Gitchigoomee Iron Butt

I’d originally read about touring around Lake Superior and called it the Gitchigoomee Goaround.  I figured it’d be a week of riding.  I came across another motorbike blog where the guy was talking about doing it in 24 hours.  It turns out that focused, long distance, intense rides have a club!  The IBA.

It turns out that circumnavigating Lake Superior is 1673kms, which happens to be just over 1000 miles.  Leaving and returning to The Sault and going south through Michigan and around Superior to Ontario again, it would be a two border crossing trip with an awful lot of winding lake-side roads in between.  That would be an ironbutt you’d earn the hard way.

What better time to do it than Thanksgiving Day weekend (October 12-14) in Canada?  If we met up at Sault Ste. Marie on Friday and prepped, we could leave early Saturday morning before sunrise when there is minimal traffic at the border.  As the sun rises we’re already making tracks through Northern Michigan.

The route:  Sault Ste. Marie and back to The Sault, 1039 miles in 24 hours!

44 miles per hour (70 km/hr) average speed is needed, so packing in fifty miles per hour (80km/hr) gives you the wiggle room to stop for things like gas, or peeing, or eating, or a cat nap.

In a world of perfect efficiency with no road works, border crossings, traffic lights, mechanical considerations, weather, or traffic, keeping a steady 44 mph would be pretty easy.  Doing it with all those things and the onset of a Canadian winter (along with early sunsets and late sunrises) raises the stakes.

I think I’d want to get in shape for this one.  I was going to dare a buddy of mine to do it this year, but maybe this would be a better next year dare.


With next year in mind I’m adding in the weather this Thanksgiving weekend for Thunder Bay and Sault Ste Marie, which should give us an idea of what to expect.  With showers on Saturday a Sunday to Monday run looks like it might have been the best bet.  Cold at night, cool during the day, the right kit would be imperative.  Leaving The Sault about 4pm so that the last hours are done in daylight on the afternoon of the next day.  By the time we’re pushing east again the sun should be getting high in the sky so we’re not riding into it.

Sault weather days


Sault weather nights
Thunder Bay days


Thunder Bay nights

Warming up into the teens during the day, flirting with freezing over night.

Mid-Winter Macro Ice Crystals

Minus 20 outside, so it’s time for another round of macro-ice crystal photos using the Canon T6i Rebel with macro STM lens…

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ECOO13: soaking in the future

When you see this in the morning, it’s hard not to be inspired!

ECOO13 was bigger better, and better located that any of the ECOOs I’ve previously attended.  If you believe in ley lines then putting ECOO on the edge of a natural wonder captured some wonderfully thunderous energy.

I’m told that back in the day ECOO was enormous, much bigger, but those early immigrants were following a huge first wave of personal computing.  Since then computers have insinuated themselves into so many aspects of life that they often feel like just more work.

Informational democracy courtesy of computer networking on social media is a slow burn and is still building.  Instead of feeling disenfranchised by machines more and more people are recognizing them as an enabling influence, allowing individuals a voice where only mainstream media and large organizations once broadcast their influence.  ECOO has been building on this new wave of social media democratization every year since I’ve been attending.  It’s always in peril of being spun by the powers that be, but I still hold out hope that places like ECOO will allow people to realize how powerful they are in our new, flattened mediascape.

How to think in a new era? ECOO asking some big questions with Jaime Casap.

On a personal level I’ve been finding it difficult to engage with educational technology in the past few months.  Between a new infatuation and a year of difficult technology events (GAFE summitPearson Social Media Event), I’ve been finding the business of education to be politically charged and inexplicably restrictive.  The cavalier and simplistic manner in which technology is rolled out frustrates me.  In a difficult year I’ve been finding personal growth in other areas.

I’d signed up for an ECOO presentation without any really clear sense of direction. The past two years were pretty easy, I knew what I wanted to say and went after it, but after developing a digital skills continuum around pedagogy rather than cost cutting, and instead watching monopolistic corporate buy in, I’m not feeling overly engaged.  Sometimes rolling the rock up the hill just gets too heavy.

They ain’t kiddin!

It was with this sense of unease that I went to ECOO, but quickly found my happy place again.  From the conversations I had with intelligent, interrogative educators to the fantastically chosen keynotes that went straight after the larger questions around the information revolution we are living through, ECOO does indeed tackle tough issues.

