Today I met up with Dwight and rode with him to U.S. border in St. Stephen, along with his friend Tom. It was a nice day to go for ride, and my first opportunity to ride with the both of them.
Dwight met me just off the highway near my house and we proceeded across the city in morning traffic to Tom's house on the west side. It was a spectacular morning, no wind, 20C, and sunny skies. I knew it was gonna be a hot one, when I had to start opening the vents on my jacket at 0730.
Self portrait waiting for the white KTM
Dwight's good friend Tom has a beautiful place on the west side of Saint John, nestled in the trees overlooking the Bay of Fundy. Of course the only thing I was really focused on was the beautiful old BMW belonging to his friend Jimmy.
Jimmy is the fella with the hat in the background. Really nice guy, and I had wished I had more time to talk to him. He used to race motorcycles, and apparently has about 35 bikes at his house.
Dwight's new KTM 990, and Tom's KLR with my Vstrom lurking off to the side.
Dwight, Tom and myself load up after 30mins and hit the road for St. Stephen, with a pit stop at the St. George Timmies. Traffic is fairly light on this side of the harbour and we slab it on the highway for the next 35mins.
Breakfast and another coffee is long overdue, so the stop at Timmies is quite welcome at this point. It also gave us a good chance to have a chat and get to know each other better. Tom is nice guy, quiet and I get the sense that he is a very smart and resourceful guy, and as the day goes on I learn that he is quite a good mechanic and used to work for Kawasaki.
We continue the ride for another 45kms down to the US border, and bid our farewells to Dwight and wish him luck on his new journey. He is running on fumes at this point and hoping to make the Irving gas station down the road on the US side, and not have to use his CAA/AAA card.
Tom and I turn around and head into the town of St. Stephen and plan to take the Coastal Route back towards Saint John. We get through town only to find out there are detours putting us back on the highway due to multiple bridge repairs. So we slab it again as far as Pennfield and then finally make our way back to the Coastal Route.
It's unseasonably hot. Yes it's July, but we never get multiple 30+C days here. At slow speeds it's uncomfortably hot on the bike. My windshield is adjusted too high and I am not getting enough airflow. Not usually a problem in these parts. Otherwise the ride is nice, and with the new four lane open, the secondary roads are quiet.
Riding through the twists and turns of Mace's Bay I realize Tom is nowhere in sight behind me. The road looked like it was just freshly chip sealed and there was a lot of loose stuff in the center and on the sides of the road, so the first thing that I though was......... he went down. I was like oh shit. So I pull a quick 180 and slowly head back in the opposite direction scanning the sides of the road for an upside down KLR. Turns out Tom was trying to wave at me to stop and I never saw him. He was parked in the driveway of a friend of his, Mike McKinley. Turns out it was an awesome place to stop. Mike is a lover of old Japanese bikes, especially the 2-stroke ones, and has restored quite a few.
Mike's garage. Inside it has a beautiful Honda XL100, which I fell in love with.
Mike is going to set up a museum with his most prized motorcycles. One of which is a 1974 Honda Z50, which is something true to my heart. I learned to ride on a 1972 model. He also has some Rokon 2- wheeled drive bikes. These things look like they just came out of cold war Russia, but are in fact made in the USA. Go figure. Mike is a big friendly guy that talks a mile a minute, and is just ripe for his own biker/reality show.
Mike website is www.classicjapcycles.com
Before long I had realized that it was almost 1pm, and it was time to beat a hasty retreat for home.