Sunday, October 3, 2010


Often a thought comes to me on a ride that is meant for sharing. My post yesterday began with the flickering of light through the forest. As it was happening, I knew that was part of what I would write. On the way home, winding past farms of varying care and attention, I was aware, with certainty, of my musings. Each farm was such an expression of the owners within.

We passed many pastures littered with cars, or equipment, not quite finished what had been started. Others were pristine in red and white and matching flowers, fences and signs. I made a game of surmising the owners - their ages, nationality, and personality. I have nothing to confirm my hypothesis. It amused me to see the variations of orderly and disheveled. Orderly sometimes meant fresh paint and cut grass, and other times was just the knowing that it was cared for well. Outdated, perhaps, but tended to, loved. The farms strewn with wash tubs, rusting cars and deflated pools told another story. Often, beleaguered parents was my guess. Lots to do and kids to supervise. And others spoke of partying, clandestine operations, windows regaled in confederate flags, trucks and cars parked as close to the door as possible donning gun racks.

I never saw the humanity in any of the farms we passed. I looked, hoping to glimpse at a sweet little old lady in a checkered apron watering pansies, or a dad and kids playing football over the deflated pool. I saw a few machines threshing and a combine larger than the house in the field. For the most part, it was a day of rest out there, to leave me to my reflections.....

Saturday, October 2, 2010

I feigned enthusiasm at the map again. Though we have traveled these roads, I have little opinion when he is the driver. The route was planned, the quinoa salad packed and we were on our way. The line ups at Peace Arch and Aldergrove pushed us further east, and changed our course and roads. Some were familiar. Some farms just stick in your memory. There were new paths, new bridges and a diversion through the Old Mountain Loop of which part is a packed dirt road. That was Ken's highlight...not for the speed but for the beauty and uniqueness. The trail was sheltered by old trees from which the sun would burst through every few seconds giving the effect of an old movie reel just about to end. Dark to light over and over. Clearings were dotted with trucks and cars - fly fishermen and reelers standing in the river or on the rocks. I saw a little boy's reward for a catch - his dad and brother exuded pride and elation. I couldn't hear them over the din of water cascading over rocks - communication is not words alone - it is the smiles, recognition, was head held high, acknowledgment and the bustle to admire the catch. It made me smile too.

We chose a place to picnic just past the dirt road. Again, Ken has the ability to find the most amazing spot that fills the needs for the moment. This was by the river in a clearing, sun blaring through. Idyllic. We enjoyed the quinoa and Tecate as our skin was toasting. He is back consulting the map..."We could divert here" - he shows me with such enthusiasm I cannot quell. This trip, I dare say, I was focused on keeping headphones in, less than on the verdant surroundings. Such distractions and I become tetchy and bemused. It is hard to believe that one's focus can be so fleeting when all is not right. I didn't notice many a road, nor bucolic settings, though I know we traveled them. I was relieved the dirt road was smooth, and although momentarily there were thoughts of skids, I had no scars or jarring to effect the outcome.

North west Washington has so many amazing rides. Diversions are frequent to satisfy both rider and passenger. Lakes, creeks, craggy mountains and ridges, twists and turns to amuse and soothe.....I expect it was the last ride of the season and I will have to relive the rides for the next few months.....

Sunday, September 12, 2010

You know I might have to put a hold on the Diner Blog. I recommended the diner from last blog to my 18 year old. Her comment that it was "interesting" with air quotes surprised me. "The bathroom was clean though," she is quick to add. She sounds a little like me....She was never sure if they would get their coffee and started asking all about how FoodSafe let them stay open. I don't tell her it the Health Inspector that comes 'round....and then only sporadically to ensure there is no vermin or moldy food.

Perhaps my standards have altered over the past decades. Perhaps my kids don't realize that I have picked things up from the floor to throw in their omelette too. Perhaps it is my part of the adventure that everything does not have to be "just so" in order to make it "just right". I have seen too many wicked people dressed and primped nicely not to see the analogy in a restaurant.

So, I may reconsider the Diner Blog lest there is a debacle over my criteria. I can still recommend some amazing rides and views from behind along that road less traveled.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

We have a fundamental difference on a few areas. One thing that we particularly disagree on is association. If a sign or symbol has been linked to my books it is taboo unless I have the same views or stance. This could be politically, socially, or symbolically. Not so with the man. He often cites the original intent of the symbol or icon and takes it on. Now, I must point out that this is completely random with him. If he sees someone wearing puka shells...they are a throw-back. In Hawaii, the wearing of puka shells was traditionally thought to ensure a peaceful and safe voyage, especially for sailors on a long journey, so puka shell necklaces were especially worn by those who had to travel at sea. Not always a throw back.

Tye-dye wearers are branded a hippy, although it was an art form that came out of batik and was only adopted by the hippy culture in the twentieth century. I noticed this last night when our son wore a floppy toque up for our opinion. An immediate pronouncement came from the man. Floppy toques are really just a style....and I have seen homeless men where them. Perhaps that was what is being conveyed? Alas, symbols for us all represent something. Some can be changed, some can be embedded so deep that we don't even realize it is a prejudice.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Insurance blues...

Today is the last day I can ride....unless I reinsure the bike. Blast! It comes up so fast. There were so many more things I wanted to get my full license this year. Alas, I must park the bike later today.

We did have a nice ride. Rode to 12th in New Westminster to find a diner for breakfast. It was a great little hole in the wall called Mon Mom's Cafe. Breakfast of sausage, eggs, potato and toast was $3.45. You can't beat that many places. Lest you think I chucked my veggie ways...remember that I had Norm in tow who was only too pleased to have a double portion of meat. He has decided we need another blog. This one about diners. We really have explored a lot. My criteria for rating is the breakfast, the coffee, the price and most important to me....the bathroom. A clean bathroom is essential to my experience. When it is uber clean...all the better. Mon Mom's passed with flying colours. The toilet bowl was sparkling white and there was hand cream, tissue and soap all pleasantly displayed. When I told the server I gave it a big thumbs up, I know he was pleased. He watched as we prepared the bikes to leave and waved as we rolled out. He might have guessed we were critiquing the place. Norm had out his camera to take pictures of the place and the memorial embedded in the sidewalk to the diners of New West.

