Sunday, August 30, 2015

Bob Leong - Missed but never forgotten

It has been a year since our dear friend left this earth. I still can not believe that he does not grace us with his kindness, laughter, joy and zest for life.  We still keenly miss you our dear friend! 
I hope all the angels in heaven are wearing pink crocs, I know at least one of them is and that gives me comfort. RIP Bobskoot. Ride on my friend!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Practical joking taken to a new level!

Here's the backstory. My hub rode my bike up to my folks to pick up the Moho for vacay. The next day we all go to Nanaimo and I go visit my bike which is ensconced in their garage and what do I see but newspaper with oil on it. Then my dad said "Your bike is leaking oil all over my garage." Then my husband says "I must have blown something on the ride up."  So I wasn't all that happy, then I saw 'the smirk' on my dad's face, the evil I've gotten you again look. So this means war! The husband will be dealt with in due course for participating in the evil scheme. 

This has progressed to various pictures being taken and Facebook war with mods being done to my bike and their motorhome.
So this was phase two of his joke. 
Then leaking brakes.
So I went out shopping withy mom and I get a text telling me that it's now an ultralight.
Then I texted this.....
Then he texted that he's using my bike to make this. We're going gator hunting!

Then I texted him this saying the gun turret and jet engine is coming next week.
Then he told me he traded it for this, but then the washing machine people wanted the it back.
So I texted this very cool reno.

So as I was leaving he had a hammer and was looking for the impact gun.  I think it might be a sewing machine or lawn mower by the time I get home.  Eeeek! 

My pop has the wickedest sense of humour and we have had wars like this before. He short sheeted my bed when I was in my 20's, and I put my feet through the sheets, tripped and fell, it was compounded by the fact I had been out having a good time with my girlfriends.

I did settle the score a few weeks later with my mom's blessings. I short sheeted the bed, laid a trail of rice crispies up his side of the bed and in his pillow. I also took all his wool work socks and sewed them shut at different spots and the flies of his underwear. Yup, I learned from the master. The best part was it took weeks for him to go through all of his work socks!

However I have always been waiting for the shoe to drop because he hasn't forgotten my revenge and that was 25 years ago.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Farkle Garage 1st episode!

Very excited! The first episode of Farkle Garge is complete and available on Youtube. Come meet the cast acrew of this eclectic little show.   Pull up a chair and join me in the garage for 30 minutes of motorcycle chat, stories and adventure!  Click the link below.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Funky little hamlet of Esquimalt - Lantern Festival

I live in an eclectic little bedroom community on Vancouver Island. Esquimalt is a tight knit little community with a small town vibe. I affectionately call it E-town, you've seen snippets of it when I go walking along the West Song walkway, we are just minutes away from the ocean.
Every year towards the end of summer the community is invited to make funky lanterns to celebrate summer and bring community members together. There are artists, musicians, dancers, and funky bands, and of course a Scottish piper. 
Whoo Whoo! The wise old owl. There are lanterns in the style of fish, flowers, houses, cakes, boats, everything! No motorcycles though, maybe I will have to try and create one.
A very creative jellyfish, it's made out of dryer pipe and bubble wrap. 
Jellyfish from the inside, notice the little fish in the tentacles. 

The most incredible lantern is the HMCS Oriole. The gentleman who created this artful lantern is one of Esquimalt's finer artists. The picture does not do it justice! It is spectacular.

Star lanterns
Beautiful displays at the entrance.

A beautiful elephant.

Just a little snippet of fun and festivities at the Esquimalt Lanternn festival.
Let them eat cake!
The celestial heavens.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Farkle Garage & moto zen

My life has changed so much in four years, all of it due to scootering and motorcycling. Who knew I would be an avid blogger, social media geek, learn to ride a motorcycle, become a motorcycle instructor, and now a tv show host. What a ride this had been! 

I have had so many blessings come into my life after discovering the love of riding. They say four wheels move the body, but two wheels move the soul. It is so true!    
I have found many moments of zen on the back of my scooter or motorcycle; riding with my hub, friends, and teaching new riders the art of riding. I have also been very fortunate to make new friends through riding and blogging, as well as the opportunity to be involved in great projects.

Today we were putting the finishing touches on Episode 1 of Farkle Garage, which is a show about motorcycling and the people who ride them. The world of motorcycling is diverse and unique, it has been quite an experience discovering the stories and telling them. 

This is one of my wonderful cohosts Steve Drane who is a avid racer, motorcycle builder & restorer, Harley Davidson shop owner for many years. Steve recently retired to jump back into racing. He was inducted into the Canadian Motorcycle Hall of Fame and is a motorcycle legend. Steve was instrumental in the creation of the riding school I teach for and helped create, guide, and support the Vancouver Island Safety Coucil which has been teaching new riders since the 1970's. 

