Mar 14, 2018 - Updated this page
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Stephen Hawking has passed away.
world renowned visionary physicist Stephen Hawking has died at
the age of 76. He passed away peacefully at his home in
Cambridge in the early hours of Wednesday morning, his family
Hawking was a true
genius of our time and was famed for his insightful work with
black holes and spacetime relativity that helped shape modern
cosmology. He was a great scientist and wrote several popular
science books including A Brief History of Time.
Hawking was a brilliant man who never lost his sense of
humor even while battling debilitating illness for over fifty
years. He truly will be missed.
Your Mission - should you choose to accept it
- is to
Ride Canada in 2018 !!
Canada is a
vast and beautiful country with loads of great riding roads and
things to see. The variety is endless from the Rocky Mountains and
Pacific Ocean in the west to the wide central plains to the
magnificent Eastern Maritimes and Atlantic Ocean. Our country is
heart and soul a favor this year and discover a piece of Canada
Once again it seems that winter has snuck up
on us ...
been an awfully short riding season for me this year, having only
gotten the bike back on the road in the middle of September. But I
managed to get a few rides in and thoroughly enjoyed being back
out on the road.
days are pretty much over for now, at least here in Thunder Bay as
we got about 2 or 3 inches of snow last night and the weather
people are calling for flurries for the next week or so with
temperatures hovering around 0° F.
In case you're
wondering about the cat picture - no, they're not all mine, or my
sisters (although she would almost qualify as a "CCL", but don't
tell her I said that). This was taken on one of Japan's Cat
Islands.... Google it if you like cats!
that's all for me for now. I'll keep myself busy clearing snow
and feeding birds.
I know you're not going to believe this...
taken a long time, but I finally got all of my work projects to
the point that I could get the bike out for a run!
In fact I
actually got out for two rides last week. Over the past couple of
years there has been tons of stuff to get sorted out around our
place, lots of repairs and painting and re-roofing sheds and
fixing leaks and just general upkeep that somehow got missed over
the years. This past July we drove to southern Ontario for some
family visiting, and for the entire month of August I was gutting
and remodeling our bathroom. It was a huge dirty job but it is
done now and the new bathroom looks amazing!
Getting the bike back on the road took a bit of work as it had
been sitting for nearly two years. But with some oiling and
greasing, a new battery, and a tank of fresh gas it is running
great. So, needless to say, I'd still like to get out for a few
more rides before the cold weather shows up here in northwestern
Ontario. Hopefully I will see you out on the road!
May 23, 2017
Hey Everybody !
you looking to buy some motorcycle parts and supplies and gear but
are tired of paying shipping and duties on purchases from the
states? There are Canadian suppliers that can ship your
motorcycle accessories straight to your door.
them is FortNine. They used to be known as "Canada's Motorcycle"
but are now known as FortNine and are based out of Calgary and
Montreal. They are an online store that can supply you with an
extensive selection of motorcycle gear and accessories.
can check them out at:
June 6, 2016
Hey Everybody !
might have noticed that I haven't been out and about for a while
now. In fact the bike is still in the shed under wraps.
has been a lot going on around our place and I just haven't had
the time to get the bike on the road and blow the winter dust off
of it. That's not to say that I won't be getting it out this
summer, I certainly hope to one of these days.
still follow what's going on around town even though I can't get
out to see everyone. I'm also hoping that we start getting some
warm, sunny days around Thunder Bay... We've certainly had plenty
of rain to hold us for a while now. It can warm up any day now!
those of you that are managing to get out riding have fun
and Ride Safe!
Here Is a Cool New Gizmo For You !
Biker Friends: Are you still riding a chain-driven motorcycle?
There's nothing wrong with that, chain final drives are extremely
efficient at transferring power to your rear wheel.
cleaning, adjusting and maintaining a chain drive can be a dirty
and frustrating chore. Lucky for you there is a new gizmo on the
market now to take all of the guess-work out of adjusting your
chains' tension. The Chain Monkey, shown here, clamps onto your
chain and will give you the correct chain tension first time and
every time! Simple and effective and retailing at around $35 or
$40 dollars it appears to be well worth the price.
check it out on:
http://www.gizmag.com and see if it will work for
Hey Everybody, They Say That Spring is Coming
Folks, if you follow this site at all then you will have noticed
that it was down for a few days. APPARENTLY I forgot to renew my
domain name with my web hosting folks... So they cut it off.
