Monday, September 4, 2017

Just doin' ma thing...



THE week was winding down quickly. I'd covered a great deal of very pretty countryside on my Suzuki in southern New Brunswick.  From thick forest, to rugged Fundy cliffs.  From placid and gentile lakes, to rushing trout filled streams.  From 4 lane divided highway, to unnamed or numbered country lanes.


Pretty little cove north of Utopia


THERE were old farms and modern ranches, rusty cars and derelict boats. I'd had sunny days and a little rain.  I rode the flat country and the hills/mountains of the Appalachian range.  As on other trips I'd put under my kidney belt, I carried memories in my brain like a silicon chip.  Well, maybe not quite as reliable!

I finally made it to Utopia
ONE of the favorite things I enjoy riding is soaking up the history or the ambience of every trip. This was no different.  I learned just a little more about the amazing Bay of Fundy tides, the highest in the world and certainly the most powerful.  I learned a little more about the  Loyalists that were vilified for their beliefs and loyalties.  Much like the Acadian community that proudly flies the Acadian flag on their flagpoles and garages


 
Most of Pennfield was CLOSED for business, yet the TCH is only a few miles from here.

FROM my earliest traveling by bike I have met people.  In the old days people that weren't so friendly to motorcyclists in fact often down right hostile!  Today when you travel by bike it has become so commonplace and (almost) accepted. 

I can be sitting on a picnic bench and someone will approach and ask where I'm from, do I like my bike, where did I get those (fill in blank here)  What kind of fuel mileage I get, how fast does it go, what's it cost, how long have I been doing this.


Ahh, the proverbial 'Fork in the road'  Of course there is NO road sign.

PEOPLE are usually shocked when I tell them with all sincerity, this is my 49th continuous year riding.  The years have been pretty good to me with only relatively minor mishaps like getting rear ended in 2002 in Calgary.  Breaking an ankle on the top of the Sierra Giganta mountains and having to ride out very gingerly.  I am looking forward with a great deal of anticipation to my fiftieth year on motorcycles.  I've already been asked "what I am planning?  Are you going to do that round the World thing, am I going to Alaska..." and so forth.


Just another pretty little NB river full of hungry trout!

THE look I usually get is one bordering on shock or perhaps confusion when I reply  

"Haven't a clue..." 

Of course I have in the past and will again in the future as long as I'm able, load the bags and head out on some excursion that requires forethought and planning but truthfully, this is what I have always loved best about riding.  Throwing a leg over a saddle, clicking into gear (or just opening the throttle on a scooter) and going.


LORD Beaverbrook in plaster.

"TIME waits for no man" the saying goes, and to that you can add this one, "We ain't gettin'  any younger!"  This is true for us all.


One of my favorite things to do on this trip was finding covered bridges.
SOMEHOW the Doc lucked out on this week in NB.  The weather, which so often can ruin an otherwise good ride, was very kind to me this time round.  The cloud (!) that hung over our last attempt to ride here back in early 2016 were thankfully absent and when they weren't they didn't hold any moisture like we'd experienced back then.  I rarely ride without my full compliment of riding gear, but of course there are times when the jacket ends up stuffed in the saddlebag, like when it's 110 F in Phx or Baja. 




C' Mon... you've got to love this
Generally I wear appropriate gloves, off road or leather gear, my street jackets have built in armor and I choose a helmet that I feel comfortable in and in keeping with the type of riding I do.

I admit I like twisting the throttle and occasionally give into the whim of twisting it farther.  Most of the time I just like to kick back and explore this amazing country and this beautiful planet.  I sure hope we don't pollute it and ourselves to death, or wipe it all out in a nuclear war!



And this.
THE Wee Strom is made for this particular type of touring. It's likely the most versatile bike I have when I need to cover long distances with luggage and on less than perfect road surfaces.  I feel no need whatsoever for the thousand cc version, and even the 650 has speed potential to get your license shredded on the spot!

 
Here to the Suzuki elicited conversation.
FUEL mileage and distance are remarkable.  The 22L tank will get me close to 600 km averaging about 70 mp (Imperial) g.  That's near 5 gallons here in Canada and almost 6 south of the border.  The six speed transmission coupled with the aftermarket 1 tooth over counter-shaft sprocket, makes for very leisurely touring, while the ton is only a quick twist away.

The suspension is not particularly long travel and I have mine set pretty soft for a cushy ride over roads that are subject to freezing temperatures throughout much of the year. Not to mention the weeks of plus 30 we've had this year.



Viewed from the Summerville ferry, just a few miles east lies the city of St. John


IT'S no "dirt bike" and I've had amazing adventures on bikes as small as 50cc... so the ADV genre to me is nothing more than a marketing ploy. 

After all, the 80's were the era of Paris Dakar and a flat twin 3 foot wide BMW 800, that weighed in at a quarter ton is anything but a dirt bike, notwithstanding that a select few supermen rode them highly modified for 5000 miles across the deserts of North Africa.

That... is a real smile!
I often say to people in this blog and my various published articles, or when somebody walks over for a little friendly conversation, that riding is much better than reading about riding.

Never mind the glossy ads that fill the moto mags... you don't need a thirty thousand dollar bike and $5000 worth of specialty riding gear to enjoy yourselves.  Looking like a Hell's angel is different than actually being one.  I've ridden the Crown King Trail on a 1998 Yamaha XT 350, that doesn't have a desert tank, nor a foot of suspension or even an electric starter. 

Hell you don't even need a riding partner. 

And as for ADV's... just make certain it's in good order, has good rubber, and get out there.  And oh yes, bring a camera!

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