14 December 2009

Winter, Winter, Winter...

Well, it's cold in my neck of the woods. How cold? Real cold. Like -40C cold. What does that mean for a motorcycle enthusiast? Whining, reading forum ride reports and thinking of going north for the summer. What, North for the summer? That's ludicrous. Well, I've been checking out ride reports of people going to Alaska during the summer months, and I think that I need to try a solo ride.

I know it's very early in my motorcycling career to be doing a solo trip, but I am a solo kind of guy. I want to experience some serious introspection. I want to learn more about myself. I want to push and be pushed. I've heard there are only 4 basic plots to a story and I want to experience the whole man -vs- machine part, I also want the man -vs- environment part, then there is the man -vs- himself aspect. The only plot line I want to ignore is the man -vs-man portion. I deal with this everyday and want a break from it.

To me, life has been always me against everyone else. I've never been a team player, I've never accepted common practice easily. I have always struggled with getting along with the world around me. What I need is a break from the world around me. I need some freedom, I need to roam, I need not to have to explain my actions to someone else.

Wow, that got heavy rather quickly. Sorry. Let's hope I can get my junk together so I can make that solo ride up to the Yukon for June 21st.  

The Solo Solstice.

24 November 2009

On the hunt for some adventure.

So I have this friend in Whitehorse Yukon...
I'd really like to do an adventure solo trip one day. I am mulling over the idea of going up there for the summer solstice in 2010. Wouldn't it be cool to see the sun be up for 24 hours straight?? I have just read a thread about a guy who rode a moped from Sydney Australia to London England. That's crazy! I would really like to experience some of that freedom, isolation, and just plain riding. I'm going to start researching right now!

17 November 2009

A little fun today...

So I was cruising after work today and wanted to test out my GPS software a little more. I found these trenches and a fake burned out forest. Thought it may be interesting to show off.



Name: WWII trenches
Date: 2009-11-17 4:30 pm

Location:
Latitude: 50.985321º N
Longitude: 114.194635º W
Altitude: 1,159 m

Click on this link to display the waypoint in Google Maps. This link will be valid until Dec 17, 2009 4:47 PM PST.



Adversity and me...

Good day! Well in fact it was a good day. The air was warm, the sky was blue, and the wind was blowing. That wasn't such a big deal though, since it was +15C. Well on to the story...

Isn't it funny that we spend most of our life trying to remove adversity from our lives. Actually, I believe the whole entire principle behind the Buddhist religion is removing adversity. Well today I descovered that in mx riding that searching out and conquering adversity is the real path to enlightenment. 

Today I wanted to go collect the bar weight that I lost earlier this month.  I had previously wiped out on some mud and bit off my bar end. I went to the coulee that gave me a lot of trouble earlier in the year. At the bottom of the creek bed I looked across and tried to find a way across the creek. It was nearly frozen and there were a few alternatives. I opted for the easy route. 

The hill on the other side was where te whole adversity thing came up. I had the option of taking the gravel road, or conquer the more difficult slopes. Sitting at the bottom, I pondered for a moment the concepts of adversity and how in order to have any fun, I had to choose the more difficult path. 

Long story short, I took the more difficult path, halfway up I contemplated why I was doing this. When I got to the top, I received my answer, accompanied by the reward of accomplishing a difficult task. 

I realized today if I ever questioned my own religion, I could not convert to Buddism. I need adversity to be happy in this life. 

Joe


Name: Adversity and me
Date: 2009-11-17 4:03 pm
Distance: 40.0 kilometers 
Elapsed Time: 54:55.3
Avg Speed: 43.7 km/h
Max Speed: 97.2 km/h
Avg Pace: 01' 22" per km
Min Altitude: 1,031 m
Max Altitude: 1,194 m
Start Time: 2009-11-17T23:03:32Z
Start Location:
Latitude: 50.950630º N
Longitude: 114.268493º W
End Time: 2009-11-17T23:58:28Z
End Location:
Latitude: 51.118207º N
Longitude: 114.056717º W

Click on this link to display the track in Google Maps. This link will be valid until Dec 17, 2009 4:48 PM PST.


10 November 2009

HelmetCam


So I thought it would be exciting to chronicle my adventures, so I've been looking at GPS apps for my phone. I also have been looking into helmet cams. Well, I found a nice one. Not too expensive and it looks like it will be easy to operate on the bike. Here. I'm excited to crash for the first time using it so you may laugh at me profusely! Anyway, it has been ordered and should be shipped out in the next few days. Perhaps the first adventure will be in the snow.

