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Author Topic: Six weeks, a tent and a VFR  (Read 38926 times)
Dutchy
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« Reply #30 on: May 31, 2011, 01:05:11 AM »
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Olive oil
Engine oil
what is next?
Massage oil?  laughing7
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« Reply #31 on: May 31, 2011, 07:15:16 AM »
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Olive oil
Engine oil
what is next?
Massage oil?  laughing7

.......
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PEDALING IS SLOWER AND HEALTHIER.....SKUUTER

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« Reply #32 on: May 31, 2011, 04:25:29 PM »
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Glad to see you are living up to your Ms. Adventure handle and still able to bring the stories.  Be safe Olive.
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« Reply #33 on: May 31, 2011, 07:28:34 PM »
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This morning I woke up to discover the motel room had been leaking.  The wind was blowing hard enough that the water came through the window, and the floor was rather wet.  The wind continued to howl unabated, and the rain came down with a vengeance.  I took my time getting going this morning, hoping that the weather would die down a bit.  

Heading east on the Trans Canada the wind was ferocious, pushing the bike around like it was a lightweight.  I was thankful that I was riding the VFR with full luggage, because every pound made a difference.  I stopped in one of the small towns that dot the highway looking for gas, but after one look at the muddy clay that the bike would have to cross to reach the station, I decided to press onwards.  It wasn't just wet dirt, it was well churned up mud, the kind that is usually incredibly slick.  Deep tire tracks cut across it, showing just how much rain had settled into the ground.  The idea of going down in the wet muck had little appeal.

I continued riding east and stopped in the next small town.  My gas gauge was flashing. At this point I decided that worst case I would park on the road, hike in to the gas station and borrow a Jerry Can if there was no paved access.  No gas station to be found.  Returning to the highway I pressed onwards.  The same problem at the next small town.  At this point I was getting very nervous recognizing that I was probably going to be out of fuel soon, and backtracking to the last known location of a gas station would be too far.  The idea of running out of fuel in the driving rain and strong winds on the highway had little appeal.

I was very relieved to spot a sign indicating a gas station ahead, and when I topped up the fuel the bike needed a full tank.  That was really cutting things close.  I noted with humour that the small town had not one but three gas stations - feast or famine.  Even here on the main highway gas stations aren't as plentiful as I might wish.  Every trip I seem to have at least one occasion where I get nervous about the location of the next gas station.  I need to remember to treat 1/4 tank as "empty".

As I filled up with gas I noticed that snow was mixed in with the rain.  White flakes howled past, settling momentarily on the bike before melting.  I thought this was supposed to be Spring, after all it is May 31st already.  Frost in many Canadian locations last night, snow today... yup, still in Canada.  Forecast for points further east is a lot more promising - sunshine and warm temperatures.

Returning to the highway I noted that the bike was handling a little nicer - the added weight of the fuel made a difference to the handling with the wind.  Even so the wind gusts were really pushing me around, and seemed a cause for concern.  Wet roads with rivers of water running down the tire tracks do not make fun riding even on calm days. The rain was sheeting down, and I adjusted my speed according to conditions and direction of travel - the wind was easier to deal with when it wasn't catching me right from the side.

Gusts pushed me around in my lane, and the occasional vehicle passed me - the extra spray from their tires all but obscuring visibility.  It made for very stressful riding.  At times I had the bike on a hard lean just to keep myself tracking against the wind to maintain my line.  The wind was even pushing hard at my tank bag and it was leaning against my left arm.  

When I went through Virden wind gusts were around 90km, and making the road a real challenge.  The bike was registering a temperature of 33F, and I was wet despite my rain gear.  My boots were leaking, and I could feel the icy water sloshing when I moved my feet around.  Water had soaked my socks and leached its way up my pants.  My gloves also were soaked, and water was slowly working its way up my sleeves.  I started to consider the wisdom of making it an early day - nobody would accuse me of being a fair-weather rider, but this was truly beyond riding conditions.  

Along the roadside fields were lakes, and water was running along the side of the highway like a river.  A truck pulled past me and was caught by a gust of wind, pushed into my lane.  I tracked sideways into the shoulder - not exactly where I wanted to be riding.  Definitely not good riding conditions.  I decided to call it an early day.

Approaching Brandon, Manitoba the road crossed over the assiniboine River - it was spectacular to see the flooding.  The river was well over its banks, and spread out like a lake with trees and other dry-land features sprouting from the surface.  The rain made it unfeasible to take a photo.

I pulled off the highway down the 1A which advertised access to central Brandon.  The old highway wound past a few houses and then dropped down to pass under a low bridge.  There was a submerged car parked directly under the bridge, so I re-evaluated my plan and very carefully turned the bike around balancing it against the gusting wind.  

Returning to the Trans Canada, I continued onwards to a better access to Brandon.  Pulling into the first motel, I parked the bike in a sheltered spot and booked a room for the night.  Soggy conditions over the past month had caused major flooding in the Brandon area, and a number of residents had been evacuated.  That fact, along with the rivers running along the side of the highway were a clear indication that camping was not feasible, unless it was a tent mounted on a canoe.

