The Riders

After the welcome at Tory’s school, we all headed back to the Girard Family Farm for a feast, fire and libations. Family, friends and well wishers came out to celebrate the start of the ride. Our charity broke the $11,000 mark with more to come as we ride. Chris made his trademark bonfire and Frank had cigars for everyone. The farmstead had sleeping room fore everyone. We got up and had a picture of the riders, just before we set off.

Three states in one day

On the second day of our ride we crossed three state lines. Michigan, Illinois and stopped the night in Iowa City. 8 1/2 hours in the saddle. All is well. Mike A is grinning ear to ear.

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The Ride Begins

We started the first leg of the ride on Thursday. We arrived in Windsor, at Tory’s school. We had a warm welcome from the Vice Principal and the MAD group(Making A Difference). Tory gave a wonderful speech and his classmates looked at the bikes. The school gave a donation to start the Ride off right.

Thank you everyone at Sandwich West Public School.

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Winter’s Over, Bikes on the Road

The amazing weather over the last two weeks has all the gang itching the get their bikes on the road.

Tim and his new FJR dropped by last weekend. It’s a beautiful bike (even though it’s not a BMW). He is busy repacking bearings and attaching toys.

Mike A got back from a business road trip and ran over to liberate his bike from storage. I popped a new battery into my GT and took her for a little sprint. The carb needs adjusting, but she is still a pleasure to ride. Probably a little early for Peter to get the “couch on wheels” out of protective storage, but I’m sure he’ll be dusting it off and rearranging the throw pillows soon.

We are busy planning a shakedown ride on April 13. We are also planning a sprint to Quebec City to work in the pant seat. Sunshine and the asphalt are calling.

Video for the Ride

Mike A and I have been big fans of video and wanted to make sure that we captured our trip for posterity. Trying to get video on a motorcycle trip at first appeared to be a daunting task. Do we have the chase vehicle do the filming? Do we attach cameras to the bikes? How do we capture what it is like to ride to San Diego, without the option of retakes?

We decided on redundancy. We will have at least three cameras capturing the event. We will do all video in full HD. Two Sony Handycams were lined up to do the video from the chase vehicle and while stopped. I decided to get the GoPro Hero HD to be attached to the helmet or the bike to capture everything up close and in your face.

I just got back from a little test run and here is a first sample. What do you think?

Well, that was not very good. Try this:

Mountains

photo credit Frank Kovalchek

The next big issue to arise out of the route planning was the mountains. We were going to have to go through them to get to San Diego. Mike A had planned for a southerly mountain pass, hoping to avoid the questionable weather that crossing further north might entail. But mountains mean altitude. Carburetors don’t work so well at higher altitudes (or so Mike A said). Thus we had to make a further requirement on the bikes. Fuel injection was going to be required to ensure safe passage through the mountains.

Cool

Photocredit Betelgeuse2

One of the first thing Mike A came up with was the plan for the desert. The route he planned would take us through the desert into Las Vegas. This had an immediate impact on the motorcycle criteria. Air cooled engines were going to be at risk on the ride through the desert, so criteria for ride selection required something more than air cooled. We began looking for liquid cooled engines and planning the desert run to minimize heat on the bikes (and the bikers).