A New Highway

So far April's weather has been disappointing, I'm sitting here with the fireplace on listening to the hail/rain hit the windows, this morning it was snowing and the temperatures were below zero. Today while driving in my car with the heat blasting, I took a fairly new highway which I find somewhat exciting, the last few years there has been much construction in our area and the results are pretty impressive. This highway has made it a bit easier for me to get around and I can see a lot of trucks using the route as well.

I'm not sure how the parkway got its name but it is to be called 'The Rt. Hon. Herb Gray Parkway', and will eventually connect to the new bridge which is to be called 'The Gordie Howe International Bridge', which will help keep traffic running smoothly in Canada's busiest land border crossing city.

I am impressed with the look and convince of the new parkway, and I think it'll be good for our city especially once the bridge is built in a couple of years.

New Highway

 

 

Working out

Working out is important to me, I want to stay strong and healthy especially as I grow older. Sometimes it's really hard to stay motivated, so times like that I remind myself the reasons why I want to stay strong and healthy, one of my reasons is to be able to ride my bike. My bike weighs 464lbs more than I do and I want to be able to maneuver it easily, stop it if it starts to fall, balance well, stave off fatigue, and possibly prevent injury or have a quicker recovery and I'm sure there are more reasons that aren't coming to mind right now.

I was pretty excited when I came across this article written by Dr. Pamela Reilly, she shares how riding a motorcycle is a workout in itself and actually improves physical health. She points out that it strengthens your knees and thighs, improves your core strength, increases insulin sensitivity, burns calories, strengthens your neck and maybe most importantly, improves your mental outlook.

Is it true, that riding a bike can actually be good for you? It seems that it is so. From now on I'm looking at riding my bike is a part of my healthy life style.

What do you think of that mom (and all the naysayers)?

It's too cold to ride today, so I'm off to gym.

 

Second Ride of the Year

Today (it's still February) the weather was 'record breaking', we reached a high of 15ºC (59ºF) which broke our old record which was set in 1976. Screen Shot 2016-02-28 at 3.59.31 PM

After lunch the sun was shinning, and my bike was longing for a ride, I was pretty excited about a possible ride but was a bit concerned about the wind, I took my chances. The wind was pretty robust, more so on the way home, a couple of times the gusts felt pretty strong which made me wonder if I could hold my bike, especially while stopped. All went well and I made it home after a great ride, I went down Riverside Drive again, waved to fellow riders and thoroughly enjoyed my day. The Detroit River was pretty choppy but it was pretty, it was fun to see so many people out at the parks or going for a walk, everyone was out enjoying the day. IMG_0900 (2)

A quick stop at Jones & Co.  on the way home opened an opportunity to take a quick picture, I don't think I stopped talking for it. It was pretty windy, even for this photo but I wanted photographic proof that I was out in it, my second ride of the year in February.

If you read my previous post, you've seen that I got to go for a ride earlier this month but then we got a snow storm, then today the weather allowed me to ride again, the report looks like we have some more interesting weather on it's way.

It's February

It's February 3rd and the temperature hit a high of 53ºF - this doesn't happen very often.

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I had so many things I needed to accomplish today - when I realized how nice it was I played with the idea of taking my bike out - however I decided to get things done. Around 11 am I went outside with my dog, Charlie and it felt so good in the sunshine, I couldn't stop myself.

I went to the garage, opened the door and sat on my bike, it felt so good, I put the key in the ignition and turned it - I was rewarded with the purring sound of the motor and my heart started racing with excitement. I ran into the house, redressed myself (in so many layers) and I was soon ready to go.

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My shadow 'photo bombed' my picture, it does prove that it was sunny out. I jumped on the bike and it felt so good as I rode down the street, hugging the curves and taking deep breaths. I drove along River Canard, the ice on the water was so pretty glittering in the sun, there were birds standing on the ice, some floating on the water, I stopped to take a picture but my iphone 5 let me down (once again).

