Best wishes for a wonderful holiday season to all of you and all of yours. Remember, Christmas is all about spending time with family...and getting shiny things for your bike!
Selene is now all tucked away in the garage waiting for me to do the usual storage routine. She's already cleaned and waxed so all I need to do is change the oil and filter. After that, all I can do is go visit.
Here's to a short winter...
The coming week looks a bit iffy. There is a rather large cold front just south of the Great Lakes which is carrying a lot of snow with it.
Every other day next week is slated to have either rain or snow or a mix of both. Here's hoping that it stays mild here.
I haven't had too many days where I can just get out for a ride. It's either windy or just plain cold. I did manage to get out for some holiday shopping, but that kind of turned sour. Once I got out I realized that my list was still at the apartment. No problem, just another excuse to be out longer on bike. Well, once I turned the key in the outer security door things changed a bit. The key snapped off in the lock. Normally this wouldn't be an issue, but my cell phone was also in the apartment so I couldn't call maintenance to let me in either. Add to that the fact that the apartment offices had just closed.
I ended up having to go all the way across town to get Joey's keys so I could get back in the apartment and call maintenance. When all was said and done, it was dark out and I had no desire to do any shopping. With a hot coffee, I retired to my computer to let the rest of the day dwindle away.
Stay safe and warm out there, bothers and sisters.
I know that I'm living on borrowed time. Taking a look at the weather map for North America shows more blobs of blue (snow) then blobs of green (rain). Yeah, I know, not very technical. I'll do what I can and push as far as possible. If I can ride on Christmas Day or Christmas Eve, I'll be happy.
Oh, and I'd like to get one shot of me riding in the snow ;)
My only saving grace may be the next couple of days. It's supposed to warm up to 4C (39F) tomorrow and 10C (50F) the next day plus rain. I can only hope this comes to pass as it will wipe out the snow we already have. It's way too early to give up riding yet. I would love to be riding on Xmas day.
Well, I guess "I" wouldn't stranded...rather Selene...in a parking garage all by herself. I would rather that then both of us in ditch somewhere...I suppose. Just not keen on leaving her 15 minutes away from me.
It's currently -2C (28.4F) and clear. With 45 minutes left of my shift, i'm kind of crossing my fingers. I can handle the cold...just not the ice.
I'm still going strong and riding whenever I can. As you all know, I don't give up easily when the weather takes a turn for the nippy. This morning was a whole 1 degree Celsius (33.8 F) and a tad on the windy side. I've smartened up a bit though and switched from my shortie to the full face helmet. The difference in comfort for riding in cooler temps is great and I should have done it last year. Oh well, live and learn. I use my leather face mask to wrap around my neck to keep the cold from diving straight into my jacket.
The only problem I'm having, and this is a carry over from last year, is that my gloves are crap. By the time I get to work (15 minute ride) my hands are freezing. I'm not willing to get heated gloves. To me that's just too much trouble and money for such a short ride.
Oh well, I'm sure I'll find something sometime soon. In the meantime, ride safe!
Motorist fined after striking motorcycle wedding procession
An Oromocto, N.B., man pleaded guilty Monday to charges laid after
he drove his car into a procession of motorcylists on their way to a
wedding in August, severely injuring five of the riders - including the
groom and his best friend.
Matthew Francis, 27, was charged last week with driving without due
care and attention, and driving without insurance. He entered the
guilty pleas on his first appearance in Burton provincial court.
He was fined a total of about $2,400, and his licence was suspended for four months.
Francis told the court his daughter in the back seat had distracted
him when he swerved across the centre line on Lincoln Road, smashing
into the motorcycle wedding procession.
The crash happened Aug. 9 as 10 motorcyclists were heading to CFB Gagetown for a wedding.
The groom, Frank Bouchard, and his best friend, Alain Belanger,
suffered serious injuries in the crash just 20 minutes before the
wedding was to take place.
Crown prosecutor Paul Hawkins told the court that witnesses agreed
that the red Ford Escort station wagon swerved across the centre line
of the two-lane highway, striking five of the motorcycles.
