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oomis

A friend of mine just got a Strom 650, he is 65 and has had many bikes.
He says he loves the Strom....

I have a bad back also, but since i put the back rest on the C50 - I have not had any riding issues at all. I would not be able to ride a cruiser without the back rest..

And for your Strom... Try this you will be blown away !!

Put a 1 tooth bigger sprocket on the front, the RPM will drop and the gas milage will go up. And there is still lots of grunt. You will be amazzed by how that motor responds to this..

Rob
 

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Discussion Starter #122
Still Sunday

Gods, the Prairies are tough. It’s much tougher riding than I ever would have expected. It’s not technically challenging, of course, but the fight against boredom never ends. There’s nothing to look at. The roads never change. All the little towns look the same. Even if I had some sort of music to listen to, I don’t know that it would help enough.

I’m in Winnipeg. Yep, the ‘Peg. It’ll the same ride home through Northern Ontario from this point on, as this is where the Yellowhead (which I’ve been on) and the Trans-Canada meet.

I had dinner at the Elephant and Castle pub (a chain) in a hotel today. I went downtown, thinking that in a larger city I’ll start by looking for where the tourists are. Really, what I’m looking for is the more bohemian part of the city. Usually this is close to a large university. Boy, I’d love to see some live music.

On a Sunday evening at dinnertime, there’s nothing going on in Winnipeg. And in fact, for the first time on my trip, I don’t feel safe. At the risk of offending, this is why.

Downtown Winnipeg was empty. It was barren of tourists, because the streets were full of (mostly) drunken Native youth. They were stumbling around the streets, fighting with each other, shouting across the street at each other, and there’s a bad vibe in the air.

Now, I come from Toronto, a big city with it’s own problems. I spent a lot of time downtown as a kid and saw a lot of things, so I’m no stranger to wayward youth. But I’m used to the safety of crowds, and there was seriously nobody else around except these kids.

Maybe I’m getting old. But all the same, I was done with this place.

Monday

Well, as much as Winnipeg blows, I’m stuck here today. I discovered a leak in my front brake line, and so the Nomad is in a local shop. It is being fixed under warranty, and they’re trying to get me out as quick as they can, but I’m still just killing time right now. I like hanging out in motorcycle shops. There’s an authenticity that I really appreciate. And I feel like the guys here appreciate the authenticity of my trip. I guess they see a lot of weekend warriors and garage queens.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to disparage weekend warriors and garage queens. To each their own. It’s just that personally, I think motorcycles are made to be ridden, not worshipped. But that’s just me.

Well, the bike’s out of the shop, but I don’t feel like being on the road today. It’s like I would be rushing, so I’m going to hole up again and get going first thing tomorrow morning.

I tooled around Winnipeg, but there was nothing to see. Being back in big city traffic took a little getting used to (again) but once I got in the rhythm of it, it was no worries.

Tuesday

I’m in Dryden, ON, home of Chris Pronger, NHL defenceman extraordinaire. I’ve seen a couple of these banners in small towns, each proclaiming that this is the home of some famous hockey player that couldn’t wait to get the hell out of that little town as fast as they possibly could. I wonder when the last time Chris Pronger was in Dryden.

I took a swing through the main street of Dryden and I saw the same thing I’ve seen in smaller towns over and over. A business district on Main Street that was decimated by the big box stores on the outskirts of town, by the highway. It made me sad – the downtown was really gutted. The consequence of which is that the people in the town no longer own the commerce that happens there. It’s owned and largely controlled by outsiders, leaving the town in a VERY vulnerable state.
 

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Hey Oomis: Thanks for continuing on with your excellent story. I have been away for a while, so I have some catching up to do on this site.
It's sad that we are approaching the end of a fine summer of riding.

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter #125
Stevo said:
Hey Oomis: Thanks for continuing on with your excellent story. I have been away for a while, so I have some catching up to do on this site.
It's sad that we are approaching the end of a fine summer of riding.

Steve
End? I have no idea what you're talking about. I just plug in my electric vest and keep riding until there's snow on the ground. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #130
It's not the end!

Wow, I had forgotten that I missed the end piece of this....

...will post the ending and wrap it up in the next little while.

O.
 

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Discussion Starter #133
After much ado...

I'm going to try and finish this story, though it may seem anticlimactic. Having sold the Volusia and the Nomad now, I still lurk a little on this site, but I like to finish what I started....

Waking up in Dryden was an exercise in olfactory torture. Plainly put, it's a pulp and paper town, and it stank. It stank so bad that I wanted to dry heave. The first thing on my mind before breakfast, before coffee, before anything was to get as far away from that smell as I could.

Looking at the back wheel of the Nomad, I can see the toll that the Prairies have taken. There's a big ol' flat spot where the tire has worn away in the center. I'm unsure about it, but it'll have to get me home.

From Dryden to Schreiber, where I aim for the same motel (the Barrel Inn) that I stayed at on my way out. I'm looking forward to the familiarity of the place (and the hot tub!)

This time around instead of a motel room they give me a full 1 bedroom apartment with a full kitchen for $41. Crazy cheap!