I decided to take a jaunt down Riverside Drive, my favourite route, I was gone for about an hour and drove about 55K's. It felt so good being out in the sunshine, waving to fellow riders, soaking in the views, and just being on my bike. I was glad to get home though, I started getting a bit cold and the wind was getting really strong, and of course I was really hungry. Once home, I did eat and now I'm sitting here in front of the fire with a warm drink and a smile on face and I re-experience my day by sharing with you.

Todays Route

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Winter can be hard on a biker.

yjsz4

 

It's Getting Cold Out

At some point in the second week of November the weather turned and there is a chill in the air, a real chill! It was a bit past 2pm today when I armed myself with a crazy amount of warm clothing, I dressed myself with layers upon layers, I added my helmet that had total coverage (it's the one the wear when it's cold out) and then I headed out in the sunshine. I still felt somewhat cold, but I was loving the sunshine, the falling of leaves and just the thrill I get when I ride. I didn't make to far, I was about 30 minutes from home when I arrived at Larry's work and decided that was far enough. I met Larry after his shift was over and we drove home together, along Riverside Drive - it was a beautiful ride - and so much fun to do with Larry, it may be the last  'together' ride of the season and I was loving it.

Larry's bike at work, waiting for the ride home.

As winter and cold weather settles in, so do I - however, it was great to get a ride in today, even if it was a short one.

Bike Wash

It's been a beautiful week so far, sunshine and the temperatures are in the 70's, it seems unlike November. I haven't had as much time as I would like to ride but the other day I thought it was time for my bike to have a bath. I had a little bit of help;

I didn't get the bike as pristine as I wanted but it was looking pretty darn good, it's so hard to get good help.

I had an appointment after 4, I decided to take my nice, clean bike - the nights have been getting dark earlier, so by time I drove home it was starting to get dark but I loved it, very relaxing. I had a pretty good view of a beautiful red/pinkish sky, I stopped for a picture.

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November 1st

Today is November 1st, 2015 - last night daylight savings time ended, our 'clocks' fell back an hour, and it was halloween night. First of all halloween wasn't as busy as it usually is, the slow steady rain kept a lot of the kids away, which means there is a lot of candy around the house (ugh!!). And before I went to bed I set all the clocks back an hour, which means it's gets darker earlier. Today, the weather was so pretty, the sun was bright and the temps were in the high 60's. As soon as I got a chance I took the bike out, I was looking for fall foliage but I was out of luck, seems like the colours have come and gone, a lot of the tree's were bare.

I throughly loved the ride, taking deep breaths of the crisp air, it was a bit chilly but I was well dressed. I did a routine route, which didn't feel routine, it just felt good to be out. I followed Detroit River, then Lake Erie and then marsh's.

Dirt road, surrounded by nature - marshes are just past the bush. Lake Erie is just a block away - it's cottage land.

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Although I was enjoying the ride, the sun started setting earlier,  thanks to the end of daylight savings time. The sun was getting low and the chill in the air almost starting getting cold, plus I was getting hungry - time to head home.

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The sweet temperatures today were somewhat unexpected after all the cool weather we've been getting, the first 'frost' came a few weeks ago and mornings have been so cold it seems to demand a warm coat, but today we got a short reprieve from the cold and a fun reminder of summer time.

I so much enjoyed my time on my bike today!

Therapy

Some days are tough, however nothing a ride can't cure. Sometimes I find a ride along the river and scenic sights very peaceful, other times I enjoy the challenge of curves or long drives and then there are the times when nothing will help but speed, it just feels good to drive fast.

The rush of the breeze that I'm creating as I speed down the country roads just feels good, thoughts flow from my mind and I just feel free.

Don't get me wrong, when I say speeding down the road I'm not talking about breaking any laws but I do love riding a country road where there are no red lights, hardly any stop signs, and no sights to distract, just farm land and roads that go on forever.

Today provided such an opportunity that I much enjoyed and by time I got home I felt refreshed and hungry.

What is it about a bike that feels like therapy?

How could a bike provide so much, transportation, therapy, fun, adventure,....

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Summer Nights

It's mid September, lately the temperatures have been perfect. Today I left the house around 5pm and traveled my usual route, following Lake Erie which I find really relaxing. Hunger took ahold and a stop at the Colchester Bar & Grill  was in order, it was the first time I've been there since it got its new name and the butternut soup was very tasty.