Now on the ride to breakfast, I had a few incidences. Stopping at a red light I locked my wheels and the back wheel went right while I stayed straight. The driver of a semi stopped at the light smiled and nodded at me. Not sure what he was communicating, except that he noticed I kept it all under control and my heart did not even skip a beat. Then, turn left and I stalled at the top of the hill. Honestly, I did not pop the clutch or do anything. It just stalled. I had to push with all my might (New West is all hills) over to the side and try to start. I had two New Westminster Police watching me. Norm turned around to join me...after a few more tries it finally kicked over. "Did I have enough gas? Did I have it in neutral?" were such obvious and annoying questions. Of course I know all that. "The choke is off, check. The gas is on, check. I am in first, the clutch is in, check, check." Mysteriously it starts as quickly as it stopped and we are off to find food.

Leaving New West we meander to the Patulla Bridge and down Scott Road to River Road. Being the last day of a ride we keep going along River Road as it winds the Fraser River and turn off toward the dump and the "cow tunnel" that leads under Hwy. 99. It is a great day to ride. Cloudy but no threat of rain. We reach the tunnel and continue to explore Delta and Boundary Bay Airport area. There is a full parking lot at the Airport so we stop to see what is up. Turns out there is a cafe there that must have good food as it is all abuzz. It is a beautiful new building with comfy couches. We take off again, through more farmland, out to Hwy 10 and headed home.

Riding is now natural to me. I don't have to think, I just enjoy the scenery, the roads and the twists. I get bored on the straight roads. How do people ride highways for long stretches? The only excitement would be like playing a video game....passing....excelerate,...change lanes...pass again. At least with turns and twists your brain is engaged. You have no idea what is coming next.

I am trying to get some chores done now so I can squeeze out one more ride. It is hard to find something new when we have explored our area extensively. Instead of new I will take anything. I really just want to ride.......

Sunday, August 22, 2010

I feel this obligation to my readers to post some exciting adventure that I undertook. I didn't. I rode this weekend. Through a familiar route on Colebrook Road - the twisty chicane I have mentioned before. I loved the ride, though not unique. I didn't mind the mist of rain. It is a great road that would rival many. The fact that it is in my neighbourhood might make it less exciting to many. To see the line of the tarmac and the twists on the hills makes it all a worthwhile ride.

We got home just before the clouds teemed with buckets. Satisfied to feel the warmth of the engine, the hum with the twist of the throttle.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

I check his blog daily now. Never thought random things would interest me as much as they do. Often posts make me laugh or remind me not to take things too seriously. He sees things differently than I do. "Why don't you want a motorcycle in the garden? It is a lot better than a garden gnome or butterfly," is his reasoning with me. I shake my head. We live in suburbia surrounded by suburbanites. They already don't understand the parade of motorcycles that come from the garage. They shake their head at our choice of music to swim to....or even the fact that when he is in the pool - everyone knows it. It is not just the displacement of water that they hear.....but the frequent "Cannonball" yelled in his lowest baritone, followed by the screams of his teenage daughters and the moan of his son.

Of course he has a following that will agree with him. He tells me I am not as cool as people thought I was. Hmmm....and then, on the weekend we pass a rusted out Suzuki at a mailbox. I knew he would stop. He did. It is on his blog now....and of course followers quickly sent their pics of their cycle gardens.

Perhaps when I am as old as he is, and in the garden gnome phase of life, I will succumb to the pressure and decide I need to be cool. Of course by that time the neighbours will have us pegged as eccentric, which will mean we can pretty much do anything without their reproach. Until that day, I would like to stick to pots and vases with plants and flowers....completely uncool.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Anacortes, Port Townsend, Port Angeles, La Push, Forks, Whidbey Island, Bellingham

A 7 a.m. start is pretty typical for us. Through the border before 8 a.m. and down the Chuckanut; a scenic and winding curve of road that follows the coastline. The Chuckanut is long as you are the only one on it. As soon as there are cars impeding you it can feel like rush hour traffic that is stop and go. We lucked out and only a few cars threatened the moment....but they were so polite and pulled over. In fact, I have to say, I found that the drivers in Washington State were amazing this way. Intuitively, they would pull to the side, or even off the road to let us pass. This was throughout our journey. Granted, on many of the roads there are signs that tell drivers to pull out if they impede cars....but rarely have I met Canadians who are as polite with the road rules. No wonder I love Washington so much.

Moving on we found lots of back roads, with amazing views as we head toward the Keystone Ferry. Through farmlands, fishing villages and forests, we drink in the road as the beauty passes before us. We stop in Anacortes for coffee and take in the Art Festival. This is no small town gathering. There are almost 250 booths of hand crafts. Some of these are artists commanding thousands for an 8 x 10 picture. There are sauces, soaps, herbs, and leather goods. It looks well organized, even with the threat of rain. Very eco-friendly as well, having garbage areas marked so as to compost and recycle all waste. We lingered over several photos of scenes we had witnessed and animals we had encountered. Ken was thinking there was just not enough motorcycle art I am sure...though we did come across a few unique things.

Next is Deception Pass with a bridge that links the mainland to Whidbey Island. It is a short bridge that has swirling eddies and crashing waves below. Cameras are necessary to capture the incredible views.

We are next at Keystone just in time for the ferry across to Port Townsend. Again, you gotta love Washington State....the total cost for the bike and both of us was $7.60. The loading on and off was quick and easy and we were on our way to check out Port Angeles next.

I always know when we are about to go off the main road. Ken's head bobs up and down a few times, checking and rechecking the map in those 2 second breaks of straight driving. That is also when I am on my game to watch exactly what is happening. I can navigate if I know the landmarks, and so often it will be my keen observation that will point up ahead to Houston Road, or the bend that might be missed. So far the riding has been average. Nothing too spectacular in the twists, turns, that is until we hit Hwy 112 that eventually leads to Neay Bay. We don't go that far, but we certainly enjoyed opening up the throttle and moving side to side.

Next we head through shaded roads of forest and mist on the way to LaPush. LaPush is right on the coast with the most unusual atolls jutting just off the beach. There are trees and vegetation growing on what looks like a table top. The mist and fog add to the character, as does all the other tourists at the "event parking". We never found out what the event was, but enjoyed the rugged coast and then watched as the surf rolled into the sandy beach on the south side of the bay. I would have loved to have seen this in the brilliant sunshine, but our experience with the west coast has thus far proved that mist and mystery are the norm.

