Tuesday, September 26

Rode to Tobermory - II

Dispatches from Lucas: Monday, September 25, 2006 – Introductions and Pre-flight Check.

Sharon posted my first blog entry to her Moto Tales. I’m very happy that Sharon has invited me to share her blog space with me. She is a respected, skilled and knowledgeable rider and author. Her many triumphs, travels and travails have been posted on the about.motorcycles.com forums. I began my journey into motorcycling this summer and eventually found the About.motorcycles.com site in my quest for information. Sharon, our other cohort Doug and the other forum members, provided so much information, help and support that I am truly honoured to be part of the forum community.

I read my first dispatch after Sharon posted it to the web site. I felt it read a bit dry and I did not add any introduction to who I am and what I’m doing on a motorcycle. How did I get into motorcycling?

Many years ago when I was a bit younger I used to ride a moped. Yes, a blue and silver moped. I don’t recall the manufacturer, just that I loved riding my moped in the high desert near Lancaster, California and up in the mountains near Lake Hughes. It had a top speed of 50 mph with a good tail wind and pointing down hill. To school, back roads and fire trails I took my moped. The moped took all of the abuse that I could offer it and asked for more. Then the thrill of the automobile took over and my interest followed that direction and I lost the feel of wind in your hair and bugs in your teeth and that just plain wide open feeling.

You look back and see that we let go so easily the toys and joys of our youth. We move on to other adventures leaving those halcyon days go as easily as we tear off the next month on the calendar. We get busy with education, pursuit of a life, raising families and just trying to stay sane in this fast paced and crazy world we live in. The veneer of life wears thin over time and we become tired, worn and scared. There is an answer, there is always an answer.

And when the broken hearted people
Living in the world agree
There will be an answer

(Let it Be, Beatles 1969)

My answer has been a culmination of events and each event has become an integral part of me and how I see the world. Motorcycling is one of those events. It combines my interest of camping, yoga, spirituality and adventure/travel. Motorcycling called me, I didn’t call motorcycling. You may find this odd and wonder how that happened. It all began with a Honda motorcycle flyer I found in my mailbox about three years ago. I never asked for this literature or even thought much about riding a motorcycle. I have no idea to this day how I got that flyer. Sometimes, it is best to not ask why.

The current TV shows about motorcycles did not enflame me with any passion to ride. I did watch them for the mechanical aspects but those aren’t my kind of bikes. I know very few people that ride and they did not provide me with any encouragement. Since that flyer, I kept getting a nudge to ride and I would troll the manufacturer’s web sites and then put it away for awhile. Finally, this summer I could take the nudging no longer and decided to ride. I first bought David Hough’s ‘Proficient Motorcycling’ – I figured that would hold me off for a while. Not a chance, I wanted more and bought more books. I’ve read over 10 titles on motorcycling and ton’s of web sites about motorcycling.

At the end of June, I made the plunge and got my rider’s permit, a BMW F650CS motorcycle and the Motorcycle Safety Foundation – Basic Rider’s course and a whole bunch of gear. It’s been 90 days since I’ve ventured into motorcycling and I have enjoyed just about every minute of it. I bought my motorcycle used with 2677km (1673 miles) and have almost doubled that mileage in 90 days. What a waste to buy a 10,000 dollar motorcycle and barely ride it.

The BMW F650CS is a very unique motorcycle unlike any other. I’ve named my bike Corrina. It’s my favourite girls name and was made legend in the song Corrina, Corrina by Muddy Waters.

Instead of boring you with all of the details on the F650CS, here are some links for more information: http://uk.motorcity.com/display/visualizzaprove.php3?id=779&idcanale=1


If you follow the link to these web sites, notice the luggage on the back of the bike. I purchased this luggage for my motorcycle.
It’s bike-specific for the F650CS. The luggage holds 61 litres of cargo. The large pillion bag has held my tool bag, large bag of dog food and picnic supplies – not all at the same time.

The riding season is starting to wind down and I really wanted to do a moto-tour before the weather got any colder or meaner. I’ve heard that Tobermory is a nice place to visit; it’s the farthest point on the ‘Escarpment’. The escarpment is a cliff like ridge that runs north/south along the Niagara peninsula.
Riding along the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW) from Niagara Falls, looking west this prominent landmark can be seen. A straight drive to Tobermory will take just over 6 hours. I’ve decided to break this down into 4 days and enjoy the journey more than the destination.

The weather seems to be getting worse this weekend. It looked better early on, yet as the weekend arrives rain is the main event all weekend. Precipitation is forecasted at 40% on Friday, 70% on Saturday and again 40% on Sunday. I’m definitely going to get wet and shall be prepared for it.

In my previous entry, I gave a link to Tobermory. This link was to the Tobermory Chamber of Commerce web site. This no longer seems to be working, not sure if they’ve paid their hosting bill or not. Try this link instead: http://www.thebrucepeninsula.com/tobermory

--PreFlight Shake Down.

After work today, I got on my riding gear. Looked and felt a bit nasty and cold out, justified adding my inner liner. I felt hot getting my bike out of the garage but as soon as I got moving I’m glad I did. I was very comfortable on my ride today. This inner liner adds an additional level of weather proofing. My gear is Olympia AST Tour Jacket and Olympia AirMesh pants. This is good gear for ranges between 40F up 90F. With the liners removed and the vents open, I’ve been able to ride through the summer without sacrificing my protection.

I adjusted my suspension giving it a little extra firmness. I’ve noticed if I’m riding single, setting my preload on Standard is very comfortable. I get a good ride without being too squishy. If I set it too firm then my butt goes numb after an hour of riding. I added one level of firmness to the preload to adjust for the gear load. This felt very good on today’s ride. I’ll stay with this setting on the first day of the trip and see how it goes.

None of my gear fell off on today’s run. I feel the tie down system is working. The pillion bag with the sleeping bag on top where right up to my back, that felt awkward at first but then I got used to it. I have a cup in my seat and I like to have my butt firmly in that cup – I feel I get the best comfort and control in that position. -- Lucas --

Corrina in tour profile: