Saturday, September 24, 2016

New helmet - Shoei RF1200 Duchess

Sometimes when you see something you really do need to splurge.  I was probably going to replace my helmet in the next 10-12 months, next June it will have been 5 years since my RF1100 was purchased.  I wear my helmet a lot, probably more than the average seasonal rider.  Teaching takes it toll with lots of wear, sweating, etc.  Even with washing the headliner it still degrades the foam core. So the research process began, fullface versus modular.  I am still concerned about modular helmets in a crash and worry about chinbar failure, I prefer a homogenous piece around my chin. 

My RF1100 Helmet - Sylvain design 

My RF1100 was an amazing fit for me and it turned me into a Shoei helmet lover. Its quieter than my first helmet, which was an HJC.  I've been poking around since the motorcycle show in January, which was the perfect opportunity to try multiple brands and styles, fullface and modular.  I tried some of the other big guns of the helmet world and went back to Shoei, it fits me great, its quiet and well ventilated. Now it was just a question of style and colour. I was actually going to go with a plain white or silver, but of course the inner bling crow comes out.

A few months back I did see this helmet in white, but was indecisive and waited too long - Boo! Some other lucky rider snatched it up. 

This has a beautiful paisley inspired desigh with silver and purple and a touch of blue. Its not very reflective, going to remedy that with a bit of thin pin striping reflective tape around the base I think.  I fell in love with it and it ticked all the boxes for safety and features, light weight, great shield, perfect venting, quiet, and comfortable. 

This is an upgrade over my RF1100, they've changed the design, made it a bit sleeker, lighter, and changed the venting a bit.  They have also added quick release emergency pull tabs for the cheek pads.Shoei has also included a pinlock visor, which was an added bonus.

Love this helmet! 

Monday, September 12, 2016

Tofino - solo twisty trip

Friday was the beginning of a weekend of adventure with a solo ride through twisty heaven - the Pacific Rim Highway into beautiful Tofino.  I have been itching to do this ride for quite awhile, but it seems every year I run out of summer time do it, and I finally did! 

My holidays didn't quite match with my hubs, he packed up our Westfalia and headed off to Tofino for a week of camping.  I decided if the weather looked  promising I would ride up and surprise him.  I eyed the forecast and it was sunny/cloudy with temps in the high teens and low 20's, which is still summery in these parts. It ended up being a surprise as well all due to electronic technology, I was talking to him Thursday on facetime and said "I'll see you tomorrow" and I guess he thought I was going to facetime him again, boy was he surprised when I showed up. 

The route from Victoria to Tofino is about 317km which  is about 4 1/2 hours riding time. 

I stopped in Port Alberni for a much needed cup of coffee to warm up, it was sunny, but in the low teens, I was wearing lots of layers and was a little cold still, in fact so chilly I had to add an extra layer, but warmed up after the ginormous cup of coffee.  I topped up the gas and after that I was ready to venture over highway 4 and twisty heaven. I actually packed light because I was hauling the hub's gear to surprise him so we could go for a ride and he could ride the bike home.

Highway 4 into Tofino is very scenic with steep hills, twists, and sharp corners. Its pretty much motorcycle nirvana.  Its easy to get distracted as you ride down the hill towards Kennedy Lake and then on towards Clayquot Sound. The scenery is breathtaking, I had to say to myself "head and eyes up, look through the turn, concentrate" Yes, I was that distracted!  You also have to constantly be watching for RVs because there are a lot of them and most of them loaded with people who aren't used to driving them and not used to mountainous driving terrain.  You just have to believe me that it is one of the best twisty roads on the Island! 

I stopped at one of my favourite spots on the ride, the viewpoint at the Ellis River. The waterfalls, pools, and rock formations are spectacular, you usually can't stop because it is so busy. The gate behind the bike is loaded with locks with initials and dates and other personal momentos.  

I didn't linger too long here, I was anxious  to get to my destination and soak up as much Tofino time as I could. 

      Our Westfalia "GoldZilla"  and The Duchess.
I arrived at my destination and no one was home! I left about 7:30am and got in about 12:30 because of two patches of road construction.  I wandered around, rootled through the cupboards and realized the cupboards were a little sparse, so off I went to forage for lunch in Tofino and walk about.

I ended up stopping at a few of my favourite foodie stops and was grazing along the way.  This is the best carrot cake on Vancouver Island from The Red Can Gourmet.  A little more poking around and then back to the camper and find the hubby.

The hubby was very surprised and happy to see me!  He was even more impressed when I told him all his riding gear was on board and that he was going to ride the bike out of Tofino on the return trip.

Friday, September 2, 2016

New Episode of Farkle Garage Ep7- A whole lot of riding going on!

The crew of Farkle Garage is a small dedicated group who create this amazing little motorcycle show through public access television at a local Victoria station Shaw TV. We are  guided through the process by Executive Producer Paul Beilstein, who is aided by technical producer Orlan Carillo and Co-host Kim Rock.  Co-host Dar Duncan, Steve Drane and Clive Brown are volunteer producers and hosts.  The show is put together with the many talents of volunteers, camera people Kelly F, Chris W and Daniel, sound Will and slate lady extraordinare Carolyn.  And of course the amazing sounds of The  Farkle Garage Band, Ken, Jack, and Scotty - Rock on!

Here is the jammed packed episode 7 which includes the FG crew riding 'The Loop' as the locals call it, or for those looking on a map The Pacific Circle Marine Loop. Next Meet Chantelle and Todd Powell who are riding Honda CT110 Posties the durable little work horses of the Australian Postal service. Then we meet Adventurers Brian and Deyanira Domingues who rode through South America, and Neale Bayly a moto journalist and writer and producer of MAV TV and founder of Neale Bayly Rides, a chartiable organization that helps children aound the world. Last but not least we see Canadian Motorcycle Hall Of Famer Steve Drane rippin' it on the track! 

