Phew, that was a hell of a ride. Today had it's ups and downs, but still great overall.
Hatched a plan during the week to head North West to Caledon with my friend Rob, one of the few other motorcyclists I know (and my coworker). Looking at a map of great riding roads in Ontario, almost all of them are 1.5 hours out of Toronto. We found a cluster of about 3 points of interest nearby.
- Forks of the Credit
- Terra Cotta park
- Some regional backroads
Plan was to head to Caledon and hit all 3 in a row.
Met up at 8:30am at a gas station close to home, checked the air pressure on our tires (which I've never done before with this bike), headed up through some light Sunday morning traffic.
The city turns to suburbs, and suburbs turn to farm land. An hour later we found a small town coffee shop to take break at and to check the map again.
With the route fresh in our heads we started to head out of the coffee shop parking lot, but then I got caught in some potholes, and while rocking myself out of them, dropped the damn bike. Fine, done that plenty of times. Just embarrassing.
But this time it didn't start afterwards. Electrics powered up, fuel injection worked, but the engine wouldn't start. After some googling, Rob found a video of a common issue with my model where a wire would get loose by the clutch handle. After he secured it a bit, I held my breath, gave it a shot, and it started up. Huge relief.
We got moving again and hit the Forks of the Credit soon after. We rode in staggered formation, as you're supposed to, and took turns leading. I was leading when we found the turn towards the Forks, and it was coming off a main road. I saw a gap in traffic so I went ahead, and slowed down after as I wasn't sure Rob would get through the same spot.
By the time I saw him turn in behind me, several others had turned in at the same time, and we were suddenly part of a cluster of 5 bikes, and I was in the lead position. Huh, slight pressure to not be a fool.
On we went through a beautiful forest with smooth, moderate turns. The whole path was gorgeous, I have to go back with a helmet camera.
When we finally got to the switchback I was feeling pretty good. Over the past month I've been trying to get a better sense of how far I can lean in turns, and this was a good opportunity to test myself a bit. The instructors kept sayign we could go further than we thought. When I hit the switchback at the Forks I leaned so far over that my highway pegs (extra footpegs mounted further forward so I can stretch my legs) scraped across the ground, freaking me out a bit. Did the same on a turn to the right.
Felt great though! The pegs stick out pretty far, so in the grand scheme of things I wasn't that far over. Pretty sure other bikes go as far and further all the time, but it was good for me. Thinking about removing those pegs though.
This road attracts a lot of motorcylists, and as we got past that area we entered a small village looking area with a restaurant and some other buildings, and motorcylists were everywhere.
Funny how a great road that probably only takes 10 minutes to get through has built of a motorcyling community around it.
Anyways, while heading to Terra Cotta, on a routine stop sign and right turn, I dropped the bike at a slight decline. Which I've done 2-3 times before already. It's getting into my head a bit to be honest.
Unlike other drops, the decline tipped the bike further, leaking some fuel out, and breaking my front right turn signal. Goddamn.
My back signals work fine, but still really annoying. 5 minutes later I did it again, probably just because it was in my head again.
Sidenote: Just ordered replacement parts. Will try to put that stuff on myself, it's just a light so it should be fine.
We continued through Terra Cotta, mostly uneventfully, and somehow missed any of the badlands looking areas. Skipped the 3rd point of view on account of the ride being longer than we had thought, and my light being broken.
Cruised back to Toronto, got stuck in gridlock traffic near my place for the 3rd time in 3 days, but made it home.
After all was said and done it was pretty great. Yeah I have to replace a light, but totally worth the ride.
In a few weeks I'll be riding to Ottawa through some backroads, and hope to have a helmet cam set up by then. That'll be a test of how I handle longer trips (estimating around 8 hours or so). Looking forward to it!