Thursday, September 15, 2005

Oh Canada - Land of pristine lakes and infinite sweepers

I thought one big motorcycle trip was good for my first year of real riding, but luck would have it that I got the chance to do a 10 day trip into Canada. I had to go to Toronto to get my US work visa stamped at the US Embassy there (dont ask, but you can't do this in the US itself).

Since this was a full out solo trip, I had most of the roads planned with known gas stations along the way as I can only do about 120 miles on the Gix (not really desgined for touring).

I researched on Sport-Touring.Net (an online community of sport-touring motorcycle riders from around the world) on what the goods roads were to ride around there. I also got an invite from one of the members in Ottawa for a place to stay. This is what makes the community so great, the immediate friends that you have while you're on the road. Ofcourse, in exchange they demand story telling of your tall tales.

Since most of the twisty roads on my ride were in Central Ontario, I spend a bit more time going through there and then spend the rest seeing the sights of the land. I was also eager to head into Quebec, as I love to speak the French that I've been learning since the 6th grade.

Being out on the road alone is a wonderful experience.

You can read the full ride report and see all the pictures here.

Here's a sampling of the pictures:

Departing in the rain

What a great feeling to ride on my motorcycle, have a warm fire going, pitch up a tent and have a good nights sleep

"Wish you were here..."

As close to the water as possible. Looks almost surreal.

One of the best roads to rail on in Ontario: Route 511

My friend Corbeau from ST-N, who offered his place for the night in Ottawa

Some big spider thingie outside the National Art Gallery in Ottawa

The great lengths we go through to ride some twisty tarmac

Not to brag... but what an excellent shot :)

Ed Valliancourt with his 95 Honda 125CC GP bike, a motorcycle collector and racer extraordinaire

1/3 of Ed's motorcycle collection, what an opportunity to stumble upon a treasure like this

The Canadian side of Niagara Falls, also known as the Horseshoe Falls. Note the Maid of the Mist at the bottom of the falls.

Lake Ontario at dusk from The Loyalist Parkway on Prince Edward Island

In Old Montreal

What a multi-tasking girl Myra is: ability to rip through corners and carry firewood

Chocolate Mousse avec le Vin Port

Bistro Sous le Fort in Old Quebec City

Not your typical road sign

If only it was dry...

The mountains rounded-off by the galciers at Lac Ha Ha, part of the Canadian Shield

Talk about moving scenery

And that's 45 km/h, not mph

Almost like Rio, but needs to be on a slightly bigger hill

Me, in my element at Lac Superior near Mt. Tremblant

Friday, September 02, 2005

Arkansas Railing - A trip to motorcycling heaven

My first multi-day motorcycle trip was to Arkansas with Chris in Sept 05. We has n option to going to Southern Ohio and riding West Virginia, while staying with Chris' family in Cleveland. However, Chris had already ridden those roads and since the temps were already dropping, we decided to head to new terrority and go south.

Now Arkansas might not seem like an ideal vacation spot, but the motorcyclist is not an ideal vactioner. We're after the good ride - the road less traveled, the twisties, the scenery and the chance to interact with the locals.

I'm quite the control freak and on our previous day trips, I had almost every turn marked down on a map. Not to say that I wasn't adventurous, but just trying to get to and ride the best road in the given time. Chris (being old and wise, more old though) shared with me that having a plan is good but so is deviating from it.

We rode down to St. Louis, opened up the map, selected the twisty-looking roads and headed out. And boy did we ever find them twisty roads, and that scenery and those locals.

Read the entire trip report and see all the pictures here.

Here's a few highlights:

Myra, my Suzuki GSX-R600

I come in peace. Show me your twisties

I swear I was doing the speed limit

Riding into the sunset

Crossing the state line

The reason why we rode 600 miles of highway

It really is quite rural outside the big cities. This is where Chris got friendly with one of the locals...

Me, Myra and the desolate road... well, Chris was there too

At the highest point in the Ozarks

Speechless... this kind of scenery is a hazard to motorcyclists

Big milestone for me - first time doing 10,000 miles (in 4 months of owning the bike)

mmmm, daddy like

Chris, getting friendly with the locals, Rene

Down by the river side...

At the St. Louis Gateway Arch