Sunday, July 14, 2013

2013 Blogger to Blogger Tour - Kickoff and day one

I got off to a late start yesterday.

My initial thought was to meet Peter Sanderson at his home in Cornwall at around 9:00 a.m. and then continue on to Ottawa.

I also really wanted to install a fused lead directly from the battery terminating in an SAE two prong plug.  My portable compressor has an SAE plug so using it requires that kind of connection.  I also have a long 12V extension I could use for charging stuff at night.  I also needed to make a SAE to 12V cigarette lighter type female outlet.

My electrical skills are not first class, so it took longer than I planned.  I didn't get underway until closer to lunch time.

I did a little kickoff video once I got the bike loaded up.
I really enjoyed my visit with Peter.  I'll be posting his rider profile based on ten questions I'm asking all the riders I'm meeting.  I haven't decided exactly how I'll do that.  I think that the rider profiles deserve a separate post.
Even though Peter is convalescing from some very nasty surgery on his hand, he was the perfect host.  He was generous to a fault as well, giving me some Vespa swag, a Vespa cover that he no longer needed, and a chrome luggage rack for my topcase that he purchased, and decided not to use.

I said farewell to Peter and set out for my second destination: Ottawa, our nation's capital.

On the way I was trading text messages and eventually a phone call with Dave Blackburn (you may know him better as Canajun when he comments here from time to time).  The combination of my iPhone and Sena SMH10 bluetooth helmet headset makes staying in touch very easy.  The iPhone lets me know when a text message comes in, Siri reads text messages to me, and sends my reply flawlessly.

Dave happened to be in Ottawa proper (he lives about an hour west of the city).  It turns out his daughter lives just down the street from where my Dad lives and he suggested we meet at a bagel bakery and restaurant (Kettleman's) literally across the street from my Dad's apartment.

I got to my meeting with Dave at about three-thirty.  We spent a very agreeable hour or so chatting.  He offered a demonstration of the ingenious remote controlled GoPro panning mount he invented and built.

I shot a brief video with my iPhone.

Dave shoved off for home, and I rode across the street and parked in front of my Dad's place.

At 5:30 it was high time to hit the road for Toronto.  It was blistering hot.  I needed the quickest route from A to B.  I keyed my sister's address into my Garmin and was  happy to take its cues.  Once I made it through a massive lump of bumper-to-bumper traffic on the 417, it was clear sailing south to the 401 and then west towards Toronto.

I had hoped to be in Toronto before sundown.  That wasn't happening.  To be honest, I had never done the trip from Ottawa to Toronto.  Naively, I figured that if Ottawa was an hour and a half from Montreal, that would at least shorten the Ottawa to Toronto leg.  Apparently a navigator I'm not.  It turns out that Ottawa to Toronto is basically the same as Montreal to Toronto.  Who knew?

So it turned out to be like snakes and ladders.  It was 5:30 and I had a trip in front of me that would take a good five hours in an air conditioned car with cruise control and a 600 km range.  I now know what it's like to stop at very single service centre on the 401 (well maybe not all, I may have gone out on a limb and skipped the odd one).  It didn't matter because my butt and legs needed the pit stop as badly as the Vespa did.

All told, I basically traveled for twelve hours and covered 679 kms, or 422 miles if you prefer.

Today I ran errands with my brother-in-law and basically took it easy. I washed the Vespa, its first ever wash by my hand. The driveway was in the shade by late afternoon and the cool water splashing my bare feet was a welcome respite from the sweltering heat.

Before supper I pitched my tent in the back yard. My niece and nephew tumbled around in the tent, emerging drenched with perspiration.
Their earlier plans to sleep in the tent faded with the setting sun.

6 comments:

  1. Always good to hear of bloggers meeting and sharing a tale and a cuppa.

    I hope that the rest of your journey is a little smoother than your send off.

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    1. Thanks Trobairitz. All travelers need wishes of smooth sailing. Moto travelers all the more.

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  2. David - it isn't any cooler down here in Pennsylvania. These Americans talk in Fahrenheit and what they were saying was +106 with the humidex today at 3pm. HEAT WAVE! Ride safe, stop often.

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  3. Oh, you already started collecting 'blogger badges'...

    I hope Peter's wrist will heal soon, and he can go scootin' with the wifey.
    I have followed his blog for a while now since he is a fellow Vespa rider, and hope he still enjoys the summer.

    And you got to meet Canajun as well. That's cool, eh!

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    1. Sonja, Peter is a really great guy and so it Canajun. It's really nice to add the voice to the face and the posts.

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