the weather was a bit iffy. We also drove up to Kaanapali to see what the upscale resorts looked like, but we like to travel off the beaten path. Little did we know that this road was "restricted" to rental vehicles. It was the road around the north tip of the Island known simply as Hwy 340.

View Larger Map

It is a one lane road, with little pavement (mostly gravel). It is a shelf road cut into the side of the cliffs and goes up and down as it follows the coastline. It is one-lane with few pull outs. As you round the corner you have to survey the road up to the other side to make sure there are no cars coming down from the other side. If none, then you can go . . . If there are cars coming the opposite direction you have to wait for them, otherwise one of you will have to back up the mountain to a place where you can pull over to let them pass. There is not enough room for two vehicles to pass each other, and there are NO guard rails. (and a steep drop off too)

I thought that this road was more of an adventure than the Road to Hana. I would highly recommend that you drive this road if you visit Maui. Luckily I brought my GoProHD as otherwise there would be few or no photos. There are no places to pull over.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Under the . . .



Down by the Sea


On a blanket with my baby is where I'll be


(Under the boardwalk) out of the sun
(Under the boardwalk) we'll be havin' some fun


(Under the boardwalk) people walking above


(Under the boardwalk) we'll be *making love*
Under the board-walk, board-walk!


Oooooh, under the boardwalk, down by the sea, yeah
On a blanket with my baby is where I'll be


(Under the boardwalk) out of the sun
(Under the boardwalk) we'll be havin' some fun


(Under the boardwalk) people walking above
(Under the boardwalk) we'll be falling in love


Under the board-walk, board-walk!


It was a beautiful day for a ride to White Rock and the Pier. White Rock is a seaside community about 40 kms south of Vancouver via hwy 99. For those not familiar with this area, here is a map of where we went

View Sunday apr 22 in a larger map

and here is a view of the main street which is filled with restaurants

Marine Drive, White Rock, BC

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A couple

of photos


"Clouds" was taken on Good Friday. I don't know why, but lately I have been looking up at the sky more than normal. Yesterday the sky was angry with very Black clouds but I couldn't capture a good shot without overhead wires, a disadvantage of being in the city

I really like Yellow


I know this isn't a dandilion, perhaps someone knows what this is called ?

I have been playing with levels and colour balance

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Pushed over the edge

Sunday was an iffy day. The skies looked threatening on the verge of rain but I got an early start and hopped on my bike around 9am and headed East towards Langley. I was looking forward to a relaxing ride without having to worry about whether my chores were done or not. I can't relax when I know there are things to be done. I decided to take the fast route taking the freeway (Hwy99 and Hwy10). It takes about an hour to get to the business district on Fraser Highway and I find my reserved spot, empty just waiting for me & my 'Strom


Lately I have not found the need for speed. All the way while I was riding I was content to just go with the flow. I keep an eye on my rear view mirrors as the traffic approaches and pass. I find another vehicle travelling around the speed limit and I just tag behind, following at a modest distance. I eventually catch up to another car which had a mattress on its roof tied with two wraps of rope. The mattress is fluttering in the wind and doesn't appear to be that secured but I stay behind as we are approaching my exit. I don't know why drivers' can be so stupid as to take the freeway when they should take a slower surface route.


I came to Langley to attend the monthly meeting of the Canadian Route 66 Association. I have been a member since inception but I have been absent from meetings for a while. It is a breakfast meeting and today we have a garage tour to see a special collection. If you are a member of a car club you will know what a garage tour is.

Many people have collections. Usually they are motorized vehicles such as; hot rods, muscle cars, performance cars, motorcycles. They can also be Trucks, electric trains, dolls, antiques and so on. As these are private collections, they are not usually open to the public and also you have to respect their privacy as to location and what they may own. Not anyone can be invited to their homes so someone would contact them as ask if we may see their collection, and most are happy to show you what they have. It is easier if you are part of a recognized club.

