The Tour Riders Ride Again


Last night we rode the Boulevard to Peterborough to meet up with what few Tour Riders could make it.  Our numbers are dwindling: some have given up riding for age related reasons; some have moved away. Sometimes those who have moved, like us, return occasionally just for a reunion. Last night was one of those nights for a few people.

20160705_202751

Although I have known these riders for only twelve years, the group has been together for over thirty. Mike came down from Toronto last night and brought with him a photo album of memories. John, who makes it out only once or twice a year made the journey as well.  By the time the walk down Memory Lane was finished, there wasn’t a lot of time to ride so a shorter trip was planned. We were a group of five bikes.

The wind on our faces felt good on that hot evening as we headed north up Water Street from our meeting place at the Peterborough Zoo. At the third set of traffic lights, we turned right onto Nassau Road, which winds to the left after crossing River Road, crossing the Trent River and then makes an unexpected turn onto the first road on the right.

We cruised through the twists and turns, up hills and down for many miles, until we came to a stop at Peterborough County Road #4. Here we turned left, and then made a quick right turn onto County Road #8. This road isn’t as windy, but there are lots of hills and great open spaces. We continued on for many more miles, until we reached what seemed to be another road to the right. If you take this course, be sure to keep an eye on the signs, because this right turn is the continuation of County Road #8 and you want to stay on it, through South Dummer.

Several miles later, we made another right turn at the stop sign, onto Asphodel 11th Line, which soon took us onto Hwy 7. A left turn from there soon took us into the town of Havelock and a Tim Horton’s where we stopped for coffee and more reminiscing. Before we knew it darkness had taken over the sky and we all headed for home back down Hwy 7, after making vague plans to get together again in a couple of weeks. At Norwood we turned left toward Hastings, while the others continued back to Peterborough.

If you’re a local rider, looking for more roads to ride, give this one a try.

Advertisements

Come for a Ride in Peterborough and the Kawarthas


Recently, a young rider relatively new to Peterborough, suggested I do a post about some of our favourite rides around our home area of Peterborough, Ontario. I’ve been debating about the best way to do this. I started out by making a list, always popular, but difficult for my style of writing. Since I have written about many of our tours over the years, some in blog posts, some published in magazines, some still sitting on my computer, I’ve decided to share these with you, in a series.

A version of this first one was published in the June, 2007 issue of Canadian Biker Magazine under the heading Lock to Lake.

Come for a Ride in Peterborough and the Kawarthas

One great thing about Peterborough is that there are lots of great roads to ride.

It was the regular Every-Second-Tuesday Ride Night for the Peterborough Tour Riders. Our small group of six bikes left the parking lot of the Peterborough Zoo on Water Street, the usual meeting place, and then turned right onto Nassau Mills Road, crossing the concrete bridge that spans the Trent Canal. If we’d continued on this road, it would have taken us through Trent University campus, along the scenic Otonabee River, past four historical Trent Canal locks, and into Lakefield for a mandatory ice cream cone at Hamblin’s Ice Cream Parlour. That is one of our favourite shorter trips.

Tour Riders 006

This time, however, we took another right hand turn onto University Road, still part of University property, but as yet undeveloped. It’s a two-lane, tree-lined road with several abandoned houses that have been bought by the University. You have to remember that Peterborough is a small city, and after a five-minute ride we were “in the country” enjoying the quiet roads with their many hills and bends. At county Road 4 we turned left into the tiny town of Warsaw, and then onto Caves Road, which led us past Warsaw Caves Conservation Area (one of many tourist attractions in the area).

Warsaw-02

Warsaw-14

We crossed over the Indian River, a narrow but clear waterway that flows gently under the wooden bridge.

Warsaw-15

A few more turns took us onto County Rd. 6, which later became 44. A sign at the beginning of the road warned us that we’d experience six kilometers of twisty road, and indeed we did.

The road snaked between tall maple trees and past an old log house, now covered in a plastic cocoon. An old man dressed in denim overalls and a plaid shirt sat in a chair by the door. It wasn’t a road that could be traveled in haste, for many turns were so sharp that it was impossible to even glimpse what might be around the bend. Some corners were banked and the shoulders were narrow, all of which added to the excitement of the ride.

