Monday, 31 March 2014

Making Your Dream Ride A Reality - Which Motorcycle?

Making Your Dream Ride A Reality – Which Motorcycle?

Perhaps the biggest hurdle that many riders feel stand between them and their dream ride is the “right” motorcycle.  I’ve put this in quotes because the “right” motorcycle is imaginary.  It’s a fantasy!

The “right” motorcycle is the one you have right now. 

I’ll say it again…

The “right” motorcycle is the one you have right now.

An adventurer touring from Guatemala to Florida on a Honda XR 200

Men and women have been making amazing journeys on motorcycles for a long time and many of these journeys were made on motorcycles that, while modern for their time, were far inferior by today’s standards.  

A reliable motorcycle can carry you anywhere

This past summer I was riding back from Tofino, on the west coast of Vancouver Island and had stopped at one of my favorite view points to walk around for a few minutes.  It was a beautiful summer day and there were a few motorcycles traveling the road, and yet one caught my attention.  It was a couple on a loaded down, flat black, 1980’s vintage “standard” motorcycle heading east.  About 20 minutes later I saw them parked on the side of the road and so I pulled over to make sure everything was OK, which it was.  They had stopped check out some of the scenery.  Anyway, the couple turned out to be from the province of Ontario and they were heading back from a summer cross Canada adventure.  They were riding a 1985 Suzuki GS 1100 that had been fitted with saddle bags, a tank bag and a tail pack.  She was also wearing a small backpack.  The motorcycle was far from “mint” condition and while the big GS was a great motorcycle in it’s day, it was built for a purpose much different then two-up touring and yet it had taken them on a great adventure.

My 1999 Triumph Sprint ST 955
The most enjoyable touring motorcycles I've owned

When it comes to taking that adventure you’ve been dreaming of, here is what you need for a motorcycle.

  1. A reliable one that’s mechanically sound and maintained.
  2. A motorcycle with good tires that have enough life to take you on your adventure.
  3. Luggage space to take what you’ll need, and there is luggage available to fit any motorcycle.

Sport Touring on a Moto Guzzi V11 Sport

 That’s about it.

If you own a motorcycle and it’s reliable, get on it and take a trip.

Gerald Trees

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Making Your Dream Ride A Reality - Planning

--> Making Your Dream Ride A Reality – Planning

You’ve decided where you’re going to ride; however it’s still just a dream.  The transformation from a dream to actually taking you ride is planning the ride.  Planning is important and fun.

Your planning can be basic or it can be very detailed depending on who you are as a person and where you’re going.  If you’re a detail-oriented person then you’ll probably plan your trip in great detail and if you’re a person who likes that element of surprise then you’re plan will be simple.  Regardless, a plan is important.

Vancouver Island Day Trip

The basics of a plan should include.

  1. When you’ll go.
  2. How many days you’ll be gone.
  3. A travel budget. 
  4. What route you’ll be taking.  This can be a general idea or very detailed depending on how you like to plan.
  5. Motorcycle maintenance before the trip.  The best way to avoid breakdowns on a trip is to make sure your motorcycle is well maintained.
  6. What you’ll be brining.  You’ll find that what you think you need and what you’ll actually use are quite different.  The more you travel, the more you’ll refine what you bring.
  7. Navigation.  Maps, GPS and a smart phone are all possible navigation options.  Bring one or all.
  8. Where you’ll be staying along the way.
  9. What do you want to see on the trip?  This will be different for each person.
  10. Will you be riding alone, with a group or riding two-up?  This is a big one! If you’ll be going with someone else or a group, make sure everyone has the same or a similar plan.  From experience, it’s important to sit down with the person or persons you’ll be traveling with and find out what each wants to do and see.

More detail on each point can be added if you choose.

September 2014 7 day Canyon Tour

Planning is fun and it is the transformation step in fulfilling your dream ride.  Simply setting a date and the amount of time you’ll need for your ride will make your ride a reality.  The rest is to make sure you have a good time.

