Monday, March 7, 2016

The beginning begins


The odds are the 2016 riding season will kick off early, with an epic ride.

Our pre-move preparations got me into the garage on Sunday. We're not hoarders so there wasn't much to discard, other than my Honda Civic.

The lease is at an end and we have decided not to buy the car. We have offered it to friends and family because it's a steal. A 2012 Civic, nicely equipped, in top notch condition, with 45,000 kms on the clock, for less than $9k. But... it's a manual transmission so there are no takers. Heave-ho, ciao, and bon voyage, it's been nice to know ya! It goes back on Wednesday, so I kicked it out of the garage to let the Vespa take its place.

Before the Vespa starts the season it needs to have its Heaterz heated grips swapped out for Hot Grips. You see, the right Heaterz grip is defective and so the pair has got to go. I've had the Hot Grips waiting in the wings for almost a year, and now's the time. Nothing but the best from now on.

This year the inaugural ride will be, weather permitting (he writes, mentally crossing his fingers), my exodus run.

Five hundred kilometers in a bee line down the 401 from Montreal to Toronto on March 30. Even with the winter weather somewhat at bay, I'll need all the cold riding gear in top shape.

As for a car in my future, time will tell. Right now I'm hankering for a two door Jeep Wrangler, soft top, black or blue, manual, to which I'll add half-doors to be skinned with the Life on two wheels logo. Such a specific daydream. Who knows?

In the meantime that grip job awaits. Depending on how that goes, maybe I'll install the new rollers I picked up last fall. It will be a good excuse for using the new torque wrench Susan got me for Christmas.

22 comments:

  1. A Jeep!? Somehow that doesn't seem to fit. How about a Unimog?

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    1. If I were wealthy I would certainly have one of those. My real dream is a Land Rover 110, but a real Jeep comes real close, close enough in fact.

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  2. That Civic would be a steal! It's a shame so few people even know how to drive a manual car. I hope the weather cooperates!

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    1. The ability to handle a manual transmission is really important when it comes to renting cars in Europe.

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  3. David, in my humble opinion: Manual is the only way to drive; two-wheelers are FAR more deserving of garage space than automobiles; and if you get yourself a Jeep that's all dressed up with L2W logos, you'll be pert near guaranteed an accidental cameo in the next Jurassic installment, and the results mightn't be too pretty. :D We'll just start calling you David "T-Rex Lunch" Masse.

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    1. Fortunately I don't suffer from Tyranno-phobia :)

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    2. Might you consider postponing a new vehicle purchase until late 2017 or early 2018? Rumors are that Jeep will be releasing a Wrangler pickup: http://blog.caranddriver.com/its-official-jeep-wrangler-pickup-is-coming-in-2017/

      It might have a longer wheelbase than a traditional Wrangler, which could provide a better ride (though for a factory automobile, nothing beats the Wrangler's shorter wheelbase for nitty gritty off-roading). I'm certainly keeping my eyes on this, as I had a brief love affair with a '53 Willys pickup. (sigh) It was just too impractical--so I sold it and bought an '05 Vespa GTS250.

      Or--better yet--get yourself a custom job from legacypowerwagon.com, but be prepared to fork over a quarter of a million to half a million bucks.

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    3. Ry I've got shallow pockets, so if and when I pull the trigger, it will be on a used Wrangler. I'll be shopping from the dog pound, not the thoroughbred paddock.

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  4. An exodus ride -- I like the imagery that creates in my head. Good luck and be safe on that ride.

    A Jeep Wrangler -- Jeep -- the vehicle of my dreams since childhood starting with the CJ5 and moving to the Wrangler. And with the last 5 vehicles I've purchased new -- I test drive another Jeep Wrangler. And each time I conclude it is the crappiest vehicle I've ever driven. Perhaps stepping from the tight handling of a VW Jetta to the sloppiness is too much to bear. Same from Honda Accord to Jeep and even Chevy S10 to Jeep. I love how they look, I love the mystic, but the reality of the Jeep is so, so sad...

    Haven't test driven one in three years. Perhaps they have magically improved? Hope so.

    Besides, I figured you for a Land Cruiser...

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    1. Quirky ride fits with the look, like a good coat of mud.

      I don't want something mainstream, I want a bit of an outlier.

      The best handling vehicle hands down was my Miata. Now I want a beast.

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  5. How about a Pinz-Gauer instead of the Unimog? You'd be the talk of the neighborhood!

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    1. I love the Pinz-Gauer too, more than the Unimog. Wouldn't fit in the new underground parking.

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    2. ... same factory that made my Puch Scoot, '61 DS60.

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    3. There was a time (when I was riding a Solex) when I looked on Puch mopeds with considerable envy :)

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  6. First the Jeep and next thing you will be putting a surf board in the back seat?

    I'll keep my fingers crossed that the weather gods will be with you end of the month.

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    1. Thanks Sonja, heaven only knows what drives the weather. All I need is the promise of clear roads and no precipitation. Your kind wishes may well do the trick.

      As for surfing, odds are I'd end up as shark bait.

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  7. I am surprised at how few people can drive a manual transmission these days. Seems like those of us born in the 70's were the last generation. Everything is so automatic and automated nowadays.

    Me thinks you will have an adventure riding the Vespa to TO. Let's hope March goes out like a lamb just for you.

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    1. Well Brandy, the good news is that at this time of year the weather in Toronto is generally quite a bit nicer than the weather here, so if it's OK here if anything it gets better as you head west. I still need to keep my fingers crossed and whisper incantations to the weather god.

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    2. A Jeep for David? Talk about a image shift. I purchased a Jeep when I lived in the Adirondacks. I wouldn't get another unless you like a hard ride or see yourself doing a lot of off-road travels, maybe Africa. Poor gas mileage, uncomfortable riding, etc. But, as our Northern Indiana Jones, maybe?

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  8. Jim I know about all the atrocious aspects of the legendary Jeep, but 1) doors that you remove or replace, 2) a windshield that folds down, 3) a roof that comes off, 4) unstoppable four wheel drive, 5) a floor with rain drains, and 6) a brute of a vehicle, that's what I need to experience. Indiana Jones? Maybe in some crevasse of my mind, back where I keep track of my Quark flashlight, Leatherman Wave, Tyrol hiking boots, and vintage Tilley hat.

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  9. March 30 - hope it is a great day for a ride!

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    1. Thanks Ed! I have to cross more appendages.

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