At the junction of County Rd. 46, we turned right and headed into Havelock, home of the annual Havelock Country Jamboree, which has been nominated several times as one of the top five County Music Festivals in Canada. County Rd. 46 became County Road 30 and we soon entered another little town, aptly named Trent River, after the river that flows through it. As we crossed the newly reconstructed bridge over the river, the setting sun created splashes of salmon-red in the sky. They hung over the treetops and reflected off the pale blue of the river.

Heading south, just before reaching Campbellford, we took another right hand turn onto County Rd. 35 towards Hastings. Within a few kilometers we discovered the bridge was out and we were forced to take a detour onto Godolphin Rd., which runs along the tops of many eskers. Around us, wheat fields caught in the evening light looked like stretches of golden sand. This scenic road took us into the town of Warkworth. From there we headed north again on County Rd. 25 and then west onto County Rd. 24, which led us into the rustic little hamlet of Dartford.

Jim said,” Watch on your right at the bottom of the hill. There’s a neat old building with an old working water mill.”

When we rounded the bend, we were disappointed to see yellow police tape around the perimeters of the property, and the clapboard house blackened with remnants of a fire.

We traveled on, through the town of Roseneath, locally known for its covered carousel, then south once more onto Hwy 45, through the First Nations Reserve of Alderville.

We then turned west onto County Rd. 18, past a Llama farm, and through Harwood to Gore’s Landing, a popular cottage and fishing resort area. At the top of the hill we turned right onto Lander Rd, which took us along a high cliff overlooking Rice Lake. By now there was just enough light remaining in the sky to cast shimmering shadows over the glassy water. A few more twists and turns brought us onto Cavan Road and into the lakeside community of Bewdley and to the Rhino Roadhouse. Here we indulged in some culinary treats and liquid refreshments, before striking out for home, along a much shorter and more direct route, up Hwy 7A. We’d covered 150 kilometers that night, more than usual, but it was a beautiful night for a ride.

No, We Never Get Bored in Mesa, Arizona


We thought we had a good internet solution with our T-Mobile hot spot, and for the first few weeks it was. But we soon ran out of data when we started sharing pictures and looking at videos. It became impossibly slow so I had to give up on trying to post on my blog. Now we are hooked up with Century Link and hoping that it will continue to serve us well.

Contrary to the impression we have given of always having warm sunny weather here, today is rainy and cold. In fact yesterday morning it was colder here than it was back home in Ontario! So it’s a good day to catch up on all the things that have been keeping us busy the last few weeks.

When I was talking to my sister at Christmas time last year, she thought we would have been home already. I told her we wouldn’t be “home” until the middle of April. She said, ”Aren’t you bored?”

I replied, “If you get bored down here, it’s your own fault!” Here are some reasons why:

Besides enjoying good food and music and dancing on the patio with our many friends at Mesa Regal, we’ve enjoyed a Thanksgiving feast with our American friends;

We celebrated the birthday of one of those friends, with an evening at the Mormon Tabernacle Christmas display;

We’ve spent a good part of a day touring area roads on the motorcycle, with other Mesa Regal enthusiasts;

We’ve played pickle ball and bocce ball, and for three days last week cheered on good friends who were in the Pickle Ball Tournament, held right here at Mesa Regal RV Resort.

Jim makes a good shot at Bocce Ball

Jim makes a good shot at Bocce Ball

Patti and Mark Earned a Silver Medal

Patti and Mark Earned a Silver Medal

IMG_0309

We participated in the Tree Lighting Ceremony and caroling on the west-end patio;

We rounded out the last week with a ride on the light rail train to Tempe with two of our neighbours for dinner, followed by a stroll to the Salt River to watch the annual Lighted Boat Parade and Fireworks on Saturday evening,

And a drive to Glendale on Sunday with friends and neighbours to view these marvelous Sand Sculptures that were still being finished off near the end of the three-day competition.

So, no, we are never bored down here. But we might be when we return to our Ontario home!

Exploring New Brunswick


The next day we just enjoyed the ride, taking our time, stopping along the way. Our only tourist stop was at St. Jean du Joli to show Dave the Motorcycle Museum that we had discovered on a previous trip to Quebec.

At around 6:00 p.m. we stopped for dinner and looked for a campground within an hour’s drive. We called to reserve a spot at Sunset View Campground in New Brunswick, about 60 kilometers west of Fredericton. So far the GPS had been doing a great job, but it wasn’t enough up-to-date to include the new road rerouted that had recently been done in the area and it got us a bit lost! Add to that the one-hour time change and it was 10:00 before we drove through the gates.

