Archive | June, 2015

Horizons Unlimited (Ontario)

17 Jun

We’re on our way, presently staying over in Bracebridge, to the event on the shore of Lake Couchiching. It’s a get-together of adventure touring motorcyclist; a few friends will be there, a few HU faces that I will recognize, and lots of new people to meet and share stories and travel tips.
I attended an HU event two years ago but this year my wife is with me and we have reserved a cabin to be able to relax and enjoy the whole event.
For 2015 HU is supporting the Do Good as You Go network

It’s a simple theme that all travellers should abide by. I know from my own personal traveling experiences how my “doing good” has been returned back to me by so many wonderful helpful people along my routes. My first awareness or epiphany was at 10,000 ft at Big Horn Medicine Wheel in Montana. A few years later riding in Newfoundland I was reminded daily of how generous and helpful people can be.

Fantastic weekend and generally good weather, without any rain until early Sunday morning. A perfect venue and 200 registrations.

Wonderful presentations, and of course Patrick Trahan’s awesome personal story telling about reaching his Dakar life goals, touched everyone. What a great bunch of people to share a weekend with.

Lots of highlights, one being riding on my friend Dave’s Honda Monkey.

Some Hondas are of course much bigger than others, I had a test ride on one of the new Honda NC 750 motorcycles. I really enjoyed the bike’s low centre of gravity but didn’t really go far enough to and kind of review.  I’d gladly play again on one. It’s definitely an easier bike to ride in comparison to my fully loaded Suzuki Vstrom.

Wow, and a personal demo ride just for me with Patrick leading; he very graciously set a pace was that comfortable for me.



Above is the legendary Canadian Dakar rider Patrick Trahan early during his attempted solo circumnavigation of Africa to raise money for Children’s Wish. Unfortunately he wasn’t able to fulfill this dream due to a very serious life threatening accident. Amazingly he survived and rides on. I met him for the first time two years ago and was personally incredibly touched by his powerful drive to “Follow your Dreams.” I was equally awed, by his positive mental attitude to cope with things that go bad in life, as I was by his hilarious sense of humour. There are few people who can turn a personal tragedy into a stand-up comic routine.  Talking with him again this weekend and getting to ride with him was wonderful.

Thank you Honda for helping to make a great HU weekend.

My wife and I managed to stretch the weekend in to six days, leaving on Wednesday morning and not getting home until Monday late afternoon. We took the opportunity to ride on some of my favourite roads like CR #507 through Catchacoma and Dyno Road, even a few new to me like CR #504 through Owenbrook.
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Quebec V-Strom Gathering – Henryville, Quebec

12 Jun

Quebec V-Strom Gathering.
La Brocante a Bandit 2015 is one the largest gathering for Stromtroopers and others ADV riders in the province of Quebec and this will be my first time to attend.  It’s being held near Henryville Click the link below to see where I am located. just north of the Canadian/US Vermont border. I’ll leave early Saturday morning and plan to stop at Joey’s Junction Bakery and Cafe along hwy#78  in Highgate Center VT for an awesome cholesterol laden brunch dripping in maple syrup and served with the best ever iced coffee with real maple flavoured cream. In this picture, taken last fall, I’d just finished my first coffee but hadn’t yet attacked the bottle of syrup. IMAG2486
Unfortunately I arrived at about noon, very hungry, and there was a sign notifying everyone that it’s closed until further notice. Something tragic must have happen; hopefully Joey and all are ok and will get back to business as usual soon. I wish him well. My second choice for lunch was lousy and it put a blight on my day. I was so looking forward to Joey’s food.

To make matters even worse the lineup at customs on hwy I89 & hwy 133 crossing from Vermont to Quebec was 90 minutes of stop and not much go. I pushed the Vstrom for most of it and my thermometer said 36 degrees F and I was nearly cooked. Roasted Gord in a RoadCrafter suit.
But the Moto event was great! The BBQ smoked pig and lamb, the vendors, the people, the music and the camping. Wow, dinner for 250 or maybe 300 according to the butcher/chef, and live music in a humongous tent. The host sure knows how to throw a party. DSCF1923ew Brocante MotoDSCF1918e Brocante Moto

I met some Horizons Unlimited Travellers and got a few picture as they were getting ready to leave, just before sunset.

DSCF1969ew Brocante Moto Michel

Calabogie ride

4 Jun

Willie and I had a wonderful ride today. We only went to Calabogie for lunch but by the time we got home we had logged 475km on the motorcycle. I guess we must have taken one of my favourite shortcuts. Not a bad adventure with a passenger who had never ridden before! Either he trusts me or has nerves of steel to ride gravel and paved twisties as a pillion.

We criss-crossed the old Kingston to Pembroke Railway line and stopped at the only remaining station still standing, Clarendon.

After lunch in Calabogie at Shooters
we made a quick stop at Calabogie Motorsports race track but there wasn’t much action. We ended riding south on hwy #511 (on of my all time favourites) to the Taltock OMYA Canada Ltd quarry lookout. It’s an active mine, owned by a giant Swiss mining corporation, extracting calcium carbonate from snow white calcite. It’s an amazing sight to look at but not without many concerns regarding the environment and serious local impact. Millions of litres of water are daily affected either in the quarry or in the Tay River with little historical data to base environmental decisions.  With the bright sun and stark white rock it was a difficult exposure for Willie’s phone camera.   Taltock quarry imagejpeg_2
Riding the county road #16 between hwy #509 and #511 aka the Historic Lavant Colonization Road was so good that it’s a must ride again.

We stoppered for coffee and a snack at  the Fall Rive Restaurant now under new ownership and I recommend it.

Birthday Bicycle Ride

3 Jun

Yesterday I had a need to go for a 2 wheel adventure and the Suzuki was in the shop for repairs. The master slave for the clutch was leaking hydraulic fluid so I resorted to my bicycle. My wife and I had never ridden along the historic K & P trail. Built as a rail line in 1875 it connected Kingston to Pembroke and now much of it is a multi-use gravel pathway. We rode the secton from Binnington Crt to the old Jackson Mill.


We saw some ivy along the side of the trail, a classic location for poison ivy but this pictue shows the 5 leaflets of Virginia Creeper.

All in all I had a good day with many calls and emails from friends and picked up the Suzuki late in the afternoon all repaired with an in stock kit. We ended the day having a perfect dinner at Dianne’s Fish Shack and Smokehouse restaurant on Ontario St in downtown Kingston and enjoyed a walk along the waterfront. Full “strawberry” moon rising over the Shoal Tower at Confederation Yacht Basin.


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