Sunday, 23 February 2014


So, it's another snowy, cold February day here in good 'ol St. John's NL, with the promise of more snow and freezing rain tomorrow.

I have heard that jailed inmates  must find a way to go somewhere in their mind, to escape the reality of prison life, if they are to have a chance of doing their time and not losing their sanity. While the connection between a Newfoundland winter and a stint in Dorchester is metaphorical to be sure, the principle via which one survives either is the same...transcendence. So, as I await freedom from this dreary season, I plan for the riding season and dream of the better times to come. My family is planning a European vacation this summer; Ireland & England. While the Irish part is shaping up to be a tour of various touristy sites and perhaps a connecting with my ancestral roots, the British part of the journey holds more interest to me, at least to the part of me that is a motorcycle enthusiast...a large part of me.
I have been looking at the website for the Ace Cafe, infamous within motorcycle circles for it's connection too the earliest days of the popularity of motorcycle riding and motorcycle racing in England. London also has a pretty impressive motorcycle museum.

Additionally, there is Birmingham and the home of the BSA bike heritage. The British National Motorcycle Museum is a scant two-three hour train ride away from our base in London and I am very much looking forward to whiling away a day there.  The irony that, as I plan and then partake in this holiday in July, I am losing out on prime riding time in Newfoundland, is a trade-off I have to accept. Family time is important and with my youngest having recently turned 16, the likelihood of another full family vacation anytime soon  is remote. They do grow up so fast.

For now, I dream of better days to come. Each time I have to go out to the shed to awaken the snow eating machine, I cannot help but be struck by the sad contrast created by it's position right next to my ST1300 Honda Tourer. This winter too, shall pass! And, someday, not too, too, far away, I shall step out the door of my RV is some warm Southern locale, look at  my bike, and begin livin' the dream.

See Ya Out There....Ride On!!!!

Thursday, 20 February 2014

In a New York state of mind

Well, in a bid to escape the doldrums of this long, cold & dreary winter in St. John's, NL, my wife, Sherry & I took advantage of a valentines weekend special our daughter found for us. We headed to NYC for an extended weekend. It was still cold but winter in NYC and winter here on the rock are different, to say the least.

Of course the weather had  to play it's games and we were on tender hooks wondering i f the forecasted storm on Friday would hit before we got out. Thankfully, our flight did get away before the storm closed in and I understand it turned out to be quite a nasty afternoon in St. John's. We landed in Montreal in a snow storm and for a while it was iffy whether our  journey might come to a halt there....not that a weekend in Montreal would be all that bad. Alas, after about an hour sitting on the tarmac at PET airport, going through de-icing twice, it was up-up and away. We landed in Newark NJ and had a great cab ride across the river (under it actually) to our hotel on west 57th. Our daughter recommended it. She is 21 and has been in NYC seven or eight times. It was only my second visit and the first for any extended period. Last time we dropped in for a quick overnight side trip, after taking in a couple of Springsteen shows at Giant Stadium, back in '08.

As far as trip's go, I guess it was a typical touristy weekend in NYC. We ate at a bunch or really nice restaurants..great food of course. My favourite was a little diner called the Brooklyn Diner, just up the street from our hotel. It had that diner car atmosphere and was always hopping. They have award winning breakfast ( I had the Tony Bennett french toast on two mornings). The homemade onion rings, delicious cheese burger and real NY cheesecake, all made on-sight, were tres yum! We ate at a place called the Briar Park Grill on Valentine's day and another place called the National, on 5th Ave, on Sunday (live jazz as we ate). Food was great, prices a tad high, especially for booze ($23.00 for a double rum, and ya can't get Screech or Cap'n Morgan).

We took in a couple of shows, as you'd expect. Jersey Boys was my favourite. I love that music. The entertainment was great, but I could spend hours just people watching and/or popping into the little "hole-in-the-wall" shops looking for interesting trinkets. We did shop a bit, Sherry more than I, because even with the exchange rate factored in, the prices were amazing. For me the hi-lite was the walk through Central park and skating on the rink there on Valentines Day. We did do a few other touristy things, like the top of the Rockefeller Centre at was pretty cool, but light shows that don't involve the stars are not really my thing.

I do have to mention our visit to the 9/11 site, the only "must" I had on my agenda for the trip. I can't call it  a hi-lite as it was too sombre and surreal an experience. They have done a fine job tastefully honoring the memories of those lost on that tragic day. 9-11-2001 is one of those "I remember where I was days/moments"!

Alas, after three-and-a-half days, it was time to go home. Now I did say the skating was the hi-light for me. True, but the free passes to the Air Canada lounge at PET airport on the return leg, given to us by a very kind friend, was quite enjoyable (They let me mix my own drinks and they had Cap'n Morgan dark-- I made up for the NYC doubles :o ).

Old mother nature still left us on edge on the return, with winds on Monday bouncing off 100 kms/h. We were concerned about getting into St. John's but thankfully the wind had died down to between 50-60 kms/h after midnight, so no biggie...normal here on the rock!

All in all, a great luggage lost, lots of things seen, done and eaten and a welcomed respite. Now, if only my son had kept the driveway clear and I didn't have to spend the last two days with a pick and multiple bags of salt trying to get rid of the solidified, sleet soaked snow... ah, winter!!! Can't wait to retire, buy the RV, and give this season the middle digit.

