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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.