He said there was no evidence that speed or alcohol contributed to the accident, and so criminal charges were not warranted.
Chief provincial court Judge Leslie Jackson called it a "tragic incident" where "momentary inattention had grave consequences."
Francis asked for four months to pay the fine because he is unemployed.
Two of the injured motorcyclists, including one man who lost his foot, were in court, but declined to comment.
The motorcyclists, members of a Fredericton-area club known as the
Passchendaele Unit, which is part of the Canadian Army Veteran
Motorcycle Units association, had planned the procession as a surprise
for the bride.
But hurricane Kyle had different plans for the weekend...actually for my full three days off. I got to ride home from work, but after that all I could do was sit around the house.
Here's hoping we have a late winter...
What say you, fellow riders?
If a person is sitting next to their bike cleaning it up and making it sparkle, do not come up and say, "I guess you'll have to put it away soon." You will likely get a dirty look or a punch.
Seriously...really getting tired of people telling me this. There are better ways of starting conversations with a biker. That's kind of like going up to a married man and saying, "I guess you kind of settled there." Or a woman who just got a hair cut and saying, "I guess you won't get that style done again." Basically, you are starting off on the wrong foot.
Besides...you are talking to a guy who won't stop riding until the snow starts falling. Now shut it...I'm going for a ride...
I can't find a copy of it online, but if I do I'll post a link here. The commercial starts with showing people doing their best to save money on gas. A couple of guys on bicycle, a guy on a bus, and a guy gearing up for his scooter. Suddenly, their dark and dreary looking days are interrupted by a gleaming white car. As the car passes by each person, you can see them looking longingly at it. The car is soon shown to be a BMW and it's obvious that they are boasting it's ability to look good and go distances on a tank of gas.
I'm thinking, cool, BMW is getting in on the green thing and finally have some fuel efficient cars. But can they really rival a scooter?
The commercial hits the end and I almost spit out my drink as I see the listing for the MPG. You ready for this?
Yup, 28 MPG. And that's on the highway! They didn't even list the city rating. I lost it. They seriously think this can be considered a fuel efficient car?! They seriously think that some guy on his scooter looks longingly at this gas gobbler?! I couldn't make out the scooter, but I can guarantee that it's gas mileage is much better then that. Hell, my cruiser gets almost double that! I laughed all the way to the computer and immediately had to blog about it.
Oh, and the web site. HA! Check it out...
The fog got so bad that we had to cut the meeting short. It was nuts! I went for a spin afterward, but it was so foggy that I was soaked in a matter of minutes. I will continue to say that we don't have fog, we have suspended rain.
By morning the fog was still there, thick as ever, but at least the roads were dry. I had full intentions of riding in. The moment I gear up and step outside...rain. Truly typical.
The weather isn't looking too bad for the rest of the week. I'm hoping for at least a couple of good days so I can get some riding in. The end of the season is fast approaching and I haven't been riding half as much as I should have.
"I'm lucky that I'm alive today, seriously. I have a hard time not getting emotional talking about it," says Alain Belanger.
Belanger was injured on Saturday while travelling in a 10-motorcycle formation that was heading to CFB Gagetown to serve as a wedding escort.
Belanger, and the groom, Frank Bouchard, were in the fifth and sixth positions of the "staggered-packet" bike formation when a Ford station wagon drifted across the centre line on Lincoln Road near Oromocto, N.B., and plowed into the motorcycles.
Belanger and Bouchard were the worst injured in the crash that sent four of the motorcyclists to Fredericton's Dr. Everett Chalmers Hospital.
Groom hit first
"I was sure my friend was dead — Frank there — because of the way it happened," Belanger told CBC News from the hospital. "It happened so fast but I saw his bike basically go to pieces and he was still on it — and the sound of the impact."
The driver of the car initially nicked the handlebars of one bike before colliding with the bikers in the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth positions.