That'll teach me! Anyway, it's all paid up now and the site is
working as well as it always has. I haven't been spending much
time keeping it up-to-date, apparently being retired doesn't mean
that you have lots of time to play on the internet - go figure...
Anyway, Ellen and I are still having lots of fun with our
Postcrossing. The picture here of The Mother Road is one of the
postcards that I received just last week from a young girl in
Auckland, New Zealand! She had visited Arizona two years ago and
actually got to travel on part of the old Route 66. How cool is
that. As of today I've received postcards from 51 countries around
the world and every one of them is amazing. This is a great hobby!
It's That Time of Year
the bike is now officially put away for the year. Once again I
really didn't get the amount of riding in that I would have liked
. . . but then again do we ever???
thing that we can start looking forward to though this winter
would be the upcoming motorcycle shows. They're always a great
time to look at and sit on the new bikes and daydream about those
warm summer days out on the road.
is a short list of upcoming shows that are reachable from Thunder
8, 9, 10, 2016 - Motorcycle Supershow - Toronto
5, 6, 7, 2016 - Progressive International Motorcycle Show -
19, 20, 21, 2016 - The Motorcycle Show - Toronto
4) April 9,
10, 2016 - Motorcycle Spring Show - Toronto
hope that we can make it to at least one of these shows!
Thanksgiving weekend is here and I hope you have plans to share
some turkey and pumpkin pie with your family and friends!
Thanksgiving also means that Fall is here and it's time to start
thinking about winterizing the motorcycle and putting it away for
the winter. At least for those of us up in these northern climes.
is a sad time of year for riders as we hate having to bundle the
bikes up and put them away for a five or six month sleep. It's
rewarding though in knowing that the work that we put into them
now (with the cleaning, fluid changes, cable checks, battery
charging, etc.) will pay off in the Spring when the bikes are
ready to roll on that first warm afternoon! As soon as the snow
and ice have gone of course...
So get out the cleaning cloths and spend some quality time with
your motorcycle. Bikes are a big investment in both time and money
but they pay dividends in spades when you're out riding the open
road on a warm and sunny day!!!
September 1, 2015
Another Milestone Has Been Reached !
out riding around a couple of weeks ago and managed to get a photo
of my odometer as it rolled 200,000 kilometers.
That's a lot
of mileage for a motorcycle but the old beast is still running
strong. Every time that I go out for a ride I'm amazed at just how
nice it runs. Who knows - it might be good for another 200,000. I
look at all of the new bikes that are on the market and that come
out every year with new designs and new technology and yes it
would be great to have one, but I REALLY like this old beast and I
know that I'd miss it if I ever traded up.
AND it's just so darned gorgeous!!! How could anyone sell a bike
August 21, 2015
Has Fall Already Arrived in Northwestern
been said that if you don't like the weather in northwestern
Ontario - just wait an hour, it'll change.
That's pretty much
the case around here. Last week we had three or four days of 30+ C
weather. Hot, humid and the occasional thunder storm. Everyone was
thinking about rushing out and buying an air conditioner.
the contrast to this morning when I woke up and it was +2 degrees
C and our furnace was kicking on.... That's just not right!
good thing is that it is supposed to be sunny and +24C this
afternoon, which should be a perfect afternoon to go for a ride!
And that's just what I'm hoping to do.
August 4, 2015
Local Riding News
haven't been out to do much local riding this "summer", as it's
been really windy and stormy. Mind you we've had a few hot days,
but a lot more overcast and rainy days around here. But unlike
Manitoba, southern Ontario and the central U.S. we've had no
tornados! And that's a good thing.
did manage to get out with a couple of friends last week for a
ride down to Grand Marais and up the Gunflint Trail. It was windy,
overcast and cool (actually darned cold along Lake Superior) all
day, but we had a great day. We stopped at the Java Moose on the
way down (just because we always do) but there were about fifty
tourists there so we climbed back on the bikes and headed up the
Gunflint to the Trail Centre Lodge for lunch.
Center Lodge is a great destination. The road up there is fun to
ride, the food is great, the staff at the restaurant are always
glad to see you and it just makes for a great outing. If you've
never been there you really must try it.
July 16, 2015
Attack Of The Killer Jackalopes!
been a while but I finally managed to get out on a road trip! I
went on a ride down to the Black Hills in South Dakota with six
guys, some from Thunder Bay and some from southern Ontario.
