Here are some of the previous items from my home page.
Here is something for
you speed freaks!
Ducati is set to unveil its new 1199
Panigale at the EICMA show in Milan next month, but the manufacturer has
given us all a sneak peek into what will power the machine once it goes on
sale. Ducati gave its engineers free reign to come up with an engine that
provides more horsepower and torque while also increasing user friendliness.
At the same time, the company wanted to trim
weight and reduce ownership costs.
The result is the Superquadro twin-cylinder engine. With an over-square bore
and stroke ratio of 1.84:1, this baby churns out a
blistering 195 horsepower and 98 pound-feet of torque. Ducati claims that
it has the most power ever for a production
The new bike that is being powered by
this beast will also feature a new transmission with a slipper clutch, among
other innovations. I can't wait to see this bike.
My trusty old bike hit a bit of a
milestone this past weekend.
you ever been wandering along minding your own business when all of a sudden
a thought pops into your head to do something. Well, that happened to me
this weekend. I was out having a great ride on a sunny day when something
told me to check my odometer. I had known that the bike was getting close to
this number but I pressed the button to switch it over from the trip meter
to the odometer and the mileage was at 169999 km. That's a little over
Needless to say I stopped to take a
picture of it for posterities sake. That's a lot of miles for for a bike,
but I have to say that the trusty old thing is still running great and is
still getting over 52 miles per gallon.
It's such a great bike that I may have to
keep her for another few years just to make sure she's broken in
Ride Safe! RW
I've been a little busy at work and at
home to get much time to devote the this website. There has been lots going
on around here. The Kakabeka Street Fair was
this past weekend. It's a great events and there were lots folks
showing up to enjoy the activities, the food and the great weather.
Here is another shot from this summer.
This was taken in the Black Hills.
This is actually a
composite picture. Years ago I found a small software program that can
actually stitch together up to 30 or 40 overlapping pictures into one big
composite picture. Mostly I just use the program to stitch together 6 or 8
pictures to get panoramic shots like this one.
Other than that, I'm
still working on next month's newsletter and it should be ready early next
week. You'll have to check back to see if I've actually gotten it finished.
Until then - Ride Safe!
HEY ALL - - I'M BACK
We made it back to Thunder Bay this past
Saturday after our 6900 km ride out to the Black Hills in South Dakota and
Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming.
We saw and did a lot of different thing
this year. We started off at the Yamaha Star Rally in Wisconsin where we did
some demo rides on the new Yamaha line-up. Then it was off to J&P Cycle to
look for some mesh riding pants to deal with the 100 degree weather and then we headed to the Black Hills to
visit Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Needles Highway, Iron Mountain Road, etc.
After the Black Hills we headed to
Buffalo and Cody Wyoming, did a loop through Yellowstone checking out Old
Faithful and then headed to Montana. We finished the trip by riding east
across North Dakota, ending up in Duluth and making one last visit to
Aerostitch to pick up a couple of items before heading north to Thunder Bay.
If I have some time I'll write up some of
our road stories and post them here. We had a lot of fun out on the road,
saw lots of great country side and met lots of interesting bikers.
I'll also try and get this months
newsletter finished and posted here this week although work still seems to
interfere with all the fun stuff that I like to do.
Ride Safe Out There....
July 13, 2011
Heading Back to the Badlands
It's just about that time of year again.
Four more sleeps and I'll be heading out for my annual two-week bike trip.
This years trip is going to be a little
mixed up as we're heading to Middleton Wisconsin first to hit the Star Days
Rally. Yamaha is offering four days of demo rides there and I really want to
try out a couple of their new bikes. Not that I can afford a new bike, but
it doesn't hurt to dream.
After a day or so in Middleton we're
heading back out to the Black Hills of South Dakota. No particular plans
once we get there. There are so many great places to ride out there you
really just have to pick a direction and go. One of the places I'd like to
visit this year is Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota. This
park contains over 70,000 acres of "Bad Lands". The picture above is from
there. These areas fascinate me. I can't wait to see it.
Other than that we'll be looking for some
of the mountain passes such as the Beartooth Pass to see how much snow is
still up there.
I'll give you an update when we get
back..... Maybe I'll see you on the road!
Ride Safe This Summer !!!!
July 6, 2011
Yet Another Biker Dies
Most of you have probably heard about
this latest death, the report has been all over the news and the internet.
