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Today as I look out my window, I no longer see the green of the park or the flag fluttering in the breeze, but I see the mountains and the sea from my chair in the living room. The mountains have a "cloud halo" where the clouds ring the middle portion of the mountains. The sea is calm as the single freighter makes its way to the harbours in Seattle.
But today, I think the halo has a special meaning. You see, today we send one of our brothers home. He will take that one last ride and those clouds will be there to steady him as he travels and when he gets to those pearly gates, he will be greeted by his brother who left us several years go and his other brothers from across the land. It is not a time to morn, a time to cry or a time to be sad, rather a time to smile at all of the crazy things Recycle said and did. A time to remember that ear-to-ear grin when he was on his Red Steed. His wave to everyone on two wheels - yes, even scooters. A time to share that smile and remember times like when he looked into his empty beer bottle and swore there was someone drinking it because it emptied too soon, or when he bit into his hotdog and it shot out the other end like a cartoon clip. Ron was a man like no other, he is Recycle, CMC65092
If you would like to donate to Ron's Memorial Fund, please go to: http://cmc-victoria.com/donate.html Thank you.
Safe journey home brother Ron. We are going to miss you. RIP
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Well, hopefully spring is here for most of us. I have had my bike out twice, and it snowed the next day both times. I am going to risk it again today and go for a short ride with my friends.
Like most riders, I waited patiently for that first ride, and with the winter that seemed to drag on forever, I was beginning to feel a bit caged! The first ride out was tentative, as the roads were covered with sand and grit, but it felt SO AWESOME!
I read grizzz's Blob Post about enjoying the small things in life. I also read through the tributes to Tina (from 089) and although I didn't know her, the tributes really tell the story of a courageous lady. I had an idea.
There is a challenge on the Internet called the 100 Happy Days Challenge http://100happydays.com - challenges people to focus on things that make them happy, even for a little while.
As the site says - We live in times when super-busy schedules have become something to boast about. While the speed of life increases, there is less and less time to enjoy the moment that you are in. The ability to appreciate the moment, the environment and yourself in it, is the base for the bridge towards long term happiness of any human being.
71% of people tried to complete this challenge, but failed quoting lack of time as the main reason.These people simply did not have time to be happy. Do you?
If you are up to the challenge, you post a picture every day for 100 days of things that make you happy. You can change the privacy settings to whatever you want, or you can just keep the challenge to yourself.
My idea is this - is anyone interested in doing a CMC 100 Happy Day challenge? We could use the hashtag #100HappyDaysCMC or create a forum here for folks to post. What a great way to promote our love of riding, our friendship and the beauty of belonging to CMC!
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So on Thursday March27th “I was looking out my window” (cheers Grizz) and although the temperature was less than ideal the roads looked very dry. I must admit there was a large amount of sandy areas, and was very determined to avoid these. With that said I rolled my bike out of my garage and started it up. I let the bike warm up about 10 minutes or so, the bike itself was pleading it was ready, it responded with nice crisp throttle rolls.
I used the time while the bike was warming up to GEAR UP, I must admit I was a little nervous, not about getting hurt, but rather possibly dropping my bike and being upset at myself for being an idiot So for the first 20 minutes or so I just rode around a 2 block radius of my house, just getting the feel, The only bike I had ridden really was the little Honda CBR125 used at the Humber course. So my Honda Shadow 500 was a very new and different experience compared to the other. After I was comfortable with the handling and controls I ventured a little further from home, This is when I realized that @ 60 kph the wind is stronger than I had anticipated, so back home I went.
I thought to myself that was F U N ….. Hmmm. So I went upstairs and put on a pair of sweatpants on underneath my jeans. Don’t get me wrong I’m not suggesting track pants & jeans are a good alternative to proper weather riding gear, but I just had to get a few more klicks in before putting my bike back in the garage.