Our last stop for the day is in Forks, Washington. This is a sleepy little town that has recently been taken over by vampires. For real. They have capitalized on the movie industry and sold out the town to the teen sensation of the Twilight series. There were signs, stores, posters and reminders in business names everywhere that you are now in the Twilight Zone. It was completely cheesy and so, when in Rome....let's just say I have close to 20 photos of a certain someone ogling everything Twilight. He did not take the tour..though the bus did look quite plush and promised 24 destinations. He didn't go because I am sure that someone would have thought he was a pedophile cramming into a bus with 20 tweenagers.....It was worth many a laugh as I snapped them all....only to have a friend of his recognize him just as he was hamming it up for me. I am not sure if he believed the explanation of poking fun. He looked over his shoulder as he left and the man was once again in full Twilight idolization.

We spent the night in a motel I had already predicted. It did have a floral bedspread! It was pink....and the towels were threadbare...but, it was warm and clean and although we had a double bed....we were too tired to care. We cozied up to our downloaded movie and American beer to reenergize for the next day.

Saturday morning we left Forks and headed east on the number 20 toward Port Angeles. He had roads picked again, lest we were bored with the ones we had already been on. We traveled through mostly bucolic or forested roads and headed to Port Townsend to explore. There we went up to the edge (and top) of town to Fort Worden exploring the old battalions and all the buildings throughout. This is a massive fort that was in operation between the early 1900's that was set to protect enemies from travelling up to Seattle. There was a fort on the opposite shore that ensured that any enemy would be taken care of by the crossfire. Beautiful beaches and camping were part of the Fort and we enjoyed poking around.

Just in time we made it to the ferry back to Keystone on Whidbey Island, where we headed south and explored all of that island too. There were a lot of great houses and properties throughout, and equally as many panoramic scenes than were possible to absorb in one trip. It seemed that the entire weekend was spent looking out onto a view of water. There weren't any spectacular roads on Whidbey. I think that we are spoiled now. We have been on too many amazing roads so our expectations are pretty high. We stopped in Langley to enjoy a little Calypso music and to watch glass blowing. It was a quaint little town with artisans and coffee shops enjoying the sea air and historic buildings.

We head back to the Chuckanut and then to Trader Joe's in Bellingham for our chocolate fix. They have the most amazing organic chocolate of which we bought two pounds! Enough for a few days at least. Our journey ended here as the rest was blasting up the I-5 as quickly as we could. In all we road more than 15 hours of roads that most would envy. Washington State has so much to see, and being on the west coast has sights that are breathtaking.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Stay Tuned

The maps are unfolded and Destination HIghways is open.....this means he is planning again....looking for the road with the most twists and turns, without traffic or potholes.....At this point the plan is to head to Port Angeles via Port Townsend ferry, Sequim and dozens of dots on the map. The motels will be from the 50's with double beds with floral spreads and towels that were old ten years ago. We don't go for the accommodations. He actually found a campsite that you just roll up to and it is laid out for you....tent, air mattress and all...oh the choices, the choices.

Bear in mind that after careful scrutiny the route may change. Another backroad....a cool little town.....a groundhog museum perhaps would send him back to unfold the map and peer over his glasses with a serious look. I do get consulted. I never put on my glasses, so I must confess that I often just nod at the unseen lines he traces with his finger. His enthusiasm sways me. How could I not want to meander anywhere when i see how much delight it brings him?

So stay tuned for my ramblings and ruminations from behind.

PS I must 'fess up that when my friend mentioned he was going to ride to the Salt Flats in Utah, I was bombarding him with more advice on roads than he was prepared for. After giving him the route east then south through one of my favourite paths of tarmac from Rossland to Kettle Creek...I then started over and began to give him all the ways to go south through Washington and then east. I rattled off more small towns and old highways until he said he planned on taking his GPS and would be fine without a trip planner. (sigh) He is rubbing off on me......

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Sunshine Coast

I haven't posted in a while because I haven't been on a bike. I live vicariously through Ken at these times. He was at Disaster Days on the Sunshine Coast. If you have never been there on a bike - or I guess, even in a car - you have missed a lot. It is idyllic in the pace, the beauty and the fact that the ocean winds with you all the way.

If you are looking for a place to ride for breakfast, lunch or dinner, or you are on your journey from Florida (we met several) then you must go. I can't tell you all the great camping spots....I want them to stay private....but I will say....there is no place on earth that matches what you will see....

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Duffy Lake

We like to leave early so we can linger in places that appeal to us. On the road by 7 am we blast out Hwy 1 and cut over through Mission along Hwy 7. This road is so familiar that I know when to expect landmarks. We visit Rocco's Diner for breakfast. It is a cool little place with vintage posters and signs that have been there since it opened in 1954. The food was great and the place is hopping.

It wasn't a typical ideal ride for me. My headphones were driving me crazy, my zipper on my jacket was stuck half-way up, and I could never seem to reach the places that itch. By Boston Bar I was feeling more cranky than usual, and noticing less and less of the ideal scenery. I eventually settled in and down and felt relieved that I could once again enjoy the moment. We stopped at the Alexandra Bridge. This is the coolest old steel bridge that was part of the old highway back in the 1920's. The beautiful arches and the complexity of the workmanship are quite amazing. The 10 minute hike each way was totally worth it. We stood in the middle, looking through the steel designs at the churning Fraser River below.

Moving on we head to Lytton on our way to Lilloet. The road is wonderful, dangerous and the smell of sage permeates the air. There are rocks strewn on the road from minor avalanches and warning signs not to stop are posted regularly. At one point the "highway" became smaller than a one-lane road. We reach Lilloet mid-day, and after re-fueling we are on the Duffy Lake Road heading to Pemberton.

The day is perfect for riding, sunny but not blazing hot. We both comment on how breathtaking the road is just as you leave Lilloet with azure water in the lakes and Cayoosh Creek that run by the road. Alberta drivers, not used to twists and hills impede us more than once. I am sure they are astounded by all they see but forget they are not alone on the road. We wind up and down, left and right, in and out of shade and sun. The temperature changes a few times as we climb and descend again. The river running beside us is sloshing against the rocks and logs, creating waves and white water. We see a few rafters and can imagine they are screaming and getting sprayed.

Just after a tight bend in the road, over a bridge, and just up ahead, we stop for a picnic. How Ken found this place, I have no idea. It was perfect. There were several felled logs, a little fire pit, and yet secluded from the road. The river was right beside us, drowning out most other sounds. It would be a perfect overnight spot. We have our lunch and continue on our way. This road again, is more familiar. We see the mountains around Pemberton, Green and Alta Lakes, and we are amongst the tourists and trekkers. We didn't stop of Nairn Falls this time....though I have an affinity for it as our son's middle name is Nairn. I missed a few of the things that would have taken my breath away before....but saw new eagle sitting in the forest, water falls that I had missed before and a homestead that was so quaint it just beckoned to the 1950's.

