Thursday, April 19, 2018

It's that time of year!

Winter is starting to reluctantly lose it's grip on the Island, but just when you think it's over -  BLAM it gets cold and rainy and a little snow and frost thrown in for good measure. This is the time of year on the Island when people start pulling their moto beasties out of winter hibernation from their moto lairs.
I have already taught one full Novice class and am just finishing up a second. This group is all my girlfriends who ride, and belong to my riding group the Moto Mama's.  My BF instructor friend Debra and I proposed to our riding school a 4 hour skill refresher course to shake out the winter cobwebs from the bikes and riders skills.  The skill levels of riders varied from very new to long term riders.
All of this was done on the Moto Mama's own bikes, which is a wonderful way to build skill on your own ride.  We had everything there from Honda CBR 250's, Honda CB500x, Vintage Yamaha 750, Triumph 900, BMW650, BMW 310, Suzuki TU250, Suzuki Gladius and a fully dressed Harley Davidson.
Getting ready to launch into an exercise which entails riding a figure 8 within a circle.  This involves good clutch/throttle control and killer sightlines.  I love doing this particular exercise and I got a chance to put the Duchess through her paces demoing the exercises, I could do this particular exercise all day long. 
                                                              The Moto Mama's

There is a mother/daughter duo in the Moto Mama's, I loved watching the interaction and how proud mom was of her girl!  I love the diversity of the bikes the Moto Mama's ride and it's so funny how each bike suits the rider so well.
                                                        Fierce women kicking cone butt!

We started right at the beginning working on rusty friction zone skills practicing slow speed slaloms, the dreaded U-turn, 90 degree turns and a weave. I always find the skills that suffer the most with most new and returning riders are the slow speed handling skills and sightlines. Some of the ladies even commented on this themselves.  The U-turn box in particular elicited a lot of groans and "Oh no way can I do that", but with a little coaching they were all whipping off U-turns like butter on a hot griddle - they were SIZZLING!

Then it was onto  brisk starts progressing through smooth up and downshifting. We worked on solid stops with good braking techniques.  Just as in our novice classes we used a building block approach layering one skill on top another. 

                                                       Look, Lean, and Believe!

After we honed those skills we worked on counter steering, getting a little speed and lean on. This is were the fun begins, everyone loves doing this particular exercise. This prompted big smiles and usually cries of "More!"      

As an instructor watching the gals put their bikes through their paces and working on skills, I could see the confidence creeping in and skills smoothing out, and that's a good feeling! I am so proud of these women, they are fierce! We had an excellent day, everyone was so happy and feeling ready to ride. 
Wondering what to practice to blow out the moto cobwebs? I suggest working on slow speed skills, go practice some figure 8's, U-turns, slaloms, brisk starts and quick stops, getting used to the weight of your bike and waiting for that old muscle memory to kick back in.  If you really want to go to town hook up with your local riding school for an experienced riders course or skill refresher. 
                                       Have fun and keep the shiny side up!
I'm putting the Duchess through her paces early in the riding season.  I love working on slow speed skills, for me it is not about going fast, I love the precision of slow speed riding. 

When bloggers meet.

Last weekend was a very busy weekend indeed!  I had the greatest pleasure of meeting two bloggers! Motorcyclist/fashion blogger Shybiker  and fashion blogger  Sheila Ephemera .  Sorry no pictures, it seems I have gotten out of blogging mode.  We met up for lunch and had a wonderful time chatting and getting to know each other.  I love it when I meet other bloggers that I have been following for a long time. Shybiker introduced me to a new blogger Sheila who just happens to live in Victoria.  We talked about everything and our conversation was wide ranging and eclectic.

Ralph has a love of fine writing instruments and I certainly appreciate the beauty of a well balanced smooth perfect pen.  I have been envious of some of the lovely pens I have seen on the blog and was so thrilled when Ralph gave me this beautiful desk pen as a memento.  I am absolutely in love with it, it is now the sacred pen on the my desk and pity the fool who tries to take it.  Thank you for this gorgeous pen! 

We had a lovely afternoon of seeing the sights and do some shopping.  Sheila is a fashion maven who thrifts a lot of her beautiful clothes and there really is an art to thrifting and being adventurous.  She is fearless with style and it was glorious watching her go through the racks and pull outfits together.  I am definitely stuck in a fashion rut, but will be paying more attention to our local boutiques as they offer such beautiful clothes and shoes and I kinda dig the idea of upcycling.  After our rambles through a few of her favourite haunts we went back to her place for tea and I was tickled pink when she gave me a peek at her closet - GLORIOUS! We chatted the afternoon away and then before I knew it, it was time to say adieu!  Unfortunately I was unable to meet up with Ralph and Sheila again on the weekend as I had teaching commitments.  But all I can say is it was memorable and I had such a fantastic time!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

I'm still here!

Doyou ever feel like you're hibernating from the world? It seems thatis whats been happening more and more over the last 7-8 months.  I had a very busy year last year what with working, teaching, working, and a little bit of summer riding.  Well the cycle has started all over again.  So here we go again! I am going to try and blog a little more regularly.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

I am in love with my Instant Pot

I have never usually been one for fancy gadgets, unless it was a farkle for my bike.  I don't normally get excited about appliances, but wait for it - I AM IN LOVE WITH MY INSTANT POT.