Thinking about it some more I thought “Oh, I know, I have to go order a new set of contact lenses.” So I planned my route to try avoiding the higher traffic areas, It was going to be about 15 km each way One of my first observations upon arriving at the plaza was how BIG the parking spaces were, backing my bike into a spot I thought to myself “this bike is a lot easier to park than my SUV”. I took a much larger street for my ride home and @ 4 pm it was quite busy. Shortly after getting underway it began to SNOW!, luckily it was just some light flurries and was not enough to even change the colour of the road; I felt much better being on DRY roads. The ride home was very straight, but some good practice in heavier traffic. So all in all I put just over 50 kms for my first ride ever on public roads. It felt AWESOME getting that monkey off my back
Aces N Eights
Stay tuned for my next post:
My First Ride - Things I did well, and things I need to work on
So….could this be the big one?
For the last 4 years I have been attempting to narrow down my list of choices for a bike upgrade.
My first (and still currently only) bike was purchased new 9 years ago, and now has 45000km on the odometer. I have always maintained it was a good thing my first bike was acquired in my forties…ample time to ensure my system was flushed of unused (or overused) testosterone.
At the time of that purchase, I had the mindset of a 25 year old (more to do with my deluded state of fitness). In truth, back then, the state of muscle flexibility of my then mid-forties body was pretty good, but unbeknownst to me (read: ignored), the creep of time would not rest on its laurels. Today I am just shy of two months past my 56th birthday. My misguided interpretation of the physical state of my body has finally made an attempt to be in sync with my chronological age. Instead of 25 years, it is now realistically closer to 50. Oh, the indignity!
The ultimate goal is to acquire a long distance touring machine with ultimate comfort and range for two-up riding with luggage. My most immediate real-time source of motorcycle information and opinion has been the members of CMC. It is great to be a part of a group of motorcycle enthusiasts who literally cover the gamut of motorcycle makes and models. I love the fact that the owner of a sport-touring bike (for example, moi) can lead a group of riders on V-Twin cruisers on a Multi-Provincial 5-day tour. Yes…that actually happened; but more to the point I have survived the inevitable (and ongoing) looks of dumbfounded shock, along with no small amount of ribbing, to tell the tale.
It’s all in good fun of course. We live in a blessed country which affords us diverse levels of freedom of choice. So…what choice(s) have crossed my line of sight lately? Well, Honda has just thrown down the gauntlet with their new line of GoldWings. Seven models in total! Take a look at the specs, model info and images below. Remember due to the current exchange rate, add approximately $5000 CDN to the US-based prices shown.
One issue I had with the previous GoldWing was its weight. Even before you added an extra passenger and luggage, you were pushing up to the 1000lb threshold. This is not to imply the bike was not balanced or manageable, it was just a personal concern I had in hauling around such a behemoth. The new models for 2018 have shed 90lbs of weight. Prior to Honda’s recent reveal of their new models, I was looking at their competitor, BMW. Specifically the K1600GTL or the BMW K1600B Bagger. They were almost 200lbs lighter than the 2017 GoldWing models, but still had side and top case luggage capability. They also had a well tuned and powerful 160HP inline 6-cylinder engine competing with the GoldWing’s opposed 6 cylinder model.
In an effort to woo the very demographic I identified with 9 years ago at age 46, Honda seems to have put their flagship ride on a stringent fitness regimen along with what could be interpreted as a high-tech colon cleanse (lighter, more powerful and fuel-efficient engine; a more modern and distraction-free cockpit). At the same time they are hoping to retain and carry over existing GoldWing riders. Personally, I think the latter move may prove to be their biggest challenge. One case in point, the luggage capacity has been reduced to 110L, down from 150L. Some have also commented on the smaller fuel capacity, but according to Honda, the combination of reduced weight and a more fuel efficient engine supposedly gives the same range as the previous model.
