Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Foggy Ride In

T'was a foggy morning out in the wilds of Southern Ontario, Canada.  I took some photos with the big camera before leaving, then grabbed the Theta360 for some foggy road photos...

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Night Riding: batman

It'd been a long, hot night in lodge.  Putting on a tuxedo isn't exactly comfortable at the best of times, stewing in one for three hours was worse.  I'd finally sprung free from cleanup and was looking forward to a cool, dark ride home.

Even now it was still well above 20°C, but the warm night air over mesh pants and jacket was dramatically cooler than a room full of guys in suits.  The Tiger fired up at first touch, eager to make some wind.

Riding at night doesn't happen very often, and when it does it tends to be the end of a long day where the goal is to get home, but the magic of night riding quickly reaches out and grabs me.  The smells are different and strong.  Reflective eyes follow me from every hedgerow and the stars are wheeling overhead.  Ground fog flashes past in low lying areas and my headlights tilt dramatically as I round corners on dark country lanes.

Suddenly, without warning something hits me in the visor - more precisely, I knock it out of the air with my face.  Whatever it was hits me hard enough to get off the throttle and coast while I assess the damage.  Insects attain Jurassic Park sizes in Canada in the summer, but this wasn't that.  Whatever it was bounced off the visor and hit my right shoulder, where it scratched desperately at my mesh jacket before the wind blast threw it over my shoulder into the dark.

Tiredness and heat exhaustion had been washed away with a surge of adrenaline.  I had big eyes behind that scarred visor.  Was it a cicada?  A June bug?  Those things grow baseball sized up here.  That desperate scratching feeling over my shoulder was still freaking me out.

I got my head together and pushed on into the night.  With no moon the Milky Way arched overhead.  Closing in on the one horse town of Oustic I tried a night time 360° photo which came out blurry but cleaned up nicely in Photoshop (on the right).

I rolled into my driveway well past 11pm.  As I pushed the Tiger into the garage and took my jacket off I discovered that it was splattered with blood.  My best bet is that I knocked a bat out of the air with my face.  He was probably doing his thing picking those Jurassic Park sized bugs out of the sky when my head came flying through space and took him out.  If I'd have seen him coming I would have ducked, but black bats at night are hard to pick out.

Better a bat than the rodent of unusual size I saw on the road half an hour later.  I don't know what that was either, but it gave me a long look with reflective yellow eyes before it ambled off into the undergrowth.

Riding at night is magical, but not without its dangers.

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Lobo Loco WTF Bonus

Click on this and like it in Facebook!

While you're at it like my rally buddy Jeff's as well!

Help me out and click on those images and like it in Facebook!

It'll get us a bonus in the Loboloco WTF Rally we're running in this Sunday.  

I''ve got my rally flag - lucky number 7!



Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Chasing Storms

The other day riding home from a periodontal appointment in a foul mood I rode into a wave of ozone and turbulent clouds.  Spots of rain began to hit the visor while waves of rain approached over the horizon.  I pulled over to take some shower pictures and ponder the state of the world; it's been a tough month in motorcycle culture.

Robert Pirsig died in April after a long and difficult life.  Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance is a deep and nuanced read written by a man of tremendous intelligence who battled with mental illness.  If you can hang on to it and the philosophy it pitches at you, you'll find a an ending worth waiting for.  Pirsig's little book is one of the best examples of deep thinking intertwined with motorcycling I've found.  He leaves behind an important legacy.

Nicky Hayden, by contrast, was living the dream.  A man who found his passion early and then excelled at it, Nicky raced motorcycles in pretty much every level of road racing there is, and he did it with an infectious grin plastered across his face.

He was in the paddock of MotoGP a few years ago when I started watching, but by then he was on a satellite bike and struggling near the back of the field.  It wasn't until I saw The Doctor, The Tornado and the Kentucky Kid that I realized the trajectory of Nicky Hayden's career and came to respect both his talent and his tenacity.

Nicky was training on a bicycle on a road in Italy after his last round of World Superbike racing on my birthday when he was hit by a car.  After some days in a coma he passed away.  It's the kind of news you don't expect to hear.  Nicky wanted to work on reintroducing a new generation of American road racers to the sport when he retired (there are currently no Americans contesting MotoGP when it used to be dominated by them), but instead he's gone.  Because of a driver in Italy not seeing a cyclist none of that will happen now.

I stood there feeling the temperature dip, the wind kick up and the darkness fall while ruminating on these two very different deaths - an old man and a young man, an academic and an athlete, both linked over decades only by their love of two wheels.

I jumped on the bike and got home just as everything went pear shaped outside.  Rain lashed the windows and the day went dark.  

Of course, as is the way of things, when the storm passed the sun came back and reminded me how beautiful the world can be.

Sunday, 4 June 2017

June 3rd Ride

After the success of taking Ricoh Theta 360 images on the roll a few weeks ago, I brought it along for a ride over to Erin and the Forks of the Credit on a sunny Saturday.

June 3 motorcycle ride - Spherical Image - RICOH THETA

Once again the Theta proved itself the ideal 360 camera for riding a bike with its hardware controlled buttons, all seeing eye and ease of use.

June 3rd Forks of the Credit, Ontario, CAN - Spherical Image - RICOH THETA

The embedded full 360° images above you can save on https://theta360.com show you the full range of the camera, but you can also use the desktop editing software to capture the views you like:

If you're looking for an on bike camera, you'll be happy with the Ricoh Theta - it's cheaper than much of the competition and is the easiest to use and most fully 360° camera you'll find.