Gerald Trees

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Making Your Dream Ride A Reality, Where Do You Want To Go?

Making Your Dream Ride A Reality, Where Do You Want To Go?

The first ACTION that you need to take if you’re going to take that dream ride is choosing where you want to go.  This may sound like the easy part, however it often is the most difficult.  There are so many places to travel on a motorcycle that settling on where to go is kind of like eating at a restaurant where everything on the menu is outstanding and yet you can only eat one dish per visit.  It can be overwhelming.  So much so that there are so many places you want to go that you end up not going at all.

How do you choose?  If you have one dream trip, it’s easy.  If you have a few that you want to do, write the names down, place them in a hat and pick one and stick to it.  The one thing I can guarantee is that you’ll have the time of your life. 

After you’ve decided on where you’re going to ride, the next ACTION you must take is planning the trip, which is what my next blog post will be about.

My next trip, The Andes in Peru, July 2014

September 2014, The Valley Of Fire, Nevada

Gerald Trees

Monday, 17 March 2014

Making Your Dream Ride A Reality Requires ACTION!

Making Your Dream Ride A Reality Requires ACTION!

I’m going to make a bold statement.  Everyone has a dream.  A dream of something they want to have, to be, to see, to build.  Every success, big or small, started with a dream.  So if everyone has a dream, why do only a few see their dreams become reality?  ACTION!

Millions of dollars are spent each year on “self help” books, courses and lectures that are promoted to help people reach their dreams.  Most people who shell out their hard earned dollars are looking for a secret solution, a short cut if you will; to making their dreams come true.  Most come away with knowledge, but are no closer to seeing their dreams come true, while a few use the knowledge they’ve gained to leap forward toward the fulfillment of their dream.  What’s the difference?  ACTION!

ACTION is the secret to success in anything.  ACTION is work, ACTION is taking risks, ACTION is moving toward your dream not knowing if you’ll reach it or what you’ll find but willing to learn from your ACTION and then take more ACTION based on what you’ve learned. 

The above applies to making your dream ride a reality.  I’m able to provide you with ideas and tips, however it’ll be up to you to get up and take ACTION.  

A dream ride made real.  Sturgis bound in Grand Teton National Park

Here’s what’s going to happen over the next few blog posts.

  1. Picking you’re dream ride or rides.
  2. Planning that ride.
  3. What motorcycle to use.
  4. Gear choice.
  5. What to pack.
  6. Going time!

Remember that the key to making your dream ride, or any dream for that matter, a reality is ACTION.

Riding a dream road.  Highway 3 heading West above Osoyoos, BC Canada

Gerald Trees

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Perception, Reality and Travel

--> Perception, Reality and Travel

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Travel will change your perception of reality.

Travel will change your perception of reality.

In the words of Mark Twain – “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”

Italian, Ceasare Pavese looks at travel this way - “Traveling is a brutality.  It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends.
You are constantly off balance. Nothing is yours except the essential things: air, sleep, dreams, sea, the sky - all things tending towards the eternal or what we imagine of it.”

Former Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru said -  “We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.”

Dr. Maya Angelou made the observation that - “Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.”

Writer Aldus Huxley wrote -  “To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries.”

Adventurer Mark Jenkins observed -  “Adventure is a path. Real adventure – self-determined, self-motivated, often risky – forces you to have firsthand encounters with the world. The world the way it is, not the way you imagine it. Your body will collide with the earth and you will bear witness. In this way you will be compelled to grapple with the limitless kindness and bottomless cruelty of humankind – and perhaps realize that you yourself are capable of both. This will change you. Nothing will ever again be black-and-white.”