We had a
great time and managed to ride all over the Black Hills area. Of
course we had to stop in Wall Drug to ride the world's largest
Jackalope! How often do you get a chance to do that? We stopped by
Sturgis to see how the preparation was going for this years' 75th
Anniversary Rally and everyone there is busy getting things set
up. We managed to get our obligatory t-shirt, have lunch, and get
out of town before all of the craziness starts.
I've put together a short write-up of our adventures in the Black
Hills and you can read all about it
June 29, 2015
I Have Accomplished Something This
in case you were thinking that I've just been sitting around
feeding the birds this year I just wanted to let you know that I
have managed to get a bit of work done around our place.
been thinking about extending our back deck for about twenty years
or so.... Well, I finally got around to doing it. It wasn't a huge
extension but its made a huge difference for us to be able to sit
out and get some sun and fresh air. I guess I should have done
this years ago...
April 16, 2015
The Weather Finally Warmed Up Enough To Get
The Big Bike Out!
We've actually had two or
three really nice days this
week so we've seen lots of
bikes out on the roads.
I spent the day on Monday
cleaning about 20 years of
crap out of my motorcycle shed
and making two runs to the
dump to get rid of the big
pile of junk. I was pretty
brutal about throwing junk out
so now I have LOTS more room
in the shed. It's nice to
actually have room to move
around and work in there.
There is even enough room that
I could put a hanging bracket
up for my new bicycle to keep
it out of the weather.
But to get to the first ride
of the year - it was glorious
. . . as always! I am totally
amazed every year as to how
well the bike runs after
sitting in the shed all
winter, and I'm equally amazed
at how great it feels to be
out on the road again with the
wind in my face. It's almost
like the six months of
hibernation never happened . .
So get those bikes out and get
them polished up! Lets hope
for a great summer of riding
February 27, 2015
It Looks Like I'm Moving Closer To The
I kind of always thought that
it would be a frosty day down
below before I would buy a
GPS. Well, something must be
going down there (or maybe
it's the weather here in
Thunder Bay) because I finally
broke down and bought myself a
Tomtom 55M. After seeing how
well Leo's performed when we
were down in Minneapolis
recently I thought that I'd
like to try one out.
They've certainly improved
immensely in the last few
years, with improved software
and better maps. Now most of
them come with what they call
"Lifetime Map Updates" which
really means that they will
update the maps four times a
year - for free - until the
company stops supporting that
particular model. That's still
a pretty good deal.
The software in them isn't
quite up to 'Idiot Proof'
status that I would prefer,
but it is fairly intuitive and
it doesn't take too long to
try and figure out how to
program in an address that
you'd like to get to. I'd
still like to be able to
browse their 'Points of
Interest' and be able to click
on one and have the unit
calculate the route. Oh well,
we can't have everything.
So if you see me this summer
riding around like I'm lost
don't worry too much - I'm
just following my GPS unit.
How lost can a person really
get??? I guess I'll find out!
February 9, 2015
The 2015 Progressive International Motorcycle
Show was a hit!
We managed to make it down to
Minneapolis on February 6th
to catch this years show. And
it was a good one.
We got to see all of the latest models
of street bikes, dirt bikes,
sport bikes, cruisers,
scooters, etc. And there were lots
of vendors with all of the
gear and accessories that you
could imagine. Our friends
from the Minnesota Gold Wing
Road Riders Association were
there again this year and I
got to say a quick Hello to
them as well.
I was happy to see my favorite
t-shirt guy there this year.
Steve and I had a good chat catching up
on what's been going on for
the past couple of years. And
of course I had to pick up a
couple of new shirts to go
into my collection. The
picture above is just a teaser
of the shirts that he sells.
Steve and his partner Ronnie
have some of the best
t-shirts around. You'll have
to make a point of meeting up
with them at the show next
Didn't manage to pick out the
one new bike that I need, but
if we had managed to win the
$380 million Powerball draw on
Saturday we would have come
home with a trailer full of
January 7, 2015
Craters of the Moon
National Monument and Preserve
mighty planet of ours there are literally millions of places that
deserve to be visited and seen by our own eyes. Craters of the
Moon Preserve in central Idaho is one of them.
The Craters of the
was formed during eight major eruptive periods between 15,000 and
2000 years ago. Lava erupting from what is called the Great Rift,
a series of deep cracks that start near the visitor centre and
stretch for 52 miles (84 km.) to the southeast, poured out over
the landscape in successive eruptions and the lava field grew to
cover 618 square miles (1600 square km.).
