Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy Solstice

We just got back from a Winter Solstice party, we drank some wine, danced in the clear, cold, dark night, named and anointed a mighty oak tree, offered libations, we all said a few words then drank some more wine.

It was great getting together with friends we hadn't seen in sometime and catching up on what's going on with everyone.

And if the days start getting longer tomorrow, then all the better.

Happy Holidays everyone!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Seattle Motorcycle Show 2011

Another show, another weekend and another year has come and gone. While many mark the year end with all that holiday fuss, I much prefer to note it with much less stressful events like meeting fellow bloggers in Seattle for the weekend and taking in a motorcycle show.

This is our third consecutive year attending the show and every year it is in someway just a little bit different, each year we try a new hotel and of course new restaurants. Not everyone can always make it to the show every year so I'll give all of you much more notice next year.

We drove up Friday afternoon and arrived early enough to wander around town and find some dinner before Bobskoot and Mrs. Skoot arrived. Bob was anxious to go down to Pike Place Market and snap some night photos before they shut off the lights. We played around down there for an hour or more until they kicked us out by threatening to call the police on us.

This couple came out of the restaurant and into my shot, I don't think they saw me standing there but it made a great photo.

Bob on the other hand, you have to be quick to catch him.

Saturday morning it was rise and shine, bright and early to get down to the lobby for the continental breakfast and to beat the crowd. We had our fill and chatted with Bob and Yvonne before heading down to the motorcycle show.

 We met up with SonjaM and Roland as well as Orin, another blogger difficult to catch on camera.

The venue this year was at the Washington State Convention Center in downtown Seattle which made it very convenient to find somewhere to eat, sneak in a little shopping, see the sights and for its close proximity to our hotels. It has been held at Qwest Field the past few years which is a bit out of the way and a bit of a walk if you want to do anything after the show. The Convention Center in my opinion is a much better location as the show was set up in different rooms which spread the crowd a bit and reduced the noise opposed to the one big stadium. Tully's Coffee was in the house to provide sustenance and restrooms were plentiful.  

Moving to the show and the motorcycles.

 Aurora Suzuki dealer was present with the redesigned 2012 V-Strom 650.

Triumph was there with the bike I most wanted to see, the Tiger Explorer 1200.

It isn't as big as I expected nor as heavy but at 539 lbs. wet it took some heft to get her off the side stand. It is so similar in size to Lucy that it would make a great tourer across country but I'd be reluctant to take it too far off the beaten path. Although the Explorer has shaft drive, ride by wire and traction control I still much prefer the Tiger 800.

2012 Triumph Street Triple in Imperial Purple

Tiger 800... Bob says he's already on the darkside but could be easily persuaded darker.

 Even Harley fans are "Tri-curious", wait is he an H-D rep?

A BMW dealer was there with a couple of bikes and the BMW R 1200 R. and WOW is that a nice bike. I may have to change my 7 bikes for 7 days choices, unfortunately I couldn't get a picture.

Kawasaki had a large presence as well as Honda, Star/Yamaha, Ducati, Victory, Can-Am and Harley Davidson whether as manufacturers or dealers. Not to mention the vendors that braved the "poor economy" to show up and those poor scantily clad models who couldn't afford full skirts and had holes in their stockings yet always offer a smile.

I had to laugh as the young lady was teaching kids how to paint bikes. I told one guy to hide the paint cans in his garage or he'd come home to a freshly "look daddy" painted bike. 

 My babysitter never looked like that!

 Needless to say we all had a great time at the show and it was off to lunch with the moto-bloggers.


Saturday, December 17, 2011

International Moto-Bloggers Convention 2012

Stories from the first IMBC in 2010 are still circulating to this day.

Is anyone interested in getting together next summer for IMBC2012? 


Sunday, December 11, 2011

My Favourite Five

Roger Fleming of All Things Rogey posted the following challenge:

Well  the year is drawing to a close very fast, Christmas will be upon us in just a days.  So here is a little challenge for you.   Post your five favourite photos of 2011.  Tell us why you like them.  It could just be you like the pic or it could be more personal or of great meaning to you.  The only rule is that you have to have been the one who took them, and there must be at least one of you.

While going through our photos from the past year it was interesting to see which photos I actually took opposed to which photos Trobairitz took. That narrowed the search considerably since she bought a camera this year and I now rely on her to document our adventures through photos. Everytime I turn around she is off snapping pictures while I'm busy checking the map, setting up camp, rustling around in the saddlebags for something or taking care of important business. She is just quicker to get the camera out.

Anyway, here are my five and why:

 On the Range

I took this photo trying to mimic a photo that Irondad took of my bike alone during my first audit of the Team Oregon class. This one is of both our bikes where he was the instructor and my mentor during my second audit. The beginning to what I hope is a long and rewarding journey teaching motorcyclist the fundamentals of riding.

 Behind every great man is a woman rolling her eyes. 

This covers the one photo of me (and my best friend). We were in San Francisco for her birthday, walking down the stairway from Coit Tower and Telegraph Hill. It was early in the day so morale was still high. The day ended after an 11+ mile walk around SF... good times.

 She always wanted to see an aircraft carrier.

This was the next day was spent in Alameda on the USS Hornet. There are many photos of her goofing around when put on the spot, but more so I love her laugh and shy embarrassed grin that follow these impromptu poses.  