I was drenched.  I pulled off my wet gear and hung it out to dry.  Stepping into the bathroom I noted that the tile floor and my soaked socks were a bad combination - very slippery.  I pulled off the socks and wrung them out in the sink.  Stopping for the day was definitely a wise choice.

Once I was settled in I walked over to a neighboring restaurant for coffee and a small bite to eat.  I didn't want to tempt fate by taking the bike out in the ferocious winds again.  I had found myself struggling to balance the bike at stop signs against the gusting wind, and that always makes me nervous.

This evening the rain cleared up enough for me to take out the camera and shoot a few pictures along the highway to show the amount of water on the ground.  Winds were still very strong, and you can see them in the ripples in the pooled water at the side of the roadway.

Water filled ditch - notice the water is right up to the roadway.





Another soggy ditch, not quite as much water.





Water gathered in low spots.  Grass looked lush, but was growing out of a bog.

« Last Edit: May 31, 2011, 07:52:51 PM by Olive » Logged

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« Reply #34 on: May 31, 2011, 07:41:14 PM »
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That's some tough riding, O.  Hope things clear up for you soon .....  so far, a vacation this ain't !  ....    disgust
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« Reply #35 on: May 31, 2011, 08:03:14 PM »
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May 31st isn't spring, it's summer icon_biggrin
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« Reply #36 on: May 31, 2011, 09:13:07 PM »
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That weathers so crap the ducks have packed it in and left for Minnesota....the good old days of Duckdum.
Great typical O read, things are always happening when your azz hits the saddle, carry on this most excellent adventure....safely please  icon_salut.
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Now i'm a squid i've gotta learn to eat fish..i've become so slippery i'm unsuckable
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« Reply #37 on: May 31, 2011, 09:42:27 PM »
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May 31st isn't spring, it's summer icon_biggrin

Apparently not up here...  laughing7
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Veni, Vidi, Vroom
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« Reply #38 on: May 31, 2011, 10:01:41 PM »
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That weathers so crap the ducks have packed it in and left for Minnesota....the good old days of Duckdum.
Great typical O read, things are always happening when your azz hits the saddle, carry on this most excellent adventure....safely please  icon_salut.


Here, here !!!   Or heah, heah if you fum da sout !  ...   (this is not a politically charged post... relax, already ! )    sad1
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Sweat evaporates quicker than flesh heals, dress for the crash not the ride. ATGATT

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« Reply #39 on: June 01, 2011, 08:24:29 AM »
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33 degrees, windy as hell,raining/snowing....oh ya that sounds like my kind of vacation  BangHead BangHead

Hopefully now that its June things will warm up a bit for you.  icon_biggrin
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« Reply #40 on: June 01, 2011, 09:12:56 AM »
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33 degrees, windy as hell,raining/snowing....oh ya that sounds like my kind of vacation  BangHead BangHead

Hopefully now that its June things will warm up a bit for you.  icon_biggrin

Warm up to summer highs of 45F?
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« Reply #41 on: June 01, 2011, 09:19:24 AM »
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33 degrees, windy as hell,raining/snowing....oh ya that sounds like my kind of vacation  BangHead BangHead

Hopefully now that its June things will warm up a bit for you.  icon_biggrin

Warm up to summer highs of 45F?

Shoot !  That's T-shirt weather in CCCCCanada  ! !      Cold
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Sweat evaporates quicker than flesh heals, dress for the crash not the ride. ATGATT

My name is Scott and I play a VFR ! 

If you begin to hear ants screaming, gimme some of whatever you're takin'  !  


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« Reply #42 on: June 01, 2011, 09:27:16 AM »
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Just looked at weather reports on her route....this looks like a pretty good day, sunny and in the 60's all the way to Thunder Bay  worst wind at TB and only 24mph. Finally some relief for her  icon_biggrin icon_thumleft
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fknflyn@73
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« Reply #43 on: June 01, 2011, 09:57:41 AM »
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Just looked at weather reports on her route....this looks like a pretty good day, sunny and in the 60's all the way to Thunder Bay  worst wind at TB and only 24mph. Finally some relief for her  icon_biggrin icon_thumleft

'Bout damn time !  I was thinkin' she'd be a prune by the time she got to Quebec  ! !     Tx for that, Cruz !     occasion14
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Sweat evaporates quicker than flesh heals, dress for the crash not the ride. ATGATT

My name is Scott and I play a VFR ! 

If you begin to hear ants screaming, gimme some of whatever you're takin'  !  


skuuter
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"PEDALING THE SOUTHEAST"
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« Reply #44 on: June 01, 2011, 12:17:27 PM »
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Nice "VACATION PROGRAM" Olive.....when's the "Fun Part" start..... headbang
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I LEARNED A LONG TIME AGO, BEST WAY TO REALIZE THE DANGER OF YOUR PACE IS WHEN IT GOES FROM THAT SPEED TO ZERO REALLY ABRUPTLY.....MIGHTA' BEEN FASTER THAN YOU THOUGHT.....SKUUTER

PEDALING IS SLOWER AND HEALTHIER.....SKUUTER

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