We have a lot of fun in the studio, the garage rings with laughter, at times it's hard to get focussed, but it all comes together in the end. 
Cohost Clive having fun on set.

am considering doing an iron butt ride in the coming weeks and am looking forward to that adventure after being inspired by iron butt rider Clive Brown. Clive changes more tires in a year because of the kilometres he logs, almost 100,000km a year! If your butt wasn't iron before all that riding, I'm sure after hanging out with Clive for awhile  and doing the Island 1600km it definitely will be! 
(Of course you know I'd have to throw a leg over)

Today we did a segment with a member of the Victoria Police Department with Const Steve who is a police riding instructor and active duty member. Last year I was lucky to see him and his team members running the cones at NAMOA competition (North American Motor Officers Association) They are truly the 'top gun' of motorcyclists. It was pretty spectacular watching the officers run cone exercises and slow racing while their bikes are tethered together.  
Steve rides a Victory motorcycle, it weighs 985 pounds, he flicks it around like it's a 250cc bike. Oh to have those mad skills!
The other motochick cohost is Kim Robinson affectionately known as Kim Rock. We are trouble with a capital T, when we get together in studio.  Kim rides a beautiful red Ducati, she's an avid rocker. Together we are like Thelma and Louise, we could probably cause a little mayhem if they let us out of the garage!

Our technical director Orlando is a magician with graphics & editing. He rides a scooter, and is now thinking about venturing into motorcycling. Who knows maybe he'll be one of my students. 

We have an amazing crew of camera operators and assistants, they are the behind the scenes peeps who help glue the show together and without them there would be no show. (Sorry for the blurry pic - those lights are bright)

Paul B is executive producer/ videographer he is the driving force of Farkle Garage. Paul is motorcyclist who is a newly minted iron butt rider having just ridden to Sturgis and logging about 6300 kilometres for the trip. He is the creative mentor who keeps us on track with our stories and brings the show to fruition. His love of motorcycling radiantly shines through when he tells stories with video.
Farkle Garage is a show by motorcyclists about everything moto. It's fun, creative, and an amazing project to be a part of. So yes, I've been blessed by riding, never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I'd be doing stuff like this! 

Check out Farkle Garage on Facebook or on Twitter @FarkleGarage. 

Our first episode airs August 27th 3:00pm and 5:00pm on Shaw TV South Island - channel 4. 

Farkle Garage will be on YouTube and I will post the link for those not in our immediate viewing area.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Forget the glass slipper Princess - These boots are made for RIDING!

Most motorcyclists seem to be on the never ending quest for 'perfect' gear. Usually we all start out with basic entry level gear and progress to higher quality gear as our appreciation of our needs deepens with more riding. After a few seasons I decided being wet, cold, or too hot, just wasn't acceptable and in reality was taking away from my enjoyment and quality of riding.

My gear has come full circle and I have summer gear & cold weather gear. My needs have definitely changed since I've added teaching into the mix and also a new bike which is taller.  This is why I have a new pair of boots! 

My TCX T-Lily Goretex boots rocked my world for about 3 years, they were comfortable, waterproof and were breathable.  I do a lot of riding and they have been through a lot of Pacific Northwest rain, they have more than done the job and I was actually going to buy another pair as a replacement. The only reason I held back was I needed to figure out what to do about me being vertically challenged and needing to find a few inches from somewhere to get more foot on the ground when stopping and also getting off/on the bike.

I had two options 1) get the bike lowered, which involves buying lowering links, and cutting down the kickstand. 2) Finding boots with more sole and heel height. 

I was a little loathe to mess with the suspension on the bike because it does change the handling, and it was going to be a hassle and the cost was a little crazy.  

Enter option 2 - boots. One of my students purchased a pair of Daytonas and let me try them, it was amazing the difference they made, more foot on the ground! Now I just had to find a Canadian source to purchase them from. I checked with several local shops and no one carried them, the reason gave, "They are too high end and I have to purchase a lot just to order" blah, blah, blah. I've heard this so many times when buying gear, in fact every time and it's pretty frustrating.  I finally found two dealers in Canada, one in Alberta at Blackfoot Motosports in Calgary and the other in Ontario. After more research to figure out sizing  (thank you Gear Chic) and few phone calls and emails to Andy at Blackfoot all was set and I ordered a size 37. I placed the order on Tuesday and they arrived Thursday. 

