Saturday, May 30, 2015

I love my Thunderbird...




... and Imagination is good.


"I pulled the nose up on the Spitfire right onto the 109's six.  He didn't even know I was there.  Finger on the trigger I gave him 5 seconds with the 8 Brownings.  He never even knew what hit him.  The left wing dropped as the engine spewed dark smoke.  The pilot stood in his canopy right away as I pulled up alongside.

He gave me a salute, then jumped."

French River


Of course I wasn't flying a Spit and there was no Messerschmidt.  I was however on the 6 of a 70's vintage coal black Mercedes, lumbering along at 70 kph on route 6 through Margate, while riding my Made in England 900 Thunderbird.  After several miles out into the countryside, I pulled by in a slow pass.  Neither of us  saluted I made that up, but we both looked at and admired each others wheels.

Wheatley River


It was the first time this season I had the Bird out for a spin, decent weather but terrific gusts of wind.  Near the water or on the top of Park corner, the 500 lb bike would get pushed over three feet pronto if I wasn't careful.  I like riding the Island, never dull!

88 years!

While my friends rack up the mileage out west, me... a hundred and twenty kilometers over 3 or 4 hours is just about perfect.

Break time...


There were lots of bikes out and I was noticing that every third yard had an atv, a cruiser, or a dirt bike.  Sometimes all three!  The six speed Triumph absolutely loafs along at 90-100kph, and even though the engine is tuned for 'only' 70 horsepower, it feels like it makes that right off idle.  It's no problem slowing to 50 kph going through villages and accelerating back to cruising speed while in top gear.



The engine is a DOHC triple (love those triples!) and when on the gas, it sounds like those 8 Brownings when you pull the trigger, umm... throttle.

"Rat a tat a tat a tat a tat a tat a tat!"

I stopped in for a coke at the North Rustico Irving/grocery store and had a nice chat with Kieth (not Park) Gallant.  His family has owned and operated this store at this location for 88 years!  Sister Karen has an art gallery upstairs (closed today) and brother Danny was off elsewhere. 

Kieth recognized me from the old days, telling me that since riding a Ninja 900 (the original 1984 model) across Canada that year, then giving up bikes as the family grew, he was dying to spill the beans that he just bought a 2003 Kawa Mean Streak... and nobody knows.  Not the wife or the kids or any friends.  Apparently I'm the first he's broken the news to!

Farmer's Bank of Rustico 1864-1894


After our farewells, I took a secondary road some of which was so badly broken up I actually welcomed the clay road I took back to route 6.



Belcourt Center/Retreat
I came upon some historic sites and snapped a few photos for the "album" which now has more than 33,000 images! Thank goodness for digital cameras!

Umm, not a pothole in sight!


In all, T Bird and I had such a nice ride, I didn't even mind the wind so much.  Only problem I encountered was a left hand muffler that was literally hanging by a thread (the header pipe) which I noticed stopping in at Melanie's for a quick chat, just long enough to give the two pooches a shoulder rub.

Some pretty!


The plus side... I had a set of stock mufflers in the box from when I bought the bike in 2006 from a chap in Victoria B.C.  It took an hour and 45 minutes to change pipes, I had to literally hack saw the old muffler off the header, it was rusted so bad.  Now I have one each, stock pipe on the left and one each, 'off road' pipe on the right.  The sound is mellow and still has a bit of a bark.  I'm not one of those guys that likes LOUD pipes for the street, as far as I'm concerned, they don't prevent collisions, in fact may cause some!  Besides, we don't need the public being agin us,

rather... with us:)



Coming up next week, long time riding MC instructor buddy D.T. will be visiting from Edmonton and we

plan on doing a bit of motoring while he's here.

Shortly after that... I'm off to the West to do some nostalgia riding of my own.

See you soon!


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