Tuesday, 31 December 2013

2013 Is History!

--> 2013 Is History

I started out writing this last entry for 2013 with the intent of reflecting back on the year and all that happened.  Instead, I suited up and went for a ride, as it’s rare to have a dry and reasonably warm day on December 31st in Canada.

My final ride of 2013 was awesome.  I followed some dirt roads that I’ve not been on in years and was blessed with a view from the waters edge and then from high above the valley where I live.  That’s how a year should end!

Moving on to 2014 in just a few hours (for some of you 2014 is already here), I’m looking forward to the adventures and challenges lie ahead.  That, and a Bucket List ride.  More on that later…

Happy New Year!

Gerald Trees 

Monday, 30 December 2013

Wide Open Spaces

Wide Open Spaces

OK, first a little geography lesson.  What do The Netherlands and France have in common?  The answer is they share a small, 37 square mile island in the Caribbean.  The island is St. Maarten (Dutch) – St. Martin (French) and it’s about 186 miles east of Puerto Rico. 

Although the island is one of the smallest islands in the Caribbean, it has the Official Harley Davidson distributor for the Caribbean and a 10-motorcycle rental fleet, which three friends and I took advantage of.

I grew up in the Northwest United States and moved to Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada 23 years ago and I've been exploring the back roads throughout both regions for years.  The Northwest US and British Columbia has some of the best roads for motorcycling anywhere on the planet, with wide, smooth and curvy back roads that have few cars and interesting small towns that beg to be rediscovered.  I knew I lived in one of the great riding areas of the world, but didn’t really appreciate it until my friends and I went riding on the island St. Martin in the South Caribbean.

St. Martin is beautiful and we had a great time exploring the roads and scenery that this Caribbean paradise holds.  An added bonus was being able to ride in January without waterproof and thermal gear.  However, with only 37 square miles to explore it didn’t take long to tour the island.  In fact in 6 hours we lapped the island twice, stopped a dozen times to take in the view and shoot some photos and had a pizza and beer at a beach front establishment.  I don’t think I got my Street Glide past 3rd gear.

My ride on St. Martin has given me a new appreciation for the Wide Open Spaces that I get to ride most of the year.  I may curse the occasional traffic and the wet winter weather from time to time, however these are small inconveniences that I would rather put up with then give up roads I have yet to explore.

If you have wide-open spaces to ride, consider yourself blessed.  If you don’t, plan a trip to the Pacific Northwest or British Columbia.  You’ll love it!

Gerald Trees
Dream Your Ride

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Lose the Watch!

Lose the Watch!

I like watching movies that make me laugh and one of my favorites is Wild Hogs.  There is one line at the end of the movie that sums up what road trips should be like.  Damian Blade, the character played by Peter Fonda, and founder of the fictitious Del Fuegos told the Wild Hogs to “lose the watch”. 

If you’re like me, your days are filled with schedules.  From work to school to taking the kids to their activities and picking them up, our lives are controlled by schedules.  We set schedules to manage our time, but the reality is that in the end schedules control us and not the other way around. To be blunt, schedules suck!

Remember when you were a kid and time wasn’t an issue?  You went out to play and didn’t come in until mom yelled that it was time for dinner.  OK, I’m over 40 and that’s the way I remember it being.

Schedules are a necessary evil in life, but it’s my opinion they should only be for work, school and taking motorcycles in for service.  For everything else, don’t set schedules!  Lose the watch and enjoy life!  Get on your bike and go for a ride.  Come home when it’s dark or when it’s time for dinner.  Stop and have a coffee, watch the clouds go by, watch people rushing to their appointments, let life come to you.  Doing this feels very wrong at first, you’ll feel like there’s something you should be doing or that you’re being “lazy”.  That’s OK, you’ve been programmed to feel this way and it will take a while to reprogram.  The more you get off the schedules, the more relaxed you’ll feel and time will stand still.

Look at it this way; life has a beginning and an end with living taking place in between.
So while you’re still breathing, make the decision to lose the watch and live.  Have some fun and relax.  You don’t need a watch to let you know time is passing by.

PS:  I wrote this a few years ago following the suddenly passing of a friend from a brain hemorrhage at the age of 43.

Gerald Trees

Saturday, 28 December 2013

I've Gotta Start Someplace

The idea for Dream Your Ride came from my love of traveling on a motorcycle, organizing and leading rides with friends and on request mapping out trips for friends.  I also commute to work most days on my motorcycle, even through out the winter months and have written a guide for those who want to begin using their motorcycle for the daily commute.  The guide came from advice I gave to my brother when he chose to get back to riding after over 30 years of being away from motorcycling.

Anyway, this blog will cover plenty of topics involving motorcycles from travel to reviews of motorcycles I've had the opportunity to test out.


Gerald Trees

PS:  My Motorcycle Commuting Handbook can be found on Amazon and at this time is available in Kindle format only.  Motorcycle Commuting Handbook