Follow me on a map!

6 Jul

If I’m not riding my Suzuki Vstrom DL1000 motorcycle I’m either sorting out and editing pictures that I’ve taken or researching and cataloging all the rocks that I’ve collected, or I’m planning my next adventure ride. In between, I do some writing and more recently spend time dog training my young Toller, so don’t expect to read much.

Unfortunately the Covid19 pandemic has upset travel plans, so my SPOT device is not active. Don’t bother to check out this map, which is usually created by my SPOT. Bummer for all of us; stay close to home, wear a mask, get vaccinated and hope to do some serious riding another year.


Northern Ontario

14 Aug

Larry and I met up in Haliburton for a few days of adventure. After a long day for us both (580km for me) we arrived safe and sound in Parry Sound. West on 518 west of Sprecedale the road is closed at Bear Lake. OMG what a quagmire of difdicult backroads to get rerouted. Having lived here in 1980’s I knew that the local custom in to go to the salt dock and watch the sun set.

Saturday we rode to through Sudbury to Elliot Lake

and north on #108 and westerly on 546, mostly gravel, ending up in Thessalon for the night.

Five days or riding was our longest trip since the covid pandemic began, adding 2,419km to my odometer.

Homebound we chose to go to Manitoulin Island for a couple of days. OMG what a disaster … completely booked … nowhere to stay … and the ferry reservations full for two days! Can’t stay on the Island and can’t get off. Covid rules limits the passenger on the ferry. Fortunately I pleaded our situation to a very helpful customer service representative and she got us onto the ferry that evening. Trying to book a motel for the night on the mainland with limited cell and no internet proved to be a frustrating SNAFU and I managed to reach my wife by phone to solve our dilemma.

One of the highlights was riding on hwy#129 northbound from Thessalon towards Chapleau along through the scenic Mississagi River valley.

Wow, #129 ia a twisted paved road with a posted speed at 80kph with the lots of technical curves and hills. Not much traffic but watch out for limited sight lines!

About 1/3 of the way we split off onto gravel #556 towards Ranger Lake, Searchmont and Heyden which is north of Sault St Marie.

Madawaska River Valley

18 Jun

I spend the last 3 days exploring some gravel backroads and forest access roads and my favourite paved twisties in the Highlands. Larry and I stayed 2 nights in Barrys Bay at the Ash Gove Inn; I highly recommend it, the outdoor patio food is excellent. Don’t expect to just show up without a reservation, they are busy. Perfect staff.

My bike is running well and the odometer turned over 220,000km while homebound. Vstroms are big machines and not the best for exploring the grave roads and historic abandoned places in the Highland forests, but can sure eat up the pavement in the connecting roads.

Look closely and see the sawdust burner below the old sawmill is at the outlet of Constant Creek, a tributary of the Madawaska River. One of the last working water-powered sawmills. (I did see the water-powered Bellrock mill in operation, making cedar shingles, by the owner Richard Tosswill, in about 2000).

We spend a long time at Rockingham Church, all the volunteers have done a wonderful job to preserve local Opeongo history

Meet for Lunch

12 May

Splitting the distance between Midland and Kingston gives us both a good ride. Respecting social distracting precautions we had an outside picnic lunch in Burleigh Falls. Both of us benefit greatly from conversation, a bit of fishing, and of course the ride. I consider that the 430 km on my odometer all adds up to improving our sanity in this crazy covid world. We stopped in Havelock for a picture.

Crazy Covid World

30 Apr

I want to suggest to my followers, please if you have some background in math to help others understand what an exponential growth curve is. I truely feel that very few know what that is, or even know what data is plotted on each axis of the curve. Yet people are daily expected to help flatten the curve. So WTF does that mean? I think we all need some simple biology to know how exponential growth applies to our normal everyday life, such as growth of mould in an old loaf of breaf; before fear of a virus overwhelms our knowledge. I’m not implying that Covid19 is simple.

It is a most serious threat to human life on earth. But fear and panic are sometimes the result of nothing more than a basic lack of knowledge of science.
“Flatten the Curve” is analogous to yelling “you gotta get some drive out of the sail” to someone with no sailing experience who is struggling to steer a wind-surfer and is desperately wanting to get safely back to shore.

I’m equally freaked by our science, medical & political specialists who are working hard but struggling and really not helping Canadians understand this virus pandemic.