I just couldn't get enough of being outside today, it's hard stopping to take pictures (as I mentioned before) but I made a point of stopping to get a picture of the sunset, however the sun set in the west tonight so I missed it.

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I stopped along highway 50, in Oxley at the Oxley retreat house to take this picture, it was a short stop but it was a breath taking view. I had a small chat about bikes and the views with a stranger which is always fun.

And then I continued home, passing through Colchester and Amherstburg it continued to get darker by time I got to River Canard, which I followed - by time I got home it was dark, but I was also relaxed and loving summer time.

Adventure

387079_10152033547680232_1284054146_n A few years back I took a trip to Brampton and stayed with my good friend Carolyn, I spent a couple of days exploring the back streets past Brampton, places like Georgetown, Glen Williams, Caledon and beyond. I was surprised how many streets there were that were not paved, I enjoyed just driving, exploring territory I've never seen before.

There are so many times I would love to take a picture, however stopping and pulling out the camera just seems like a pain, but every once in a while I make myself. I saw so many beautiful sights on this trip, for the most part I drove down winding roads, some with hills, I enjoyed views of small bodies of water but mostly it was farmland on either side of me - everything was so green and lush - I stopped at a couple of points and took a picture because I wanted to remember the feeling of excitement I had as I was about to embark on a road that I'ld never been down, what was around the bend? I was about to find out.

530062_10152033546750232_317432605_n-1And the adventure continues,....

 

A Summer Evening

Lakeside Park - Kingsville, Ontario We started out around 4ish and to avoid rush hour traffic we headed out on some  country roads, which seems to relax my mind, the open spaces helps clear my head.

I really enjoyed our ride tonight, we did our usual jaunt along highway #50 and then stopped at Lakeside Park in Kingsville - it is such a pretty little park, we sat on a bench in the shade and enjoyed the beautiful view and breezes that were coming off the lake while we discussed where we would go for dinner. We then rode to Leamington and stopped at Birdie's Perch for fish tacos (once again), when we find something that works for us we go often.

To switch things up a bit we went a slightly different way, both on the way there and on the way back - the thing that surprised me was how turned around I get. I thought Essex county was pretty straight forward and if I made enough lefts and rights I would somehow get where I wanted to go. At one point I just kept heading straight ahead because the sun was in eyes so I knew I must be heading west, both Larry and I were so surprised where we came out. I seriously have no sense of direction, which is so frustrating!

But tonight it didn't matter to me, it was a great night for a ride, the weather was perfect with warm breezes and sunshine, we did some backtracking but I didn't mind, I felt like I could ride all night. We got home around 8:30, there is no better way to spend a night.

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Me & My Shadow

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Summer showed up the other day, temperatures soared - Finally! Larry and I decided to beat the heat by going for a ride, the air felt somewhat cooler as soon as we reached Lake Erie, we did our traditional ride, driving through Amherstburg and followed highway 50 until we reached Kingsville, we then took #3 until we got to Birdie's Perch where we feasted on fish. On the way home we took a totally different way, following county roads, making lefts and rights until something looked familiar, we ended up in Stoney Point and followed Tecumseh Rd (highway #2) to Belle River and then followed Riverside Drive home.

It was the perfect night for a ride, the weather couldn't have been better, I felt so much peace just riding along wide open farmland. On my right I kept noticing that I was being followed - with the sun starting to come down a bit my shadow got so big, I thought it looked pretty cool, so I stopped to take a picture, which isn't as easy as it may seem - I had to have help on this one.

We were totally rewarded, on the way home we were blessed with a beautiful sunset, the sun was a big red ball and I enjoyed watching it drop down as I drove.

Short Ride

I had a short time to myself one day, I decided that I wanted to spend it on  my bike - at first I thought I would drive down Riverside and the downtown area but then decided that I might just run into traffic, and that would eat most of my time. So I headed to Amherstburg, the day was cloudy and somewhat dreary looking but I throughly enjoyed the ride. I'm not the only one tired of waiting for the sun, noticed the 3 seedoos in the water.

