took a ride

Bridge to St. Martins 01
Originally uploaded by giest.
yesterday i had a wonderful drive up to visit my dad. he's doing pretty good and the urologist is saying he is not only on track, but may be a bit ahead of schedule, recovery wise.

the move is almost over with and there is only a few more things to grab from the other apartment along with some cleaning. now we have a ton of boxes to wade through...oh well. so, as a treat, i zipped up to Sussex to see my dad. took the long way, of course, down around the coast. beautiful drive with minimal traffic and lots of twisties. it was kind of chilly, but that's to be expected around the coastal areas. i can't describe how wonderful it is to see trees in full bloom now. with every turn, i was riding through a sea of green with smells that i have long since missed.

while visiting, we chatted, had a snack, and chatted some more while i cleaned Selene. actually it was more like i ran around in circles "trying" to clean Selene while the black flies and mosquitoes chased me. still it was fun, and she desperately needed a cleaning.

took a different route back, more inland, so that it would be warmer, and had a wonderful view of the sunset. also had a wonderful view of every bug smacking my visor. at the end of the ride, my helmet looked fuzzy...due to all the bug wings sticking off it. oh well, doing my part for lower the mosquito population.

it was exhausting, but i'm getting used to riding the distances now and that's something i need to do. i have a 12 hour drive coming up in august and i have to be well prepared for it.

small observation

i've recently noticed something that i do. i never really had a reason to notice it up until the last couple of days. i avoid putting my feet down and try to keep the bike up as much as possible.

let me explain. heavy traffic is very unusual around my area. you can have a straight shot to work and never have to stop, aside from the red lights and red signs. for the last couple of days, traffic has been ridiculous for no apparent reason. so here i am in this long line of metal, coasting along. while was doing this, i realized that i was leaving a gap of one or two car lengths between me and the vehicle in front of me. instantly you think, "well, that's for safety reasons." i'll agree with that and add one more thing. i don't want to stop, i don't want to put my feet down because i'm only going to have to do it again in the next couple of seconds. so i coast along, slowly closing the gap with the cage in front, hoping that the line of traffic will start moving along again.

mind you, i don't think this is a bad thing. i pass it off, in my mind, as practice for keeping the bike up at very very slow speeds. and i am getting better at it. i can keep Selene rolling while the speedometer is barely registering movement.

in light of that, i was wondering if anyone else does that or something similar to it. i'm sure that in larger cities, you aren't going to get away with leaving that much space between you and the cage in front. i'm guessing you would get some honks and a few wonderful hand gestures. consider me curious. :)

cars / cages

i've been meaning to banter/rant about cars for a while now. especially about the difference that i find from driving a car to riding a bike. it's something that i've had on my mind for some time now, long before i picked up Selene.

the thing that bothers me about cars is the fact that they really aren't a vehicle so much as they are a lazyboy with wheels. you open a door, sit down, and turn a key. once that's done you may as well be in a mobile home. you have the stereo, controlled climate, walls, someone next to you and a great big tv screen in front of you to watch the world go by.

i hate how relaxed you become while you drive. it's like you don't have to pay attention to anything around you. you're sealed off and you don't really experience anything so much as you view it. the one thing about riding a motorcycle that i love is that every part of you is doing something. each hand has a job, both feet have things to be doing and your brain has to keep all those working along with minding the road and all it's hazards. you aren't just riding or are a part of the machine and you both have to work together to get from point A to point B.

in a car, you have one foot on the accelerator and usually one hand on the wheel. the foot that's on the accelerator also governs stopping the car. what do you do with that free foot? nothing (unless you drive a standard). then you have the stereo to block out the world oh...and those wonderful inventions...cellphones.

i have never been really comfortable with cars because you aren't a part of the vehicle. it's just a cage that's pulling you from one destination to the next. i find it a little hard to explain, but it's like sitting down at the dinner table. you just kind of sit there, do what you have to do and that's that.