The way back from Whistler was magnificent, and again, although we have done this many times, the spectacular beauty of the aqua water, with verdant mountains climbing out and up, are too wonderful to get used to. If you ever have an extra 8 or 10 hours, just go do it.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Look Where you Want to Go

Look where you want to go is one of the first things the instructor taught us. Riding along River Rd. yet again last night I thought about this as we were hitting a few sharp curves. I was looking ahead, beyond the corner, to where I was going. The parallel to life did not escape me. If you focus on the wrong thing, you will crash. If you keep looking to where you want to be - you will arrive.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Ken returned from some of my favorite rides this weekend. Among them Stump Lake to Kamloops on the 5A, the road from Penticton that winds through and up to Apex mountain, or down to the #3 Hwy, and then onto Old Hedley Hwy. The "Tour Master" didn't disappoint as he led them through some of the most scenic, peaceful and winding roads in that area. Riding the back roads you see the most spectacular things. Lakes that mirror surrounding hills, jagged rocks with unexpected flowers growing through the cracks and crevices, the great big huge sky that is daunting and magnificent, yet appears as though you are part of it at the same time. There is so much to drink in, images of streams, creeks, waterfalls and then abandoned cars, tractors, garbage and fast food signs, as a reminder that there is "civilization" close at hand. Crap.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Woman vs. Machine pt. 2

I have been thinking a lot about having an older bike recently. Probably watching Ken tweak the Panhead has made me reflect on all there is to learn. An old bike has its quirks, jerks and character....much like me. An old bike means I have to learn the machine, rather than just ride it. An old bike means I need to listen and react and also to understand how everything works together. I have no desire to have that perfect machine until I have mastered this one. It would be so easy to have something that was reliable. Instant gratification - always. Instead, I have to coax, coddle and understand how it operates in order to keep both it and myself riding and safe.

Woman vs. Machine

Let me just tell you now - I knew something was off when I was riding. I couldn't quite identify what the trouble was - but the bike felt a little different. Almost like a carb problem - however, I recently discovered carbs get blamed for a lot of other things. It makes you look like you know what you are doing. I don't. When the bike was put in its place he asked if I noticed the chain was loose. "Well, yes" I say..."I knew something was not right," smiling at myself. Now, how exactly do I identify this loose chain when I am riding - except to say it was like it missed a beat ever so slightly. I need to learn the hums, tics, beats, ebb and flow of this machine.

There is much to learn with an old bike. I know what breaking a throttle cable feels like. I have had to switch to reserve when I ran out of gas and I know what leaving the choke on does. I can now add that a loose chain feels like your pants are riding a little lower than you want them to. They won't fall off, but they are a little uncomfortable. I now have a speedometer that works - in MPH....thank goodness I learned them both - and I have a horn, which my riding instructor told me never to leave the driveway without. I did, and much to my chagrin I remembered this when the tow truck almost wiped me out. Woman versus machine. I think I might win this one if I pay really close attention.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I haven't ridden in a few days. I am okay with that as there is so much going on. Ken came home last night telling me of a "new" road he found that climbs and twists through rural Langley. We have done that road before, I remind him. For me the foliage and the tarmac are in my minds' eye. It was nearing dusk, with just enough light to see pebbles strewn across corners. Gravel driveways warned us that we were not alone, though the quiet was only broken by the hum of the motor. We had to turn around at a few dead ends, but even that afforded us the luxury of peeking into the acreage's that mostly go unnoticed. As light faded we found our way to the main street, leaving behind the tranquility and twists for the cacophony and intersections. I love that in the midst of chaos you can find an oasis where you can still hear the creek water running or a horse's neigh - though once again - you must look for that road as it is off the beaten path.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

It has been difficult for me to write since Tuesday. Everything was going great. I felt confident, even after narrowly missing be wiped out by a tow truck. When I heard the ICBC tester tell me the speed was 30 km my heart sank. I knew it was automatic failure. How I missed the sign was apparent....I was merging onto Fraser Highway and there were cars blocking my view. I felt sure that on a "highway" a construction zone would be at least 50 km...but alas, when I heard her voice I groaned. To complicate matters, my motorcycle novice license expired the next day....and cannot be renewed. I had to re-take the Learners test..and now I have to re-take the Motorcycle Skills Test before I am able to ride without my chaperone and over 60 km, or at night. I got back on the bike, and out....I do still feel confident and that I am good rider. The errors that were pointed out were minor. Automatic failure though with speed zones that are school, playground or construction. (sigh) (sigh) It feels like I have been learning forever. I got my Learners on a whim as I drove by Motor Vehicles one day. I didn't take lessons until August and then I was hooked. By the time I was ready for the test, I was knee deep in medical issues and my insurance ran out. When I got the 250 in May, then I really wanted to ride...and so....back I will go for the Skills test next...and you will see me riding solo soon...

Sunday, June 20, 2010


Riding home isn't always part of the adventure. At least, unless you are with Ken. We head out through the First Nations territories on the road from Penticton to Keremos. We are the sole occupants of the asphalt that has warning signs of No Trespassing Private Road every half a kilometer. We both mention our notice of the other, a horse at full speed..the other is of a mountain goat. It is a nice journey of easy curves within sloping hills, rusting cars and sage brush. When we hit Hwy 3 it is all about getting home and becomes like a game of Diddykong Racing, collecting points each time we pass a car.

When we turn onto Old Hedley Hwy, we are back to touring the countryside. Old Hedley Hwy runs along the river, in parts peeking over to Hwy 3. It is a gentle ride pitting rider against road. We encounter only one car and one bike the entire trip - at least 20 minutes. We both note that there are no breaks in the yellow line. There is no safe place to pass because once you are finished your left you are preparing for a right.

As I drink in the scene, I think of days gone by, and how it might have looked. I see adits, camouflaged by flora, giving hint to the origin of the settlements we have passed today. Farms that were once self-sufficient, now are strewn with motor-homes and weeds. Fruit country is just coming alive with stands beginning to open as holiday traffic begins. Diners pop up along the way to nourish truckers and adventurers.