---

Breakfast in Marathon, ON. I'm at an A&W, pure class. I have a thing for fast food breakfasts, not sure why.

I'm noticing that I'm very tired lately. I seem to be sleeping well, but I can't shake the fatigue. Because I'm heading east, and I like to get an early start to the day, I'm spending a lot of time riding into the rising sun, which can't be helping. It's one of those little things that doesn't seem like a big deal, but it really adds up.

And dinner in Sault Ste. Marie (the Soo!). I don't feel like writing today, but I'm forcing myself.

Today was a good ride, it felt leisurely. I stepped at the Agawa Bay visitor's center, which was really nice. They put a lot of work into it and it really shows. It backs out onto a long, sandy beach; I wandered out there in my motorcycle boots, only for a moment. I felt too much like a fish out of water in my big ol' boots, dragging my jacket and helmet along.

I can't recall if I've mentioned the inukshuks that I saw on this road on my way west. Inukshuks (http://www.sulis.net/inukshuk.htm) are typically stones, assembled to look like a person, that the Inuit use to mark a place of significance.

The road north of Superior is blasted (in part) out of the outcroppings of the Canadian Shield. The road is very often flanked on one or both sides by a steep rock embankment (a rock cut). It seems that, whenever there's space, someone has put a small pile of rocks (there's lots of rubble left over from the blasting) into a shape of a small inukshut.

I don't know what they mean, if anything, but there are hundreds, maybe thousands of them all watching over the road. It's nice...it makes me feel not quite so alone out here.

And it's one of those things that I kept saying I'll stop and take a picture, I'll stop soon, not yet and I knew that if I didn't force myself to pull over I'd ride past all of them and lose my chance, so I pulled over, scrambled to the top of the rock cut and left my own inukshuk. It was pretty feeble, looking, more a heap of rock than anything else, but it was mine. I felt like, having benefited from their watchful eyes the whole way out and back, that I was contributing something back.

I love watching people look at bikes in parking lots. Particularly men with families; there's a look, a real longing I see in a lot of them. Maybe they used to ride and gave it up. Maybe they always wanted to but never did. I see that the motorcycle is more than a mode of transportation, it represents something. It sparks the imagination, fires longings that some people don't even know that they have.

It's a real shame that people live their lives with this on their shoulders. Perhaps one day I'll feel the same, but I certainly hope it doesn't. My children are a joy, and I don't feel like they've ever prevented me from doing anything.
 

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Discussion Starter #134
Friday

I'm almost home. Today is crappy weather, the worst so far on the trip. It's that heavy drizzle that just doesn't stop. My "waterproof" gloves are soaked, my Joe Rocket Ballistic pants gave out (crotch first), but the boots and the rainsuit (when I finally put it on) are magic.

I have misplaced my anti-fog insert for my helmet, and boy do I need it today. Visibility is poor, to say the least. I tailed a semi for a bit because I knew that oncoming traffic would see him. I wasn't so sure they'd see me on my own. I could also keep his tail lights in view, which was good because I couldn't see the road. In hindsight, I shouldn't have been riding....

I rode through 5 hours of rain, soaked through several sets of gloves and I learned that when your hands get cold, you're done. It becomes unsafe to ride when your hands get cramped up from the cold.

I'm holed up in a Tim Horton's in Espanola, ON, waiting for a friend of a coworker that I've never met to come by and say hello. I would say that in addition I'm waiting out the weather, but looking outside I think the weather's going to win this round, as it doesn't look like it's going to clear up anytime soon.

The friend of a friend turns out to be really cool. I was a bit apprehensive about meeting him (kinda strange how some of these things turn out) but it was nice to have a meaningful face to face conversation after so much time on my own. He invited me to ride with him and his wife next year, an empty offer, I'm sure, as I don't think he ever expects me to take him up on it, but that's fine by me. It's the thought that counts, right?

By the time our chat was done, the rain had stopped, though it was still overcast. I rode into North Bay, where I paid way too much for a mediocre room. I walked downtown to find a place to grab some dinner and found a roadhouse kinda place that looked promising, but they ended up closing because they had some kind of problem with their kitchen. I waited for 90 minutes, being told that they could resolve their issue and stay open only to find out that wasn't the case. Hungry Oomis = grumpy Oomis. My night was done, and all I could think about was the home stretch tomorrow.

----------------

The next morning was a very quick ride from North Bay to Bracebridge, where I was meeting the wife and kids. Good friends of ours were baptizing their daughter up there, so it worked out well.

I was missing my family so badly at that point that I was going nuts killing time at the hotel until they arrived...and when they rolled into the parking lot, I was pretty close to bursting into tears...

That pretty much wraps up the trip. I have too many highlights to really narrow down, but I got out of the trip what I wanted. I got to see my country in a way that not many people do, I got to see all kinds of new things and I got a ton of stories.

Would I do it again? In a heartbeat....
 

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Just stumbled across this thread and read the whole thing!! Took about and hour and a half. You're a very talented writer, Oomis. The way you put your words together made me feel as if I were there with you. Thanks for taking the time....
 
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