Sunday, 15 July 2012

Annual Club Ride – Port Dover PD 13 July 2012

Sudbury ride troop –
Rob and Chantal Lemieux, Terry and Patsy Appleby, Dan and Tracy Remillard, Dan and Yollande Nepssy, Don MacInnis

Members in attendance at Port Dover – 
Jack and Cathay French, Rick and Sharon Barrowcliffe, Ruth Barrowcliffe, Gord Bailey, Terry Emerson 

Report : Nonfiction (well mostly anyway but we’ll let you figure it out) 

We got underway Thursday morning at 8:00 am from the Timmie’s parking lot at the Four Corners in Sudbury. The weather was amazing.

Our first stop was the French River Trading Post and just as we pulled in, Leo and Doug pulled in behind us. They would ride with us for a way then head off to their own destination. Terry had a bit of a trailer hitch problem but he and Rob fixed it quickly and he was able to continue without further incident. Next intermission was to be at the Information Center just past Parry Sound on the 400.

Little whoops here, we nearly missed that turnoff. Every once in a while you need a little shake up to get everyone’s attention. That’s our story and Rob is sticking to it. We all refueled and took a bit of a break while some of us added a little supplement to the early breakfast we already had. Before leaving home Yollande and I had discussed taking the back roads through Southern Ontario farm country, partially because she is still a bit jittery riding in a group and also because we don’t prefer the big highways. However, we were riding at a reasonable speed and it was getting hot so we decided to stay with the gang all the way and get there quicker. HA!!! Next stop would be on the 400 at the service center just before Canada’s Wonder Land.

Wow !!! Now it was warm. Refuel, then lunch at the service center, and water, water, water. After our lunch we took out the map, decided on our route, reset the GPS, re-verified with each other that we all knew the selected route, settled on taking the 407 to save time, and off we went, Rob in the lead. Did I mention Dan reminded us not to get lost, because that is a key point in this tale. There were lessons to be learned this weekend and we were ripe for learning. 

We were somewhere on the 407 when Dan, Tracy, and Don disappeared from my mirror. I think that’s when Yollande said something like “why are we here, this is the wrong way.” I can sometimes be a great follower, even to a fault. I can blindly follow a leader while not paying attention to where we are going. We were soon on the 401, I believe somewhere around Milton, and traffic was really slowing down and becoming bumper to bumper. The outside temp indication on my bike was reading 37 degrees Celsius and we were coming to a stop within a very long lineup on the freeway. Rob and Chantal, Terry and Patsy, Yollande and I sat on our bikes cooking while turning our tires ever so slowly it seemed only to ensure we roast them nice and evenly. We kind of thought we might be where we weren't supposed to be according to our plan, too. Is that called being lost? Someone said earlier that “you’re not lost if you have a full tank of gas”. We were still full so maybe we weren't lost yet. Lesson #1 Learned. 

Somewhere up ahead there had been an accident because emergency vehicles kept rushing by us in the emergency lanes. It was about then that Rob grew a set, or maybe he just got bored, and decided he was going to use the emergency lane and get the heck off that frying pan. Terry and Chantal followed. I, on the other hand, worried about a white vehicle I could see in my mirror that looked like it was edging forward in that lane. The set I was sprouting quickly shrunk back to sit where I had placed them when I pulled my pants on that morning and I waited to see who he was. He finally did speed up and passed me, with his flashers and siren wailing. Yollande and I decided to wait for a while longer until traffic started moving again. We knew we were okay because we had a map, water, a GPS, and a full tank of gas. Dan said “watch where you’re going, don’t count on the leader”. Lesson #2 learned, late. 

Traffic finally started to move again and, once I knew where we were, I set our direction to head into Dover via a route I had used in the past. We were pretty sure everyone but Don had a GPS, however we thought he must still be with Dan and Tracy so we weren't concerned. The rest of our ride to Dover was pretty uneventful so we just enjoyed the ride all alone on our “group ride” despite the heat. ;-) 

Cathay, who was already in Dover, had sectioned off a corner right at the front of the park where we were able to set up our tents under some shade trees. This proved quite problematic for her and those folks who arrived early as they had to fight off all other comers who wanted our club spot, so we owe them big time. Our campsite proved even easier for Yollande and me to find because Don, Dan, and Tracy were there waving us in. Yup!!! Don got there first, ahead of all of us. Did I mention Don had no map or GPS. He just followed the route we had all decided on when we were stopped on the 400. Apparently he also learned lesson #2 faster than I did. 

