Friday, May 20, 2016

Mission: Exfil Thunderbird

Extracting Thunderbird from its winter lair just north of Montreal's Parc Lafontaine is one thing I'll be doing tomorrow. Riding it 500 kilometers to Toronto on Monday will bring the mission to a close.

The Honda Shadow had to be stored because our two car garage in Montreal could manage a Civic, a BMW X3, and a Vespa GTS, but sadly there was no room at the inn for Thunderbird. Not so with our new home in Toronto. Each of our parking spaces can accomodate a car or SUV and a motorcycle, as long as the bike is parked parallel to the wall at the front of the space.




Not that it really matters at this point because we returned the Civic and are down, for the time being, to just the one car.

The Shadow spent its hibernation with the Montreal Vespa dealer. As luck would have it, since last summer, they also sell and service Honda motorcycles. I spoke to Fran├žois who heads up their service department just last week. I reminded him to haul the Honda out of storage and perform his magic on the bike so it will be fit for another season of adventure. Among the things to be seen to is a new front tire.

Although the Shadow is a beast (at least compared to the Vespa which is unquestionably the beauty of the pair), I have to say I am looking forward to swinging into the saddle on Saturday morning. We're going to Montreal to attend our friends' daughter's wedding and I'm squeezing in ex-filtrating Thunderbird among the weekend's festivities. I see it as an ex-filtration because the Shadow is our last possession in Quebec. It's been two months since Susan and I rolled out of La belle province with all the rest of our stuff.

The Beemer and the Vespa are both sporting their light blue Ontario license plates, and the Shadow will follow suit next Tuesday.

Late yesterday afternoon I was pestering Sonja as she was struggling to get to sleep deep in the Black Forest, because my insurer just had to have her German driver's license number in order to arrange for the new Ontario coverage. One of these days I will write an article explaining how Sonja and I have managed to craft an inter-continental bike sharing arrangement so that Sonja has a North American ride whenever she pleases. Thanks for e-mailing the information so late in the day Sonja, you're the best!

So far my new neighbours barely seem to notice or raise an eyebrow when my Vespa purrs in and out of the underground garage. We'll see how they react when I rumble into town on the Shadow. Even with the stock exhaust, and without unnecessarily goosing the throttle, it's clear that the Honda V-Twin is no Italian pussycat. It's certainly no worse than the bright yellow first series Hummer a few stalls away.


I'll do my best to behave.

13 comments:

  1. David, please resist your inclination to behave. Instead, rumble in wearing skull cap, leather vest, and frayed jeans and bearing arms fully illustrated in temporary tats, from biceps to wrists--temporary prison sleeves, man! And once inside that spic-and-span parking garage there, goose that throttle as you've never goosed before. Make it roar, man! Give those neighbors somethin' to gossip about.

    I look forward to the report. ;-)

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    1. Ry I love your lust for life. I agree that life well-lived has to be boisterous at times. We can't always be Caspar Milquetoast, sometimes when say you're driving on the 401 and there is a class 5 left-lane-sitter in a beige Corolla tootling along at 110 kmh, ignoring your looming presence in his rear view mirror, you need to unleash the Beemer's photon torpedos, flick on the sport mode, and blast down the highway.

      I get it. That's why I left my Corazzo 5.0 scooter friendly jacket at home in favour of my black leather iconic diagonal zipper, snap-down lapel, belted-waist Viking Angel Fire jacket. I'll be rumblin' back into Dodge all James Dean like.

      I'll goose the throttle in your honour as I roll into the car cave.

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  2. Just curiousity, if you are down to one car and a Vespa in Toronto, why is the Vespa parked in front of the SUV?

    I wouldn't worry too much about the neighbors and the Shadow does have a stock exhaust. Maybe it just seems loud compared to the scooter...

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    1. Richard, two reasons:

      1) our number one spot is ten steps to the townhouse elevator. Our number two spot is on the other side of the Hummer, like 150 feet in the distance.

      2) When we were in the process of buying the property manager said that the condo by-law limited parking to one vehicle per spot. The by-law actually says multiple vehicles are permitted so long as they don't protrude over the painted lines. I pointed that out, and our lawyer and realtor confirmed it. I am now exercizing my right in plain sight. It's a case of use it so you don't lose it.

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  3. Bring the Shadow to DQ on Monday if you're here in time ... needs to practice the stink-eye. :-)

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    1. If I can make it there in time I will.

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    2. I'll probably ride the little stinker (2T @ 25:1 stinky)

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  4. Glad it worked out, David. I am looking forward to seeing our Shadow on the road again ;-) Enjoy the ride!

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    1. Thanks Sonja, it's all safely done and behind me, all except the story telling.

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  5. Hope you are having a great ride back to Toronto.

    I wouldn't think that Hummer would be the ideal get about town vehicle for Toronto. I guess sit takes all kinds.

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    1. I'm reluctant to express public opinions on neighbours' rides. You know, 'people in glass houses'. I could get a kick riding that thing around the block a few times. And it's true that I am currently lusting after a Jeep Wrangler Sport. It's sad, I know.

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  6. David - You and Susan should stop by on your way through.

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    1. There's more of this story to tell :)

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