I really enjoyed all three keynotes and they didn’t shy away from asking what education isn’t doing to help our students get ready for a world most of us have no idea is coming.  

Wired caught up with our ECOO keynotes in their latest issue. Coming back to the 19th Century, factory designed education system hasn’t been easy after soaking in the future for a few days.  ECOO is what education could be like if there wasn’t all the friction from dinosaurs.

If nothing else, ECOO reminded me that change is inevitable and not to give in to the pessimism of bureaucratic thinking.  Being an agent of change is difficult.  There are a lot of entrenched educational interests that have no interest in adapting to change.  After being at ECOO for a few days surrounded by educators who have already made steps into the future I realize I’m not alone in this, and I’m on the right side of history.

Tim’s Ten Bike Wishlist

One of the pieces they had in the recent big 100th edition of Practical Sportsbikes was a 10 bike wishlist.  Being a magazine focused on older sports bikes, that’s what their lists were.  My wishlist is more wide ranging, covering everything from pre-war classics to the latest digital machines.  There is a bit of 80’s representation, but it also has a pile of other bikes both old and new.  

My dream list would lean heavily on the dreams…

Tim’s Ten Bike Wish List:

1)  Granddad’s Coventry Eagle

I’ve talked about my Granddad’s Coventry Eagle previously.  This particular wish involves me coming across old NG4743 in a barn and restoring it myself.  Being able to restore and ride a bike that should have been in our family for multiple generations would be a moving experience.  I saw some Coventry Eagles at the British Motorcycle Museum a couple of summers ago and got surprisingly emotional at the idea of riding one.  The most magical one would be the one Bill owned.  If you’re going to wish list, wish hard!  I couldn’t begin to guess what this would cost as it probably doesn’t exist.

2) Kawasaki Z1000

There are a number of modern bikes that have caught my eye.  A consistent choice has been the shamelessly anime inspired, Sugomi designed Kawasaki Z1000.  New ones go for about fourteen grand Canadian.  I’m partial to the orange one from a few years ago.  There is a low mileage one in Drummondville, QC for about nine grand.  As modern naked bikes go, this one is big enough to fit me and scratches every Robotech Cyclone anime dream I had as a kid.  The only thing better would be if it could transform into battloid mode – and it looks like it might.

3) Honda VFR750F

Most of my 80’s bike fantasies revolved around the Honda Interceptor.  The VFR-750F RC30 came up on many of the Practical Sportsbike lists as well; it’s an ’80s kid’s dream superbike.  Because it hits that nostalgic twang, it’s now a collector’s item and an expensive proposition, but hey, this is a dream list!  Something like this would allow me to maybe edge into vintage racing and track days, though both things are pretty thin on the ground in Ontario.  The RC45 race bike derivative would be an even better choice for vintage track riding.

4) Yamaha XT500

Another nostalgic choice would be a twinshock trail bike that I could use in vintage off road events.  I’ve thought about trying to get my father-in-law’s old Suzuki, but he sold it on and I’d probably end up paying more than it’s worth to get back.  Thanks to Henry Cole and crew, I’ve got a soft spot for Yamaha XT500s.  A restored XT would let me pursue silly things like classic enduro rallies and the V.I.N.C.E..

5) 1938 Triumph Speed Twin

With all the research into World War 2 I’ve been doing, the Triumph Speed Twin keeps coming up as a huge leap forward in two wheeled technology.  If I were to own a pre-war bike, this would be a more likely dream choice.  Perfect versions go at auction for $24k+ Canadian.  I’d be happy with a less perfect bike that I could actually use.

6) 2019 Ariel Ace

The Ariel Ace is one of those bespoke and bizarre machines that could only exist for me on a dream bike list.  Since first seeing the almost architectural design of the Ace’s girder front forks and trellis frame, I was smitten.  The Ariel uses a stock Honda motor but is otherwise a custom machine that you can design to your own wishes.  At £24,950,this is very much a dream list bike.

7) Kawasaki H2

The Kawasaki Ninja H2 supercharged superbike is an unbelievable piece of engineering.  Since the first time I saw the state of the art processes Kawasaki uses to mold the supercharger to hearing it break the sound barrier while spinning, I was a fan.  This dream bike is north of thirty grand, but it’d let me maybe see the dream of 200mph on two wheels, all while listening to that supercharger chirp.