Dan and Tracy arrived behind Don because Dan’s bike developed a heat problem. It turns out that was why he disappeared from my rear view back on the 407. Dan figures a new piece of bling he had added to his bike was restricting air flow to the radiator and the hot weather combined with the strain of pulling a trailer may have been a little too much to cool the bike properly. Lesson 3 “Chrome don’t bring you home”. Lesson learned, part removed. 

Our lead bike Rob, followed by Chantal, Terry and Pat, finally pulled in last so our group reached our destination. Lesson 4 “Don’t lose the group or your way when leading a group of riders or someone will write about it and tease you for a very long time”. Lesson learned ? We’ll see what happens next ride. ;-) 

Our campsite was well occupied. Jack showed up later and Cathay was working the site so she dropped by. Gord and his son were there. Rick, Sharon, and Ruth were there. Now I have to apologize for forgetting everyone else’s name and I’ll blame it on being a newbie in the club as well as my age. Sorry people. Terry Emerson and his friend came in on Friday to guide the clan into Niagara. Somebody was thinking or maybe they knew something we didn't. ;-) 

We had supper Friday night at the Erie and most of us pigged out on Perch and Celery Bread. Good stuff. I should mention the restaurant was air conditioned which seemed very critical to us at the time. It had cooled down by the time we were done so we toured the town a bit before going back to the park for a little liquid refreshment and a much needed rest. Someone in the park decided it was his duty to wake us with his loud pipes every hour or so, all night long. He would rev the shit out of his bike showing everyone how he could make flames shoot from his pipes. There is a good bet that his bike is currently being rebuilt in some shop right now. Lesson 5 “Don’t hold your throttle wide open for long periods of time trying to impress people who are probably not real impressed anyway”. Lesson learned – doubtful LOL.  

Friday morning we found a great breakfast deal at the Anglican Church on Market Street, and it was air conditioned. Take note, air conditioning was real important by now. Friday was hot and it was a day of walking the town, seeing the sites, buying stuff, and some even took a boat cruise on the river. All the usual PD 13 stuff. Some thoughtful person turned on a garden hose at the nearby market building in our park so a few of us took advantage of a free cold shower during the heat of the day. Motorcycle Mojo Magazine came to the park. They seen our Freedom Rider sign and approached Jack who graciously acted as our club ambassador. He talked the club up for us as well as put in a good plug for our annual rally. Way to go, Jack! We hope to see something about it in an upcoming issue. I hold a subscription and just received my latest issue in the mail today so, unfortunately, it didn't make it to the press in time and won’t help this year's rally. There were no fires allowed in the park so Cathay lit a potted candle and we all sat around the fire Friday night drinking beer and shooting the breeze. Friday night was relatively quiet in the campground. 

Saturday we were all up bright and early to break camp before noon. Yollande and I had a very busy schedule ahead of us so we opted to ride home a day early instead of going on to Niagara Falls with the rest of the group. We took the back roads home avoiding all the “Saturday Wasaga Beach traffic” and had a wonderful ride back under blue sky all the way. I checked in with Rob via email Sunday night and they made it to Niagara, meeting up with Gary Lamarche at Shaun’s as planned, then headed back Sunday. 

I hope I didn't make this sound like we didn’t have a good ride because we did, we had a ball. Losing our way was part of the fun because we all joked that it would probably happen even before we left and it did. It’s all about the journey, not the destination, so we just extended our journey and made the best of it with good friends and now we have better stories to tell. I have to put this in here. In the photographs Yollande is wearing beads, we all know how you normally earn them in New Orleans, but in this case she only had to fill out a survey to earn them. Honest!!! Our dog is pretty small at our house and I don’t prefer sleeping in her house so I needed to make that very clear to everyone as I already forwarded the photos to Jim to post and forgot about the beads. And that’s our story and we are definitely sticking to it. 