Sunset View Campground

Sunset View Campground

It was dark and dewy, and mosquitoes swarmed around me while I waited for the guys to check in. The thought of fumbling around in the dark, swatting at our attackers while trying to assemble the tent had me eying the cabins and wishing we could rent one for the night. I have night-blindness so it was difficult for me to find my way around in the dark, but I did my best to help with the tent. Jim and I were both a tad grumpy by the time we got done. Then, after tramping off to the restrooms to get cleaned up for bed, we discovered upon our return, that mosquitoes had invaded the tent during the minutes when we had the flap opened to put our gear in. We spent what seemed like hours swatting and scratching before we finally drifted off to sleep.

I was awake and showered before the others stirred in the morning, and quietly enjoyed some alone time at that very clean, tidy and well organized camp ground that overlooked a lake or river – I’m not sure which.

Tenting

The Cabin and the Condo, as Dave would say.

Sunset View Campground

Sunset View Campground, morning view

When Jim and Dave awoke and were ready, we repacked the bikes and trailer and were off once more.It was another perfect day for riding. We soon left the new Trans-Canada Highway to take a more scenic route along Old Hwy # 2, which took us through Fredericton with its beautiful Victorian clapboard houses, and along the St. John River. We stopped at Camp Gagetown, where Jim and Dave had fun climbing on the tank outside the gates.

Camp Gagetown

Camp Gagetown

DSCF1658

Camp Gagetown

Boys will be Boys

Then we rode for another twelve miles into the Village of Gagetown, a quaint little place on the river. We had fresh-made clam chowder at a rustic café, eating on the back deck overlooking the marina. I poked around a pottery shop while Jim engaged the restaurant owner/cook in conversation about the best way to get to Moncton on some more biker-interesting roads.

Lunch in Gagetown, N.B.

Lunch in Gagetown, N.B.

IMG_1867His advice took us on Route 24, an excellent twisty road that crosses the river via a cable ferry from Evandale on the west bank to Kars on the east bank. It took all of five minutes to cross, and, like all the provincially operated ferries in New Brunswick, was toll-free.

Riding the Ferry

Riding the Ferry

Evendale, N.B.

Nearly there

Nearly there

A short stop in Sussex to look for an air mattress for Dave (he’d forgotten to bring one) and then we were back on the highway to Moncton.

Sadly what had been a beautiful day ended on a bit of a sour note. The campground that we found just outside of Moncton (Stonehurst Camping) was not really built for motorcycles and tents, although we weren’t told that when we checked in. The driveway was steep and the office was at the bottom of the hill, where the more level sites, apparently reserved for RVs, were also located. On the hill the paths between rows and sites were rough with rocks and tree trunks. It was difficult to find a spot that was anywhere near level enough to pitch a tent, but Jim saw one that looked better than where we’d been put, so while Dave went back down to the office to make sure it was available, Jim began to turn the bike and trailer around. The helmets were sitting on the top of the trailer and I ran to grab them just as Jim pulled out onto the driveway and made a left turn onto the upper path. But when he put his foot down to ease along the rough terrain, there was a drop off. In a split second I watched the bike go down, the trailer come unhitched and Jim roll down the hill toward a tree. I was too far away to do anything but hold my breath. Thankfully Jim got stopped before he hit the tree. He got himself up and we made a futile attempt to raise the bike. The fully dressed Yamaha Venture is not a light bike. Soon traffic was lining up on the driveway, blocked from their descent by the trailer which was still attached to the bike by the safety chains. The first in line was a middle aged woman in a truck, who wanted to help. Then two younger men, assisted by Jim, managed to get the bike up righted, much to Jim’s embarrassment. It was all over by the time Dave returned. Fortunately there was only a minor dent and a few scratches in damage to the bike, and Jim complained of only a sore toe, but he was badly shaken and it put a damper on the rest of the evening and partway into the next day.

After a careful ride into town for dinner at The Pump House, we were back at camp. Jim wasn’t settled enough to sleep so we looked at pictures of Dave’s trip to Asia, until 1:00 a.m. Of course the restrooms were nowhere to be seen in the dark, so we had to make do. I was glad to finally lay my head down on my pillow and hope for a brighter tomorrow.

Exploring Canada’s East Coast by Motorcycle


We’ve been sticking pretty close to home since our return from Arizona, but plans are in the works. We will be leaving to return there earlier this year, in September, to include a trip across Central and Western Canada, before crossing into the U.S. on the west coast.