It is being reported that Philip Contos, 55, of Parish, New York, was
participating in an organized ride to protest mandatory helmet laws when he
lost control of his motorcycle, was thrown over the handlebars whereupon he
hit his head on the pavement and was killed. I don't want to appear to be
too insensitive here because the loss of a life is tragic under any
circumstances, but this just seems to be quite an ironic twist of fate.
State police are saying that evidence at
the scene plus information from the attending medical expert indicated that
Contos would have survived if he had been wearing a helmet - as is required
by state law.
The Onondaga chapter of American Bikers
Aimed Towards Education (ABATE) (who organized the protest ride) is trying
to put a positive spin on the situation by saying that Contos was a seasoned
rider and that he made an adult decision to ride without a helmet. And, yes,
we are all adults and can make our own decisions but if something as simple
as wearing a helmet will keep us from dying from a simple spill to the
pavement - doesn't it make sense that we should wear them?
It doesn't take a genius to figure this
out. If ABATE was actually in the business of educating riders then they
should be teaching riders how to stay safer on their bikes instead of
actually promoting the non-use of safety equipment.
June 22, 2011
Two Fatal Motorcycle
Crashes in Cornwall in Less Than 24 Hours This Past Week
A 36-year-old man was killed when his
motorcycle collided with a deer late Thursday night east of Ottawa. Police
say Roch Pierre Thibodeau, of North Glengarry, was travelling westbound on
County Road 24 when his bike hit the deer at about 10:40 p.m. He was
pronounced dead at the scene. Ontario Provincial Police closed the road for
more than eight hours while they investigated the crash.
Meanwhile, police in Cornwall are also
investigating a fatal crash that took place inside the city. A 58 year-old
Cornwall man was riding his motorcycle on South Branch Road when he collided
with a pickup truck at the McConnell Avenue intersection just after 4:30
p.m. Thursday. The victim has been identified as Douglas Randlett of
Cornwall. That collision remains under investigation, but early reports say
that a pickup truck turned left in front of Randlett at the intersection.
In a related story, a third motorcyclist
was struck by a Cornwall police vehicle that was responding to the Randlett
accident mentioned above. This motorcyclist sustained injuries serious
enough to prompt an investigation by the provinces special investigation
So, do I have to remind everyone again to
be careful out there . . . .
June 19, 2011
It's Sunday morning
and I'm heading off to Geraldton, but thought I'd give you a quick update on
the Bell 2011 Ride For Dad that took place yesterday here in Thunder Bay.
Saturday morning was heralded by the roar
of motorcycle engines as over 300 bikes paraded through Thunder Bay streets
for the 11th annual Bell Motorcycle Ride for Dad. The event, a fundraiser
for the Northern Cancer Fund, included a parade and a poker run in the city
and outlying areas. “This ride is for prostate
cancer, cancer awareness and recognition that prostate cancer is a leading
cancer in men,” said Bernie Blake, committee chair for the Motorcycle Ride for Dad in an
interview. Everyone who registered for the ride
was asked to raise pledges and support for the
ride has grown in strength over the last 11 years.
This year’s ride raised nearly $62,000.
That's great work for this worthwhile
cause. A huge thanks goes out to all of the supporters and volunteers that
help make this event such a great success.
June 14, 2011
Still not too much to
report, we had another great weekend for riding this past week and many of
us managed to get out and take advantage of it. It certainly is a treat to
be able to ride without using the electric jacket liner. Not that I mind
using the electric liner, it's just nicer to actually have warm weather to
If you're reading this
this week (June 11 to 19th) then chances are that you are not down in
Laconia for their 2011 Laconia Bike Week!
This year marks the
88th Anniversary of Laconia Motorcycle Week, which is pretty impressive as
rallies go. If you want to find out more about their rally you can check out
their official web site at:
June 6, 2011
Not much to report today, we finally had a great weekend for riding. The
weather was magnificent for two whole days!
We managed a
ride down to the Gunflint last week as well and stopped in for lunch at the
Trail Centre Tavern. The food was just as good as we remembered from last
year and everyone there was happy to see us back again. Riding and
eating.... it doesn't get any better than that!
I have noticed
while out driving and riding that car drivers seem to be getting stupider
every year. The number of vehicles that I've seen where the drivers are
still chatting on their cell phones and the number of cars that I've seen
running red lights is incredible. Some drivers just don't have a clue about
what they're doing and how many lives that they are putting in danger.
I guess all we
can do as riders is be extra careful ANYTIME you see a car or truck around
you. There is a good chance that the driver is going to do something stupid!
