Sunday, August 28, 2011

Motorcycle shopping is exhausting!!

Motorcycle Man is really happy that I passed my learners test and am signed up for the Novice & traffic course. He is so eager for me to start riding that he has been scouring the Internet looking for a gently used 250 motorcycle. This morning we actually got up early ate some leftover lemon meringue pie & coffee and off we went. At first we were going to take my scoot & his motorcycle, but he decided last minute that We were going 2 up instead. No problem I like be chauffeured anyway & that has been my spot for the last 28 years. It was pretty hot though and I was in full gear, I managed to get a sunburn on a spot just above my collar, apparently I missed that spot whilst slathering my face & neck with sunscreen. Anyway I digress onto the bikes.

I decided I don't want a new bike for a few reasons; 1) I don't want to pay a fortune for a new bike as I would still like to keep my beautiful scoot. 2)I am worried about dropping the bike, I hear lots of newbs do this while trying to get used to shifting 3) There are some really good gently used bikes out there.

We looked at three today and I actually sat on one & coasted down the hill a bit. I still haven't got the shifting thing yet. It was an older classic cruiser style Suzuki 440 LTD, it's been over the road a bit & has some battle scars, but is a 'sound' bike according to Motorcycle Man, so we are thinking about it. The 2nd bike we looked at was a Honda 450,it was a complete NO not even going there kind of bike. The front fork seal was leaking hydraulic fluid & it was a homemade fixer-upper get it going kind of bike. They spray painted the engine and also spray painted the exterior. Motorcycle Man said there are issues with it and it was idling properly, so we are not even thinking about it, which is okay by me. I have to say the one thing I liked about the Honda was the handlebars.

The third bike we looked at was absolutely lovable, it is a vintage 1968 150cc Honda Benly. It was just the right size, needs a little TLC and Motorcycle Man is in LOVE with it. It has been well maintained and has some appropriate aging for a gal in her mid forties. Motorcycle Man says the engine is in excellent shape and it's just a goodmsolid bike. I didn't bring my camera with me (darn it). My only concern is that I am going to outgrow it within a couple of months of getting her. I want to be able to go around the Island, take her on roads that require highway speed, etc. I think it will limit me like my wee scoot does & I don't want to be looking for another bike next summer. However I can see myself riding it, because I would be the cool old lady on the vintage bike.

I am in no rush to buy a bike, so we are going to slow down a bit. I wouldn't mind trying to find a Honda Rebel 250. I'm still not sure of what happened to my idea of a larger scooter, think I need to talk to Motorcycle Man, so we are a cohesive spousal unit about my motorcycle future.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Grocery shopping scooter style

My car is sick right now, so I am 2 wheeling it. Quite often I take the scooter on shopping trips, its amazing how much you can bring home on it with creative packing. I can easily bring 5 bags of groceries.  The only thing that poses a challenge is bringing home toilet paper, the packages are a little big and cumbersome, but I seem to make it work.  Today is a beautiful hot summer day in Victoria and we had a hankering for burgers for dinner, so I decided to get the rest of the weekend shopping done while out. I picked up a really nice fresh sockeye salmon filet for tomorrow nights dinner.  It was so cheap that I actually got a wee filet for my little doggis, its her fave.  (It was actually cheaper than her dog food)  Another good reason for scooter shopping is I don't bring home all the junk food like chips and stuff, so actually I have lost weight!  As we speak my wonderful teenage daughter is in the kitchen creating gourmet burgers.  Yum! I can hardly wait.

  Here is what my scoot looks like after a light shopping foray.  

I brought home 4 bags of groceries & had room for at least 2 more.
BTW  The little cubby holder on the scoot fits a bottle of vino perfectly.  ;)

If you live in BC you may want to scoot to Save-On the sockeye salmon was such a
screamin' deal I got a little piece for my wee doggis.  Salmon is her fave!
How can you resist that little fuzzy face?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

I did it step 1 - passed motorcycle learner's permit test!

Today was the day, I got up early, had a bowl of crunchy munchies and decided today I would go to ICBC and write the motorcycle learner's permit. I reviewed the book one more time and then off I went on my scooter. I didn't tell anyone I was going to do it, less pressure that way. I nervously waited in line, then went to the computer terminal and off I went. It was a little distracting because of the radio playing and some fellow taking his test verbally, so I really had to focus. When I completed it a message flashed across the screen "congratulations you just passed the test.". I let out a whoop for joy - a little louder than I thought I did and the clerk at the desk just smiled. I have all my paperwork, my permit and the book for the next level. So now I just have to pick a motorcycle safety course school and then I will be all set. YAY!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

These boots aren't made for walking - thats not what they do

New motorcycle boots on the left - old leathers on the right.
These boots aren't made for walking..... thats not what they do..... one of these days the boots are gonna scoot right over you.....Get ready boots.....Get Scootin'

Shoes Glorious Shoes!  All of my girlfriends know of my fondness for shoes.  I love them high & spikey, strappy, pumps or wedges, it doesn't matter I love them all!  My new favorite shoes are my new Teknik motorcycle boots.  Since getting my scooter I have been schlepping around in a pair of thick soled, hot leather zip up boots because they offered me a little more protection than my sneakers. When I wiped out one of my shoes popped off in the crash and this made me realize how vulnerable my feet were in a crash situation when wearing non-motorcycle footwear. Have you ever wondered where the lone shoe in the road comes from? Now you know.

