|Gearing up before the ride|
After a tasty White Spot Breakfast, the five of us headed out from the restaurant and approached our bikes. Sonja, Roland and I started up our Vespa GTS 250s, Bobskoot his big V-Strom, and David a 200cc scoot (maybe an Aprilla?). After a discussion about places to go to, we decided to head off for Buntzen Lake.
We did talk a bit about safety before starting off. Since I was riding with new people, I thought I would be mostly safe - proper jacket with armour, jeans, good gloves. I was, however, wearing running shoes instead of my über safe hiking shoes. On the other hand, the shorts I had stowed in the pet carrier was, in fact, in the pet carrier and not on me. Thanks goodness I was cautious as, first, it makes sense to have a reasonable amount of protection for the ride we ended up doing and, second, I would have looked rather silly in shorts and a t-shirt with this well equipped group. I still felt kind of unsafe, though, as everyone else wore armoured pants and riding boots. I'm safer than I used to be but if I plan to do more of these group rides (and I sure do!) then I am going to need to get some safer gear. Even if it is smoking' hot.....
Now, as I said before, I hadn't been on a group ride since motorcycle school so I was a bit cautious, not wanting to make a huge faux pas that would, in turn, be blogged about by all the members of the group! Bobskoot gave me some group riding advice and the group seemed pretty supportive so, with growing confidence, I started up my Vespa and started off.
Roland was the leader - and he did an excellent job. He did not go too fast or slow and made sure that the group stayed together. Second was David, then Sonja, me, and sweeping, Bobskoot. We slowly made our way through parking lots and side streets until we ended up on the Lougheed Highway. Riding in our staggered formation seemed pretty easy and I was working hard to not creep up on Sonja nor to go too slow.
I was careful to ride following all the rules and laws of the ride, like I'd been taught in motorcycle school. I don't want to be a rat, but I did notice the some of the group took the law into their own hands, slowing down for stop signs but didn't exactly, well, stop! I certainly don't want to embarrass anyone by identifying them but I must say that she did it quite a few times!
On the way up to Buntzen Lake, we encountered 'twisties'. If you don't know what twisties are, they basically consist of lots of curves on the road that make you twist and turn. They are extremely appealing to me because they are both fun and dangerous. They are fun because I love the feeling of turning at a speed that I never could have done on the LX50; they are dangerous because there's the need to really focus on what you are doing, to look where you are going, and to lean properly while you turn. Come to think of it, that's all kind of fun as well!
After lots of twisties, although not seriously curvy, we arrived at our first destination, Buntzen Lake. I had scooter there before about three years ago on my LX50 and chronicled my ride here. This ride had a different feel because I had spent it with people who shared a passion for riding.
|At Bunzten Lake|
We stopped in a 5 minute zone and had a quick break and then proceeded to the lake to take some photos. Bobskoot guided us through a number of great photos and his sense of humour showed through as he had us try different poses.
As we were ready to leave, a park employee came over to us and told us we should have parked in another area 20 metres away from where we were parked because the area was 'reserved for motorcycles.' We looked over there and read the sign by where she was pointing. The sign said, "Emergency Vehicles Only'. Go figure!
|Enjoying the sun at the lake|