Check out the Photo Album

Sunday, 8 July 2012

First Yogi Bear Picnic Ride

So we've had our first Yogi Bear Ride, ( Get it , picnic ride )  LOL

I pulled the trailer with coolers for food and water for the group and we set off immediately after our Sunday Meeting.  We,  being Gary and Dianne, Jim and Sandy,  Terry, Roger, Jacky, Leo, Rob, Yollande and me.   Our destination,  Parry Sound. 

Our first stop was at the Timmies on Lévesque Street  so we could parle and make a few decisions.  Our next stop was the French River Trading Post and who do we meet there,  none other than our friend and cohort Sandy Lawrence.  Too bad but she didn't have the bike and was otherwise occupied.  Gary and Dianne decided it best to turn around and head back because Gary was feeling a bit under the weather.  (footnote,  I just called and Gary is fine and relaxing at home)  So on we went to Parry Sound with our target point to be the Lookout Tower and Museum on the hill.

We had a great break and lunch under the trees taking time to shoot the breeze and have a good look around.  Some of us took the opportunity to climb the tower for a better view of the town.  At the top we learned of Jim's problem with,  I  think he said angoraphobia.  I still can't figure out what a fear of fuzzy little bunnies had to do with being at the top of the look out tower but it must have meant something to him because he was sure hanging on to the fencing at the top of the tower.  I looked but I'm sure I never seen and little rabbits chasing him. 
After our lunch we refueled at the local CTC gas bar (holly shit,  I paid $1.19 for premium in Ottawa last week,  it was $1.38 here)  Ouch !!!

Off we went toward home.  Part way back Roger's saddle bag popped open and try as we may to communicate that while riding on the highway we (Yollande and I) couldn't make our point clear.  Another bike (not with our group and not pulling a trailer)  used the paved shoulder of the road to pull up on the right side of Roger and show him the problem.  Thanks bud,  much appreciated.  Yollande and I slowed off for a while until Roger caught up to us then we proceeded to try and catch the rest of the column.  OOPS !!!  Shit,  passed them at the turn off to the French River Information Center.  Rode to the French River Motel, turned around and rode back.  We took a nice break at the center then headed out.  OOPs looks like Jacky forgot to tie her saddle bag.  Dam  those saddle bags.  By the time we seen her we could tell she was okay and would catch up so we motored by signaling the rest of the group that there was no major problem.  We continued to ride at a slower pace knowing the rest of the group would soon pass us and so they did.   We decided to take it slow back to town and so we ended a great ride safe and sound at home. 

This was our first Picnic Ride (as opposed to stopping at a restaurant) and everyone seemed to think it went pretty good.   It was something different and we will have to do it again sometime.  Always looking for something different to do.  Hey anybody want to go play miniature golf.  LOL 

Saturday, 26 May 2012

2012 Memorial Ride

Yesterday we held a very successful 2012 Memorial Ceremony and Ride. Because this event is as close as we come to a mandatory membership participation event, it was very pleasing to see such a spectacular turn out. I made a quick unofficial count and came up with about 40 plus people. We will have the official count and names of participants for our participation draw as soon as we can pull all the data together.

The ceremony was held as scheduled under a blue sky at Fielding Park. Rob opened with a few words and a moment of silence. He then turned it over to Fr. Jolicouer, who graciously attended and delivered a wonderful sermon related to riding, fellowship, and remembrance of lost friends. Jim read aloud a passage appropriate to the occasion and Rob followed up with a poem he found written by a fellow biker that we could all relate to. Memorial Ride Crests were given out to club members who hadn't earned them yet, followed by a presentation of an embroidered T-shirt to Sandy Lawrence, Rob and Chantal Lemieux, Gary and Diane Venturi, and Cathay French, commemorating the hair raising experience they survived during the accident on the club ride to Ottawa last summer. A round of applause was given in appreciation of their undaunted participation and continued presence within our circle.