We are back on Hwy 3 and we notice another change in temperature. We hit Manning Park and stop to don sweaters and rain gear. It is not raining hard, but we want to be prepared. When we stop we see tourists kneeling down feeding groundhogs. There are holes strewn throughout the park grass, and they are completely unafraid at the hand that feeds them. One sneaks up and scares a guy from behind. Everyone has a camera and a nut to offer and the little guys are all posers. I cannot imagine that in yesteryear it would even be thought of as novel to see anything burrow from a hole, let alone want to spend time communing with it unless it was on the other end of a gun.

It was a break before the dreaded Hope home drive. We hit light rain but we hardly notice and continue on our way. After Chilliwack we are back in the Diddykong game, though mostly sticking to our only little group that moves in the left lane. Every now and the group catches up to someone and it takes a minute or two for them to realize they need to move. If there is much hesitation, the group begins to go by one. Once again back in formation, we sail on. The Hwy back was not as hard as usual. Perhaps because we had many great rides, maybe we are just used to sticking this part out. We are down the driveway with Ken's usual "We made it" out. Until next ride.....

Highway 20 Ride

The morning began early, leaving through Peace Arch crossing into the US. From the I-5 we head to Lakeway Dr, and wind around Sudden Valley where the only other thing that seems awake are bunnies that eagerly run along side us and then dart into bushes. It is a quest to avoid all traffic as we follow the Skagit River and head to Concrete for breakfast. The map was checked and a few u-turns in order to maximize the experience of a new road along the way. After being refueled with coffee, the goal is renewed to avoid vehicles, and not to hit a bunny. We curve around familiar roads, canopied by trees; next destination Winthrop. The Cascades never cease to enthrall me. The gorges, jutting cliffs, waterfalls and pristine peaks. Although this route is familiar, the beauty thrills me each time. Snow is still piled at the sides of the roads as we reach the summit. The drop in temperature is apparent.

The tips of my fingers are really cold, so I take my gloves off for a few minutes. It sounds ridiculous but is wisdom from an old lore. When I put the gloves back on, I am grateful they can warm me. It changes my perspective. When they were on and my finger tips were getting cold, I could not fully appreciate my gloves. When they are taken off and I have time to fully understand how much they were warming me, I am indebted to their protection. The descent into the Methow Valley the thermometer rises. We pushed through the quaint western town of Winthrop....we have been there before, and decide to wait to stop somewhere new.

The road continues to mesmerize as we wind through farms and rivers. The day is heating up and we pass through to Omak, our actual destination being a big-box store of no name. They can do their own advertising, as I am full of dissonance that I succumb to the lure of their budget wares on the backs of slave laborers.

We have agreed that on our bike trips we will eat only at local restaurants - no chains....our next vow will be to stay out of big-box stores. In Omak we disrobe as much as possible and head to 97 North, through Tonsaket on the Loomis Highway that takes us up to Oroville. We see two deer perished by cars within a mile of each other. It was eery to see their carcasses decaying in the afternoon heat. The mood is somber for a few minutes, as I let my mind wonder what would happen if we were the vehicle to hit the deer. A smell wafts through my thoughts to pull me back to now.

The sultry air is perfumed with an aroma, sweet and fragrant that reminds me of ginger. My senses are full and and sated. We stop by a lake for stretch and photo ops. I can hear fishermen on the lake, telling stories....laughing. Back on the bike the road is idyllic as we are by ourselves on twisting tarmac that takes us up to the border. The 10 minute wait with the sun beating down was one of the longest parts of the day. Once we are through Ken is once again finding those roads less traveled.

It is then that the metaphor of taking a unique route dawns on me. It can take longer, but is more scenic. It will often have a few more twists, turns and dangers along the way. You can be isolated on the road less traveled, but you can also open it up and really experience the thrill of the full throttle and full adrenalin. My husband has always preferred this road. For him, the journey is the is not just about getting from one point to another. This time in my head nudges me to recognize Ken's individuality and brio.

We take the East Lake Road from Oliver to Penticton, with no vehicles impeding us. Such a rare opportunity...We both love this road as Skaha Lake and the road run beside each other. A long, relieving sigh describes the panorama of the lake and route. There are only so many ways to describe the curve of the road and the timbre of the motor as you gear down, enter, accelerate right, then left. The rhythm is natural and we arrive at the end, gratified with almost 9 hours of riding.

PS the party was not set to start for about half on hour, and so, in true biker form, I change from a sweater to a light shirt at the side of the road - cars passing, heads turning....nothing showed - I had on a tank top....but they thought it might!! I did my nails - fingers and toes, fixed my hair and put on makeup. When Ken told people at the party they all thought he must be joking.....they would not believe that I would do that.....they obviously do now...

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Tonight it is me that is worried about him. He and the Pan are stranded down the road.. My bike is parked as best I could before the call that it is fuel he needs. I consider the delivery carefully before I take off, on foot, down the road to deliver the much needed elixir. Before the impending doom, I enjoyed the "status quo" of bucolic settings amidst crotch rockets and posers. Lest you are my followers, and confess your ego, then suffice it to say you enjoy the laud of the character and flash of the camera to confirm your worth....and if that has no appeal then you completely and utterly understand where I am coming from my friend. Not that anyone is immune to that sense of recognition, but, that it is the realization that recognition is not in and of itself a goal but a by-product of what is going on around us. But, I must take my leave now for the intellectual stimulation of Housewives of Orange Country....ttfn..

Monday, June 14, 2010

Being new to this mechanical machine means that I am not always sure what the problem might be. We took off last night for a local ride....Norman is still tweaking the Pan. He left and I pulled out with full throttle and no power. I checked the fuel - it was on.....and I went through the checklist in my mind. What could it felt like I had no throttle at all, but I was stalling....and it still had a little give. After a few minutes, when I am not behind him, he doubles back. I feel heavy hearted as I head for the driveway. Even when he tried, it is the same result. He checked the fuel, he wiggled the plugs.....and then - just before he hands it back to me, he notices the choke is on still. least we are up and out of here now. Ready for the bucolic journey winding through the farmlands to serenity....

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Driving through the farmlands just before dusk, I formulated a theory that if we all rode, only rode, we would be much happier people. Allow me to justify this speculation.