May 30, 2011
lucky this will be the last time I mention the latest goings-on with the
Retreads in Thunder Bay. Although you never know when I might get a bug up
my nose and have to spout off about something.
Not much has changed since
my last report. There has been some clashing of ego's, some truths,
half-truths and some non-truths being spread around and lots of rumours
floating around. What I find hardest to believe is that the actions of three
people could rip the heart out of the Retreads chapter here in Thunder Bay
in a matter of a couple of days.
The once vibrant chapter is
now divided and crumbling. But to paraphrase some of the old sayings, change
is good, we cannot change the past and we cannot change the fact that some
people act in a certain way.
But positive change has
already begun here. Between a third and a half of the membership of the old
Retreads chapter has already expressed an interest in starting a new club
free of the draconian regime of the old club. Time will tell how everything
will pan out but it sure feels great to be out riding unencumbered of the
And didn't we get into this
for the love of riding? Let's leave the politics and the mud slinging to the
professionals in Ottawa and enjoy our all-too-short summer of riding with
And speaking of riding, a
dozen of us headed down to the Gunflint this past weekend for an impromptu
ride and had lunch at the Trail Centre Tavern. It turned out to be one of
the nicest days that we've had on a weekend this year.
Now that's what riding is
all about, enjoying a great day on the bike and the camaraderie of friends.
May 20, 2011
It is being reported that there has been a coup within the Ontario Northwest
Chapter of the Retreads.
On Sunday May 15th
breakfast goers at a local eatery were left stunned following an early
morning attack on long-time chapter rep Joe McEachern. Local club members
were barely into their first cup of coffee when a two-man hit team from
southern Ontario paid a surprise visit and handed Joe his resignation.
To a chorus of boos
the Retreads Canadian Rep and the Ontario Rep said that they didn't care
what the local members wanted or didn't want, Retreads International makes
the rules and that's that. Not only did they oust Joe as the local chapter
representative, they also declared that the local Retreads website would be
shut down effective immediately.
They announced that
Merv Donohue would now be the new local chapter representative and that club
business would just roll on as always.
It was noted in a
communiqué issued by the newly installed regime that, due to a blatant
refusal to accept the direction of Retreads International, they felt that
they had no alternative but to surgically remove the leadership from the
local chapter and proceed in a new direction with the local club. Apparently
some actions taken by the local incumbent administration were "detrimental
to the public image of The Club".
No further information
has been forthcoming from Retreads International so one can only assume that
they are carrying on with their "I Don't Care" policy towards the membership
of North America's second or third largest chapter.
May 16, 2011
About 50,000 bikers and spectators
converged on Port Dover, Ont., for the traditional Friday the 13th
Rain had been expected to dampen
spirits for the only Friday the 13th this year in the town on the Lake
Erie shoreline. Police had been expecting about 15,000, but the rain
held off and the town of 5,500 was swelled by more than 20,000
motorcycle enthusiasts and numerous spectators.
Dozens of police officers were on
hand to keep an eye on the traffic and the crowds as they admired
thousands of pricey high-end and customized Harleys. The attendees were
kept entertained by live bands and beer tents as booths did a brisk
business selling Friday the 13th T-shirts.
This was the 51st Friday the 13th
celebration since the tradition began in November 1981 when about 25
friends got together at a Port Dover hotel.
Friday is going to be your only opportunity in 2011 to head down to Port
Dover for their famous Friday the 13th Celebration and Rally.
will be your opportunity to feel
the rumble and see all the bikes that will be touring Norfolk County and
Port Dover during the 51st gathering of
two wheel enthusiasts. Riders come from all over the
world to experience the Port Dover rally.
Limited edition t-shirts and
anniversary souvenirs from local retailers as well as festival food and an
amazing array of custom painted bikes, creative costumes and even a chance
to win a one of a kind Adirondack Lawn Chair designed by renowned artist
Michael Barber are just some of the features of this year’s event.
So strap on your leathers and wear
your comfy shoes ~ be part of this great event.
Guess What: May is Women
the rumble from those April showers will continue a little longer as
thousands of female riders hit the open road to celebrate Women Riders
International Female Ride Day was
started by Vicki Gray of
Motoress.com and falls on the first Friday of May every year. The 2011
date is Friday May 6.
special day seeks to promote awareness and celebrate women riders of all
ages across the globe and we encourage all women riders
to get involved, get out riding and get noticed.