 Crater Lake

This one is on our first moto-camping trip together to Crater Lake, we've been on overnight trips but this was our first self-contained camping trip on the bikes. A great accomplishment for her, showing how much her riding has improved during the year and how proud I am of her.

 Triangle Lake

This is another of those goofy pictures that make me laugh. I was busy heating water for tea so we could warm up during a cold autumn ride while she had wondered out on the boat dock. I looked up to notice  her reflection in the water. The lake is rarely this quiet and calm so this time of year was perfect to stop and enjoy the scenery.

Here is wishing everyone a happy and successful 2012 and thank you to Roger for the challenge and having us reflect on our ups, downs, appreciations and accomplishments of 2011.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Somebody stop me

I have to either find some way to fund this little project or someone to talk me down. I want to marry these two Craigslist buys together:

Stella Scooter Tangerine 2 stroke - 235 miles! - $2400 (Canby)

Date: 2011-11-27, 12:16PM PST

Selling my beloved 2005 Genuine Stella Scooter 150 cc. 4 speed. Only 235 miles! I bought it this summer, but now have to part with it because of a job loss. I am the 2nd owner, original owner bought it in 2006 and only put 70 miles on it, then let it sit. New battery, Tags are good until 2013, everything works perfect except the gas gauge (common with stella). Some minor light scratches. No dents, never downed.

Clear title, cash only.





Cozy Scooter Sidecar - $800 (Oregon City)

Date: 2011-11-25, 11:33AM PST

Cozy scooter sidecar. Purchased from Scooterworks in 2005. All metal body, 12" wheel and tire, windshield, locking trunk, luggage rack, tonneau cover, folding passenger top, and mounting brackets for Stella or P/PX Vespas. Actually will fit most classic Vespas (the Cozy sidecar site has additional information on all compatible models). Will fit the new 4T as well as the 2T Stella. In good condition with some minor signs of wear from 5 years light use. The chrome rack and sidebar show some corrosion and will need replating or painting. The orange color matches the orange Stellas of the middle 2000's. Asking $800.

Except now I've discovered classifieds.

2008 Stella with sidecar

Year/Make/Model2008 Stella with sidecar 
DescriptionStella has less than 1200 miles. Sidecar has less than 300 miles. It's in great shape and runs perfectly. Easily rides with two grown adults at approx. 45MPH. Gets about 50-60 MPG. $4,000 OBO. 
LocationBaton Rouge, Louisiana 

This one is way out of my budget.

Vespa GS150 VS5

Year/Make/ModelVespa GS150 VS5 
DescriptionVespa GS150 VS5 with rare vintage side car. Full mechanical rebuild and paint by Tonka Bay scooters about 8 years ago. Runs near perfect. Paint is nicer then factory. Coverted to a very reliable non-battery VBB system. Probably one of the coolest/nicest vintage Vespa side car rigs in the US. Runs straight and strong. E-mail me for more pics or questions. $10,000.00  
LocationTonka Bay, Minnesota 

But if someone would buy these so I won't, that would certainly help. Thanks.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

How and Why did you get into Motorbikes?

The question asked by Gary France of Flies in your Teeth: How and Why did you get into Motorbikes?
Way to get bloggers posting and thinking. 

I have to think way back to when I was just a toddler, my first motorcycle memory has to be of a plastic riding toy motorcycle I received for Christmas. From there it was tricycles, to bicycles then to riding everywhere. Back in the days when kids could take off all day, not worry about stranger dangers and not come home until the streetlights came on. I went through several bicycles as a kid and putting baseball cards with a clothespin in the spokes before upgrading to a toy throttle Rev Maker.

I so want one of these.

My first experience with an actual motorcycle had to be about the age of nine or ten when a childhood friend let my brother and I ride his Briggs & Stratton type mini bike around the yard. I was hooked.

We would ride our bicycles down to a wooded area at the edge of town where the older kids would ride their dirt bikes and if we were lucky they would take us younger kids for a ride to try to scare us, it only made me want a dirt bike even more. The closest motorcycle shop was Sid's Cycle, a Yamaha dealership just outside of town along a major highway that we weren't allowed to ride our bicycles along so we would get down there by bus instead.

My brother and I must have begged, pleaded and annoyed our parents enough that the best Christmas I had was when we found a brand new Yamaha 80 Enduro under the tree.

My parents would take us down to a newly developed industrial park on the weekend where my brother and I would fight over who's turn it was to ride round and round and round the park for hours and hours. I never got bored with that bike and rode it everywhere until I finally outgrew it and I was too big to ride it. 

I went a couple of years without a bike and got into trucks instead but when I finally finished high school and scraped some money together I bought a bike. 

A fully dressed 1975 Honda CB750Four, she was a heavy girl and not a wise choice for a first bike. I never crashed but I wasn't a very proficient rider either. I sold it a year later and for awhile I was financially forced to go bikeless.

It wasn't until I met Brandy that I got another bike and never went without again. I bought a Suzuki GS550, it was nice and got me back in the saddle but it didn't satisfy my need for speed so I bought an '84 Honda Magna V45 instead.

Look familiar Motorcycle Man?

I discovered touring and never looked back.

And the why? That's easy, if I don't ride I get grumpy, riding is therapy.