By 10:30 we were at Mr. J’s Restaurant in Lively where we all had breakfast and took the opportunity to enjoy each other’s company before heading out on a club ride to Elliot Lake. The group separated into a couple of sub groups to allow everyone to ride within their own comfort zone with an agreement to meet up further on down the road. Our first stop was at the Tim’s/Wendy’s rest stop at the Espanola turnoff. We all know coffee doesn’t stay with you long after breakfast. Some of us could only ride this far as there were other commitments for the day so we said our farewells as they headed back home and the rest continued on. Next stop was the entry to the deer trail at the turn off to Elliot Lake. Sandy Lawrence (our designated photographer) took more pics for the web site and we were off again. Our original, loosely knit plan was to stop at the Fireside in Elliot Lake for lunch but after such a large breakfast we decided a quick stop at the DQ would be just fine. Good Choice !!!

The ride back started with a quick refuel for some before leaving Elliot Lake while others continued on to re-join as a group in Espanola. The Espanola stop allowed yet others to refuel and take a quick break where goodbyes were said and the day’s festivities came to an end for our 2012 Memorial Ride. What a great way to remember friends who have passed, enjoy the friendship of those remaining, and continue with a passion that has brought us all together. Thanks is given to all who organized and participated in this one of our clubs most important events on our calendar.

Dan Nepssy aka: Nepper 
Vice president Freedom Riders

Gary L's Photos

Club Photos

Saturday, 8 October 2011

North Bay - Marten River Ride

It was a good day to ride to North Bay, Marten River and back through Field.  Five bikes went including Rob, Dan, Tracey, Dough & Carol and Sandy & Jim.


Skid and Sandy's Blog

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

The Countdown Ride

by Nepper, Road Captain

Well I left Chelmsford to ride out to Lively at about 8:45 am, again trying to beat everyone there and wouldn’t you know it I was the 3rd bike to show up.  I’m starting to know what the wolf felt like in the story of the 3 little pigs.  Sorry, back to the ride.

Jim and Sandy were waiting inside Mr. J’s  with Leo and, had I arrived earlier, I guess I could have had breakfast with them but it was really foggy and I really didn’t want to leave home any earlier. When I say foggy,  I mean “pea soup thick” foggy.  It was risky turning left off the bypass from Chelmsford into Creighton.  I won’t complain too much about the cold but it was cold enough to make me run the windshield up on the Vision to keep the wind off my forehead.  However, I had to put it back down again because the fog just misted it up and I needed to keep as clear a sightline as possible. Fog, moose, and oncoming traffic, need I say more. 

We weren’t there long when Terry and Nicky rode in followed by Ken and Gary Venturi.  Make a note.  Mr. J’s has a Sunday buffet so unless you get there real early you can’t order breakfast because the kitchen is too busy preparing.  Needless to say Terry got skunked out of breakfast.

We weren’t in any real hurry to leave as we were hoping the fog would burn off a bit before we jumped on the bikes. We probably left about 15 or 20 minutes later than planned and by then the fog was definitely thinning so riding was now much safer.  We rode out of Lively on RR 55 and although I haven’t been on it in a while I was pleased to see the surface was at least tolerable. By Sudbury standards.  When we pulled out onto the highway we pulled in behind a group of Canadian Cruiser riders and followed them to Nairn Center where they turned off at the Esso Fuel Stop.  While riding behind them I felt it best to keep a space large enough to separate our two groups to allow any 4 wheeled traffic the opportunity to slip in between us.  Their line was pretty long and they were behind a semi so it was no use us trying to pass everything and get separated in the process.  Lucky for us they turned off.

We stopped for a minute at the Wendy’s/Timmy’s in Espanola. The stop was more an opportunity to make sure everyone was comfortable with their choice of riding apparel than actually needing a break but it was lucky we did because it wasn’t long after we stopped that Roger pulled in to join the ride. Who knew?  It was great to see Roger back up and running after his trouble on the colour ride.  Roger was wearing a new rubber tire, breaks and a new front wheel bearing.  Good to have you back Roger. Oh yes, I forgot to mention that we passed a dead moose on the side of the road.  Poor thing, it must have got nailed in the fog and as sorry as I was to see it laying in the ditch I was happy at least that it didn’t show up unexpectedly in the middle of the road.    