Anyway here is a teaser photo, further details will be revealed on a future post . . .


By the time I finished our Garage Tour and rode home it was close to 3pm. Something had been on my mind for a long time. As you know V-stroms are not meant to be clean, and rain is the preferred method of washing.

But every time I look at my bike, my eyes see this


It's the caked-on crude that is caused by flinging chain lube coming into contact with dirt. My whole chain looks like this, as well as the sprocket. I took a bit of kerosene to reveal a section to show what it looks like


I know kerosene isn't kind to your hands so I put on some protective gloves and keep working away at the grime


I have also taken a kerosene soaked rag and cleaned my chain. It's not easy to clean between the links and my fingers are getting tired. I also decided to drag out my hose, washing supplies and give my bike a much needed bath. I got to run my hands over every inch of its sensuous body, feeling its contoured tank, caressing my chamois into every possible crevice trying to get it clean


While it wasn't as clean as the first day I bought it, it is 85%+ better than what it was and I would have to work with a toothbrush to get at the more confined areas. I also spent some time trying to clean the black rims


I must have spent 3 hours cleaning my bike and when I finished putting all my cleaning supplies away, I re-lubed the chain. It's amazing how much time it takes but it makes me feel good to know I have a clean machine. I'm almost positive that it will go faster now


Sunday, April 15, 2012


As mentioned in the previous post, Saturday was the most perfect day but I had many errands to do and I would have felt guilty if I tootled the whole day on my bike. I also had an appointment to bring my car in for warranty work and Saturday is most convenient for me since it is awkward on weekdays to bring it in, and is close to home


Also, we have changed our Saturday breakfast location from Kitsilano (Downtown Vancouver) and now meet in Steveston, a small community half an hour south-west of Vancouver. My appointment is at noon so I decided to ride my bike for breakfast, ride over to the Triumph dealer to look at Hi-Viz jackets on clearance, then ride home and switch over to the car


at 8:30am nothing is happening and I have the boardwalk virtually to myself. The skies look threatening but there was no sign of rain. Soon the warmer weather will bring lots of activity here and parking will be at a premium


Pajo's Fish & Chips is a favoured place for locals. They have excellent Fish & Chips and you can select from Cod or Salmon. You will seldom find this place without a sizeable line on a warm summers day

I arrive home to bring my car for service, and a small job which was promised `within the hour` ends up taking three. After that I head home as I am anxious to do my chores to free up my Sunday. It was a struggle trying to start my lawn mower for the first time this year. Yanking on that string nearly yanked my arms out of my sockets. No, I don`t install fuel stabilizer, nor do I change the spark plugs. I just expect that it will start as it does every year.


It`s a bit chilly as I tackle the back yard first. The lawn mower is struggling with the long, wet grass causing it to stop often which requires it to be re-started. I find that the first cut of the year is the most difficult

I am a third of the way working on the front . . . and I have to pause for a rest break


cutting grass is hard work when you would rather be doing something else, like riding. After the lawn is done it is time to remove the snow tires


I have tires mounted on separate rims and I have a small hydraulic jack which makes changing tires a bit easier, but I still use elbow grease to remove the lug nuts. I used to tag my wheels with their location but as my tires are directional I just put them on their respective sides and


select the tires with the best tread to be installed on the front. Soon I am working on my last tire and take a moment to gather my breath. I have a torque wrench and set the lug nuts at 85psi.


I then brought out my portable air compressor and set the tires at 33psi, I am not sure but this pressure sounds about right. I was going to wash the mags as they were dirty when I removed them last Fall but then decided to just wash the whole car. I mean, the car was filthy anyway and what sense would it be to have clean wheels and a dirty body


I`m not used to all this exercise and it felt hot, so I got to wear shorts for the first time this year. Driving a clean car gives you a good feeling


and now I have all day Sunday to myself, without feeling guilty. As you know, Sunday is usually a non-riding day, but Mrs Skoot is away and `when the cat`s away, the mouse will play`