I stopped in Amherstburg for a few photos.

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There is so much history in Amherstburg, the fire hydrants are so cool and each one different - this one has part of a British flag on one side, an Eagle and American symbolism on the other.

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The ride took me a little longer than an hour, I stayed as close as I could to water, which is pretty easy, we have a lot of bodies of water in this area because we are a peninsula - I started following the Detroit River, my favourite part of the ride is when it turns into Lake Erie and then there were a few marshes and rivers on the way home. I love riding beside the water, it relaxes me. I was talking to a fellow biker the other day and he was complaining that we don't have any interesting roads, that have a lot of turns and twists in them and I have to agree, there are only a few but I'm so grateful for the water.

My short ride

Dinner at Birdies Perch

The plan today was to meet at 4:30pm and go for a ride, the highest temperature today was 22°celsius (71.6°fahrenheit), so it was a bit cool (especially for us - this time of year) and when the sun hid behind the clouds, a strong breeze kicked in but that didn't slow us down.

We took our usual route, driving through Amherstburg and hitting highway 50, through Kingsville to Leamington where we had a yummy dinner at Birdies Perch.Screen Shot 2015-07-02 at 10.01.48 PM

We had a great ride there, sometimes riding the Lake Erie Coast line can be a bit chillier, although I was comfortable on the way there I thought it might be a bit to cold on the way home,  so we chose a route that was more inland, it's also fun to switch it up a bit. On the way back it didn't take me long to wish I had put on my sweatshirt, I ended up stopping on the gravel shoulder of the road in front of a farm house that was set back quite a bit from the road. I was pleasantly surprised when the owner of the house came over to us to see if we needed help, I'm not sure how he felt about my 'being too cold' story but we were appreciative of his kind intention.

I find it completely freeing to ride, it doesn't take long to get to farm land, there is something about driving in the country that relaxes me. I also enjoy living on a peninsula and being surrounded by water, I love riding along the water even if it is dotted with houses. What a great way to spend 2½ hours of our evening!

 

 

A Perfect Night

Today it was too nice to NOT ride my bike, so I rode it to work this morning - it was the type of day that made me want to keep going - such a pretty a day, the kind you just can't get enough of. I was excited that things worked out so that Larry could meet me after work and we could go for a ride, we went along Riverside Drive until we got to Tecumseh where we stopped at one of Larry's favourite restaurants  'The Wrap Shack' for a quick bite and then we were back on the road.

The route wasn't particularly exciting and it certainly wasn't new to us, but it was the perfect journey for tonight. The weather was perfect, the sun was just starting to set and the water was a breathtaking backdrop for our ride. Spring smells filled the air, cut grass, flowers, everything smelled so fresh - I was breathing deeply and felt totally relaxed and completely exhilarated at the same time.

Couldn't think of better way to spend the evening

A great ride, surrounded by water through most of it. The part in purple is where we had to double our ride, no complaints though - great views.

Statistics

Interesting Read I was having coffee at Marija's and reading The Windsor Star  when I came across this interesting article - although the statistic's weren't local, it's a good reminder.

I did some research, according to an online article from CBC, in August 2014 The Ontario Provincial Police say the number of people killed in motorcycle accidents could hit a seven-year high. Twenty-six riders have died so far, with at least two more months of the season left to go.

It's good to see that 'OPP say while the majority of bikers abide by the law, there are a "careless few" who don't'.

"The OPP believes that Ontario motorcyclists in general recognize that they are a vulnerable road user and demonstrate safe, defensive driving," said  OPP Deputy Commissioner Brad Blair.

Top contributing factors in the deaths

  • Speed: Factor in 43 of the deaths.
  • Lost Control: Factor in 29 of the deaths.
  • Alcohol: Factor in 21 of the deaths.
  • Failure to Yield: Factor in 20 of the deaths.
  • Inattention: Factor in 18 of the deaths.

Let's be careful out there!