The gathering of necessities would be just that. Space being limited would oblige prudence and planning. No worry of extra cookies or pop being thrown in with the veggies and fruit. From this, I could deduce that we would be much healthier, therefore happier. And, it would not just be food that we would have to consider. Any shopping would be limited to what we could strap with a bungy cord, or fit in a backpack. No flat-screen TV would even be given a second consideration. I also deduce we would have less financial woes, leading again, to greater happiness. Because there is no lure of shopping, we would not have the lust for things that seems to consume many of us. I confess I have bought things I had no idea I needed.....and then never used....because in fact, I never needed it in the first place. My house would be much less cluttered and therefore need a lot less cleaning....again contributing to my greater joy.

These thoughts also brought to mind the simplicity of life for the Plains aboriginal. They knew all about carrying their life on their backs. They moved often, following the herd of buffalo. Their lives could be packed in a moment, and reassembled elsewhere. They learned how to live from the land, using only what they needed. Their loge was the people and not a place. This sounds ideal to me, as the clutter of our lives can choke out the people and relationships. If we had to move using a bike, we would be forced to consider the use of everything. We would share more things cooperatively, contributing to the community and common good of all. Happiness would abound....

I don't even have to give you the argument for the environment - it is clearly apparent. Being earthy friendly makes most people happier, therefore I would be happier.

So, if we all just rode bikes, we would be utterly sublime.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Sometimes only a ride will do...

...and so we headed out with the rebel tonight to show him our haunts. We first took him to our farmland meandering around the dike area in Delta. I really love riding beside the highway on a country road. You have the speed without the traffic. Then later we head to the Tim Horton's in Langley as Friday night it is a hangout for cars.....old, restored, pristine, modified, poser, overdone, vintage, name it, you will find it in the parking lot and spilling into the the motor vehicle branch. We walk the strip, enjoy some of the sights and head for home. Norman was having a little trouble with the Panhead. A few stalls and adjustments and we are off again. We find the road less traveled to get home, along Colebrook Road with a chicane like turn and a few twists. I am riding behind now, watching the rebel and the Pan head up the hill and around the twists.

For the rebel, the world changed today with the loss of his grandpa. Getting on the road, reminding us that life is fragile, vulnerable, scary, fun, busy, and serene all within thirty minutes, is sometimes all that will do. It is the vehicle that transports us to the sublime amidst the mundane......ride on.

We couldn't ride.....

...because of rain....but I wanted to. Even with the threat of saturated boots and gloves, I was finding myself tolerant of less than ideal conditions. Usually the notion of intentionally giving up the protection of warmth and safety from skidding, is my default. On closer examination, I reason that there will be times I will be subjected to the extremes of climate. It is not that adrenalin has poured through my veins. Conatus, not recklessness is my argument. I like to be prepared for eventualities.

Alas, we did not ride and I convince myself that I will inculcate inclement riding another day...there are several opportunities in Vancouver.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Part of me knows the excitement of a ride to Cloverdale will soon wear off. I discern it will, and yet like my dog excited to see his leash jingle I am ready and up the driveway before Ken has started his bike. I need to relish the pleasure such a mundane and ordinary journey bestows on me while I can. We made our way to Cafe Pellorino tonight for our favourite barista (our 3rd born) to prepare us a beverage. She didn't disappoint whipping up a mango strawberry smoothy that would have worked as dinner and dessert. I am content with riding in the city - though I would probably complain if we were talking.

I also know that time in the seat will bolster any wariness or hesitation that I have. I was reminded to continually check my blindspots when a car was suddenly beside me. This is a good reminder. Check and double check. The movements, the shifts seem fluid now, mostly. I feel aware of my surroundings but not fearful. Riding a 250 helps me experience the road - I mean every bump in the road, every manhole cover, pebble. I am learning to avoid the hazards, watch for Ken beside me in P3 or P1 and watch a stale green long enough to have my cut off point. I love and hate round-abouts at the same time. I was taught to signal in and out of them, but find that others would be confused. I won't say I just point and pray, but I certainly make sure they see where I am going.

I think on Thursday we will ride to Langley again......and I am already looking forward to it......

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Panhead on the Road

An hour before dusk rivals against an hour after sunrise, for riding. Nearing dusk is when we headed down to the farmlands and around some country roads close to home, yet far away. He looked marvelous and learning to shift with his left hand was easy. The bike barely needs to has power. I am in 5th while he is still working to 3rd. It is ideal to be riding behind right now. I see the Panhead gliding smoothly, the rider and bike become one. The evidence that he is in the groove ensues when he puts his left hand on his hip. I can't see his face but I know that he is smiling....and not the smug kind of "I know I am cool" smile, but the "I love this bike and am so satisfied" smile. We twist, turn and even ride through a cattle tunnel that goes under Highway 99 and out by the dump. I am content with going at my own pace as he pulls further away. He is learning the power and the cadence of the motor. I am enjoying the sun on our back and the view from behind him.

When we are again among the houses and stop lights, the din of lawnmowers and sirens, I long to go back and start from the beginning. I want to keep living in that moment of pure joy and satisfaction at something so simple. Reluctantly, I park the bike until the next ride. I have rarely had those moments when I felt like I was called in to go to bed just when the games in the neighbourhood were getting finally established all the rules and the teams are set and then mom calls you once. That has happened to me recently....but only when I have been riding. I, I know, I have the bug and the tug for the open-road and the wind.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Sun Came Out....

...and we went for a ride. We started with breakfast in Langley at a little hole-in-the-wall and from there we headed to Fort Langley, and along River Rd. It was beautiful, serene, pastoral and quiet!! Only one car impeded us for a moment or two. That is riding! There are a few twists, but not enough to get too excited about. River Road ends at a great little fishing spot or make out place. Riding home Langley was starting to get busy. Saturday traffic is no place to ride. I also had to reef on the brakes at one point, as the intersection was full of left turners, and I wouldn't have made it. I got the feel of the bike quickly and although I went over the white lines, I was able to stop a lot quicker than I would have anticipated. It didn't rattle me either. I felt in control.

Of course all day long I have been pining to get out again. Ken insured the Panhead and so we will be out in a few hours, enjoying the wind again. I am loving riding. It is so great to poke around my neighbourhood and my city, seeing sites for the first time. The freedom in the wind and the road breathe life into me.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

There are wonderful things about living in southwestern BC, but recently, the weather has not been one of them. It is hard to suit up to ride when you are already wet. I know some of you die-hards will call me a wuss. I am not really, but I find that if your hands are shaking when you are clutching you can pop it when you mean to slip it. This could clearly launch me over the handlebars...and then on top of being wet, I would have road rash. I have an aversion to road rash, so I don't ride in the rain, knowingly. I have inadvertently.