The area now
appears as a vast ocean of lava flows with scattered islands of
cinder cones and sagebrush and appears stable, however looks can
be deceiving. Scientists say that the recurrence interval for
eruptions in this area averages about 2000 years - and it has been
just over 2000 years since the last eruption. I'm hoping to get
there this summer and check it out before the lava begins flowing
December 21, 2014
Looking for a great pair of riding gloves?
A good pair of
gloves is an essential part of
all riders safety gear.
Sometimes though in the heat
of summer one needs to find a
pair of gloves that won't bake
your hands but will still
That's where these Airstream
II gloves will come in handy.
Made by Held (heldusa.com),
makers of some of the finest
biking gloves in the world,
these gloves will protect your
paws with hard-plastic
knuckles, Kevlar fabric and
perforated kangaroo leather
construction. The secret to
these gloves is that beneath
all of that protection is a
phase-changing Coolmax lining
that wicks heat and
perspiration away from your
skin and, most significantly,
mesh vent panels between the
fingers. This allows you to
just spread your fingers and
get a blast of air through the
webbing right into your palm.
On a hot humid day that would
Priced at around $150.00 US I
might just pick up a pair of
these for myself for next
summer's riding season. That's
a reasonable price to pay for
quality and safety and
July 1, 2014
Looking To Go For A Ride?
Here is a map
that I put together a few
years ago showing most of the
paved roads around Thunder
Bay. Granted it's not the best
map in the world, but
hopefully it will give you
some ideas about where you'd
like to go riding.
Thunder Bay has some great
roads to get out on on a sunny
afternoon. Oh, that's right,
that's just us ROG's (Retired
Old Geezers) that have the
luxury of heading out on a
sunny afternoon for a pleasant
ride around in the country!
You poor working folks are
stuck with our ever-rainy
weekends to try and get out
for a ride... Sorry about
that. Talk to the weather
people to straighten that out.
June 15, 2014
Controlling Motorcycle Road Rage!
As a motorcyclist
you don't have to spend too
much time on your bike to
witness some extremely stupid
behavior by vehicle drivers,
and sometimes other
Mark DT, over at Farkle My
Ride, has some interesting
observations and good
suggestions as to how to keep
your cool when it seems that
you are drowning in a sea of
As Mark suggests, to stay safe
as motorcyclists we definitely
need to keep our cool and our
sense of humor!
June 9, 2014
A Little More About Postcrossing!
earlier that Ellen and I
joined an online website
called Postcrossing. Well,
we're having an absolute hoot
with sending and receiving
actual postcards to and from
all over the world.
So far we've received
postcards from Russia,
Germany, France, Netherlands,
Finland, Latvia, Ukraine, the
U.S.A., plus China and Taiwan.
Each one of them is unique and
interesting, as are the
postage stamps that are on
them. This hobby would be a
stamp collectors dream.
It certainly is an interesting
way to connect with people
from around the world.
May 7, 2014
Have I Told You About Our Latest Hobby?
Well, Ellen and I
have started postcarding.
We've recently joined an
online site called
and you get to send and
receive actual hand-written
postcards from a random member
of the group that could live
anywhere around the world.
There are almost 1/2 a million
members on the site that
represent 216 countries. The
picture to the right of a cute
cat is the first postcard
that I received just the other
day from a lady named Ina who
is a member that lives in the
We find it interesting, the
goal of the site is to allow
people to receive postcards
from all over the world. The
main idea is that if you send
a postcard to a random member
then you get a postcard back
from a different random
Why you ask? Well, for one
thing there are still lots of
people in the world that like
to receive an actual,
physical, piece of mail (as
opposed to an electronic burst
of data fired into their
Another reason is that it is a
fun and interesting way to
reach out and connect with a
random person that could be
living anywhere in the world.
It makes you excited to go to
the mailbox every day in
anticipation of receiving a
little snapshot of someone's
life somewhere around the
Another thing that
Postcrossing does is make a
person realize that people all
around the globe are not that
much different from you and
me: we all live our lives
with dreams and aspirations,
and likes and dislikes, no
matter our culture and
lifestyle differences. It sort
of gives one hope that the
entire human race is not
imminently crumbling into a
Check it out!
April 22, 2014
For your reading entertainment:
April 1, 2014
For your reading entertainment:
March 16, 2014
For your reading entertainment the following are some articles that I
came across recently:
February 15, 2012
In keeping to the theme that you may find
just about anything in here. . . Our friend Mel from Texas sent this link to
a YouTube video of a Norton Commando having a bad day. Turn your speakers on
and check it out, it is really well done.
Links to Previous News Entries:
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