Motorcycle season teaching season is well underway, we have had 3 weekend courses so far this year and I have taught two and a refresher session as well. It feels like winter is finally starting to retreat and spring is starting to take hold. Mother Nature has been more than a little confused as of late, she has been throwing rapidly cycling weather changes at us. The old saying about Victoria is "If you don't like the weather, wait 5 minutes and it'll be different." It is true!
My poor students were experiencing torrential rain, freezing cold winds and frosty parkinglot conditions, all of this makes for a very challenging learn to ride experience, particularly if they haven't figured out layering and waterproofing. This weekend was no exception with frenetic weather. Saturday it was so cold I had multiple layers on, and at one point I looked like a Gangster Smurf with my blue hoody pulled up over my ballcap to keep the wind at bay. I will say that motorcycle instructors are an intrepid breed, we are out on the lot teaching when most would be snuggled up in their cozy homes sipping coffee on an early Saturday or Sunday morning and not traipsing around the lot hollering "Head and eyes up, look where you want to go." The next day it completely different, it was warm and brilliantly sunny, and I was trying to figure out what that yellow blob was in the sky. At one point I was standing there basking in the sun's warmth. I know this is going to sound weird, but I actually kind of like when the weather is being difficult, because it helps students understand what they are facing in the real world of riding, and it is not all sunny zen-like days of twisty nirvana.
At the end there were 9 smiling new riders who all passed their MST on the first try, they're now onto further adventures with traffic classes and road tests. I'm pretty happy, I feel the same joy at teaching as when I've been out on a great ride, it's a kick seeing them go from wobbly tentative riders to riders gaining confidence and competence. To reward myself I took the long way home and enjoyed the sights and smells and being in the moment.
I buzzed by the beach, it was the perfect day to stop and soak up the sun. I've been missing the feel of the sun on my face for about 7 months, it has been grey and dark since October. There is a magical thing happening at the beach at Esquimalt Lagoon, a beach art sculptor Paul Lewis has been creating these beautiful artworks of local and migratory birds. Esquimalt Lagoon is a bird sanctuary and is teeming with birds; seagulls, herons, trumpeter swans, and Canadian geese as well as sightings of resident eagles. To understand the scale of most of these beautiful sculptures they are almost as big as my bike.
Every couple of days a new sculpture seems to pop up, there is one in progress with another nest being built. I will have to run back there during the weekend to see what it is.
I was particularly enchanted with the crow, in her nest guarding her cache of eggs.
I loved the rendering of the Canadian Geese, their eyes where sparkling in the sun and it was so life-like. Did you know that Canadian Geese are monogamous and mate for life? Apparently in the bird world they are stick to it kind of birds and if a mate passes they sometimes do find another mate.
It was such a bonny sunny clear day, you could see the Olympics in the distance when looking out over the Straight of Juan de Fuca towards Port Angeles. I am hoping the season has changed and that we will continue with this beautiful sunny weather, I had almost forgotten what the sun looked like.
Pop back in a few more days there are more sculptures to see!