I have never ridden a Honda GoldWing, so I cannot speak to most of what others have commented on, but the new 2018 GoldWing models certainly are the closest I have seen a manufacturer come to matching what the BMW’s have been doing so well for the past few years. It is also interesting to note that it is not just the traditional Sport Touring segment that is upping the ante on targeting a younger generation of riders. Just take a look at the new 2018 Yamaha Star Venture and what it has to offer to the Cruiser crowd. Indian Motorcycles are also updating their model lines to capture and retain new and old customers.
In any case, I am eager to see (and eventually demo) the new GoldWing. Whatever I decide on has to pass the CT-SIMOB (Continue To Sleep In My Own Bed) test with the Missus. Her comfort (comfortable heated seats / good back support / smooth ride among others) will be primary factors in any choice yet to be made. My only concern is that the new Honda GoldWing may end up costing more than the previously mentioned BMW’s. My….how times have changed.
So, what do any existing or potential GoldWing riders think about what Honda is doing with their flagship product?
Your comments are welcome.
2018 Honda GoldWing Specifications
- Lighter overall package results in improved handling and maneuverability
- More compact, lighter engine with four-valve head and Unicam valve train
- Available seven-speed DCT with Walking Mode forward/reverse
- Six-speed manual transmission
- Robotically welded aluminum twin-tube frame with revised plate thicknesses
- Radially mounted six-piston dual front braking calipers
- Double-wishbone front-suspension system
- Electrically controlled suspension
- Throttle-by-wire with multiple riding modes
- Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC)
- Hill Start Assist
- Smart Key
- Apple CarPlay
- LED lighting
- Updated design with 11.8 percent improved aerodynamic efficiency
- Electric windscreen adjustment
GOLD WING TOUR
The three 2018 Gold Wing Tour models—Gold Wing Tour, Gold Wing Tour DCT, and Gold Wing Tour DCT Airbag—are the modern interpretation of the classic Gold Wing, the ultimate long-distance touring machine, but with highly improved performance capabilities. Each of these models features saddlebags and a top case, as well as a tall electrically adjustable windscreen, front and rear speakers, and electrically adjustable suspension.
- Gold Wing Tour, Gold Wing Tour DCT: Candy Ardent Red, Pearl White, Pearl Hawkseye Blue
- Gold Wing Tour DCT Airbag: Candy Ardent Red/Black
- Gold Wing Tour: $26,700 – $27,000
- Gold Wing Tour DCT: $27,700 – $28,200
- Gold Wing Tour DCT Airbag: $31,500
- Availability: February 2018
Boasting a sporty character, the two Gold Wing models—Gold Wing and Gold Wing DCT—come with saddlebags but no top case or the accompanying rear audio speakers. The electric windscreen is shorter on these models, and preload adjustment is manual. HSTC, electric damping-adjust, center stand, and heated seats are not included.
- Colors: Candy Ardent Red, Matte Majestic Silver, Pearl Stallion Brown
- Gold Wing: $23,500 – $23,800
- Gold Wing DCT: $24,700 – $25,000
- Availability: February 2018
This past summer I had the pleasure of riding 52 days coast to coast across this wonderful country and there are many stories to tell and I’ll try to get to them sooner than later but this article is about rider comfort, protection and safety.
I had been planning this ride for the better part of two years and come 2018 I was off on my adventure, with all the planning done I figured I had all my bases covered with a great set of rain gear by *Scott, rain boot covers that are amazing at keeping my feet and pants cuffs dry, as well I have a heated jacket liner for if it gets cold, (a heated vest with sleeves) and heated gloves.
What I wasn’t prepared for was forty degree celsius heat! There was many places both in the maritimes as well as southern Ontario and the Prairies that heat became a real issue.
Riding into Regina during the mid-day heat it was a solid 40 degrees celsius out and I was bordering on heat stroke and had to find a place to cool off fast! Wetting down my bandana and laying it over my back and around my neck helped but I was down for a few hours in the park trying my best to stay in any shade I could find and consuming lots and lots of water with electrolyte tablets. The other environmental change I didn’t take into account was smoke from forest fires and there was lots, it started in Northern Ontario and continued into the prairies but in B.C. it was thick, I was coughing like I did when I smoked cigarettes 20 years ago.