8) CCM RAFBF Spitfire

CCM’s Spitfire custom model comes in a variety of styles, but my favourite is the classically styled Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund Spitfire.  This 600cc customized thumper is a lightweight thing that looks like it would be a blast to ride on twisty roads.  As a modern bike with classic styling, it would fill a niche in my dream garage that nothing else does.  £18,000 isn’t cheap, but dream list, right?

9) Honda Goldwing Touring

Say what?  A Goldwing?  One of the functions of my dream bike garage would be to participate in as many different kinds of riding as possible.  Of all the big touring bikes, Honda’s new, lighter Goldwing is the most capable all-round tourer there is, and it’s Honda bullet-proof.  Another bike north of thirty grand, it’s something that would only be on a dream list, but it means I could take a happy pillion with me and tour like we mean it.

10)  Husqvarna 701 Enduro

Husky’s 701 Enduro is an off-road capable bike that’ll also handle the roads needed to get you to the edge.  This would be another one of those bikes selected to let me experience a specific kind of riding.  The 701 only weighs a bit more than I do but is a big, capable off roader that would fit me, keep up with traffic when needed and still be able to off road.  At about $14,000 Canadian, it isn’t a cheap dream off roader.

I feel like I’m missing a modern track day bike.  A Honda Fireblade or Yamaha R1 would be on my shortlist for that duty, though with no Ducatis in the mix here, the new V4 Panigale R would probably win dream bike wishlist status over the more mundane Japanese choices.  I might be convinced to swap the Z1000 out for that.

I’m also partial to weirdness, and a sidecar outfit would scratch that itch.  I like older styled outfits, so a Royal Enfield or classic modern Triumph with a bullet sidecar would be a cool thing to add into the list, perhaps after swapping out the XT500.  I only leaned toward the Goldwing as a touring option instead because you get to lean on the Honda.

Rather than go the Husky route, a stranger choice there might be getting a Lyndon Poskitt rally bike made.  At thirty to sixty thousand Euro, they aren’t cheap, but that’s what a dream bike list is all about, right?


I’ve managed to cover a range of bikes from the early 1930s to the latest models.  With a sweep of almost ninety years and what are some truly weird options, I hope I’ve managed to express just how diverse and strange my motorcycling proclivities have become.  My final list would include bikes manufactured in England, Japan and Europe and range in price from pretty accessible to pretty much unattainable.

If nothing else, a dream bike list lets you stretch your expectations and expand your considerations around what you might ride.  From doing the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride on my grandfather’s Eagle to seeing the wrong side of two hundred miles per hour on a supercharged dream machine, for me the dream stable is about opening up possibilities rather than creating a museum exhibit.

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Dipping a Toe in Georgian Bay

The plan:

The execution:

Why you going looking for the Niagara Escarpment: it’s the only place where you’re not riding on the crown of your tire all the time in Southern Ontario.

A bit windy, but otherwise perfect weather.  24°C in Elora down to 18°C on Georgian Bay in Thornbury; comfortable without ever being sweaty.  The 360° shots are from a Ricoh Theta 360° Camera, the rest are taken from my Samsung S5 smartphone.  Videos are at the bottom.

Getting ready for liftoff.

The wind fields of Shelburne

The look on my face when I’m about to ride up River Road out of Hornings Mills.

A thumbs up from Max, he likes the twisties.

A pheasant and baby!  But you can’t see it due to poor resolution and lens distortion.  The Theta is an interesting idea,
but even with giant, unwieldy files, it still has poor image quality.

Thornbury Harbour


Big sky on the never ending farm field ride home.

Another Tiger double take.  There is another!

Smartphone pics:

Creemore for lunch at The Old Mill House Pub (never had a bad meal there)

The new adventurers (a Kawasaki Versys & Suzuki V-Strom), along with the Tiger
that has always been (mine’s 13 years older – made back before Ewan & Charlie did that thing)

A map of the good bits:

Coast to Coast to Coast

It can be done!  Coast to Coast to Coast in Canada.  It’s a monster ride though, over twenty thousand kilometres, all in the second biggest country in the world.  

Leg 1:  Go West Young Man

Starting from home in Southern Ontario I’d strike west up the Bruce Peninsula and over Manitoulin Island and up around Lake Superior.  From there it’s a straight shot across the Prairies and then through Calgary into the Rockies.  Through the Southern Rockies and Vancouver and then a ferry over to Vancouver Island and on to Tofino on the Pacific Ocean.

