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Belfry last won the day on July 27 2018

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About Belfry

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  • Birthday 05/14/1963

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  • Location
    British Columbia
  • In My Garage:
    2006 VFR800 Pearl Black
    1996 DR650SE

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  1. I started combining bike tours and hiking about 15 years ago. That shot of the Wasatch range was taken after 2,500 feet of elevation gain--a lot of switchbacks were ... back switched by that point. I haven't found a way (or a camera) to adequately capture steep grades in photos. But to your point: 180 degrees from where that photo was taken was this: The summit of Mt. Timpanogos. We didn't go all the way to the top. We were already three hours in and though we started early, the temps were getting high and water was low. On the way down, we started to catch up to some other hikers. Speaking of small, insignificant things: They're the little dots of colour on the trail. A few years ago I was discussing summer holidays with a neighbour. She said: "So you must really like Neil Peart." I knew Peart was the drummer for Rush, but I thought it was a bit of a non sequitur until she explained that he had written some books about motorcycle touring, hiking--and playing stadium rock concerts. She lent me her copy of Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road. It was written after his wife and daughter died. He took to the road to work things out. He rides a BMW GS, but don't hold that against him. I read another of his books (Roadshow: Landscape with Drums, a Concert Tour by Motorcycle), where he rides between Rush gigs. I'm only a moderate Rush fan, but in those books he mostly avoids the rock lifestyle and writes about riding and hiking.
  2. I got home Sunday afternoon after spending a couple of days in Denver, then riding to Park City, UT, spending four days hiking there and taking three to ride the 1,000 miles from Utah home. No issues with the bike, total mileage for the tour was 3,525 miles/5,673 kms. First, thanks to Tony (Didit) for organizing another great SumSum. It's always nice to see familiar faces and meet some new folks too. The rides were great, and this was the most educational VFRD event I've attended. I learned a lot watching Lee and Kevin's stator-ectomies as well as Ernest's chain resection. My bike is due for some maintenance this winter. Since reliability is important to me, I'll be inspecting (and probably replacing) my stator. The chain also has some stiff, slightly kinky links, so chain and sprockets are on the list too. I also enjoyed the parking lot Corner Carver Clinic™ with Tammy as pilot. For some reason I always like turning right better than left. The cornering tips gave me a new way of thinking about cornering so that left turns were more enjoyable (an opportunity to practice) for the rest of the tour. It was great to finally meet the famous Carver clan, and see the enthusiasm with which mini-Carver tore into Kevin's stator transplant. It was unfortunate that Kevin and Lee had to sit out the ride days waiting for parts, but the superhuman effort by Fred and Lisa to rescue Kevin from Bozeman, MT and the parking lot repairs that allowed everyone to ride home were inspiring. I hope Honda is aware of sites (thanks Miguel) and rider communities like ours and that it encourages them to continue development of the V4 800 and bring it back into the North American market. I decided to try something new on this tour. I left my trusty Nikon digital camera and Samsung netbook behind and brought only my Samsung smartphone. I hate typing with my thumbs, so I picked up a small, folding bluetooth keyboard to use with the phone. I also bought a US SIM card to avoid outrageous roaming charges. It all seemed to work pretty well and was a much smaller, lighter setup. I arrived at The Chief Motel on Tuesday, unloaded the bike, showered and headed toward The Rocket looking for other VFRD inmates. I spotted Tony and a few others walking to the brew pub next door for dinner--and SumSum4 was on! The next morning I set off with Curry, Al and Gordon but our progress was quickly halted by a lot of unprocessed hamburger meat in the road. We made our way to the site of the stoned presidents. The old west town of Deadwood, where I noticed that while the ladies were scantily clad, they seemed a bit wooden. We carried on to see more stuff carved out of mountains (you'd think they could find an easier medium to work with), the Insane Equine: On the ride back to Custer, Cogswell wanted proof of where he takes his moto-touring holidays: The next day Cogswell and I decided to see the Needles: And revisit the presidents to compose them in a shot with something truly impressive 😜 Not VFR-related (but I used the bike to get there!), a few shots from the back end of my trip: Ski jumpers practicing at the Utah Olympic Park (Look closely, there's a little guy inverted over the water. This may be where the phone lets me down as a camera.) Park City historic downtown. And a few beauty shots from the hikes in and around Park City. Ski runs. Park City from the hills surrounding the Olympic Park. Bonnie Lake in the Uinta National Forest. Provo Falls. Wasatch mountains from 9,500 feet, about three hours into the Mt. Timpanogos hike. As a nice lady in a tiny (one pump) gas station in Oregon told me: "May you never ride faster than your guardian angel can fly!"
  3. Ditto. And there is always the 34468Randy solution: The toolkit, spare tire, forgotten jacket, etc. in the form of a thin, wallet-sized plastic rectangle with your name and a bunch of numbers embossed on the front. 😉
  4. My tires are good for the ride down and the day rides, but might be a little sketchy by the time I get home depending on how far I go in Colorado, Utah and Idaho. I checked Rice's site, and their prices are comparable to FortNine and Rider's Domain with the 35 percent discount. Any idea what they charge for balancing and installation? Does the 35 percent discount apply to labour too? 🤔
  5. I'm finally off the fence--just booked at the Chief and registered. It's usually not clear to me how the summer will unfold until it gets closer. But then again, I have managed to make the last two SumSums (didn't have a VFR for the first one), so it would be a shame to break the streak. I'll most likely be tacking a week of vacation on to the end of the meet (as I have the last couple of times ...), so as before I'll have to slab it most of the way there. Intercepting the group headed south from Canada and the Pacific Northwest might still be possible for the last day or two. Now to get the bike in shape and start envisioning the ride with some of Maxswell's "wild anticipation." And thanks again to Tony for scouting and organizing!
  6. You could try adapting something like this to your 5th gen: Or maybe try to blend in: Here's hoping you make it safe and sound whichever method you choose!
  7. Voted for Custer. Colorado is great, but I've been there twice now for SumSum2 and 3. I was through South Dakota on a bike in 2004: Custer, Rapid City, Sturgis, Deadwood, Spearfish--lots of nice roads. Just need to avoid the pirate festival ...
  8. Hi Belfry, Thank you for your donation of --. We look forward to improving the forums with your donation. Thanks VFRDiscussion
  9. Belfry