The motorcyclist in the 10th position also went down when an unrelated car that had fallen in between the ninth and 10th bikes suddenly braked to try to avoid the accident. The rider chose to lay her bike down and slide into the rear of the vehicle rather than risk a worse collision.
Belanger said when he was hit he didn't lose consciousness.
"I remember rolling into the ditch," he said. "I tried to get up and I was yelling for him [Bouchard] right away and I wanted to get to him but then I realized I couldn't go anywhere. My arm was broken and my leg was broken."
Belanger's leg was broken in four spots below the knee, with an open fracture that had turned his foot toward his knee.
The motorcyclists were all members of a Fredericton-area club known as the Passchendaele Unit, which is part of the Canadian Army Veteran Motorcycle Units association.
Motorcyclists began administering first aid
All of the riders, who were in their 30s and 40s, were either veterans or serving soldiers, Belanger said, and their first aid training kicked in.
The other motorcyclists began treating Bouchard and himself, Belanger said.
Belanger, Bouchard and another rider are still in the hospital in stable condition.
'I can't wait for next spring, so I can ride again'—Alain Belanger, crash victim
The injuries include broken legs, broken arms, broken noses, severed nerves, concussions, whiplash and road rash.
"We were really lucky," he said.
Belanger said he has served overseas four times, but has never broken a bone before.
And he says the crash won't stop him from riding.
"Something like that happens, you know, you've got to carry on, right," Belanger said. "You can't focus on that all the time. Can't wait; now I know I won't be riding this year, but I can't wait for next spring, so I can ride again."
Belanger said he had made a pact with another rider involved in the crash that they will both get back on their bikes and that when they do they will take that first ride together.
Police have not yet laid any charges in the accident and the investigation is continuing.
The driver of the car had a small child aboard. Neither was injured.
Police have said that inattentive driving due to driver distraction was likely a contributing factor in the crash.
Four motorcyclists, including a bridegroom, who were headed to CFB Gagetown for a wedding were rushed to hospital on Saturday after a multi-vehicle collision.
A car drifted across the centre line on Lincoln Road near Oromocto, N.B., around 2:45 p.m. on Saturday and plowed into 10 members of a motorcycle club who were on their way to provide a wedding escort as a surprise for the bride, police said.
The groom was leading the group down the road toward the military base, where the wedding was to be held. He was struck, along with four other motorcyclists, as the car crossed the line. His injuries were among the most severe.
The driver of the car appeared to initially nick the handlebars of one of the bikes before driving into the first and second motorcyclists, said Graham Leslie, who was riding in the ninth position of the staggered-packet bike formation.
The car then appeared to lose control and spun around, striking a third and fourth motorcycle before having more minor collisions with the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth bikes in the formation, Leslie said.
"I couldn't believe this was happening in front of me," Leslie said. "To me, it seemed to be happening in slow motion."
Leslie said his more than 30 years of experience helped him avoid the collision.
The motorcyclist in the 10th position went down when an unrelated car that had fallen in between the ninth and 10th bikes suddenly braked to try to avoid the accident. The rider chose to lay her bike down and slide into the rear of the vehicle rather than risk a worse collision, Leslie said.
Groom worst injured
Four of the motorcyclists were rushed to Fredericton's Dr. Everett Chalmers Hospital. Three were in serious condition, while one was treated and released.
The motorcyclists who were hit are lucky to be alive, Leslie said.
Broken legs, broken arms, broken noses, concussions and whiplash are among the injuries that the motorcyclists received in the accident, Leslie said.
The groom was the worst injured, Leslie said.
Inattentive driving due to driver distraction was likely a contributing factor in the accident, said RCMP Staff Sgt. Gary Cameron.
No charges have been laid yet and the investigation is continuing.
The driver of the car had a small child aboard. Neither was injured.
The motorcyclists are members of a Fredericton-area club known as the Passchendaele Unit, which is part of the Canadian Army Veteran Motorcycle Units association.
The injured riders, all males, are in their 30s and 40s.
(Taken from CBC news)
Now to buy a surge protector...