I never thought it would happen...

This morning, it was above freezing, sunny and not much wind. A perfect day for riding to work, but alas, I was too lazy to ride to work. I regret it now as it looks like it'll be shaping up to be a great ride tonight. It's perfectly clear, and not a tree is moving. Too bad I guess. I should be relishing every opportunity to ride while it's still warm enough to do so.

I was just way too lazy this morning.

09 November 2009

MotionX-GPS Waypoint: Tsuu T'ina High School

Hello,

giantjoe uses MotionX-GPS on the iPhone 3G or 3GS and is sharing with you the following waypoint:

Testing my gps software.

Name: Tsuu T'ina High School
Date: 2009-11-03 10:28 am
Location:
Latitude: 50.950725º N
Longitude: 114.269356º W
Altitude: 1,127 m

Click on this link to display the waypoint in Google Maps. This link will be valid until Dec 9, 2009 7:49 AM PST.

If you are viewing this message on your iPhone or iPod touch, use this link to view the waypoint in the Maps application.


There are two files attached to this email:

"Tsuu T'ina High School.kmz" is a Google KMZ waypoint that can be displayed in Google Earth or Google Maps.

"Tsuu T'ina High School.gpx" is an Open Standard waypoint that can be displayed by select mapping software.


MotionX-GPS Commonly Asked Questions:

Q1: What is MotionX-GPS?
A1: MotionX-GPS, available for the iPhone 3G and 3GS, is the essential application for hikers, bike riders, joggers, and geocaching enthusiasts. It puts an easy-to-use, state-of-the-art handheld GPS system on your iPhone 3G or 3GS.
Q2: Can I use MotionX-GPS?
A2: Sure! MotionX-GPS Lite for the iPhone 3G and 3GS is free and can be downloaded from the iTunes App Store here.
Q3: How can I display waypoints in Google Earth?
A3: Follow the directions on the Google Earth web site to download and install the Google Earth program. Save the attached Tsuu T'ina High School.kmz file to your computer. Launch Google Earth, select File, Open, and open the saved Tsuu T'ina High School.kmz file. You may also be able to display the waypoint by double-clicking on the Tsuu T'ina High School.kmz attachment in this mail message.
Q4: What is a GPX Waypoint?
A4: GPX stands for GPS Exchange Format and is used to transfer GPS data between many GPS devices and applications, including Google Earth. A waypoint is a set of coordinates that uniquely identifies a geographic location.
Q5: This e-mail was forwarded to me and I can't find the attachments!
A5: Some e-mail programs do not include the original attachments by default when forwarding an e-mail. In this case, the sender must reattach the original files for them to be included.

Please contact us here with any comments or questions.

All the best,

The MotionX Team


US and Foreign Patents Granted and Pending. Fullpower® is a registered trademark of Fullpower Technologies, Inc. MotionX™ is a trademark of Fullpower Technologies, Inc. © Copyright 2003 - 2009 Fullpower Technologies, Inc. All rights reserved.

ver: GPS/8.0 ver: com.fullpower.motionx.gps.web.Version@225871; ref-id: d445da8d-8617-497f-a01e-3e3286d35dac

06 November 2009


Just trying to be artsy.

Old movie sets pt.3

I know it's a good looking bike.

Old movie sets pt.2


There's some mud on my bike from the wipeout I had yesterday.

Old movie sets.


So, I'm not sure if you saw the movie Passchendaele, but a few sets from that movie are on my way home from work. I decided it would be great to take a few pics of my bike with the sets for some fun.

The dreary woods...


So I took another little ride after work today. Driving to work was great. It was about 6C and clear. The wind was a little rough though. Bad day to choose the freeway. Oh well, no biggie. About 10am a student comes to me and asks me if I rode my bike to work. I told her of course it's a really nice day. She then said well you better get a ride home then, because it's snowing!!

Right there... it hit. I was panicked! What was I going to do? I live 35km away from my school. I would have to call my wife to come pick me up, and leave my bike unattended for the weekend? Not a chance.

Luckily the weather cleared up and it turned out to be a pretty nice afternoon. A nice little cruise into an unknown bush, and a few pictures to share...

My first offroad excursion pt.2


My next obstacle was a pretty dicey creekbed, locally we call them coulees, but who knows if you've heard that word before.

Like the rest of the terrain, it was snowy and muddy. I knew I wouldn't be able to use the road so I took an alternate path. Isn't it just like me to choose an alternate path? Anyways, I crossed the creek and tried to climb the grass on the other side. Not likely. The tires were just too slick. I tried twice and knocked the bike over twice. Once on the way up and again on the way down.