Quebec City, Quebec

Perception is our interpretation of realty.  It is influenced by our experiences, upbringing, what we read, what we hear and what others tell us.  If we stay in our own small corner of the world, our perception of reality can be distorted, dispassionate and cold.  By traveling to new places, even within our own country, we will grow and will see our world and others differently.  Travel may confirm you’re perception or change it.   The world does have it's ugly side and yet beauty can be found in every corner.  Be bold, get out of your comfort zone and see the world on your own terms.  Your perception of the world will become your own and not the views of someone else.

Gerald Trees
Dream Your Ride

Monday, 10 March 2014

Vancouver Island - A Dual Sport and Adventure Riders Dream

Vancouver Island – Dual Sport and Adventure Riders Dream

Vancouver Island is loaded with breathtaking scenery and roads that make most motorcyclists smile.  At the same time, Vancouver Island is a dual sport and adventure riders dream.

Vancouver Island has thousands of kilometers / miles of dirt and gravel roads that were laid down over the years by logging companies and most are well maintained.  They will lead you to mountain lakes and views that most visitors to the Island will miss.  The roads are also well mapped, with Vancouver Island Backroad Mapbook being one of the best.

I’ve lived on Vancouver Island for 25 years and I’ve only seen a small part of what the Island has to offer.  I still have a few roads in my area to explore.

If you’re in to off road riding and beautiful scenery, pack your camping gear and get to Vancouver Island.

Here are some photos from a few of the back roads near Port Alberni, BC.

Gerald Trees
Dream Your Ride

Friday, 7 March 2014

Daily Adventures - Commuting On A Motorcycle

Daily Adventures - Commuting On A Motorcycle

I like to travel, especially on my motorcycle.  Like most, I also put in a lot of time earning enough for that next adventure.  To make that part of life more enjoyable (I do enjoy what I do, which also helps), I commute most days on my motorcycle, rain or shine.  I find it relaxing and it's fun finding different ways home at the end of the day, often on gravel, which takes me to some of the best areas of Vancouver Island.

By riding my motorcycle each day, I get my adventure "fix" on a regular basis and have fun and relax at the same time.

Give it a try.

Gerald Trees

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Vancouver Island - Part 6, Denman Island.

Vancouver Island - Part 6,Denman Island

Denman Island General Store 

OK, Denman Island is it’s own island, however you’ll been to be on Vancouver Island to get there on a motorcycle so it’s part of the Vancouver Island series.

Denman Island is small, about 19 km (12 miles) long and 5 km wide.  Just over 1000 people live on the island and it’s likely best known as the island you have to drive across to get to the Hornby Island ferry and Hornby Island, a summer vacation spot, which probably suites the residents of Denman just fine.

A visit to Denman Island, either on it’s own or on your way to Hornby Island, is a great way to spend a few hours on your motorcycle and there is a lot so see on such a small island.  While most of the roads are paved, expect some rough surfaces and a few of the best view points are found along graded gravel roads so an adventure or dual sport bike would be ideal.

Gravel roads and great views are what you'll find on Denman Island

The only way to get to Denman Island with a motorcycle is by way of the Denman Island Ferry, which leaves Buckley Bay on a regular schedule.  You can find Buckley Bay by taking exit 101 on Highway 19.  The ferry takes about 20 minutes to get to Denman Island.

Waiting for the ferry at Buckley Bay

After you get off the Ferry, you’ll ride up a short hill where you’ll have all of three choices on which direction to go.  Left will take you to the Denman Island General Store, where you can find snacks, mail a package and brows the products in the licensed liquor store.  You’ll also find a large map of the Island, which is a good reference source.  Smaller maps can be found at the Buckley Bay Ferry Terminal, on the ferry or at the general store.

From here, take your time to explore.  The Island is small so you can see a lot on a short period of time.  If you’re into hiking, spend some time in Boyle Point Provincial Park.  The trails are easy and well maintained.  You’ll also find a great view of the lighthouse on Chrome Island.

The Chrome Island Lighthouse from Boyle Point Provincial Park

From Ocean Views...
To Mountain Views
A view of the Denman Island Harbor

Enjoy exploring this quiet and unique island.

Gerald Trees