Here are some of the previous items from my home page.

October 14, 2011

 

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 twin-cylinder engine.

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.

                                                                                 RW

August 29, 2011

 

My trusty old bike hit a bit of a milestone this past weekend.

Have 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 105,000 miles.

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 properly....

                                                    Ride Safe!                                          RW

August 23, 2011

 

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!                                          RW

August 3, 2011

 

    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....                                               RW

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 !!!!

                                                                                 RW

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.

RW

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 unit.

 

So, do I have to remind everyone again to be careful out there . . . .

June 19, 2011

 

Hey All,

    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.

                                                                                                                       RW

June 14, 2011

 

Hey Everybody,

    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 ride in.

    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: http://www.laconiamcweek.com/

June 6, 2011

 

Hey All,

     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!

 

                                                                                                    RW

May 30, 2011

 

Hey All,

      If you're 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 old organization.

   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 our friends.

   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.

                                                                                              RW

 

     May 20, 2011

 

GEEZERS GONE WILD!

Thunder Bay:  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 festivities.

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.

 

   May 9, 2011

 

This coming 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.

This 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.

                                                                                               RW

   May 6, 2011

Hey!  Guess What:  May is Women Riders Month

 

This month the rumble from those April showers will continue a little longer as thousands of female riders hit the open road to celebrate Women Riders Month. 

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.

That 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!

                                                                                                      RW

 April 28, 2011 

Hey!  It's me again. First off, I shouldn't 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.

Unfortunately 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 out there!

 

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.

The Stewart-Cassiar 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.

 

That's your Canadian Trivia for the day!

                                RW

 

      April 11, 2011 

                          FINALLY!

Well, I 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"! I always 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 electric gloves...

     April 6, 2011 

Spring Riding is Almost Here in Thunder Bay!

As the snow slowly melts away, the desire to get the bike out gets stronger every day… It’s a biker thing.

Motorcyclists 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

                               I'M BACK.....!

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 passions.

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.

                                                                                                     RW

     April 5, 2011                     

Here are a few more pics:

 

 

     March 31, 2011                     

Hey All,

     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.

     Lois talked 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.

  

 March 23, 2011

Hey All,

     Less than a week to go now before Lois Pryce hits Thunder Bay.

     The intrepid traveler will be in Thunder Bay on March 28 and 29 to give one of her spirited presentations about her 20,000 mile solo ride from Alaska to Argentina on a Yamaha XT225 Serow.

     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.

 March 15, 2011

Hey All,

    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 keyboard.

    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 in Utah. 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.

                                                                                                           RW

 

Disclaimer:  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.

     
Superior Riders   Jethro Tull