Bikes, bikes, and more bikes,  all along the way toward Elliot Lake, what a great day for a ride.  The colours were spectacular.  We pulled into Elliot Lake and I rode straight to the Fire Side Grill.  Well sort of.  “It used to be there, honest” but now it’s a Shopper’s Drugmart.  Imagine my surprise.  First I was surprised the hotel wasn’t there then I was really surprised the group still let me lead them out of there and on to the new location back up the highway.  We found it but only because some nice old lady recognized that “lost biker look” on my face and walked over to offer directions.

We were joined by a really nice couple on a Nomad who not long ago returned to riding and had come up from Sudbury behind us.  The food was good at the new Fireside but we could have just as easily ended up at the Coach House Steak House which is practically next door.  Maybe next time.  After lunch we gassed up and headed up to the lookout tower about 3 klicks north of town.  A great spot for pictures and digesting.

Back toward home.  The ride was pretty much your standard “head back home ride” and everything was going great when all of a sudden there wasn’t anybody in my rear view mirrors.  My first thought was MUTINY.  “I knew it,  they lost faith in me over misplacing the restaurant.”  A quick U turn on the highway and a short run back to where I learned it was just Terry who forgot to close his saddle bags, drat!. Not quite so romantic as mutiny but still it was ADVENTUREBear with me here,  there’s nothing on TV and Yollande is out for the evening.  We weren’t going to stop until we were back at Timmy’s in Lively but we decided to stop in Espanola to say our goodbyes there.  Naturally the parking lot was loaded up with bikes so we filed in and spent some time chewing the fat before we climbed back in the saddle and rode into the sunset. Well okay, technically we were headed in the other direction but who ever heard of anyone riding “out of the sunset.” That there is what I’ll  call “writer’s privilege” 

Jim and Sandy, Leo, and the couple we met on the Nomad, stayed behind, Roger left for Manitoulin, and Nicky, Gary, Ken, and I headed off.  There wouldn’t be any more stops so we just blasted our way back and eventually got separated in traffic. Sorry folks but the devil made me do it.  Well actually the devil was riding a Valkarie and he had made a comment earlier about hating to be passed by one of those “other Bikes”.  You know, the ones with attitude.  So the opportunity presented itself and I found myself compelled to give him what he wanted.  “It was his fault officer,  I was pushed into it.” That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

I made it back home before 5:30 pm.  Just a little too late for supper but just in time for  happy hour. We had an absolutely fabulous ride on one of the last of the great days of the 2011 riding season.  Our count down ride couldn’t have been better. 

Oh by the way.  I guess you may have picked up on the fact that Rob wasn’t along for the ride, but that isn’t the only reason we had such a great time. However, even though Rob wasn’t there Roger decided to remember him by graciously dropping his bike just so we could all think about him. So who’s going to drop their bike for Rob next ride? ;-)

Nepper’s Nickel

Ride Photos

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Fall Colour Run

Hi folks, I thought I’d write a bit of a report about our Fall Colour Ride for those of you who couldn’t make it. My intention is to write a report and forward it to everyone after each of our rides so let me make this my first.

The weekend weather could not have been better for this little jaunt so thanks to Rob for suggesting we shouldn’t wait too late this year and “let’s get on with the ride while the weather is still good”.  I figured I’d better get to the meeting point early enough to greet anyone who showed up but naturally there were a few ahead of me even though I got there before 9:00 a.m.  I left home at 8:15 and it was 6 degrees Celsius but there was a promise it would warm up soon. The dark blue clouds to the north west of Chelmsford meant nothing. I hoped.

Roger was already at Timmy's warming up with a coffee as his ride in from Manitoulin Island was not what one might consider “comfortable.” He was still shaking a bit when he walked out to greet us and I know it wasn’t because he was nervous. The rest of us gathered together and discussed the ride ahead and finalized a route and plans were set.