So, my bike has been sitting idle, getting to know all the others in the garage. They have been idle too, so at least we don't have a jealous thing going on.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A Tribute to Cailey

A willingness to suck it up....brave the uncomfortable for the sake of the moment is true bravado. How easy it can be to complain, or whine, or just miss doing something you will look back and ask "what was I thinking!?" But, it also occurs to me that when the road isn't as bumpy, or the doubling peg gets installed, suddenly, what we had no idea we would appreciate, becomes very tangible.

And so, I laud Cailey and Banjo for the cruise between Kamloops and Cache Creek...and then on to the Duffy Lake. People I admire are those I can see their character.

PS Banjo is the one in the bag!

Monday, May 24, 2010

The weekend was amazing...some great rides...some great experiences. I envisioned that I would be blogging about an unfortunate incident at the motel we were staying at. I had the words ripe with emotion and vindication. Halfway through the weekend, the ire was replaced with peace. From within I felt, although completely justified to expose the injustice and unfairness of the situation, that I did not need to tell the entire world what happened. If someone was unjust, the universe will deal with them. And so, though I could give you some nasty little gossip, I choose to let karma and the golden rule work this out and my blog will concentrate on all the great things there are to celebrate.
Again, I am dazzled at the beauty as the landscape rolls out before me on a trip. I have another ethereal moment as we had just left Nicola Lake on Hwy 5A to Kamloops. The road rolled and wound before us with no cars in sight. Although the sky was darkening, it felt transcendent. Transcendent in that I felt as though being allowed to view a painting before the exhibit opened. The bike seemed to glide around Stump Lake....I know we were going close to 140K....I can feel the rhythm of the bike blending with the topography. And, I am dazzled, stupefied, and then amazed that this has moved me so much. The sky seemed so close and yet so magnificent. I am emoting and writing everything in my head to remember later. I need to remind myself how very big this world is....and how unassuming things can still take my breath away. I am glad that I can still be wooed by creation itself. To see the simplicity of the rolling hills juxtapose with the complexity of all that goes into making up this scene.

I am not a skilled physical artist. I cannot recreate the pictures that are locked in my head as we round a corner to a lake that is reflecting the hills behind it. I cannot sort through the hundreds of colours of sage and green in the picture. The cattle that is gently drinking on the other side of the lake could not be drawn, and yet I hope will remain within my memory forever.

The dark clouds eventually broke into rain, and although we were wet and cold, I would not have wanted to miss that moment. I like the idea that there are things yet to be experienced and enjoyed.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Lest I bore you with inconsequential stories of my trips to the store on my bike, I think it suffice to say that we are getting to know each other. We are learning how to read each other, and gaining the confidence I need to conquer fears. Many are reasonable being scared to turn right uphill, lest I have to stop and somehow dump the bike. Some are unfounded worries, that I will suddenly forget what I am doing in the midst of an intersection.

I have been through this process enough to know that everything takes time and practice. I have taken the bike up the driveway and it was so easy I wondered why I had ever thought it impossible. I don't even think when I take it down the driveway now. By the end of the riding season I am sure that I will regret when the leaves turn and the roads are slick. And so, for now I will content myself with getting familiar with the bike and the road, enjoying the wind and the wind and the occasional nod from a fellow biker.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010 on my own because we are in playoff hockey and that means that all the rituals need to be performed before each game. I was a little timid - but hey - I made it up my driveway and out to the open road. It is strange to have no destination in mind so I quickly decide the beach is where I want to be. As I head south I feel more comfortable. I like the groove of the bike....I have to brake for someone who decides to make a u-turn on the bottom of a hill...but I was prepared.

I got my first official wave from a biker this year...and it was a wave with a smile. I liked that. He probably liked that I smiled back too. We are all looking for that recognition. I make it along Marine Drive and the sputtering warns me I am almost out of gas. I am thankful that I brought my wallet this time. Again a first - I have to fill it up by myself. Bravado kicks in quickly with me as I try to figure out that my tank is locked with a different kind of lock.

You can't look cool when you are studying how to put a gas cap back on properly. Why try anyway? So I don't. I continue on my little venture and realize that I might happen upon people who think I am a poser. Oh no...I suddenly realize I would rather be far off on a country road than have anyone staring at me. But I am committed to driving down Marine Drive in full view of those that might care to judge. I run the gauntlet unscathed and continue on my way.

The bike is feeling more comfortable. We are more in sync. I am in tune with the timbre of the motor, reaching its peak before changing gears. I feel relaxed with maneuvering through the roundabouts, thinking of all the new drivers who must be confused. The ride home feels less adventurous. Less appealing in fact. It is, after all, about the destination - the purpose of the trip in the first place.

I am here now hearing in the background that my sweethearts' team is down 4 -1. Now 5-1 in the time it took me to get the words out. Ken will be sad. Sad is the most I will allow. Devastation would be allowed for the year we have had. For all our youngest daughter has had to endure. Devastation would be allowed for a death in the family....Sadness for your team will suffice. Riding season is here....and so the next time I go to the beach, I hope he pays for the gas.......

Friday, May 7, 2010

I was off on my own tonight....I didn't venture far, but was just trying to get a feel for the bike. I really enjoy that I feel confident on it. I even brought it down our driveway tonight....between the cars. Tomorrow Ken and I will go for a ride.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Just a little ride

I did get a little ride the other day....I zipped on down the street feeling immediately comfortable. Within moments of being back I was off again testing brakes, mirrors and clutch. It transports be on a bike. I can think of little else than to clutch, shift, check mirrors and signals. I watch for traffic, children, balls and squirrels. I notice more too. I notice when the road is bumpy, or narrows. I notice the signs again as though driving for the first time. I notice when little girls see me and smile too. I like that vanity is in check!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

I feel like Ebeneezer when he realizes how much fun it is to give... that is the delight and excitement I had to give Danielle and Mike there wedding present. I was thinking of this earlier and realize that it is so much better to be the giver. Now these dear kids are deserving. Danielle has been there for our family through everything. She has walked through the highs and lows, the health issues, the missing Kimee issues....the missing Jared issues. Danielle has been our constant, and now Mike beside her.

