Sunday, July 6, 2008

What's in a Name...

We rode to Eugene today to visit family and I couldn't resist taking this picture for namesake.

A little winery just South of us in Monroe, Oregon. Broadley Vineyards
I've never tried their wine but I love the name and the signage, the building is pretty cool too.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy 4th...

The neighborhood fireworks started at 1pm this year, 2 hours earlier than last year. At least this year our two cats are firmly situated under our bed instead of being hunkered down somewhere outside until 4am the next morning.

I am all for celebration, but hailing from Canada and not growing up with store bought fireworks, I guess I just don't get it.

It is only once a year, we'll go rent a couple of action movies, shut all the windows and turn up the surround sound. The pets are used to that.

Happy Independence Day America, enjoy.

O! say can you see by the dawn's early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming.
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming.
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
'Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more!
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

O! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: 'In God is our trust.'
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Ya gotta love Wikipedia

Thursday, July 3, 2008

The wind...screen

I am discovering that the wind and I have a funny relationship, not to be confused with my relationship with breeze or gust. Breeze is always welcome while gust hardly ever is. Wind is more constant but not necessarily consistent.

I have been fighting for sometime now with windscreens on bikes. I have never had any luck with any screens on my bikes except for my first street bike a Honda CB750Four.

I have always ridden naked bikes and my aversion for windscreens didn't start until I tried to extend the riding season on my KZ. I started searching on ebay and purchased a used handlebar mounted screen, not enough protection. Back to ebay, I found an inexpensive fairing type screen, still didn't like it. I'm still undecided on the third attempt, a cafe fairing sitting in the rafters of my garage.
I finally upgraded to a full fairing sport tourer, a 2001 Triumph Sprint ST, a great bike for winter riding as the fairing kept me warm and dry even though the windscreen allowed the wind to constantly buffet my helmet. I tried a sport touring screen, a double bubble, a Laminar Lip and even a new helmet and ear plugs. I had no luck reducing the windnoise. Fortunately the hummingbird mentality didn't stay with me long and I sold the bike for my current steed, the America.

But alas, the windscreen battle continues. After ordering a screen that didn't fit, selling it on ebay and purchasing another brand, I give up.

I am a bugs in the teeth type rider. I messed with this screen last night trying to dial it in only to learn I cannot handle looking over a screen let alone through one.

So like an old friend, I'll accept the wind for what it is. Always there for me.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

A little about me...

I have been reading other blogs for sometime now and thought it might be interesting to start my own blog, or maybe more of a journal. I don't know where exactly this will go or for how long, but why not? I guess my main reason is to consolidate my other pages like myspace, flickr and forum entries and to practice writing by sharing interests and thoughts. My intent is to stay on the topic of motorcycling and to train myself to slow down on rides, stop to take pictures, enjoy the scenery and share the ride. I may, on occasion, wander off and discuss other topics like landscape plants, birds and whatever else may pique my interest, but I hope to keep everything connected.

I live and ride in the Willamette Valley of Oregon with my wonderful wife Brandy (whom came up with the name Troubadour). I currently ride a 2007 Triumph America, a 1976 Kawasaki KZ900LTD and I have been riding since high school. I consider myself a rounder, I ride year round unless it is completely unsafe to do so and have been caught in situations that have tested my ability. Oregon rain + cold = ice.
I've put together and attended group rides but discovered keeping riders together is like herding cats. So you'll usually find me alone or find Brandy and me two up puttering along, discovering back roads looking for scenic rest stops and a photo opportunity. I am not familiar with all the roads around here so getting lost is half the fun.

Please be patient, leave comments, check back often and enjoy.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Happy Canada Day

July 1st is Canada Day and I thought it appropriate to honour today with the National Anthem:

O Canada!
Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.

With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!

From far and wide,
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

Canada - The True North Strong and Free

We have been on 'holiday' last weekend so I will post pictures of our adventure later this week.