Hunker Down

The next two months are filled with bike projects, trip planning (and savings), online purchases and reading books on travel and/or motorcycles and/or motorcycle travel (permutations and combinations of all listed). It is also a good time to reflect on the past year’s rides. We managed a couple epic rides this year, which included Slovenia, Austria, Switzerland, France, Italy most of the East Coast of the United States as well as new territory in Southern Ontario. 

We spent this fall whittling down our riding gear.

Fleiss Tyrol, Austria – June 2017

Travelling light is always a priority for the bike and planes/trains. Reducing the number of jackets we own has been the latest priority. Managed to sell a few garments online and donate a couple more to charity. Replaced with new Aether riding jackets, which we have been coveting for a more than a year. Next on the list is new Shoei modular helmets. Our current helmets have now seen 5 years of travels and I had a little spill in the south of France which sealed the deal on the replacement.

Town Moto has a couple orders in the works for some Triumph OEM parts. First priority is a new throttle side heated grip. Next will be right-hand pannier liners. Little wear and tear over the years and they need replacing. Both items for us to check off the “to-do” list in January before we start looking at forecasts in February and get itching to get out in between road salt and rain. 

Cime de la Bonette, France – June 2017

Over the holidays Sharon gave Laura the gift of the title of the Yamaha TX 500 that she has stored. It is the same bike she eloped on with Dale. Laura’s work trip to the West Coast in March will also involve moving the bike into her name and arrange for shipping back to Toronto. This is the catalyst for Laura to finally get her license and she will be studying for her M1 and enrolling in a safety course for early spring. Years of sitting on the centre stand and it will need some work.  We’re looking forward to some wrenching as we plan some small trips around Ontario for the summer.

Daytona Beach, Florida – May 2017

Plans are being outlined for a cross Canada trip this summer. Still noodling routes and visits, but we are looking at staying north of the border this year. Generally, we are looking to spend time in Alberta and British Columbia after touring northern Ontario, Prairies, Rocky Mountains while ending up on the West Coast shoreline. 

Skyline Parkway, Virgina – April 2017

The past year held a fantastic number of rides. We kicked off the season with Andrew and I riding down to Florida to meet Laura on a work trip. Picked her up at Orlando airport, a few days on Daytona Beach then dropped her back off in Orlando to head back North before our next big adventure – Touring the Alps with our friends from Australia. 

San Vito di Cadore, Italy – July 2017

The three weeks in Europe were both inspiring and numbing. It was a non-stop assault on the senses along with relentless technical riding. I made a promise years ago that prohibits me from continuously extolling the virtues of any given ride, but this was not just any tour. Mountain pass after mountain pass after mountain pass interjected with another picturesque alpine village chimed in with church bells, cowbells and goats bleating. The never-ending beauty and extreme single track roads left us thinking that we may never ride anything so intense again, but this hyperbole is exactly why I made that promise. The next trip will offer something completely different but just as intense and I will need to monitor myself once again.

Midland Harbour, Ontario – August 2017

We finished the summer with ride after ride exploring cottage country in Southern Ontario. Every week we tried to find a different espresso stop and or ice cream stand. Picnic basket packed in the top box while we searched for twisty secondary highways in the thousands of lakes carved in the Canadian Sheild. In two months we covered more than 6000 kilometres on weekends and flex Fridays. 

Ottawa River from the Parliment Buildings – October 2017

Our final big ride of the season was ambitious – Thanksgiving weekend weather can be unpredictable and our honeymoon trip to Ottawa and Montreal was exactly that. The days spent in each city were beautiful with many sunny, warm steps logged walking and many wet, cold and rainy hours logged riding to our destinations and back home.

Every year we look back with so much gratitude while keeping our eyes forward to the next year with equal anticipation. Thank you for coming along on our journey and we hope you will enjoy our 2018 adventures.

Pop Up Wedding in Berczy Park, Toronto – October 2017

Peace-Tony and Laura

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