 

  1. CBC
  2. TORONTOSTAR
  3. OTTAWA CITIZEN
  4. GLOBAL NEWS

 

Interesting read after this Police Officer loses a son in motorcycle crash:

http://www.wheels.ca/news/after-son-dies-in-crash-opp-officer-preaches-motorcycle-training-

Using the sad statistic's for advertising purposes;

http://www.kcyatlaw.ca/personal-injury/how-many-people-are-injured-or-killed-in-motorcycle-accidents-in-ontario/

 

 

Post Script

Just a quick post, a follow up to the last one (First Long Ride 2015) where I may have spent too much time whining about the cold - Wednesday (the next day) turned out to be the beautiful day that was predicted. After catching up with some work I found myself free at 4:30pm and took my very clean & shiny bike for a ride along Riverside Drive, it was all I was expecting - I throughly enjoyed it!

First Long Ride of 2015

I've become obsessed with checking the weather, today I was promised sunshine and temperatures in the 60's but when I checked the weather this morning - the sunshine went away. Today's Weather

I sucked it up, and put on a pair of long johns, jeans, tank top, sweater, an extra warm sweat shirt, winter coat, boots and went for a great ride, I drove to Leamington and had lunch with my Mom and drove home following highway 18 and then highway 50 which follows Lake Erie. By time I got home my right gloved hand was cold and the wind was riding up my sleeves, which left me with a chill.

 

A bleak day with Lake Erie in the back ground.

Once home I took a nice, warm bath which not only warmed me up, it soothed those 'first long ride of the year' sore muscles. And then gave my bike a bath, and detailed her so she is just beaming!

Tomorrow's forecasts seems more promising, think I may give it another try.

Tomorrow's predicted weather

 

 

The Wave

Sunday (just a few days ago), it was the perfect day to go for a ride - the first nice day of the year with sunshine and temps expected reach 60°f (I use Fahrenheit here because I think it sounds more lovely than 15.5°c.), Larry had the day off and we were both a bit disappointed that I was working because we couldn't go for a ride, but (for the first time this year) I took my bike to work - it just makes going to work more fun. We did however get our ride in, he met me after work, around 4:30 and we drove Riverside Drive - it's the perfect ride, it only takes about an hour, the speed is fairly low and it is relaxing with a great view.

It felt so good to be out, we were not the only ones who felt this way, we saw lots of bikers out which gave me the opportunity to wave. I love the wave, with each wave I feel like I'm saying 'isn't this a blast?'

I've talked about the 'wave' with different people, some seem to tire of it and dislike it - I've seen boaters do the wave to each other on the lake, which strikes me as a bit weird because it's the only type of vehicle out there.  Back when we had our little sporty looking 2 seater, lime green EXP car, seeing another one was rare but when we did we would often honk and wave. One time someone was so excited to see a twin of his car he honked and waved for a good 5 minutes.

Anyway, when I'm out there on the road and hear the familiar sound of a bike, or see one coming up I get a bit excited, someone (a total stranger) whom (I assume) loves riding as much as I do and is happy to just be driving along, soaking in the sunshine and scenery,  I look over and make a connection with that person with a wave of a hand or a nod of my head and for a split second I've related with them, creating a fellowship with someone I've never met and likely will never meet.

It's a fun feeling when you meet someone that you have something in common with, especially when that 'something' is a little out of the ordinary - I feel like that every time I see a fellow biker.

 

Costa Rica Again

DCIM109GOPRO  

I'm just getting home from Costa Rica, while there I had the pleasure of riding Matthew's bike-only once because we were very busy. So here I am without a helmet riding a bike that is held together with string and other miscellaneous stuff. I stayed close to home, partly because I was breaking a few laws such as the helmet thing and I didn't have the required papers for the bike as well they require people to wear a reflective vest - my other concern was the bike breaking down on me, you want to be close to home if that happens.

It would be so fun to take a real bike trip there one day and explore the whole beautiful country. I did enjoy my little jaunt, it felt good to be on a bike again and the breeze that came up from driving so fast was somewhat refreshing from the heat of the day.

I did get some fun video, here is a short part where my shadow takes on a life of it's own - I think my shadow makes me look super bad ass, what do you think?  Me & My Shadow