    Milky Way

    Bike looks familiar--galaxy too, think I've been there. Nice shot. HDR? Long exposure?
  10. Belfry


    Beautiful. I love those wide open spaces ... mist on the water. The road surface looks quite rough. Good grip, I imagine, but hard on tires.
  11. Are there certain hiring criteria for female servers at Twin Peaks?
  12. Hi PB, That shot of the M is zoomed quite a bit so it suffers from (or enjoys, depending on your point of view) lens compression, making it appear much closer. It's also hard to capture grade on roads and mountains in photos and video. Suffice it to say it was bloody steep, with stairs at each turn in the switchback--like doing a stairmaster on the higher settings for 20-30 minutes. We carried on to the top of Mount Sentinel. The middle third wasn't too bad, but the top was stairmaster time again. I wasn't drinking before the hike, but I definitely needed to replenish my vital bodily fluids afterward. I believe we accomplished that at KettleHouse, located in a brick warehouse right next to the train yard. The Eddy Out Pale Ale was just the ticket.
  13. Got home Sunday afternoon, incident free, with 2,708 km/1,638 miles on the trip clock. Thanks to Mike for another great Kootenay meet! It was fun meeting up with Randy and Al for the ride up to Nelson (despite the rain), and riding with Arman, Al, Kevin and Mark (in Reno) around the lake on Saturday. I carried on from the Hootenanny down to Missoula, MT on Sunday where I spent six days off the bike hiking and touring the area. Interesting continent we live on: Temps in B.C. with our July-uary weather were in the 60-70 F range, a few hundred miles to the southeast, mid-80s to 100 F (last Friday) in Missoula. There are some nice two-lane highways in northern Washington state (crossed at Nelway) and Idaho on the way down to Missoula--little traffic, nice scenery, small towns and a few twisties. On Saturday I decided to take the long way home and ride Lolo Pass since several of you (Arman and Paul among them) said: "If you're that close you have to do it." With no GPS and a cursory glance at my AAA map, I headed south on 93 from Missoula. Of course, I turned too early and wound up on a nice two-lane highway through farm fields that eventually spat me on to I-90 W. Not ready to give up on Lolo, I pulled over, consulted the map and found a road that connected to Hwy. 12 just before Alberton, MT. The road had no name on the map, and after about a third of the way, was indicated as two parallel lines instead of a solid line. I chose to interpret that as multilane expressway. A couple of hundred yards down the road a sign read: "Primitive road 12 miles." I figured I could always turn around if it got too bad. After 12 miles of nice, two-lane paved road through woods and fields with friendly farmers waving at me from their pickup trucks, the pavement ended. It was dry and the gravel was smooth, wide, and firmly packed so I carried on. It turned out that the beginning and end of the gravel section (which was about a third of the distance), were fine. There was just a bit in the middle where the road switchbacked up one side of a big hill (small mountain?) and down the other where the road narrowed, crowned (with rocks) in the centre, and had potholes and washboard for good measure. There was no sand, however, and I was able to find a hard-packed path that was at least as wide as the tires. So I off-roaded the VFR and lived to tell about it. Lolo was good, sweepers on the east approach and some tight turns on the west, but there was a fair bit of camper and motorhome traffic, so I didn't get to take many of them at speed. I saw the "Winding road for 99 miles" sign, but I've seen that shot so many times I didn't bother to stop and take it again. It was a nice day, but my offroad adventuring and Lolo diversion made it a long one: 12 hours and 549 miles by the time I checked in at the Quality Inn in Okanogan, WA. I had a nice leisurely day riding home on Hwys. 20 and 9 Sunday. Again, lots of slow campers and Hardleys, but beautiful weather and cooler temps. Some pics: Gathering before the pic with the 'Nelson Welcomes You' sign. Missed it by this much ... one sailing wait at the Balfour-Kootenay Bay ferry. Arman, Mark (in Reno), Kevin and Al on the ferry across Kootenay Lake. Not riding, but the veefer got me there ... Blodgett Creek in the Bitterroot Wilderness, MT. Water looks really inviting when it's 90F outside. Met some nice ladies riding horses on this trail. Two were packing. One more from the Bitterroot Wilderness in Montana. Missoula, MT from Mount Sentinel. University of Montana in the foreground. Lots of good microbreweries and restaurants. Interesting historic downtown. The 'M' about a third of the way up Mount Sentinel behind the university. It looks a lot closer than it is! You can see a bit of the switchback trail that leads up to it. Think Grouse Grind on a very hot day with no tree cover. Historic Missoula Court House. Made it! My "primitive road" excursion has a happy ending. This part looks easy. Who needs a steenkin' BMW GS? The intersection with Hwy. 12. I'm not a smoker, but if I were this is where I'd light up. Instead I drank some water, ate a Clif bar and took a few pics. I found a shady spot to pull over beside the Lochsa River in Lowell, ID after riding the pass. It was good seeing so many folks from the last meet and/or Montrose (Jeff, Rob, Kawasaki--now 'VFR'--Craig, Gary, Mike, Ian, David, Christian, Derek & Tammy, Terry, Tony, Quennel & Erin) and meeting a few new people too. Thanks again, happy summer and safe riding to all!
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