After days of riding through extreme heat and smoke I’d had enough and obviously needed some more protective gear so after looking around online I picked up a *Vogmask which seem to be the best thing out there for protection from smoke, dust and other organic airborne particles, it’s rated a C99 and has a 1 way exhaust valve to prevent fogging of glasses or a visor, it’s a Canadian company so your hard earned dollars stay in Canada and no exchange rates plus I found the delivery to be fast. Find out more at www.vogmask.ca
The other two items I picked up are a cooling tee shirt and a cooling neck wrap, both of these have sections filled with polymer beads, you soak them in cold water for 2 minutes or more, lightly squeeze out the excess water and then wear them.
The action of evaporation causes heat transfer away from your body and helps to cool you down. The more air that passes over them the better they work so don't cover them up, the tee shirt needs a mesh jacket or one with air flow panels to work properly.
The tee shirt is made by a company called *Leatt, under COOLIT TEE unfortunately it seems that it’s been discontinued, Fort Nine as well as Revzilla were sold out but I found one at a bike dealership. I personally know someone who has used the same cooling tee shirt and she says it works wonders.
The other item is very inexpensive and can be found at Amazon for under $10 and that’s a polymer filled neck tie. The process is the same, soak it in cold water for a few minutes, gently squeeze out the excess then tie it around your neck, I found doing this with a plain cotton bandana worked pretty good but would dry out in 10 minutes, the polymer beads last about 2 hours for some lasting comfort. Cooling the blood flowing through the jugular vein can do wonders to help you feel cooler and start feeling right again plus it has a nifty flame pattern that also looks cool…go figure.
So it would seem that smoke from fires and hotter weather will be the norm for the future so why not have the right gear for it? We have rain gear and cold weather gear, it’s now time to carry smoke and heat protection too.
Ride safe, ride far.
Entry January 25, 2019
So in my search for parts, I came across Jan Willem Boom 7963 RV Ruinen The Netherlands. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lots of items for me but the only thing was that he didn't ship outside of Europe any longer. However, on his comments section of the site, I came across a request from someone in the US for information on parts for his Harley. There had been no response, so I decided reach out to let him know that they didn't ship to the States or Canada. Well thanks to this gentleman, Dusty Booker of Meridian Mississippi, I found another contact. As I said earlier, Dusty is a Harley owner and the owner of Booker Electric HVAC, LLC. Dusty suggested that I contact Tom's NOS Parts in Columbia Station Ohio. Apparently Tom has an agreement with Jan in the Netherlands. The deal was that Jan would only ship parts to Tom. So, I took Dusty's advise and reached out to Tom. He responded and told m to let him know what I needed off of Jan's site in the Netherlands. All I had to give him was descriptions and the part numbers and he would get them for me. I ordered a couple of switches, another flasher and some other wiring harnesses. Tom said that when they came in he would email me and let me know the price. Sure enough the parts arrived and Tom emailed me. I paid him through PayPal and the rest is history. The parts arrived by mail as promised. As most of you would likely know, searching for parts can be challenging and costly, but it's also satisfying when the parts arrive and you get them in your hands.
Dusty and I exchange the odd message on Facebook from time-to-time and while we aren't obviously close friends, and we have never met, I consider him a friend.
Ok, the next search for a part was not necessary but was something I thought would be neat. I found two Harley Davidson Police decals in Erlanger Kentucky in the US. $17.76 US dollars later, including shipping they arrive via mail.
What I have to say about my journey so far is that everyone I have met or contacted during my quest for information and or parts has been genuinely interested in helping me with this project. I'm sure all of you have had similar experiences.
Don't have a lot more to say at this time except that my bike is in my mechanic's shop ready for spring.
Stay tuned for my first look at my bike on delivery day.
Thanks for reading everyone....Mike
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