From that beginning of Female Ride Day we now dedicate the entire month of
May to encourage even more women to get behind the handlebars of a bike and
enjoy the freedom of the open road.
Women are now
the fastest growing demographic in the motorcycle industry,
so if you don't ride now plan on taking the rider course and start checking
out bikes. We'll see you out on the open road!
It's me again. First off,
have to remind you to be careful when you're getting out riding for the
first few times this spring. I know that the weather has been crappy and
we all want to take advantage of every warm afternoon that comes along.
But we have to be careful and think about what we're doing.
we've already had our first motorcycle mishap this past week.
One of our
riders was out for a short ride on a warmish afternoon, turned a little
too sharply on some sand and gravel, dropped the bike and ended up
crushing a few bones in one foot.
So be careful
On a lighter
note.... Under the category of learning something new every day....
I was reading a biker magazine the other day about a couple of guys riding
the Cassiar Highway out in northern British Columbia. Now that's not the
remarkable part, I actually do quite a bit of reading.
Highway 37 is a lot like most highways in Canada, a mixture of good
asphalt, chip seal and the occasional stretch of gravel, and it winds its
way down the Dease River drainage.
Two of the
small towns that it winds through are the small community of Good Hope
Lake and Jade City. The town of Jade City, in the Cassiar Mountains, is
primarily a jade mine. This area of British Columbia is actually rich in
jade mines and supplies 90% of the world's jade. . . I never knew this!.
The gift shops
in these areas are full of fine
jade jewellery and artwork. If you're ever
out that way you'll have to check it out.
Canadian Trivia for the day!
finally managed to get the bike out last Friday for a two hour run. Was it
ever great to be back out on the road.
As an added
bonus, I got to try out my new Gerbing's heated jacket liner. If you've
ever checked these things out on the internet and read any of the reviews
"I've never been so toasty warm on a motorcycle", "all I can say is
AWESOME", and you're thinking to yourself "yeah, yeah". Well, I have to
admit that I believe them now.
As they say in
the world of texting.... "OMG"!
thought that my Grip Heaters were great, but this heated jacket liner just
lets you laugh at the cold. I have to say that these guys make an amazing
product. Next year it's going to be time for the
Spring Riding is Almost Here in
As the snow slowly melts away,
the desire to get the bike out gets stronger every day… It’s a biker
here in town are cleaning the dust off the bike in the shed, charging up
the battery and checking tire pressures. We know that soon that first
warm, sunny afternoon will be here and we can throw a leg over the beast
and fire it up for the first time. As you sit and let the bike warm up,
listening to that wonderful rumbling sound, you go through a mental check
list to make sure you’ve taken care of everything on the bike, tightened
everything that you put back on, checked the oil level, got all of your
warm clothing on, and then you’re ready to go!
But before you go blasting out of
your driveway, take a few moments to go over a few safety reminders. We'll
assume you prepared your motorcycle properly when you put it away for the
winter and that it is indeed ready to go in the spring. In your hurry to
be the first rider out on the road, you don't want to be the first rider
heading to the hospital because you got in too much of a hurry.
You’re ready to go now and the
most important thing to take with you on that first ride is a proper
attitude. Being safe on the road depends primarily on how alert you are
while riding, and how well you are paying attention to what's going on
around you. After a long winter, with road crews working long hours to
keep the roads clear of ice and snow, there is a very dangerous residual
leftover from the plowing process. That is the sand and salt that is used
on our roads. Loose sand is everywhere in the early spring. Corners,
intersections, main roads and side streets are all the same - there is
loose sand everywhere.
The next thing you need for your
first ride of the year is the proper route. You’ll want to get the feel of
the bike again after a long winter of snow shovelling. So pick a route
with little traffic so that you can get the feel of cornering and of
starting and stopping again. You’ll want to get the feel of all of the
bike controls again so that you don’t
accidentally lock up the rear tire when slowing for a red light.
You’ll also want to be wearing
some conspicuous gear at this time of year. Cage drivers have forgotten
all about motorcycles over the winter and you’ll want to make sure that
they are aware of you being out on the streets and highways. Be aware of
the vehicles around you and make sure that you always have an escape route
while driving in traffic. Always give yourself enough space to safely
navigate around dangers such as potholes.
Motorcycle riding is one of the
greatest experiences around, so relax, take it easy, enjoy every ride, but
make sure you enjoy it safely.
April 27, 2011
Well, I managed to make it back to
Thunder Bay finally. I've been out of town for a couple of weeks....
and yeah, I know, you really missed me...
