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Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Three Wheels and Three Fins

Oh shit, here we go again, what kind of a tangent and hair - brained idea is Burt on again! Yes I do tend to come up with a lot of ideas, especially this time of year, when the biking season is coming to end and I have the long, dark, depressing winter to get through.

A lot of my ideas are just that, passing thoughts on cool trips and "would like to do" adventures. Then there are the ones that have a little more meaning. The ones that actually happen. Like my trip through Labrador and running an ungodly 67km around Deer Lake. I guess you could call them Bucket List items.

Three wheels and three fins is a bucket list thing. Almost two. It combines my love of motorcycles and surfing all in one. Ok, three wheels is my obsession with sidecars, and well, my surfboard has three fins.

If you've read any of my previous posts, you'll know that I have been jonesing for a hack for quite awhile. Hence the arrival of the Guzzi. Perfect bike for a sidecar. So the wheels are actually in motion  to acquire a chair. (hack, chair mean sidecar) I have already been in touch with Sportmax Sidecars in Victoria, BC. They are the North American distributor for Cozy sidecars, which are manufactured in India. Something they've been doing since 1960.

India! Yes, folks India, the same people that brought us Royal Enfield. In fact Cozy make sidecars for R.E. Am I worried about build quality, not a whole lot, especially on a bike that only really sees about 8 months of riding a year and will be mostly on road. Plus I haven't heard too many complaints about the Cozy brand. I've seen some R.E. bikes put through some hard riding, like the Himalayans, and survive, so I'm confident the Cozy is up to the challenge of North American roads.

I have already traded emails with Debbie at Sportmax Sidecars and she recommends the Cozy Standard or Cozy Rocket. I think the Standard will look better on the Guzzi, and my dogs Molls and Abbs like it better too.

Luckily DMC Sidecars in the U.S of A make a V7 Stone specific sidecar mount, so I'll pick that up, and have the Cozy shipped to me in the spring. The price is right, $2990 plus shipping, for a fully loaded car. Nice, then $775 for the V7 mount. I could go with a universal mount, but may as well do it right.

Here comes the real test........I'm going to do the install myself. Now I am not too concerned about getting the mount and the chair attached, it's the setup that is tricky, but I've read up on it and downloaded an set up guide, so what the hell, I'll take a stab at it. Getting the toe-in, lean out and rear wheel offset perfect may take some trial and error.

Who knows, if I get good at it, maybe I'll start a hack install business.

The only thing left is to fab up a surfboard rack for the sidecar. Something I can take on and off easily. That may take some more work, but I have a hangar full of very competent engineers that can help me in exchange for beer, or liquor.

Three fins. Well, my surfboard has three fins. They call it a thruster. It's about 17 years old and was custom made for me. How much longer will it last? Not sure.

The plan......the film......a one week solo or possible group trip through Nova Scotia surfing all the best spots, camping and riding the Guzzi with the sidecar. A culmination of everything I love. Simple and easy. A new surfboard maybe in order. Hell, I might be able to get Jimmy Lewis Canada to help out. Lee, the owner has more than helped in the past with the JL SUPs. I might even be able to help him sell some boards while I'm there.

Why Nova Scotia? Well, it just so happens to have some of the best surfing on the east coast of North America. Unfortunately most of that is in the winter time. However it is rarely completely flat even in the summer. So a late summer trip to Canada's Ocean Playground maybe required, since July is usually the worst time of year.

So what are the chances that this will happen? Well, when I put my mind to something it usually happens, and I'm pretty fired up by this. It's been a longtime since I prone surfed, and for some reason I am excited to go back again from SUP surfing.

On the other side of the camera I pretty excited to see how marrying on the bike and on the water footage together will work out. Both activities have a lot in common. Editing it would be wonderful.

What's great about this project? Not much planning needed other than arranging time off and watching the forecast.

The best part is, it all starts with the arrival of the Cozy sidecar, and documenting the install process, fabricating the surfboard rack, and me trying to get used to prone surfing again.

I think this could be a very fun 2016. Woohoo

Oh, the Little Guy Silver Shadow is up for sale to help fund my sidecar project. Drop me a note if you are interested in it. 10x10 side tent is included.