So, what would a tourist tale be without a few vacay pics...
9-11 Electrician: his bike and names of lost co-workers

NYC central Park duck pond

Incident on 57th... 

Under the Maple Leaf

Hot coffee at
Brooklyn Diner

Central Park

Not Cap'n Morgan but, it'll have to do!

Park vs. skyline

Pretty lights

Central Park rink

Salisbury Room

Sherry in central park



selfie atop the NYC's version of the rock

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Welcomed to the 21st Century

Tonight, I skyped...and nothing will ever be the same, again! I know Sass that you are the only one who may be reading this and since it was you I skpyed with, this is kinda redundant...but I just have to rave. To see the gorgeous sunshine you are living in was wonderful.

When I was a kid, there was a show that came on tv on Sunday afternoon called the Thunderbirds. It was a sci-fi puppet show with wooden puppet astronauts (you could even see the strings). I remember it because they use video communicators and as a child I recall thinking how cool that would be. To be able to see my friend as we talked tonight, she in sunny Arizona and me in cold NL, that was pretty cool We will have to do that again.

OK, I gotta go find someone else who has this thing.

See Ya Out There!!!! Ride On....

Oh My God..I have a headache!!!

Technically inclined I am least when it comes to computers and the internet. My friend Sass (BTW, Sass, I dunno if anyone reads this besides U!) who is livin' the dream of RV/motorcycle freedom that I want to, has been giving me a few pointers via e-mail on how to make my blog "followable" and how to put my mug shot on the top of it. Sweet Redeemer, I am a techy idiot. 

Anyways, I accomplished it with about 50 e-mails back 'n forth, then she starts talkin' 'bout something called skype. Now I have to check that out.

I am heading out for an extended weekend break and none too soon let me tell ya. This long and unusually cold (for St. John's) winter is tough on these aging bones and my motorcycle rider psyche. Anyway, the school year has passed the halfway mark, so thankfully it's downhill from here. Tomorrow promises the possibility of a snow day...the only perk of winter as a teacher. Maybe spring will come a bit early. I was actually hopeful of that a couple of weeks ago, back in late January. We had a lot of snow and frigid temps for December , which is usually  a mix of sleet, rain fog and wet snow with temps anywhere  from -5 to  6 or 7 degrees. Then,  later in January, usually the colder month, we had a week of rain that nearly melted all the snow and temps up to 12...with lots of fog. I actually rode in January for the first time ever...though the fog was so thick I missed a few exits coming of the TCH. I thought, OK...a few rides through the winter...I'll make it. Nope! February has been it's usually bitter temps and lots of snow.

I am living vicariously through Sass and a few other bloggers and it is helping. Maybe when I figure out this skype thing I'll really get a sense of life in the warmer climes. 

See ya Out There!!! Ride Onnnnn....

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Blue Rodeo

I first saw Blue Rodeo at a bar in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia in November 1987. As a hard core music fan I knew I had found something special. While they have never hit it big in the U.S. they have been hugely successful in our homeland of the Great White North, and indeed for me they are probably the band I would describe as having sung the soundtrack of my adult life. So, on  a night when our hometown was feeling particularly great,white & northerly and I was so missing riding, they delivered another joyful few hours of diversion from the cold, as they always do. (I can't count the number of shows I have been to in the subsequent 25+ years  since that first wintery night in Nova Scotia.)

Apart from the fantastic show in '87, the most memorable part of that trip was the 11 hour crossing coming back in a November storm on the gulf. I ended up missing a day's work because of it... good times!

So, it's Saturday morning here on the rock in early February. The winter has a stranglehold on us and it's a sunny but cold -6 outside. I'm on my third coffee and to quote Gord Lightfoot, another great Canadian musical icon, "...I still can't face the day". I know I have to, though, so it'll soon be bundle up, go shovel out the rest o fthe deck and path to the shed that I didn't get to on Thursday and then a walk downtown to work off some of last nights wings, chili and rum. That activity, along with a few errands, will take me to the evening of visiting friends, more eating and drinking and perhaps keeping an eye on the Leafs on "Hockey Night in Canada" If not for hockey to occupy three or four nights a week, this winter would be all the more dismal (though some nights dismal is how one might describe the Leafs...but I digress).

So, hope it's a good day for you Denise and anyone else who may happen across these musings.I will leave you today with a couple of pics of happier days. The first is from a road trip Sherry (wife, partner, best friend & riding buddy) took last summer.

 This second pic is a favourite of mine. It's taken with my 2000 V4 Magna at the Terry Fox Monument here in St. John's.I do a Terry Fox fundraising ride each year called 24 marathons in 24 hours, where I ride the equivalent mileage to 24 marathons (624 miles--slightly more than 1000 kms) in 24 hours. I love the open highway...thus my biker nickname. See ya Out There!

Thursday, 6 February 2014

My first post

Hello out there. I decided to start this blog after being inspired by a friend of mine who is leading the motorcycling/RVing life I plan to lead in a few years, upon retiring  and selling the house out form under the kids. I live vicariously through her and a couple of other bloggers that she has written about who are livin' the dream. My blogs will likely be few as I can't imagine anyone being particularly enthralled by stories of  a snowbound motor cycle riding enthusiast in St. John's who is biding his time until spring and the start of  a new riding season. Today was another kick in the arse to the dream of an early riding season. the only positive is that , as a teacher, I did get a snow day.

Anyways, that's all for now. This has been a trial run sort of blog entry, to figure out how to actually do this blogging thing.