I need some sun. *sigh*
We had two possibilities on Saturday. One was a charity run and the other was just a run of pure self indulgence. Don't get me wrong, I love charity runs and it's a great place to meet new people, but sometimes you just need to get away from everything. So we decided on the self indulgence run.
As a mater of getting things square, "we"= me and my second officer from my CMC chapter. We were the only ones that showed up for the run and my wife was feeling a bit under the weather. The day added up to one heck of a boys day out.
The previous four days weather made Saint John a fog covered waste land. It was sickening and things were made worse when you knew that ten minutes outside the city it was warm and sunny. Ah the joys of living near the ocean.
When I woke up that morning it was like I had moved to a different country. The sun was blazing and it was already well into the double digits. If it was like this in Saint John, Moncton (much farther inland) would be an oven.
We met up at the local Tims for a quick coffee and realized that we would have to make a straight trip to Moncton on the highway. The motorcycle shop that we wanted to visit (namely Atlantic Motoplex) was closing at 1pm and it was already well after 10am. From Saint John to Moncton it's a good couple hour run. With stock Honda seats you can add more time for butt revival.
The highway run was nothing special, but the warm air and little to no wind made it one of the best highway rides I've had in years.
Sussex (the half way point) arrived in short order and we stopped for a breather...and some cold water. It doesn't take long to get thirsty being force fed dry air.
With my thirst quenched and my companion's addiction stick burnt away, we were off once more.
I was right, Moncton was more akin to an oven then a city. It was a wonderful 27 C (80 F) and even in my full leathers I was enjoying it to it's fullest. Of course, hitting every red light on the way to the cycle shop almost had me stripping layers of leather on the fly.
With 30 minutes to spare we pulled into the parking lot for Atlantic Motoplex. I had heard tons of things about this place, but had never set foot inside. I was more then a little excited to finally have a chance to see and sit on one of my favourite brands...Ducati.
Inside the giant air conditioned building was a maze of motorcycles the likes I had never seen. The main brands were Yamaha, BMW and Ducati, but there were plenty of others there as well. We spent the next half hour wandering and drooling over all the machines and gear. Saint John really needs a place like this...so I can save gas when I want to drool.
I saw my share of Ducati's and fell in love with two. As much as the sport style bikes were beautiful and seemed like they were at top speed standing still, it was the Ducati 696 Monster and the Ducati GT1000. If I had my choice though, it would have been the Monster...it just fit me so well...*sigh*
After cleaning up the puddles of drool for the nice people at the shop we lost some leather layers and hunted out a place to eat. The local chinese buffet hit the spot perfectly. With a window view you could see how popular the beautiful weather was with everyone that owned a bike.
With tanks full, both human and machine, we rolled off on the scenic portion of our trip. And scenic it was.
We spent the rest of the day cruising the Fundy Trail. Even though I had my camera with me, I just didn't want to stop. It was one of those perfect days. A day that you just have to ride, you just have to keep going. With every kilometer you roll your smile gets that much bigger and you realize what riding two wheels does for you spirit and your mind.
The Fundy Trail runs the coast and hits several scenic areas as it meanders along. It flows through the cozy (and tourist trapping) town of Alma and then winds through the Fundy National Park.
On future runs I'll have to take more pictures and make more stops and also try not to leave the camera at my parents house. There are just so many things to see and capture. Maybe next time we'll take the wives, pack a lunch and make the day of it. But for now I'll have to list this and one of the most pristine runs I have ever done.
Here's to motorcycling and all the joy it brings.
I'm a little late posting this, but work and exhaustion have both held me back from posting.
Saturday, June 7th was the first annual Motorcycle Ride for Dad for New Brunswick. It was a tri-city event between Saint John, Fredericton, and Moncton meant to collect money for research for prostate cancer.
There was a meet-up at the local Mark's Work Wearhouse at 7:30am. They had breakfast and a small booth setup with Ride for Dad T-shirts and such plus a place to register and hand in pledge sheets. It was great to have several members from my CMC chapter at the ride as it gave us a presence and the ability to spread the word about our riding club.
