Different strokes

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I was driving back in the rain from the Tsawassen ferry terminal, looking around for motorcycles. There weren’t many. Although I’d seen a few street bikes earlier when I was driving around Vancouver. There had been a shiny Triumph Bonneville, rider in leathers, goggles and helmet. My Kawasaki KLR650 is, of course, in its winter slumber at Burnaby Kawasaki.

It wasn’t but a month ago that I was in Puerto Vallarta, soaking up the sun. And I was bike seeing there too. Where the motorcycles I was seeing in rainy Vancouver were dedicated commute vehicles, mainly larger motorcycles like the BMW R1200 GS, the motorcycles I saw in Puerto Vallarta were also dedicated commute vehicles, but also delivery vehicles and in some cases a food truck.

I was very impressed with how much in the resource-depleted setting of Baja coast Mexico, outside of the resort areas, the motorcycle was in use. But it wasn’t a status vehicle, at least not in the same way a shiny Triumph Bonneville is on the streets of Vancouver. The small 125cc bikes of Puerto Vallarta were extremely important to their owners, their livelihood, even part of the family.  I watched one twenty-year-old fellow take the rear wheel off his 125cc Honda like he’d done it a million times, just on the street, to do some repairs.

It made me think of how much I missed and yet how little I used my own motorcycle in comparison. I suppose it depends on where you live in the world.

 

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Part 1 of Riding Across Historic British Columbia: my presentation at Horizons Unlimited CanWest 2016

Traveling to Horizons Unlimited CanWest 2016 was a nine-hundred kilometre adventure along some of British Columbia’s best motorcycling roads, including Highway 6 east of Vernon.

But the experience of presenting “Riding Across Historic British Columbia” to a crowd assembled at the travellers meeting from across the province and from Alberta and Washington State was a real privilege. Afterwards my audience and I chatted about ideal routes for historical motorcycle travel across B.C.

Here is Part 1 of the presentation where I talk about riding my KLR650 along the forest service roads of southwest Vancouver Island to the Carmanah Valley and up the Hurley River Road in the south Chilcotin to the old gold mining town of Bralorne.

 

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Flattering Review from Motorcycle Mojo Magazine

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As a writer, I welcome feedback. Whether it’s praise or criticism, advice or suggestion, I need it.  It’s the only way to get better at what I do. But the most rewarding feedback of all is when someone understands what it is that I write about.  They get it. It means I’m doing my job.

When staff writer Marcus Martellacci wrote his recent review of Zero Avenue to Peace Park in the September/October issue of Motorcycle Mojo Magazine I was flattered and pleased.

I felt rewarded.

Writing a book as a self-publishing author and seeing it produced takes me two years, from the journey preparation, research, note-taking, photograph-taking, more research, writing, editor-searching, editing, layout, design and printing. It’s a process I enjoy, although it does contain some anxiety. When someone gets it, I can’t help but have a smile on my face. It was all worth it.

“His honest and endearing writing style…”

“His passion for motorcycling is combined with a deep respect for the history behind the places he visits…”

“The author puts aside ego and image, giving us an uncut, dropped-my-bike-before-I-even-started account.”

I respect the road. I respect the places I travel through. I think the motorcycle is the ideal way to experience these places. It puts me in contact with it all, from the elements to shaking people’s hands to all the sensory information I need to be in contact with it all. Conveying that in my writing isn’t easy, but I’m glad it’s coming across in the pages of Zero Avenue to Peace Park.

To have a reviewer read my work and pick up on why I write (and write a positive review) is very fulfilling. I’m not going to rest on my laurels though. Now that I know that I’m communicating my stories well, I’m going to improve on it. I’m building up to working on book #3. The feedback I get will go into my future work.

Thanks to Marcus Martellacci for taking the time to give my second book such a thorough read. And thanks to Motorcycle Mojo for since thinking my book good enough to grace their online shop catalogue.

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