Ken and Jared madly scrambled to paint the tank and side covers. They were quick to remove the old handlebars and make the Yamaha 400 Special cooler. Funny, that didn't happen when I owned the bike, but nonetheless, when it was presented, it looked great. Oh, it has issues I am sure. Mike is taking his motorcycle mechanics course now, so it is perfect. He can tweak it and get it perfected....and yes - they can sell it....if they have a new bike to replace it with. I am all about moving on and up.

So, another biker will be on the road so please remember to watch out for us.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Honda CM250 Custom

Yep....that's what I bought! I haven't taken it for a ride yet because the moment it was in the garage a dismantling process began to perfect things.....the chain needs tightening, headlight needs fixing....usual stuff. Now - again - driving home with the sun beaming through the windshield I thought...why don't I have the bike insured yet? It would feel great to have the wind on my face...through my full face helmet it is only a crack so I can stand the slight chill.

Every day I realize how much I really enjoy sickles (according to Norman)....I feel a kinship to both the ratbikes and the fully dressed. Their relatives are all in my could I turn my back on family?

You know you are a biker when... see a beautiful vintage Honda 350 dead on the side of the road and you try to get off the phone to see if you can help the guy. I couldn't end the call quick enough.....I kept watching him try to start and re-start, but just as we were saying goodbye I heard the whirr of the motor.....

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

So - I have my fingers crossed again. This time for me. I am going to look at a smaller bike. I hear some of you groan, but bear in mind that I am stretching to hit five feet tall and I want to have the confidence to just take off on my own at any time of the day. Not that I don't love riding with Ken. I do. But if I am into this, then it is for me. It has to be that I want to get out without him taking it up the driveway. Perhaps it was all the compassion when the seat fell off that made me realize I am truly on my own....or maybe it was the time I launched a trials bike into a rock face and Ken admitted that he wasn't sure if he should go to me or the bike first. Right then and there I knew that if I was going to do something, it had better be something I can handle. And so it should. If not am I really riding? The mantra I hear is "poser" to many....and that I do not want to be. So when I ride up beside you and my horn goes beep-beep like the sound from a bicycle, at least you will know I got it out and up on my own and proud of it.

Monday, April 19, 2010

It was 21 degrees C today...! Summer weather and no bike on the road. It shocks me that I care....but somehow I do. I already miss the sensation of wind and adrenalin - freedom and fear. Perhaps because riding is a juxtaposition to my life - these emotions are familiar.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Still getting oriented

It is here. It is beautiful. Wonderful curves...I love the fender. Of course he has already sent away for a new seat, and is trying to find just the right handlebars. The adoption was successful though we have yet to start it up. It sits where the Guzzi sat. Front and center when you enter the garage. The showpiece. So he now has a new hobby. Parts for a '59 Panhead. Who knew that you had to source these things from all over North America. Some parts are rare. The most expensive parts are old.....50 years old! Some cost more than the whole bike originally.

Ebay is always up now. He almost missed a bid as we were driving home. The alarm was ringing and I was trying to help. I hit "confirm" when I was to wait. I could hear the frustration in his voice. He did not say anything - or even act mad - but I felt terrible. I was trying to help and he might have lost the bid. He couldn't get the site back on his blackberry to make matters worse.

We got home a minute after the close....but he had won. Now he was thrilled I hit confirm. All was right...the Panhead will soon feel like his. He will move on to hunt down the next part......a pogo...(huh??)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

It was love at first sight...

They met in a garage in Mission. The gleam in his eye cast a brilliant beam as he described it to me. Then comes the books with pictures just like it.....he beckons me to his computer to show me more....With these handlebars and this seat - can't you just picture it? I can't but won't tell him that. I am not disinterested. For me the difference in the seat is similar to the difference in a taupe or tan pair of shoes to him. Negligible difference in both cases - but WE know the difference.

So, the others will meet soon. I am curious to see which one is relegated to a lesser spot in the garage. Today the Guzzi and the Beemer are centre stage....but I am guessing that things may have to shift around a little.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Could this be it?

Could the quest be over? He is going to look at a '59 Panhead today. This was my gift to him in December but as yet we have been unable to find the ONE. It is fun to watch him already planning what he will do and how he will change it.

He will need to make sure it has come from a good home and be cared for with love. He will want to know the entire history, like that of a baby or a dog he might adopt. I am guessing he thinks it affects the bike as though it has feelings. Granted he has always believed that a car runs better when it is clean and well taken care of too. Perhaps he personifies many things?

So, I am crossing my fingers when he leaves today. Hoping that this guy has proved a worthy owner. Hoping that the myriad of other quests can now be fulfilled and that maybe - just maybe he will relinquish one of the bikes that no longer holds that sparkle in his eye - because frankly - nothing else will fit in that garage.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Thanks to Metro Don

This morning at the door was a box addressed to “Little Miss Motorcycho” from someone we have never met. Someone who lives thousands of miles away and yet has compassion on what is happening in her life. It was packed with care….suckers on the top, chocolate nestled between a T-Shirt, stickers with a hoodie….all prized by my teenager. The note attached told her that her “Daddy-o” had let them know she was still having medical issues and when he asked what he could do, “Daddy-o” suggested winning the Daytona race. Inside the box was the plaque of the 3rd place winner of the race – “National Vintage Dirt Track Championship Series” @ Daytona Speedway….1952-1968 (0-250cc) class…”

This road we have been walking since October has been hard. It has been full of tears, laughter, joy, fear, exhaustion…and also some great people who take the time to walk alongside us from thousands of miles away. Metro Don – How can possibly express my gratitude to you except to say when you are in Vancouver you have a place to stay and some coveted home made chocolate chip cookies. Mik is back at Children’s Hospital at the end of March and I am certain she will be donning a Metro hoodie and biting the head off those chocolate gators!!. Visit

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


Ken's favourite thing to do is plan a ride....or should I say rides. I am sure he has already mapped out the summer with potential day trips, weekend trips and longer ones. He tries to excite me by showing me routes that are barely visible. He gets so excited about the twists in the roads and the places it will take us. I nod and smile, not thinking too far ahead. He is the dreamer...I am the realist. I desperately want to go with him. I have loved these past few summers....but right now, I am scared as our daughter has had some complications from her brain surgery in October. She cannot be left alone as she has been having seizures. My days since October have been consumed with medical jargon, anxiety, playing games and recording her conditions. But, getting my license could not have come at a better time, for in those dark moments of uncertainty and despair I had a place to remember...riding in the sunshine, concentrating on the road and my surroundings. I remember the wind in my face, at times freezing me, but mostly invigorating. I will be riding shortly.......