Along for the ride were Rob Lemieux, Ray Lemieux, Jim and Sandy Robinson, Ken Silver, Don Raymond, Roger Lachance, Leo Laframboise,Terry Appleby, and me.  9 bikes in all. 

We rode to Parry Sound with a short stretch stop at the French River Trading Post. We stretched but for some reason Rob decided he was going to show us how he could lay his bike down in the parking lot and then lift it back up again. Not sure why and he didn’t want to talk about it much so I didn’t press the issue but then again I guess we shouldn’t be questioning our prez on everything he decides to do.  I guess it was colder than I thought because I noticed too that his face was really red.;-)

In Parry Sound we stopped at the Trapper’s Inn where Jack and Cathay French had made reservations for us and they met us there for lunch.  Cathay came out on her bike.  That’s right she finally got her bike back and on the road after the accident in July. I should mention here that everyone who was involved in the accident in Algonquin Park is now back up and running. Rob got his Victory fixed, Gary has his Honda back, Cathy has her Harley again, and Sandra has a new 1100 Yamaha.

After lunch we headed out toward Huntsville via 141.  We turned left at the Crossroads Restaurant in Rosseau and rode highway 3 into Huntsville.  Make a note everyone, Avoid highway 3 it’s in very poor shape.  Terry, Jack and Cathay left the ride about halfway to Rosseau as they had to get back to other things before our ride would end. Rob led us out onto Highway 11 then turned into Huntsville via the north Entrance into town and we stopped at the DQ for a quick cone.  Did I mention it had really warmed up by now?

We decided to run through Huntsville to Port Sydney then take 141 (new asphalt) back to Rosseau then home.  Just after we left Huntsville Ray’s bike died. It turned out to be a bad plug wire so after a quick fix he caught up to where we were waiting and we continued, for about 5 kilometers then I noticed we lost the riders behind me again.  So after catching the rest of the group we backtracked and found them.  This time it was Roger who had a flat tire. Unfortunately there wasn’t anything we could do for the tire so Roger made arrangements to have his brother come and get him and his bike. Once we knew he was set and going to be alright we started out again to get back home before dark (and cold).  We got about 2 klicks and woops “were are those guys that were behind me?”  This time it was Ray’s bike, again the spark plug problem decided to put him to the test.  Rob went back and helped him out and after a bit of trial and error contacted us by phone and insisted they’d make out okay and that we should head home without them. So we headed out again toward Parry Sound.

The rest of the journey went without incident and we followed 141 through Raymond to Rosseau on a beautiful road surface then on to the new Timmies/Licks/Petrocan on Horseshoe Lake Road just south of Parry Sound where we gassed up and decided to hightail it straight home before nightfall.  Rob contacted Jim on his phone and he let us know that he and his dad made out alright and were already in North Bay having driven up 11 to take 17 back home.

So after all that it turned out that our Colour Ride was a little more colourful than we had anticipated but it was still a great ride, and it was a dry ride.  Bonus!!!  Hey, shit happens, sometime no matter who, or where you are.  Fortunately when it happens and you are with a group there are others with you to try and help you and at least make sure plans are in place to get you through it.  Having said that I hope everything went as planned for Roger. They should have, as his brother was on the road to him when we left him.  We joked that he was lucky because there was even a fresh cut pile of firewood beside him just incase it got really cold. Besides there was also a woman in the house across the street who offered to help any way she could.   

It’s always best to have a plan for emergency situations and when you don’t then you’d better have a cell phone with a good battery.  This was a good ride, the colours may not have been in full bloom but the weather was good as was the company and I’d say we all took something positive away with us and isn’t that what riding in a group is supposed to be all about anyway?  

We stopped at the Timmy's at the four corners in Sudbury and before we disembarked for home we all agreed that we should attempt at least one more run before we had to stud our tires for winter.  Keep checking your email because it will probably be a short notice announcement as we’ll have to make plans according to the weather forecast. We talked of a short “lunch type” run possibly to the Island or Elliot Lake.

Road Captain

p.s.  Remember,  every ride is a good ride and a dry ride is a bonus.
Nepper’s nickel

Ride Photos

Skid and Sandy's Ride Report