Leg 2:  True North, all the way

Dempster Highway, North West Territories

From Tofino it’s back across Vancouver Island and then north up the coast before taking the ferry from Port Hardy to Prince Rupert.  The ride from Prince Rupert is where things start to get tricky.  You’re on paved if very remote roads all the way up to the Dempster Highway and then it’s hundreds of kilometres up to the arctic circle and the mid-night sun.  By 2016 they hope to have an extension of the highway all the way to Tuktoyaktuk on the edge of the Arctic Ocean, then it’ll really be coast to coast to coast.

Leg 3: Eastern Promises

After dipping a toe in the Arctic Ocean it’s back down the Dempster before striking east through Grande Prarie and Edmonton.  The trip east retraces a bit of the Trans-Canada past Winnipeg before crossing Northern Ontario to Montreal.  It’s then up the North Shore to Quebec City before crossing the St. Laurence and making the turn at Rivière du Loup and heading into New Brunswick.  Crossing New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, it’s then a ferry ride to Newfoundland for the final leg to Cape Spear, the eastern-most point in Canada.

I think I’d have to make a point of crossing Confederation Bridge on the way past just to have set foot in every province and every Territory you can ride to in Canada.

The round trip is over twenty thousand kilometres, all in Canada, crazy!  Between higher kilometre days on highways and the lower mileage moments in the north, I’d hope to average 800kms a day.  If I could keep that up it could be done in just under a month (27 days).  Aiming at July of 2015, leaving on Canada Day (July 1st), I’d aim to be back home by July 31st, giving me four extra days in the mix to get the job done.  Leaving at that time will also mean seeing the mid-night sun above the Arctic Circle.

At about $60 in gas a day (3 fillups), a conservative $100 for lodging and $40 a day in food, I’d have an operating budget of $6200.  BC Ferries look like they’ll be about $260.  To get on and off Newfoundland it looks to be about $180 in ferry costs.  I’d land at Port Aux Basques and cross NFLD on the way to Cape Spear, but take the Agentia Ferry back directly to Sydney for the ride home.  All in I think I’d be looking at about seven grand to cover the trip.

Bike-wise I think I’d be considering sport touring options.  The vast majority of mileage would be on pavement, with only the push north on gravel.  Tire-wise I’d start on street tires and then switch over to something more multi-purpose in Whitehorse for the ride to the Arctic.  If John Ryan can go from Prudhoe Bay on an FJR, I don’t think I need to go full-SUV motorcycle with an adventure bike to get up to and back from the arctic.  The rest is a high mileage ride on first world roads.  I’d want to do it on a bike that makes corners fun.

My current choice would be a bike that handles long distance duties well.  The Kawasaki Concours is just such a machine.  Two-Wheel Motorsport happens to have just what I’m looking for, a low mileage 2006 that would do the deed.  With a shaft drive and a bullet proof reputation, it would cover the miles enthusiastically.  My other bike choice would be the new Honda VFR800F.  It’s another sports tourer that could swallow these huge distances with confidence.

The final piece would be the media.  A Gopro clipped onto the bike would be running whenever the bike was in motion.  I’d also have a mobile video camera and my trusty Olympus SLR for other footage.  The trick would be not to get hung up with the photography, I tend to lollygag when I have a camera in my hand.

If the production was stepped up a notch, I’d meet up with my production crew at various spots along the way to off load footage and do some stock footage of me on the bike (which wouldn’t happen so much when I was alone).  Ideally I’d have a wingman for the trip and we’d both take turns at filming (and half the cost of lodging).  The trip itself would offer a live webfeed of mileage covered and where we are, including uploads of recent images and footage.

In the more fully-decked out version I’d go to OLN or Discovery Channel or the Travel Channel for some media support.  Then TelusRogers or Bell for some communications support, and finally to Kawasaki Canada or Honda Canada for some bike support.  It wouldn’t hurt to hit up local, provincial and federal governments to help as well, this is a uniquely Canadian focused trip, and with the final leg of the Dempster Highway finally happening coast-to-coast-to-coast is at last a possibility, it’d be nice to get the word out.

For more check out Coast to Coast to Coast 2.0.

The Digital Divide is Deep and Wide

The idea of computer technical proficiency has come up many times over the years on Dusty World.  Whether you want to call it digital literacy, digital fluency,  or twenty-first Century skills, there is obviously a big gap in the computer user skills we’re graduating people with.  This isn’t a new thing, I’ve been benefiting from this lack of fluency in the general public since the 1980s.