Yesterday I was out on some errands and I popped into my fave motorcycle store to look for some mesh gloves. Unfortunately I didn't find any gloves, but I did happen to stumble across a pair of ladies Teknik PowerSkin boots in the clearance section and they were my size.  It seems that it was destiny. I bought these for $99 - I thought it was pretty a good deal. They are waterproof and have a breathable sock liner inside.  They offer full ankle support/protection and have good safety construction through the heel and are reinforced in the toe for my eventual need for shifting a motorcycle.  They are mid-calf, which is what I was looking for.  The new boots offer me the protection I was missing in my previous non-motorcycle leather boots.  Surprisingly the new boots are pretty comfortable for walking in and when we went riding yesterday in the heat, my feet weren't hot at all.  In fact I was pretty comfy with my jacket zipped down to mesh and light socks in the boots.  

Anyone who has bought a scooter or a motorcycle for the first time knows how expensive it is to outfit yourself with gear.  I decided right off the top that it was going to be all about wearing gear, due to the fall I took on my first run.  (It was a newb mistake and I learned real quick what not to do.)  To this point my gear consists of my HJC full face helmet, Joe Rocket 10.0 textile ballistic nylon armored jacket, Joe Rocket ballistic nylon waterproof/windproof gloves and Teknik PowerSkin riding boots.  I am going to be purchasing some textile riding pants in the very near future, I just haven't decided on which ones yet.  

As I stated in a previous post regarding ATGATT and shoes, I want all of my little piggies to come home and don't want a paramedic hunting in the middle of the street for my lost little piggy.  One of the gals who was new to had just purchased a scooter and only a mere few weeks later she had a wipe-out that involved her skidding across the pavement.  She had some protective gear on, but not boots or riding pants.  Unfortunately the friction chewed through the top of her sneaker and she lost the flesh at the end of her big toe and portions of the bone as well.  She did a pretty good job at mangling her foot and hurt her knee.  This is just one example of why gear even when scootering is important. Pavement is indiscriminate, it doesn't care whether you are on a scooter, motorcycle or bicycle when you wipe out.  

Some may think this is overkill for a scooter, but I commute on my scooter to and from work every day, hot, cold, rain or shine.  I need to be comfortable, dry and warm when we start our rainy season which is all winter. Gear also gives me an edge in protecting myself when dealing with traffic - I will take any advantage I can in this regard. I have also learned from the fall that your legs take a beating when they hit the pavement.   I would rather look dorky on my scooter in full gear, and be intact after coming into contact with the pavement.  It doesn't matter what speed you are going, slow or fast, the pavement hurts when you hit.  

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Family Scooter/Motorcycle tootle

Our motor babies 2007 Yamaha Vino and 1983 Honda V45 Magna

Just the 3 of us!  Some People go bowling, we go moto-ing.

Today Motorcycle Man insured his bike!  Yay!   It was funny today because out of the blue Motorcycle Man looked at me and said, "Where are the scooter keys?"  I handed them to him and he said, "I am going to insure my bike for a few months."  Alrighty then, off he went. When he came back we went for a rip on his bike and dusted off the cobwebs it has been gathering from the garage.  At first his motorcycle wouldn't start, I think it was because it was jealous because he has been riding my scooter quite a bit. (He has had this motorcycle for 28 years, I met him when I was 18 and he used to pick me up for our dates on it.) When we came back we coaxed our daughter to go for an evening ride.  We went downtown and made our way to Dallas Road and did the scenic seaside drive.  I have to say it was pretty chilly by the water, almost fall-like, brrrr, we haven't even really had summer yet. We stopped at King George Terrace look-out and I snapped some photos for proof.  Its funny none of the motorcyclists who passed me waved, but they waved at Motorcycle Man.  I was laughing to myself thinking you guys are so silly, he is with me, I am not some random scooter diva out for a tootle beside a motorcycle.  It was so much fun, but I think I definitely need to get a few more cc's under me because he was leaving me in the proverbial dust on hills.  We scooted/biked for 2 hours, what a lovely way to spend a night with the family.  
Diva Jr and Motorcycle Man

Momma Scooter Diva and Diva Junior

My scoot has more farkles than Motorcycle Man's bike, a girl has to bling it out!

Diva Jr has decided she wants Motorcycle Man's Bike.