While I was away I missed updating this
site and I missed a few of our local events.
Last Friday I missed a retirement party
for my friend George who is a rider that also enjoys Paragliding. George had
a long career with the MNR but is looking forward to his retirement time. If
I can talk him into buying a bigger bike we'll get him out for some long
road trips, although I think he enjoys his paragliding more than biking. I
have a hard time understanding that, but everyone has to follow their own
Last Saturday was Prime Rib With the
Prince down at the Prince Arthur Hotel. The event was a big hit again this
year with a great turnout. The Prince Arthur puts on a great meal. Last
Sunday I missed our April monthly breakfast at Deluca's Restaurant down on
Cumberland Street across from the Casino. The breakfast was also well
attended although I believe the weather was not cooperating at all.
I can't say that the weather was much
better down in Cornwall Ontario where I was. It was cold, rainy and windy
most of the time. There were a couple of warm afternoons while I was there
and on those days there were lots of bikers out enjoying the weather with a
ride down the Number 2 Highway. I didn't have my bike with me so I could
only envy them enjoying their rides.
Anyway, that's all for now. I did come
across a couple of other things to share with you and will try and give you
some more updates tomorrow.
Here are a few more pics:
Lois Pryce was
here in Thunder Bay this past Monday and Tuesday and we thoroughly enjoyed
having her here. The captivating presentation on her solo ride from Alaska
to Argentina had the audience of about 100 bikers spellbound.
about how she packed in her tedious office job and came up with a plan to do
a solo motorcycle ride from Alaska to Argentina.
During the trip
she ended up trying to dodge some RCMP's in Canada and some corrupt border
guards in Central America, battling 100 mph winds in Patagonia and riding
through the Andes.
Her tales were
accompanied by fantastic photography from this beautiful part of the world.
All in all it was a thoroughly entertaining evening. We're hoping to talk
her into making it back to Thunder Bay one day and giving us a presentation
on her journey from London, England to Cape Town, South Africa.
Less than a week
to go now before Lois Pryce hits Thunder Bay.
intrepid traveler will be in Thunder Bay on
March 28 and 29 to give one of her spirited
her 20,000 mile solo ride from Alaska to Argentina on a Yamaha XT225
Lois currently works in the UK as a freelance writer and
journalist, contributing to various motorcycle and travel publications
around the globe. She was on a speaking tour across the US, with stops
in Wisconsin and Minnesota, and we managed to entice her to visit us up
here in Thunder Bay.
For many of us here in the frozen north it
will be a once in a lifetime opportunity to
share first hand the experiences of this spirited adventuress.
This is a new page for my website. It's something that I thought that I'd
try just to put some current information, updates, latest goings-on, etc
onto the website. I can't promise that this page will be updated on any
regular basis as this entire website business is something new for me to be
working on. With any luck I'll be able to keep it going for a while.
Once again I'd like to thank Tom P. for all the work and time that he put
into setting this up for me. I think he did a great job. Tom also spent some
time with me the other day teaching me (hopefully) how to maintain and
update the site myself.... so don't be surprised if the entire site
crashes in the near future. I am known to be a bit dangerous behind a
What WAS he thinking???
In other news the Retreads Biker Movie Night was another big success on
Saturday March 12th. This years movie was The World's Fastest Indian
starring Anthony Hopkins. This movie tells the true life story of New
Zealander Burt Munro who spent years building a 1920 Indian motorcycle and
then setting the 1967 world land-speed record at the Bonneville Salt Flats
Or, as you can see from the movie poster here we at least had a similar
movie starring our own
local celebrity superstar.
After the movie the
crew headed over to Montana's for wings and beer.
And last but certainly not least - ticket sales are still rolling along
for the Evening With Lois Pryce on
the evening of March 29th. Most of our plans are in place for the event and
this promises to be an exciting evening learning about Lois's adventures (or
misadventures) in motorcycling through North and South America.
Tickets are still available from Barb at The Whole Nine Yards at 899 Fort
William Road, and at Thunder Bay Harley-Davidson on Arthur Street. Make sure
you get your ticket before they're all sold out.
All data and information provided on this site is for informational and
entertainment purposes only. I make no representation as to the accuracy,
completeness, currentness, suitability, or validity of any information on
this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in
this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its
display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis. I do not
rent, sell or share any anonymous data or email addresses collected through
this website or my newsletter with anyone.