So pull up a chair and hang out with us in Farkle Garage for about 30 minutes!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Ride Vancouver Island video

I belong to a women's motorcycle group on social media and we have a monthly picture game, this month its "Where would you take your friends riding?"  The game is usually just a single photo, but I managed to put together a video.  Welcome to my island!

*Theme Music used in this video is with the licensed permission of Apple iMovie and does not violate copyright

Friday, August 26, 2016

Out riding

My BFF Kiwi Deb and I took to 2 wheels and went riding for a couple of days. Of course we stopped at most of thr bike shops on the island to browse whats new and look for gear.   Deb is trying to find wsys to make her CTX more comfortable and it nay actually mean a new bike altogether due to the peg forward peg position, which is making her reach too much & hurting her back and knees.  So the quest continues on the comfort front.
Saw this MV Agusta Rivale, pretty bike, but its not on my list. 

 We stopped and had lunch in Port Alberni, a very hearty and delicious halibut and chips, needless to say I was too full for dinner.  Then it was onto Cathedral Grove to walk amongst  the old growth forest. It is so beautiful in there. 

The trees were so tall I couldb't fit th into my camera.

After that we headed off to Qualicum Beach in search of icecream, it was blistering hot.
Very refreshing!

It was a beautiful summer day on the island.

Today we are out and about again to wherever the wind blows us. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

For the love of motorcycling

My progression of bikes

A recurring subject on this blog is the love of motorcycling, not just a particular brand, but all motorcycles, whether it be a huge land yacht cruiser, an adventure tour bike, retro bike, or scooter, if it has 2 wheels I love it. It is true what some say "4 wheels move the body, but 2wheels move this soul."  I am sure most riders know exactly what is meant by that statement and have had wonderful experiences that have changed them, clarified thoughts, sometimes ideas are born, and in general there is nothing like seeing life from the seat of a motorcycle.  

I will be the first to admit it's not all roses and sunshine,particularly in the beginning when the learning curve is high and mistakes can be costly.  I know first hand how things can go sideways, but it's what keeps it interesting, it's never dull on a bike! I spent a week of my vacation mentoring new novice riders, which is what I love doing. I love thrill I get when you see it click, as if the moto light has come on after a morning of me repeatedly hollering "Head & eyes up! Loll where you want to go! Don't the bike ride at idle, stay in the friction zone!" 

One of my students asked me this question on a very hot day 3 of novice class (low 90's and high humidity) "Wouldn't you rather be riding on a day like today?"  My response "No, the joy I get through seeing you become a rider is just about as good as riding a twisty road." They looked a little shocked, but that's because they aren't seeing the big picture like I am, a mere 2 days before, most had never ridden a bike, done up a helmet, or twisted a throttle, now they are accelerating, shifting, counter steering and riding, and riding their MST. WOW! That's a huge accomplishment.  So yup spending a few days of vacation mentoring new riders was time well spent, I know that these 8 riders have a good foundation of skills to build on.  Seeing the smiles as I gave them their grad card & helmet sticker is quite a moment for both of us.

I was getting ready to demonstrate the MST riding test. Boy was it hot! 

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Whoa it's been one busy summer

I have been out enjoying summer to its fullest, hence the resulting lack of posts! 
We ventured up to Tofino for 10 days of glamping, eating, relaxing, and of course catching sunsets.

This is my absolute favourite sunset, it was a blazing hot day and the marine clouds rolled in and this was the result.  My little iPhone managed to catch it's breathtaking beauty. 

Another day, another sunset.

Of course food is a large part of any experience for me and we visited Chocolate Tofino several times as well as Wildside Grill and Red Can Gourmet.
The eating area of Wildside is rustic and natural. Wildside has wonderful fresh hearty burgers & fries with a good assortment of fresh fish, it is more of an organic eating experience.
The shelter is made of cedar and driftwood and on top it is sculpted to look like a fish skeleton. 

The Red Can Gourmet recently added a bistro seating area.  The food is amazing here, fresh ingredients, thought put into the dishes and very delicious. They make the most exquisite seafood chowder with freshly seafood, served with a fresh baguette - when you eat this it is an "Oh my god" food experience moment.

We played bocce, walked the beach, flew kites and relaxed. The weather was fabulous and we had sun and warm temps. 

We even actually managed to have a fire at the beach!

The highlight of my vacation was seeing our young and vibrant Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.  We heard that he and his family were vacationing in Tofino and they were enjoying their vacation. The day before we left we ventured out to Long Beach to fly kites and pulled into where JT and Sophie were surfing. The boy can surf! When I was leaving to go back to the Moho there were very official black cars parked behind us, and beside us.  I looked iPad there he was! He looks like his momma.  It's Trudeau mania all over again, I think what fosters this is his genuine compassion and he is just downright nice. It was pretty exciting to see Canada's first family.

We had an amazing 10 days in Tofino and I can hardly wait until next year. 

I will leave this post with a few more pics of our lovely vacation.

Everyone including puppy was tired and happy after frolicking on the beach all day.

Relaxed and rested.

Here we are on the way into Tofino. We always stop at the river on the way in.

There is a piece of fencing where people have attached locks with notes, little snippets of people's lives. Notes about engagements, marriages, births, hopes for the future, notes of good luck and love all attached to locks. 

It was quite touching and in a few cases sad. 
The water was icy cold.

And of course it's pie baking season for me!

Just to temp you!