It eventually took me 45 minutes to cross that coulee! Crossing the creek three times in total, climbing, or more correctly attempting to climb, four different hills. It was a nightmare, but exactly what I needed in my life. A physical challenge, obviously... A mental challenge, and even a few moments of dread. I thought I would be out there all night long at some points. I knew I wasn't in danger, but on the other hand, I couldn't readily get myself home.

Ultimately, I succeeded. The sense of accomplishment of succeeding at that type of challenge far exceeds the accomplishment you get from say, coaching a team to a win. I won this one. I did this myself. I raised the bar for myself.

This was a necessary addition to my life. I missed biking!

My first offroad excursion


So after work one day this week, maybe Monday??? I want for an offroad tour. The weather was great, it had to be at least 5C outside and mildly overcast. I was pretty nervous about what I could do with my bike. It's a 400cc and my last bike I rode was a 175cc. Big increase! Well, true to the online forums say, the stock tires are useless on mud. I think I had been out for about 5 minutes and crashed just trying to go over a couple small bumps... This is the kind of terrain I was dealing with.

Getting a class 6 license

So in the province I live in, you have to have a class 6 license to operate a bike. You can ride a bike with a class 6 learner's permit, but must have accompaniment in order to ride. On top of that, it's pretty hard to insure and register a bike without a license. I managed to find an insurance company that would give me coverage without a license, and got it registered and everything. Ready to go!

I did have a couple of friends that had bikes at one time or another, but had difficulty finding practice time. I drove around in my alley for a while to get the feel of the bike, and to my surprise, it was just like I had gotten off a bike a week ago! I went for an afternoon streets session with a friend from work and pretty much never touched the bike again until my test day.

When test day arrived, the weather was supposed to be decent. After all it was the 23rd of October. Not freezing, moderate sun. WRONG! Just as I was getting ready to leave it started snowing. Nice...

Jim escorted me to the testing center and somehow we convinced the examiner to let us go out in this crappy weather. I told him I dirt biked for years, and Jim told him that it wasn't like I was a rookie or something to that effect. I never told him I hadn't really ridden in 20 years. Well, he let me go out, and I passed with only two mistakes on the test. Oh joy! A new driver's license picture with helmet hair!

The Bike!


So when I went to purchase my bike, I only really had two things in mind. Seating position, and maneuverability. I had broke my elbow quite badly ten years ago and have a real tough time straightening it out. I had to have a bent arm that wasn't supporting much weight. There are other adventure bikes out there like the KLR 650, or the DR-650 or all the KTM's or BMW's which I could never afford. I kind of wanted the DR 650 but they never had any in stock and it was kind of a rushed purchase. Those adventure bikes are nice for long hauls, but not so much maneuverable so between that and the fact that the dealership only had the DR-Z kind of made my decision for me. Walt Healy Motorsports was a cool dealership. They were kind and easy to talk to. They had a white and a black one. I liked the white cause it (to me) is cooler to have the other bike as opposed to the obligatory bada** black one.

Ok, lets get this started...

I'm planning on doing a nice low tech blog. Basically, I'll take pictures of my adventures on my iPhone, up them and add a little commentary while I'm at it. I'm not much for journalling, if that's a word, and hopefully I'll be able to spice up my posts in the future.

Here's the deal.

I am a pretty busy guy. I am a teacher, I am the school's Athletic Director, I have some pretty serious responsibilities at church and I have a lovely wife and baby to try to spend time with. I was always giving up my own time for others and in the process, beginning to become depressed. My wife saw this and said that I had to do something about it.

I used to dirt bike a lot when I was a kid. I used to mountain bike 'till I broke my elbow. I used to have fun... My wife bullied me into buying a bike so I could commute with it, and take it out in the dirt before I came home every night. So far, it's working. I love it. I have been reading forums and such about Adventure bike riding and would kill to go on a 3 month journey with just me and my bike. I loved how they update the forums with cool pictures of interesting places.

Well, it's my turn now. I'll try to up some interesting pictures, and perhaps even some video. Maybe my commentary will become better, as it is merely perfunctory at this point. Maybe, I'll leave a nice historical reference for my kid one day... Who knows what this is to become? Perhaps it will just be a place for me to vent...

Test post

Here is a test, but I forgot to add a picture.

12 May 2009

I'm not even sure that I want to do this.

What is the purpose of blogging? I'd like to think that this would be a good way to share pics with the family. Now that I have a baby and all. but really why would I do this at all?