the bike is a different experience...a different animal. you are a part of that machine. your senses are alive and that machine responds to everything you ask it to do. going down that road is no longer a trip, not a point A to point B thing. it's an experience. it's alive with sounds and smells. you are hovering over that blacktop with nothing but a small patch of rubber holding you up. your brain is calculating at a ridiculous speed, making sure that all hands and feet are working together and keeping an eye on any and all things that could possible be a danger to you on the road.

i apologize if this seems kind of jumbled or nonsensical, but it's just thoughts on or not. i only check for spelling errors, not continuity... :)

i couldn't be happier to call myself a motorcycle rider. i only wish my climate gave me the option to ride all year. you wouldn't find too many days that i wouldn't be riding.

huh, what now?

you have got to be kidding me.

Under the proposed increases, the annual insurance premium for vehicle registration on a motorcycle with an engine displacement of 701 cubic centimetres or more would jump to $430 in 2007 and $527 in 2008 from the current $253. Fee hikes for "sport" motorcycles would be even steeper.

i'm still trying to figure out if this is Canada wide or not...

rain today.

it's been about a week since i've been able to actually ride and it feels like i'm missing something. so last night i checked what the weather was going to be like. sunny in the morning and afternoon, rain in the evening. no big deal, just pack my rain suit and i'll be good. i wake up to fog and mist. i said the hell with it and rode in to work anyway. it was a little cold and it started raining a couple of minutes away from work, but it wasn't too bad at all. i was only wearing my splash pants, so they didn't protect my legs from the water beating against me. but i made it in with only a few wet spots on my pant legs. i have my rainsuit in my back pack, so i'll be wearing that on my way home tonight. to be honest, i like night time drives in the rain. there's something so solitary about it. i find it relaxing and invigorating at the same time. knowing that everything around me is wet and i'm being protected by a thin barrier of rubber. i get all cozy inside. :)

oh my.

how on earth did i miss the unveiling of this beautiful thing?!

here is a quick blurb:

The DN-01 is a concept model that developed with the aim of "creating new value" without being locked into any existing category of motorcycle. While the automatic model has been synonymous with the scooter and has made a clear departure from motorcycles, Honda presents the automatic sports cruiser "DN-01" featuring Honda's unique infinitely variable hydraulic mechanical transmission, the "HFT" (Human Fitting Transmission). The DN-01 is easy to operate and offers much sportier performance than existing automatic transmissions. Delivering an exciting riding experience like no other, the DN-01 Discovery Cruiser offers adults a fresh motorcycling style.

it looks like some kind of creature. i love it!


the weather is killing me. last night we had heavy rain and lightning and today is just wet and gloomy. the most thing that i can do is look out the window at my very wet bike and shake my head at the fact that i STILL don't have a cover for her. should be here by mid next week though and it better damn well be water proof.

in other news, dad's "dogs" are gone and he seems to be doing fine. he has been taking longer trips out of the house and is now learning to control his "water". if you don't know what i mean, look up some of the drawbacks of having your prostate removed. it's interesting how much that little organ does.

Ride 01.

yesterday i hit the road. i needed to see what the bike would be like to drive for an extended distance with very little time off the saddle. in total, i covered 338.8 kilometers (210.5 miles).

i learned:

that my seat sucks
that i need something to support my back
that i'm not lost, i'm just looking for a familiar place
that no matter how clean you want your bike to be, it's still going to be covered in bugs when you are done
that i will match my bike in bug colours at the end of the ride
that back roads are more fun and friendly then the highways
that the feeling of freedom is unmatched
that my bike gets damn good mileage 19 km/L (50mpg)

it was a pretty simple ride. left from Rothesay at around 11 am, hit the backroads through Hampton. followed backroads again to Sussex. from Sussex to Moncton (actually the Irving Big Stop), half back roads, half highway. i stopped at the Toys for Big Boys store (i hate that bloody name) and then it was back roads all the way down to Sussex to visit my dad. after some jabbering and mom feeding us (she came home on her lunch half hour) i was back on the road and in Rothesay (via backroads) sometime after 8 pm.

i don't think i've smiled that much in years. cruising those roads by myself is a feeling that i have been craving and missing for some time now. i can't wait to do it again and i really can't wait for my big trip in august.

new taillight.