The ride itself left around 10:30am and there was a short police guided parade around Saint John. Once the parade was done, we were free to break off into packs and continue a poker run that was started at the time of registration.
The day itself started off cool and overcast, but as we moved out of the city things changed for the better. It ended up being a scorching day by the time all the riders reached Sussex for the final meet up and prize draws.
Our group managed to stay together for the entire ride and even picked up someone that expressed interest in the group (he eventually joined). We also got an offer to get involved in next years run which I'll definitely be looking into.
All in all it was a great day for a great cause and 430+ bikers raised $22, 000+ for the cause.
Of course my camera never left my side (although I almost lost it off the back of my bike) and here are the pictures I took from the event.
After that it was a quick run out to Quispamsis to meet up with a couple of guys from my riding group. We had a coffee at the local Tim Hortons and debated about actually making a run. The sky looked like rain, but the forecast gave it a pretty low chance. We said the heck with it and decided to ride anyway.
Surprisingly enough, it didn't start raining really hard until we were hiding out in the leather shop in Sussex. We browsed and browsed watching the rain come down in buckets. It's a good thing the owners of the shop didn't mind the company.
Once the rain held up we rode out of town and made our way to Hampton for a final coffee break.
Sunday's weather was a heck of a lot better. There was no way I was hanging around the house with all that sunshine. Me and Selene took a nice solo run up through Hampton for a coffee (the new Tims there is becoming a regular biker hang out). While there I saw one of the new Kawasaki Concours which is one beautiful bike. After a short tour around Saint John's water front I headed for home.
I got lots of riding in and even got to know a couple of my chapter's members better. Couldn't have asked for a better weekend.
Thankfully, I seem to be mostly out of the woods and I seem to have full volume back again. The cough is lingering, but it's more annoying then anything else.
Two days ago I finally got out on Selene and it was good. Both me and Joey were just puttering around town and enjoying the ride. We even stopped at one of the local dealerships to see the offerings.
So, apologies for not writing anything about riding. With how sick I was even surfing the internet seemed to be an overbearing chore.
So...yeah, it's about damn time.
It's actually been warm enough to put the battery in and putter around in the garage, but it's useless to go for a ride. Between the snow, ice, cold temperatures and dirt on the roads it's better to keep Selene safe and sound in storage.
I just hope it's all over soon. I'm getting a little tired of twisting the non-existent throttle on the car's steering wheel...
Thanks to all that participated and help us keep this going every year!
2008 Riders Choice Awards Winners & Runners Up
Seeing as I can't ride, I've been hibernating mostly and geeking out when not hibernating. I don't mention much about my regular life on here, but suffice to say I'm a gamer and computer geek. When winter comes, I have lots to keep me occupied. I've beaten several games that I recently purchased and I'm currently building a new computer for myself.
My chapter of the CMC (Canadian Motorcycle Cruisers) is still running and I'm hoping to get a stronger membership this coming season. It will take some doing on my part. I'm not much of a social animal, so I'm taking this as a test of myself. I want to see if I can do this and it would be nice to get a strong group of people to ride with. I'll definitely have to get out to some of the events in New Brunswick so I can start getting the word out about CMC.
Also, I don't know if I mentioned it, but I'm now the Provincial Officer for New Brunswick. That means that I have three chapters to keep an eye on. Talk about testing myself...lol.
So, here's to another year, upcoming warm weather and just enjoying the ride while we can!
The time has come for MBI's yearly awards. Everything from "best concept" to "what were they thinking?" is covered and now it's your chance to let us know what you think. Hop on over to the site to cast your own vote!
As a matter of fact, I was over just last week to give her a bath and make sure everything was okay. She got multiple compliments and even a offer from someone to keep an eye on her. The only problem I have is that she was out in the bad weather for a little too long. The new signal lights that I bought for her need to be replaced. It didn't take long for them to get corroded and pitted. I'm guessing they don't make those to survive snow and salt. Oh well, at least they weren't that expensive and should be quite easy to replace.