Motorcyclist. Traveller. Bon vivant. Thinks he's hilarious.

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Days 5 & 6 – Frolics, Fumbles, Friends & Family

2017/06 - A Return to England with Mom

Days 5 & 6 – Frolics, Fumbles, Friends & Family

Yesterday marked the end of our miniature motorcycle expedition through Devon, Cornwall and Dorset. Today we return to our previously scheduled travels, visiting families and friends. Not to say that there aren’t adventures afoot (because that seems to have a certain inevitability, particularly when I’m involved). But they are changing their tone. And they don’t quite have the same epic scope of time and distance.
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Day 4 – Wandering to Weymouth

2017/06 - A Return to England with Mom

Day 4 – Wandering to Weymouth

If I am very honest, yesterday felt a whole lot like work. I spent a lot of the day fighting with the bike. It was running roughly first thing in the morning. It started overheating after a long run through a narrow laneway in first gear, something it kept up with every time I had an extended run at very low speeds. And the bike stalled what felt like an enormous number of times (although that part may have been me).
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Day 3 – Navigating To St. Ives

2017/06 - A Return to England with Mom

Day 3 – Navigating To St. Ives

I am starting to sense a theme for this trip. And that would be “failure to navigate.” Having struggled for the last two days with where the GPS was guiding me, I’ve come to a couple of conclusions. Firstly, what the computer thinks the route should be when I program it is not the route that the GPS calculates when it gets it into its scheming clutches. Secondly, no matter what route I’ve chosen for its scenic qualities, the GPS always thinks it has a better way. Thirdly, I’m pretty convinced it’s trying to drive me mad.
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Day 2 – Heading To Bath

2017/06 - A Return to England with Mom

Day 2 – Heading To Bath

After a spectacular weekend with friends, we are back on the road once again. Today, we head from Shrewsbury to Bath. We have essentially chunked up our trip, with three nights of visits, three nights flitting about and three more nights of visits. So the next three days have us hotel hopping, as we check out the southern coast of England (which neither of us are terribly familiar with it).

First, however, we have to GET to the southern end of England. Read more…

Day 1 – And So It Begins

2017/06 - A Return to England with Mom

Day 1 – And So It Begins

We arrived in London yesterday. It was an awesomely smooth and uneventful flight (and we even got to ride in the new Air Canada pods, which was enormously cool). Luggage arrived safely, hotel transfer was smooth, early check-in actually happened, and I managed to get some shut-eye before having to pick up our motorcycle. Previous readers of these pages will know that this can only portend something being less smooth later on. I can only wonder.
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Day 2 – To Northland

2009/10 - Riding Upside Down

Day 2 – To Northland

New Zealand is a motorcycling paradise. This, of course, was strongly suspected when I arrived. I now know it to be true.

After a good night’s sleep, I fell out of bed on my own at 6 am (already on New Zealand time!) and headed downstairs for an excellent breakfast buffet at the hotel. After a couple of ‘long blacks’ (Kiwi-speak for an Americano, it being the opposite of a ‘short black’, or just a shot of espresso) and an omelette, I was changed and out into traffic. Lots and lots and lots of traffic. Read more…

Day 1 – Around Auckland

2009/10 - Riding Upside Down

Day 1 – Around Auckland

There are many that will tell you that a trans-continental flight is an ordeal to be endured, and an experience to be recovered from. They will advise that jet lag takes its toll, and the best thing is to get somewhere and rest until you’ve recovered. Until such time as this has occurred  the operation of heavy equipment, engaging in complex geo-political negotiations or the performing of frontal lobotomies or other delicate surgeries is to be discouraged.
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Day 0 – To New Zealand

2009/10 - Riding Upside Down

Day 0 – To New Zealand

I lost an entire day.

I took off on a plane from Vancouver on Friday evening. I went to sleep shortly after midnight. Less than 8 hours later, I woke up, checked the time, and discovered that it was approximately four in the morning. On Sunday. Saturday 17 October 2009 did not happen for me. I skipped it. I lost an entire day. And as I’ll continue to fly west from here, I will never, ever get it back.
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Day 6 – To Edmonton

2009/07 - Busting Out of California

Day 6 – To Edmonton

This morning dawned hot and blowing. And I was alone, thank you very much, so get your minds out of the gutter.

There is very little open at 6:30 in the morning for breakfast in Kamloops (should you ever find yourself in this situation, you may want to keep this in mind). Several establishments open at 7:30am, of course, but I had a long day ahead of me and my goal was to actually be on the road by then. Read more…

Day 5 – To Kamloops

2009/07 - Busting Out of California

Day 5 – To Kamloops

This morning, I decided to grab a quick breakfast at a coffee shop. Of course, given that I was staying at the Fairmont in Seattle, this isn’t just any coffee shop. Belle Epicurean is run by a Cordon Bleu-trained pastry chef, and they’ve won a raft of ‘best of Seattle’ awards. A brioche and an egg and ham sandwich on house-made croissants, along with one of the better Americanos I’ve had on this trip, and I’m ready to hit the road. There are really much worse ways to start the day. Read more…

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