What is an Instant Pot you say?  It is a multi function cooker, it is basically an electric pressure cooker.  It will function as a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice maker, steamer, and yogurt maker.  This gadget is gaining a cult-like following, several people I know have them and have been raving about them for months!  It cuts down the cooking time significantly, which is great for someone like me who is constantly busy doing stuff  or on bike adventures, teaching, or just plain busy.  Occasionally I forget to pull out stuff for supper and on those nights it's usually a free-for-all at may house and I generally give-up or give-in and we succumb to eating sandwiches or spaghetti or over cooked chicken because I nuked it to death to thaw it. 

I have been contemplating getting one, but decided I would float the idea as a potential Christmas present.  So now this is where it gets weird, I've  been hunting to find the best price and in my experience I have found all the good sales on electronics and small appliances happen in October.  I spotted the 8 quart Instant Pot on sale at our local Canadian Tire, and it was a good sale!  So I mentioned it to hubby and daughter.  Then I called hubby a couple of times and sniveled and pleaded my case (he is getting pretty tired of hearing about the Instant Pot).  So all I could do is hope! 

He was working on Saturday all day and as I was slogging through making another abysmal supper him and Scooterpie Jr came into the kitchen and said "Pretend it's Christmas.", when I turned around there was the Instant Pot!  Well I actually whooped and did a little happy dance.  I am so excited! 

On Sunday I decided to give this crazy thing a go, read all the instructions, and set it up! I was going to be adventuresome and try a pot roast with potatoes and carrots.  (I must admit to being a little overwhelmed and feeling a little trepidation, because my granny blew an old fashioned pressure cooker through her ceiling)  In the end my pot roast was fabulous and instead of taking close to 2-2 1/2  hours and many pots used, the actual cooking time for the roast was 50 minutes and 10 minutes for the veggies.  It usually takes a few minutes to vent the pressure cooker so all in all I would say 70 minutes.  The roast was tender, veggies cooked and it was yummy.

I liked cooking in it so much I decided to try some steel cut oats, they were amazing!  I am so excited about my kitchen Farkle!

Steelcut oats with dried cranberries.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Spam and we aren't talking the crappy canned lunch meat

Due to the amount of Spam being posted to the blog, the comment moderation has now been turned on.  That is all. 

Monday, July 10, 2017

What on earth is a 'Tiddler' - don't blush!

Relax you can stop blushing now!
A 'Tiddler' is a vintage bike 25 years or older and 250ccs and under.


This is my friend Jason on his vintage 1964, 2 stroke, 50cc, Suzuki N15.  The bike is a family heirloom with a very rusty patina and it is showing it's 53 years, it needs a little TLC and moto-botox! Finally something a little rustier than me! 

There is quite a story about this little bike, Jason's dad bought it new, he used to ride this little bike to university from Hope to Kelowna over Hope Princeton Highway 3.  Remember this bike is only 50ccs! The Hope Princeton is a very twisty windy mountain highway with lots of sheer cliffs and drops, but the scenery is spectacular!  If you aren't familiar with it, check out the link to google images

That is quite a daily commute for a 50cc bike!  Can you just imagine the whine of the motor and probably more than a few nervous moments.  I can picture Jason's dad as a young man riding this gnarly little Suzi over the might Hope Princeton. 
This little bike has had it's share of adventure, but sadly the adventure ended in 1969, Jason's pop lent the intrepid little Suzi to a friend and heaccidentally drove it off a 6 foot cliff and bent the bars. 
After her unfortunate accident she was relegated to moto hibernation in the barn and didn't see the light of day until 1980! Jason's Grandpa loaded the bike in a truck and hauled it to Victoria, where Jason took it with him from place to place in storage.
Finally in the winter of 2017 Suzi made a brief stop at my house and my hubby took a crack at getting it running.  Lots of parts were seized, corroded, and generally in bad shape.  My hub loves challenges when it comes to this type of stuff.  Through his dogged persistence and a little TLC he managed to get it to turn over and actually run.  He took things apart, cleaned them, and soaked a few things in pine sol (that's his magic potion).
Last Friday Jason dropped by surprisingly he was riding down the street with the whine and cough of the 2 stroke and a trail of smoke belching out the exhaust.  The mix was off and needed a little tweaking. It was also leaking a little gas and the spark plug gap was off. 
Check out the roachy rusty patina on this bike.  Jason is doing a partial restoration on the bike, but the rusty patina lends a certain charm.  Probably the biggest restoration is going to be the seat being recovered and possibly a few of the parts rechromed, but the paint is going to stay as it is at this point.  It is a cool looking little thing.  Jason is happily riding around and plans to hand it down to his kids when he is done, who know maybe they will decide to restore it a little more.   The last time this bike was insured and on the road was in 1969! All I can say is keep on running old lady you aren't looking too bad for 53 considering what she has been through!