Thursday, April 17, 2008

Sudbury Ontario to Cambridge Ontario

Heather and Tom will be picking their new bikes, matching Suzuki C50 Boulevard SE's (800 cc shaft driven, liquid cooled cruisers with windshields, saddlebags and backrests) up at Suzuki of Newmarket on Saturday and then riding them home. The linked article is about a C50T, which is the same as the SE except that is has studs in the seat and saddlebags. Other than course training, Heather has limited miles on her Honda Rebel 250 and Tom has virtually none, so we intend to escort them home.

I went to the gym first thing this morning, stopped by the optometrist to complain about the prescription of my new glasses and then came home to pack. It was clear and quite warm, an exceptional day for April. We got all the gear stashed on the bike without incident.

Sandy hasn't been on the bike since I decided to increase the preload settings on the rear shock, so I took a guess at 20 based on our experience with the spring-only ride to Georgia last September. It was perfect. A word to Traxxion users with the regular spring, don't get lured in by the talk of low settings. The ride, bumps and all, was much better with the higher setting.

The ride down Highway 69 was comfortable, not to cool with moderate traffic. I set the cruise at 19 KPH above the limit based on the GPS. It was easy to see the salt still on the pavement. I think this is worse since they started using brine. It will take some more heavy rain to wash this off into the ditches where it will entice the moose out to the side of the highway and we will have our usual spring rash of car/moose collisions.

As we reached Nobel, about 100 miles into our journey, I had to slow down for construction. When I did, I started to hear a faint swish/swish sound from under the bike that varied in relation to our ground speed. This identified it as being related to tires, wheels, brakes, final drive or drive shaft. We stopped at Mickey D's in Parry Sound for lunch and I put it on the centre stand to see if I could see anything. Nothing visible with the brakes, nothing if I spun either wheel, nothing if I moved the rear wheel in gear (except perhaps the lash was a little more than I remembered). Maybe it was salt in the brake pads?

We continued on, taking some of our favourite Ontario roads. Off the 400 at Highway 89, we went towards Alliston but took the road around the Nottawasaga Inn to Tottenham Road. Then we went south to County 1 and then west, with the road eventually becoming the Hockley Road. They have added a much needed traffic light in Loretto which should save a few lives. The Hockley Road is perfect. Good pavement and no sand in the corners, although the 70 KPH speed limit is quite limiting. When we reached Highway 10 in Orangeville, we went south through Caledon to Forks of the Credit Road. This has been closed for over a year and a half, but is now open again and many bikes will be riding it as the season goes on.

Once through The Forks, we continued on Highway 24 to Guelph and Cambridge, arriving at Kim and Mike's by about 4:30. After taking about what to have for supper,the girls decided that they would like to try the new Chicken Bowls from KFC. Mike and I headed over there to get some. The girl at the counter said they didn't have any large bowls, but she would give us two small ones for the price of one large. That was a great deal and so we headed home after a successful hunt with EIGHT chicken bowls. Surprisingly, they weren't too bad with the mashed potatoes, corn, cheese, chicken nuggets and gravy.

We must have been tired because Sandy and I hit the sack about 9:15 and went right to sleep.

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