I did a little dance around my office on Thursday and was squeeing with delight, it was all I could do not to tear down to the garage and test them out on 'The Duchess'.  I was training a new staff member for holiday relief and she thought it was pretty funny watching a grown woman go dotty over motorcycle boots.  I explained these just aren't any old boot, the are Daytonas, which are handmade in Germany and are Goretex. They are the proverbial glass slipper of motorcycle boots that every motorcycle diva riding princess would love to wear. Oh yeah baby I am that much in love with these boots!!
Some of you may be wondering what makes them so special, well they are handmade to start. There has been a lot of engineering and thought gone into the design of these boots. They have a very generous rubber sole which gives you height. There is adjustability in the calves to ensure a good fit. Very sturdy zippers with a good strong rubber pull tab. One of the biggest features for me is that they are Goretex, which when living in a rainy climate is a must. They are leather which works well with the inner Goretex boot liner. They are armored and have malleolus protection plates, shin protection and a steel shank in the sole for increased durability and protection. You are not sacrificing any safety here and it is a top of the line premium touring boot.

Calf adjustment to ensure the perfect fit.

The deciding factor for this purchase was that I gained 2" in leg length. For all you who are tall or have a long inseam this may seem like nothing, but when you are 5'3" of compactness you really get what a few inches can do for you when riding a bike with a high seat height. It makes a  difference when stopping and having more foot on the ground and it is definitely easier getting off a bike with a 31.9 seat height and not having to be an acrobatic contortionist struggling to get off the bike without tipping it over or killing yourself. It's actually pretty funny watching me get off the bike.
Comparison of the Daytona (left) to my well worn TCX T-Lily (right). You can see the difference in heel height. I was initially concerned about it and how it might possibly effect my shifting, it didn't and I didn't have to adjust the shift lever. I was a little concerned that they may not be flexible enough, but after sitting on the bike and squiggling around I found them comfortable foot position wise.
The Daytonas are cleverly designed, to give you a little more added height they have a cork insole which raises the heel counter and it adds to the height. The cork insole is pretty comfortable and has some cushion and give. They are removable so you can put a regular insole in there for all you tall people.  Daytona has also put a thin insole in to help with vibration from the bike which adds to the comfort. The toe box is roomy and not tight. They are a bit stiff, but will break in with wear, so I've been told by many lady Daytona wearers (gotta love blog land!) 
I love the generous reflective patch on the heel.  The Daytona Lady Pilot fit and finish is excellent, it's a premium product. I purchased them for $415 CDN.  All in all I am happy with my decision, now I just need to find some twisties to ride and put them through some riding. 
comparison of Daytona (left) and TCX T-Lily on right. On the balance I will say that had I not needed the extra height I would have bought another pair of T-Lily's they served me very well and stood up to the beating I put them through. They are Goretex and have been an excellent boot, they also run about $80 less, so if you are looking for a good Goretex boot without a heel, check the TCX boots out.  

So where did I leave that glass slipper????

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Summer moto rambling on Vancouver Island

We have been having the most incredible summer.  We've had long hot stretches of dry hot sunny weather.  Although ithasn't  been good for our forests as we've had lots of wild fires and at times it's almost been too hot to ride.  I know right! I bet you can't believe I said that - I said almost.  Friday I hopped on my bike ready for adventure and coaxed my hubby out for the day. We started the day off riding a technical twisty country road, steep in some places, very narrow, blind curves and steep hills.  It was fabulous and I was wishing I had my GoPro.  We met up with my friend Deb and the 3 of us were off to ride the Cowichan Valley and find a fabulous lunch somewhere.  

Deb has a brand new bike a 2014 Honda CTX700T and has been logging miles on it.  Friday was about 33C temp wise.  We were off on our adventure.  We rode through the beautiful Cowichan Valley with its lush farmland and beautiful sweeping vineyards, down to the onceanside and back into the countryside. 

We stopped at Maple Bay marina for lunch and it was delicious, so delicious I didnt take pictures.  There is a thriving floathome community with beautiful homes.  I found myself reminiscing and thinking about a lifestyle change again, longing for my time on the water.  It would be very attractive, but for the fact it was missing garage space, bikes don't do well near the ocean, pitting, corrosion, just to list a few after effects.
After a lovely lunch it was time to saddle up and explore a little more.  We continued down the twisties until the end which led us to another marina, Genoa Bay.  They have a smaller floathome community with only 12 homes and one was for sale and had an open house, I couldn't resist and we chatted with the owner and I seriously considered plonking down cash to recaputure a life I once lived.  But sometimes you can't rewind time. 

I love these whale sculptures, you see them around the island quite a bit, each is different and unique.

The hub waiting patiently for me to get saddled up. 

This is spectacular and represents the West Coast lifestyle. 

It was time to make our way home and wend our way back through the valley towards home.  It was a long weekend here and we were mindful of the traffic volume building and wanted to get home before it became too crazy. 

The weekend has been amazing, it culminated in me teaching the remainder of the my novice motorcycle students.  They all passed with flying colours and it was the icing on the cake.