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.


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!


29 May

Nice to be home. Parts of this trip were gruelling. Total distance was about 6,500km. But the last couple of days in cooler temperatures I was able to ride comfortably and enjoy lots of twisted backroads in OH, PA and NY. About noon today I encountered some drizzle for about an hour had to add a layer for warmth and put on insulated rain gloves. Wow, I enjoyed my cold fingers!

About a week ago I saw a simple homemade sign on a lawn but I couldn’t get a picture because there wasn’t a safe place to stop. It was about a metre square and painted in pastel colours. The simple but profound words mabye sum up why I am able to travel and meet such friendly and helpful people all over North America. Everyday I meet someone who goes out of their way to be helpful.


Almost Home

28 May

Monday was a fantastic day of riding, great roads and the most comfortable weather since leaving the Great Smokies a week ago. Sunny but comfortable temperatures so I had the zippered vents in my RoadCrafter suit closed most of the day. I arrived at my friends late in the afternoon, a 530km day that included some Pensylvania gravel roads the my gps choose for me as part of a shortest route setting, even though it was set to avoid gravel. I am a very experienced Garmin GPS user, and I have been very impressed with my new Zumo 396. I still have my model 12 in perfect working order that I bought in 2001, and a deluxe Nuvi 3597LM that we use in the car, but recently I sold my old trusted Zumo 550.

Rich and Carol live in a rural setting in a wonderful ICF home in the Finger Lakes of NY state. From here is an easy half day ride home to Kingston. They have welcomed me many times at the end of a long ride.

I’m sure that my wife appreciates that Carol helps me wind down to near normal before I get home. I’m going to stall a day here to avoid the rainy weather. The chilly teperatures associated with this weather are so nice.


26 May

I had a chance today to ride some of the best narrow twisted pieces of asphalt that I’ve been on since West Virginia. I stopped to have a long afternoon nap on a picnic table in the shade at a museum in Norwich OH funded by the John & Annie Fiundation.

Feeling refreshed I followed some of The National Road and finished my day on back roads, even a few miles of gravel. Technical roads, I couldn’t have survived 475km day with out the nap. Once again the heat sapped me out.

Garmin Zumo 396

25 May

Wow, so much more than my old Zumo 550 so a comparison isn’t fair. Admittedly my old eyes can’t read half of the information unless I’m wearing my reading glasses. My choice for riding is to wear my contact lenses giving me excellent distance and peripheral vision and they don’t get dirty or fog up or drip with perspiration on hot days like I’ve be riding in. And of course my full coverage helmet doesn’t accommodate reading glasses. My best solution is to wear very slightly tinted sunglasses inside my visor, cutting down on reflections and most glare. Darker glasses add some comfort but cause my pupils to dialate slightly which makes close-up reading even worse. Any way I don’t get lost and see well to ride safely. Too bad I don’t look as good as I see (no comments please). I used crazy glue and baking soda, a catalyst, to create a nubbin on my left finger.

It’s my driving finger, and my Adventure Rider Saluting finger and it works great to poke the Garmin screen precisely.

The unit is mounted conveniently close to my left hand and the nubbin works like my fingernail.

The Garmin “shortest distance” route calculating proved to be a powerful tool to route straight through big cites. I went right through the downtown guts of Nashville today at noon easily, and this evening through Lexington was a simple 25 minute ride. Hey Larry, try that with a strip, of your turn-by-turn scribbles, taped to your fuel tank!!

Anyway a productive riding day of 550km. I’ve ridden EFI of the Natchez Trace Parkway, it’s like a narrow green ribbon of sanity hidden inside a spiderweb of interstates, expressways and high speed traffic. It is memorial day holiday weekend, but traffic on backroads and lesser highways is not a problem, allthough my first motel choice was full. Just as the sun was setting, I settled myself safely and comfortably in a Red Roof Inn on the North edge of Lexington Kentucky.

I’ve still got about 1000km or 12 riding hours split over the next 2 days because I would like to visit my friends in the Finger Lakes NY, on Monday night. I will be going thru Pittsburgh tomorrow, Sunday, late in the afternoon. I may easily loose a day with traffic or weather.

WooHoo a limestone rock

24 May

I followed the NTP all day, a 473km, and ended up in Lawrenceburg Tennessee for the night.This afternoon close to mile marker 305 I saw the first outcropping of limestone rock since Georgia a few days ago. Still in Mississippi and just south of the Alabama state line is the Saddleback Ridge.This morning before the temperature rose to stinking hot I took some pics and stopped at a few interesting locations.By late afternoon I was tired, and the air-conditioned short movie at the Parkway Visitor Center / Headquarters was a pleadant break. By the time I rode to the Pharr Mounds I needed a nap.I flopped my crash suit on top of a picnic table in the shade and had a long sleep. I awoke drenched in sweat but felt refreshed.In the morning I will pick up the Trace where I detoured.