New tail light
Originally uploaded by giest.

my new Highway Hawk taillight cover came in today. it's too cloudy and rainy to ride, but at least i can put accessories on...hehe.

i'm good.

Selene has her maintenence done and i can finally ride again. for the last three or four days i've been extremely dizzy and for one day, very nauseous. i couldn't walk straight, couldn't drive and sure as hell didn't feel like eating. a trip to the hospital gave me a diagnosis of benign vertigo. in the middle of all that, i got to enjoy an Alice Cooper concert! my nausea subsided (with the help of gravol) long enough for me to have a blast there. i was seated maybe nine rows back from the stage and it was awesome! that man sure knows how to put on a show. for the whole night i was stumbling around and losing my balance...funny thing is...i was the only one NOT drinking...LOL. everyone had a good laugh and a good time.

after that, it was out to a local club to catch another band called Crash Kelly. they were either crappy or we were spoiled by short...they sucked. i didn't even get through their whole set before my stomach went tits up again. barely made it home for another shot of gravol. with that in me, i was face down in the bed.

all in all, quite an eventful three days off. today i'm at work and feeling much better. i'm only slightly off balance and i'm able to drive the bike with no issues at all. weather is great for it too. too bad i have to work...blah.

the weekend.

Myself and Selene
Originally uploaded by giest.

most of this week has been crap. just ugly weather and no, i still don't have a cover for her. not being able to ride doesn't really make a difference though. she is due for her regular maintenance check up and i can't ride her until tomorrow. she was supposed to go in at the 1000 Km mark, but a trip to Sussex to visit my parents added a few more kilometers then i expected. i'm currently at 1500 Km or so. ooops. so now she is parked until tomorrow morning...which happens to be forecasted for scattered showers.

the weekend was great. my dad seems to be doing really well. he has a nurse that checks on him every day and he is up and moving about. they replaced his bags (or dogs as mom calls them) with smaller ones that are out of the way. his biggest problem is with his back. he has had back problems for quite some time now, being a trucker and all. so now it's hitting him in spades.

speaking of the weekend. it was great on bike. sunday was an impecable day. very warm and very calm. once i cleaned her up a bit, it was riding time. we drove all around sussex and the back roads throwing out many waves and greetings to all the other riders out enjoying the sun. i think i waved to the same guy at least four times. we passed by the local Tim Horton's and the congregation gathered there blew me away. there were so many bikes there, i lost count. i bellowed back to my wife and asked if we had any cash. the reply was no. oh well, another ride then. off to the local bank we went to get some cash.

i pulled up and she hopped off to get the money. in the meantime, at least five bikes went by and there were three parked in the bank parking lot. two H-Ds and a Yamaha...i believe.

once we got the money, it was off to Tim's. i got my usual, an ice cap and she got an orange juice and a doughnut. we just sat in the sun and admired all the bikes. checking out what everyone else had done to theirs and discussing what we would like to have done to Selene (my bike).

when we finished up looking, it was a short ride to a friend's house to show off Selene and back to my parents place. we didn't stay long as it was already getting dark and i didn't want it too cool off too much. it's an hour long drive back down to Rothesay and that can get quite cold when it's dark.

on the way through Hampton, she suggested stopping in at Holly's Restaurant to get a bite to eat. i was hesitant because it was getting late, but my grumbling stomach made the decision for me.

we finished up and hit the road again. surprisingly, even though it was dark, it stayed quite warm. it made for a nice casual drive home that only left me slightly chilled.

like i said, it was a beautiful weekend for a drive and i can't wait until the weather gets warmer so that me and Selene can have a few longer adventures.