Tofino Fogust sunsets on McKenzie beach

The month of August is dubbed Fogust in Tofino.  Generally during this month there is unstable air or marine fog hovering around the area and it creates a gentle blanket of fog.  Usually it creeps in during the night and the mornings are foggy, but it seems to clear in the afternoon or early evening just in time for the sun to set.  Most of the time we spent in Tofino it was grey with fog.  We had about 3 really lovely sunny days and the rest were warm and foggy.  
                                                                              So happy Fogust to y'all!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Take a walk on the Wildside (Grill)..... Food glorious food

When we were in Tofino we ate at the WildSide Grill and it was pretty fabulous. ** If you are hungry you may want to get a snack before you look at the pictures.  Part of my adventures always involve eating out wherever we stay.  It is sort of like immersing yourself in the culture of the area.  In Tofino it is ALL about fresh seafood. We walked up to an eclectic group of little shops at the Live to Surf Plaza and discovered the WildSide Grill.  We were starving and wanted something yummy and filling after a full day spent beaching.  This is a funky little eatery which specializes in freshly caught seafood by commercial fisherman Jeff Mikus, the catch goes directly from the boat to the kitchen where chef Jesse Blake works his magic. The portions are very generous and the food IS excellent.  We dined at the grill twice while in Tofino and I was pretty thrilled on both occasions.  The dining area is very Tofino-esque, the tables are old wood spools and the rustic shelter is made out of driftwood.  It was actually very beautiful and pleasant to sit there taking in the scenery and enjoying great food.   I just wish we could have stayed a little longer to try out more of the menu.  The folks sitting behind us were raving about their fish tacos,  wish I wasn't so full, I would have tried those too!  Hmmm I wonder if they deliver to Victoria..... Check out their menu on  

Warning:  Please make sure you have a cloth ready to wipe the drool off your computer - I am not responsible for any damage done to your computer due to drooling.

Pulled Pork ciabatta with apple slaw & french fries (I had this OMG!!!!)

Caesar Salad


Tuna Burger ** I actually dubbed this the "Oh My God"Tuna Burger
I have never had anything this good - EVER!

I loved the carving on this beam.

BTW motorcycle man was getting pretty tired of me snapping pictures of food
before he was able to eat it.  

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Trip to Meares Island to wander through the rainforest

Three days ago we went kayaking in Clayoquot Sound and paddled to Meares Island.   This island belongs to the Tla-o-qui-aht Hawiih First Nation and the island's traditional name is Hilthuu?is.  We humbly thank you for allowing us the privilege of hiking on this beautiful island.

Motorcycle man, myself, daughter and our niece went on this little adventure. Motorcycle man & the daughter went in single kayaks and I went in a double with my adorable niece.  I was kidding my niece on the amount of paddling she did.  But once we hit our rhythm we were in synchronicity.  I splashed her accidentally (kinda) with the paddle while she was 'resting'. She can be my kayak partner any day.  We chose Paddle West Kayaking ( through Jamie's Whaling Station and we were guided by Kelda, she was awesome and very knowledgeable.  She taught us everything we needed to know and is a great teacher and guide. (

The paddle over to Meares was spectacular scenery wise.  When we started out paddling we saw some river otters frolicking in the water at the edge of the dock.  We saw some eagles, a seal and quite a few starfish.  The water was dead calm and it was a misty day, which was actually fabulous for paddling  because you weren't getting fried by the sun. It is a very humbling experience sitting in a kayak in the middle of Clayoquot Sound.  I was nervous about taking pictures with my little camera while kayaking because it isn't waterproof, unfortunately there aren't a lot of us out on the water - I was too busy paddling.  I did however take quite a few pictures of the beautiful trees on Meares.  When the forest is still and quiet you can almost hear the trees whispering their secrets of the ages.  The trees are massive and absolutely beautiful, I was awestruck.  It is a lovely hike on the raised walking trail and this added to the charm of the walk as well as protecting the environment.  I can easily understand why folks were upset at the possibility Meares Island being logged, it truly is a National treasure, in fact it is a world treasure.  I thoroughly enjoyed this paddling adventure and I think I am going to be kayak shopping soon.  I have a sneaking suspicion though that the magic will not be quite the same as it was on our beautiful day.  Thanks Kelda!!!!!

The walking path is a raised platform made from the trees in the area and is very beautiful.
One of the principles of the Tla-o-qui-aht People is Hishukish Tsawaak ~ everything is one, interconnected
and Iisaak ~ Respect
(as written from the information card provided from the Hereditary Chiefs)

This is the inside of a massive tree, you can actually stand-up in.

Just a pic snapped through the trees.  Magnificent!

The trees are so enormous that you can not get them in entirety in the picture.

For those of you who can't hear these trees telling their stories of the ages,
you just need to listen a little harder and you will hear their songs. ( Is it just me or
can you see two faces in the trunk of this tree?)

When we arrived at Meares there was only 1 other kayak, when we got back from our hike they had multiplied!