Before that decision was made, I had hoped that we could accept an invitation from friends to visit them at their cottage on Prince Edward Island, on the east coast of Canada, but we can’t do it all at once. We did that trip in 2007, before I started this blog and before we started RVing. That trip was done on our Yamaha Venture, pulling a small cargo trailer containing tent, sleeping bags and all necessary gear for a month long journey.  We were a few years younger then!

This week I thought I’d share that adventure.

July 21, 2007

After stopping for the night in Brockville to spend some time with family, and having a late, leisurely breakfast, we finally got on our way around 11:00 this morning. Jim’s nephew, Dave, joined us on his 650cc V-Star with all his gear strapped to the back. The rain from the day before had cleared and the weather was perfect for riding.

I’d promised my former mother-in-law that we would stop in to see her on our way through Quebec, but my estimated time of arrival was way off. I felt badly when we arrived at 1:45 in the afternoon to find that she’d been saving a big lunch for us since noon. It was 3:00 pm before we felt it appropriate to leave.

Three and a half hours later, we rounded a corner in search of our pre-booked campground near St. Nicolas Quebec and were shocked to see a giant Santa Claus and Snowman bobbing in the wind at the entrance! While we checked in at the office we heard French Christmas Carols blasting from a loud speaker.

Campground Greeters

Campground Greeters

Along the path to our campsite we passed more Christmas decorations, including a miniature Christmas Village and what appeared to be another Santa, sleeping it off in a pup-tent, empty beer cans strewn around him. Apparently the Canadian Snow Birds who summer here celebrate Christmas in July.

Christmas Decorations

Christmas Decorations

IMG_1849We set up our tents before riding further down the road to catch the ferry at Levis, which took us into romantic Old Quebec City.

Two Bikers

Dave and Jim with bikes, on the Ferry

Ferry boat at sunset, Quebec City

Ferry boat at sunset, Quebec City

There we enjoyed some French Cuisine on a patio, and admired the artwork of the street vendors, before heading back to the Christmas celebrations at St. Nicolas. We even joined in on some of the dancing while a family band performed country and folk music. Since no one spoke English, we didn’t get to know anyone. The party lasted until 1:00 am. It was a very long day!

Weekly Photo Callenge – Symbol


Entry into Daily Post Photo Challenge

Freedom Ride

Freedom

Motorcycles on an open road have always been a symbol of freedom  These bikes are on another type of freedom ride, the annual Freedom Ride for Cancer that takes place in New Liskeard Ontario at the Bikers Reunion the first weekend of July.

A Beautiful Day to Ride


At 10:00 am yesterday morning, fourteen motorcycles carrying twenty people set off from Mesa Regal toward the open road.  Jim and I were among them, having just hooked up with a group of regular riders. Most of the bikes were Harleys, but another Suzuki and a Honda were part of our minority. That didn’t seem to matter.

Pat led us out Hwy 60 and then south towards Florence, where we made a pit stop at the River Bottom Grill, and had a bit of time to get to know a few people better. It turned out that Pat and Catherine are from another Arizona city just north of here – Prescott. I told her that I’d lived a good portion of my life in the community of Prescott also — Prescott, Ontario that is. We chuckled over our different pronunciations of the word.

Riders, taking a break

Riders, taking a break

From there we turned west onto Hwy 287 and then south on Hwy 87 through Coolidge. The day was warm and sunny, although a haze of sand could be seen in the distance at the base of the mountains.

Desert Haze

Desert Haze

In a couple of spots the winds got really strong, hampering my efforts to take pictures. We passed fields where cotton had been harvested and clumps that had escaped lay on the ground in a rectangle marking where the bales had sat. I would have liked to pick up a handful.

We continued south until we hit Hwy10 and rode north-west for a few more miles until we reached our destination – Eloy, home of Sky Dive Arizona. No, none of us planned on jumping, but after an excellent lunch in the Bent Prop Saloon & Cookery, we sat outside to watch plane-load after plane-load of braver souls silently and skillfully drift to the ground with their colourful parachutes above them.

Jumping from plane

Look closely. See the man below the tail?

Coming down

Perfect landing

Perfect Landing

The ride home was by a more direct route, and, except for a ten minute delay in a construction zone, much faster. There was some confusion when Pat pulled into a parking lot and we were waved on to follow the next bike in line. We lost a few more along the way, so never got to say thanks for the ride to anyone but Dan. We enjoyed it.