If you do find graphs helpful this site is excellent

In my opinion the mythical fear and anger building is limiting our ability to properly cope. We can’t hope to beat, what we don’t understand. 

Not much riding

29 Apr

Our weather deteriorated back to the usual April with cold and wet conditions. But things aren’t all bad….my dog and I are cozy at the cottage enjoying the new TN20 woodstove.

2 stroke fun

4 Apr

Not as much fun a riding my Vstrom but on a beautiful sunny warm Easter Sunday it’s great to be outside. We went to the cottage today for lunch and accomplished some outside chores.

Only recently I was able to get our vintage Stihl repaired by a very handy mechanic who has a small repair shop, a passion to tinker with Stihl saws and an impressive collection of acquired parts. We stripped a dead saw of the same type; the model 012 AV with a 45cc 2-stroke engine was manufactured from 1988 to 1990. Now probably good to go for 30 more years!

Vintage Arborist Saw

2020 – a short Covid riding season

5 Nov

Last March no-one really knew what we were in for. The Covid19 pandemic has seriously affected us all. I’ve been more fortunate than many; no friends or family have become infected. I decided in the spring to keep my bike insured, probably just ride some day trips and keep my fingers crossed that things would improve, hoping that I would be able to join some buddies and ride together to some of our planned events. Didn’t happen. Restaurants were closed, crossing over the international border to visit the US was impossible and long distance adventures quickly became a dream for the future. But I did enjoy some day rides and respecting social distancing rules and precautions I did meet up a few times at outdoor locations for picnic lunches with friends.

This is the first season that I’ve not had some major long distance trips. At least I do have many great memories from other years. I miss the freedom that I’ve experienced on the open road, some times for weeks at a time. Riding and meeting new people and visiting scenic locations all over North America has been a passion for over 200,000km.

I did enjoy a ride today in unseasonably warm November temperatures. There probably not too many warm sunny days left before it will be snow-blower season in Ontario. So today I changed the Vstrom oil and filter and the bike is in the garage with a tank full of stabilized fuel hoping for yet another ride. We’re both prepared for the inevitable winterizing.

Vstrom – Tweed Get Together

5 Oct

I wimped out on the cold weather tenting this year but rode from home in Kingston to Calabogie to join everyone for lunch at the Redneck Bistro. Great food! The place was packed and luckily we had a reservation. I arrived first and Rick joined me within a few minutes. The rest of the gang was almost 90 minutes late! Sometimes I wonder how some people make route planning such a SNAFU. But thanks to Jamie for taking charge and organizing this get together. The sunny clear weather and coloured maple leaves were spectacular, I certainly enjoyed my 400km today and it was nice to say hi to everyone at lunch.


6 Sep

I couldn’t resist the 4 day perfect weather forecast, great temps to enjoy a ride. I know from past experiences that immediately after the summer vacation that roads through the Adirondack Mts have minimal traffic. So I had a great leisurely ride yesterday and enjoyed watching the sunset as I crossed Lake Champlain via ferry from Port Kent to Burlington VT.

I got this pucture from the bridge using Fuji XT1 and my 18-135 lens. Walking around the site I met Travelin’ Man and we shared a few adventure stories, he is an accomplished photographer and snapped a picture before we parted; thanks Mike.

Today I’m touring around on Greg’s mountain bike, exploring downtown Burlington finding my way to

where I found a bargain on a slightly used Timex Expedition watch and then riding on the waterfront bike pathway. I’m experimenting with my new Fuji wide lens 16mm f2.8 which can give a wicked depth of field in sharp focus.

Today, Saturday, Greg and I rode on the old rail line which is now a bike pathway about 5 miles north of downtown and stopped for a drink. Having an opportunity to meet and talk with the owner is worth the 5 mile ride. The entrance to her store is a wormhole back into the time of coal fired trains and she has the real life stories to match.

Prince Edward County

15 Jul

Last Friday Rich and I had a perfect day to tour the county. Cloudy and comfortable temperatures, in fact cool by the water side. I hadn’t been to Long Point for a few years. I’ve never seen the lake level so high! Today Sammy and I returned in sunny warmer temps. Our lunch in Bloomfield at Flame + Smith was great. Great food isn’t cheap, we were impressed by the quality, the service was perfect friendly and the physical setting is very interesting. We recommend it!