After dropping out of high school in the late ’80s I started apprenticing as a millwright.  At our warehouse the new building control systems were becoming computerized and all of the very skilled welders and mechanics in our department were leery of them, so guess who got to take that on?  The new guy who had been working with computers since he was ten.

A summer job I got while going to university in the early 1990s involved converting an engineering shop over to computerized ordering (they’d hand written all parts orders and completed shipments prior to that, ironically while producing telephony computer electronics).  I got Lotus1-2-3 (which I’d never used before) working with the formatting so we could print out orders using our existing forms.  This took a bit of trial and error, but I wouldn’t have described it as particularly difficult, it just took a willingness to make effective use of digital technology in problem solving.

After graduating from uni I continually found myself moved into technology implementation  simply because of this fluency I seemed to have that many people didn’t.  This eventually led to me getting IT qualifications as a technician.  It even followed me into teacher’s college where I found myself teaching other students software and has been a mainstay of my teaching career.

This week I came across a recent study that sheds light on all of this anecdotal experience.  The Distribution of Computer User Skills research across wealthy OECD countries all point to some rather astonishing facts: 

“Overall, people with strong technology skills make up a 5–8% sliver of their country’s population, and this is true across all wealthy OECD countries.

What’s important to remember is that 95% of the general population in North America cannot make effective use of computers in resolving even simple problems or overcoming unexpected outcomes.”

Computer use isn’t just poor, it’s abysmal.  Over a third of Canadians aged 16-65 can’t do anything other than simple, rote, habitual work in a digital environment.  If asked to do tasks that I would consider straightforward and with no particular digital expertise, they are unable.  Keep in mind, this is only looking at the skills of work-aged people.  It’s not even considering seniors who generally have much weaker computer skills – so the actual computer skill level in the whole population is even lower than this implies.

You’re probably doubting your ability to be considered an advanced user in this study, but you shouldn’t.  None of these tests involved programming or having to do anything engineering wise with a computer, it’s all user focused work using simple software.  To be considered a strong (level 3) computer user you had to be able to “schedule a meeting room in a scheduling application, using information contained in several email messages.”  If you’ve ever had a group of people email and work out a date for a meeting and then you’ve put that meeting in Google Calendar, you’re considered a high end user.  If you’re reading this online blog, you’re probably considered a proficient, level 3, high-skills user.

The article that started this leads on to another on the digital divide, but rather than hang it all on economic factors it also considers psychological and skills based limitations.  A few years ago I attempted to provide local households that said they couldn’t afford one with a computer.  It was a complete failure – like giving books to illiterate people then wondering why they weren’t illiterate any more; there is a lot more to the digital divide than economic barriers, though they no doubt play a part in it.  The fast evolving nature of technology means relatively recent computers are available often for free to people who otherwise can’t afford them, but the problem isn’t just access to technology, it’s the inability of our education system to build sufficient digital fluency in our population to make use of them.  There is no point in handing out technology to people who can’t make use of it.

With all of this in mind, who are we aiming at when we introduce digital technology into the classroom?  What are we doing when we pitch elearning at a general public who have this distressingly low level of digital fluency?  The vast majority of our students (fictitious digital native prejudices aside) are functionally illiterate when using digital technologies in even simple, user focused ways.  We seem to think we are graduating students who are able to make effective use of computers – except we aren’t.  Many educators dwell in that level 0 to 1 poor user category themselves.

I’ve been advocating for it for over five years – nothing changes.

If our digital fluency were seen in terms of literacy, we’re handing out the complete works of Shakespeare to illiterates and then wondering why it isn’t working and why it’s being vandalized.  At some point we’ll stop dumping the latest multi-national prompted tech fad (ipads, chromebooks, whatever) into classrooms and start teaching a K to 12 digital skills continuum so people can actually make use of the technology we provide.

Last week one of my essential students intentionally punched and broke a Chromebook in my classroom.  This made me quite angry because I saw a useful and expensive digital tool being broken.  After reading this report I can’t help but wonder if he was just breaking a thing that he can’t do anything useful with that frustrates him.

