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Thrill Ride on Sea to Sky

11 Sep

s2scI always imagine myself riding a motorcycle on the Sea to Sky Highway.  It may not sound adventurous to some riders, but It is a big goal for me as a new rider.  I just started riding again in this summer, and throughout the summer I have been riding regularly. Before I take on the hwy, I need to know if I would be ready to go for higher speeds. In August, I felt that I am ready to taste the hwy. I rode my bike onto Sea to Sky highway 3 times and they were  all group riding. Having ridden in a group, I felt more confident and fun.

s2sb Sea to Sky hwy is a scenic drive. One side is the ocean, and the other side are rocky mountains. It has been undergoing an improvement project for the Winter Olympic 2010, which includes straightening, widening and improving sightlines. Althought the improvement has eliminated serveral sharp curves, there are still many curves, which sport riders like.

s2sRiding on the hwy gave me great pleasure. My first ride on the hwy was the most nervous. The adrenaline rushes through my veins at every curve. Am I too slow or too fast? Did I set up properly when entering the curve? At fast speeds, some curves did catch me off guard. As I rode on, the riding experience got better; I could find my comfortable speed level, though at some points there are vehicles were still blowing by me like I’m standing still.But the second and third rides felt lot easier and more relaxing. I managed to beat my previous top speed riding on the same hwy, and I even managed to take a few peeks towards the ocean to enjoy the views. I now fully understand why the Sea to Sky hwy is notable for scenic drives in BC.

s2sdA little fact of the Sea to Sky Highway: it is the name given to a section of Highway 99, north of Vancouver, beginning at Horseshoe Bay and to the north past Lions Bay, Squamish, Whistler and Pemberton. Now it has 4 lane sections with scenic passes for both the Pacific Ocean and rugged mountain peaks.

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First Bike Service

1 Sep

42-22340295I rode over 1000km on my bike. When the odometer reached 1000km, the service indicator lit up on the digital display, which indicates the next service is due. In another word my bike has been broken in and is ready for its first service. Yeah, I was so looking forward to this day.

42-20916917The first service includes lubricating the drive chain, changing of engine oil and engine oil filter. I think these are the basic stuff. However I know nothing about it, so I need to rely on the mechanic’s expertise. However, he is not cheap: $98 per hour for shop labour rate. This is no joke. Sigh.
I know warranty is a good thing, and I always take everything to the dealership. But that is one pricey labour rate. Should I stick with the dealership? Well, thank goodness that the bike’s next service is when the odometer reaches 12000km. I will think about that later.

5th Annual Gastown Motorcycle Show & Shine

18 Aug

Shownshine09_2On last Sunday, August 16, 2009, I went to Vancouver Gastown for the 5th Annual Gastown Motorcycle Show & Shine. It is a huge celebration of motorcycling at Vancouver and so happen it’s a free motorcycle show! Lots of motorcycles on display and I have my eyes open.

Picture of motorcycles that I like
Shownshine09_1

Always love the vintage ones
Shownshine09_3

Kill Bill Vol. 1
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New Roads

31 Jul

There are roads or places that I always imagine where I ride my motorcycle….way before I learnt how to ride. Such places like downtown, West Van and Sea to Sky. Downtown is where you see a lot of people crowded around and crossing at intersections; West Van is where I think the roads are up, down and narrow; whereas Sea to Sky hwy consists of high speed curves.

Honestly I would not dare to ride those roads alone for the first time. Luckily I got another chance to ride in a group. Besides being safer and more relaxed with riding in a group, I found out another great thing is that by following an experience lead rider I didn’t need to navigate so much. I found this pretty awesome for a road blind like me.

OK, the downtown area gave me new ride feelings. I did feel nervous at the beginning…especially on Robson St. since I haven’t ridden before. I saw so many people at every corner of the intersections, stopping and going. Are they looking at me? Do I look cool? It felt a bit out of hand. LOL. But overall, I made it through.

DSC03336West Van is a place that I seldom go, so I am not familiar with the roads and it gave me new challenges. Marine Dr. is great for riding motorcycle. We rode in single file seeing the great scenary. The road is long, narrow and with a number of curves. Some curves have restricted visibility too. Right now I can manage a curve at a “moderate to slow” speed, maybe a little bit slower than the speed limit. Finding a safe speed when handling a curve is something I need to practice a lot more. But I am looking forward to try Marine Dr. again soon.

Sea to Sky hwy…hmmm…. I would not be ready for it yet. But I know it is just the matter of time for me to ride there.

Group Riding

15 Jul

I only rode by myself in all my previous rides. Not because I don’t like group riding, but I don’t have the confidence to ride with a group. I don’t want to become the whole group’s burden. You know I may not follow close enough, miss the light or even too slow etc. But I am sure there’s certainly a fun there. Today I had a chance to be riding with a group. And I have my eyes open. I learned that riding in a group isn’t that dangerous and scary. In opposite I felt safer and relax. Being so easily noticed by other traffic is an added benefit of being in a group. At first, I did have the initial feeling awkwardness when riding with others. I haven’t done the staggered formation for a long time after in the riding school. Another thing that caught me was that I required to stop next to another biker at the red light. It was a bit shakie at the very first red light. I found that the width of the road suddenly cut in half for me. And I was on the right hand side of the road which is closer to the curb….and the the road is slanting to the curb (I dropped my bike before in the same situation). Although there are still many things to experience, having somebody in the front leading me allow me to copy his riding moves and techniques. Honestly I enjoy every bit of it. Thanks to the lead rider. The excitement and companionship of group riding is something different comparing with riding “lone wolf”. But both have different excitement and fun. And honestly I like both!