“Educational technology has failed to move the needle on either cost effectiveness or student success in the past ten years…” – Brandon Busteed, Gallup Education
(they were talking about this in Phoenix in 2014)

OECD (2016), Skills Matter: Further Results from the Survey of Adult Skills, OECD Skills Studies, OECD Publishing, Paris, France.

from Blogger

The Future of Work: Bridging The Digital Skills Divide

Bridging the digital skills divide

Once again I seem to have found my way into an upper management summit.  I imagine I’ll be the only classroom teacher in there, but that’s no bad thing.  If more front line people were directly connected to decision makers, our policy decisions wouldn’t seem as fictional as they sometimes do.  The other nice thing about a summit like this is that I get to dust off and exercise the philosophy degree, which in a computer technology classroom sometimes lays dormant for too long.

The keynote for this summit is Cheryl Cran, an author and speaker on the future of work.  Her approach seems to be very human resources based, which is appealing to a teacher who works with those humans every day.  Digital transformation tends to diminish a company’s need for human resources since it’s really just another form of automation/mechanization.  Can digital disruption actually lead to better relationships with the humans in your organization?  Perhaps for the few that are left.  If digital disruption is going to lead to mass unemployment, then how effective our companies run is going to be the least of our problems.  Making too much of the human population redundant never ends well for the society that does it.  This is a very difficult path to tread, so I’m very curious to hear how Cheryl presents it.

Cheryl sent out a pre-summit Q&A on where attendees think the future of work lies.  Here are the questions and my responses:

1. In your opinion what does the future of work look like? 

The social contract between employers and employees will continue to deteriorate.  Private employment will be limited to short term as needed contract work for the vast majority.  This is dressed up in “always be retraining/adapting” corporate speak, but the end result is usually downward pressure on everyone’s work/life balance.  The ‘try harder’ language of private business can get hard to believe when you’ve retrained (paying for your own training) multiple times only to be be made redundant again.  Meanwhile wealth is being concentrated into an ever decreasing class of ultra-wealthy entities.

Only the management class will still consider themselves employees of a single company. A universal wage may be instituted to stabilize and pacify a large under-employed working class. Even specialized skills will increasingly become redundant under more advanced automation.  This is less about profit than it is about control.  Machines are much less demanding than people.

2. What do you think are the current challenge for employers right now in regards to attracting youth to work for their companies?

Companies tend to approach employee relations in a conservative fashion with little change in approach from previous years.  GenZ expectations around work have been formed by evolving educational experiences.  With the school system no longer holding students to deadlines and graduation standards much more flexible than they used to be, employers find dealing with young employees who have never had to work to a deadlines challenging.  Attracting youth to a company successfully would have a lot to do with clarifying expectations in the workplace and training to cover that gap between an employer’s expectations and the young employee’s experience.

3. What do you think needs to happen to prepare today’s youth for the future of work? 

Our education system (in Ontario at least) has already started moving towards a universal pay standard by moving from graduation by proven skill to graduation as a general expectation.  This was largely motivated by Ontario’s learning to 18 legislation.  As education has reorientated on a graduation for all approach, there has been increasing friction between graduates and workplace expectations.  If k-12 is an experience everyone is expected to graduate from, then it will fall to post-secondary education to provide support for students as they transition into the workplace.  That support is vital as students are not being taught that deadlines nor even attendance are mandatory.  If we can’t train to bridge that gap, then the workplace itself will have to evolve to expect employees who may or may not be there and may or may not meet deadlines.  From a social efficiency point of view, that obviously isn’t the way forward.

4. What inspires you about today’s youth? Why? 

They are as bright and capable as any other generation.  Only lowered expectations create a social perception of laziness and lack of focus.  One need only attend Skills Canada Nationals or CyberTitan to see just how capable this generation can be of mastery learning.  Whenever I hear someone slagging young people I remind myself of all the great students I’ve seen graduate who have produced world-class results in spite of a system that did not encourage it.

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Hibernating a Motorcycle: Tires

Dave Hatch’s Motorcycle Experience is doing a series on how to store a motorcycle over the winter (or for any extended period).  The first bit is on how to prepare and look after your tires while the snow flies outside:

So, make sure they are clean and at maximum pressure when you put the bike away, and move the bike every once in a while to prevent the tire from settling on one spot.  It was interesting what Warren Milner, the tire expert, said about what super sticky sport bike tires can do in extreme cold.  It’s an issue with all super sticky tires evidently.

Space Limitations

At 12x20ft, I’m feeling the pinch…

I wish I had a bigger bike cave.  With only a one car garage I’m having to pick and choose my next steps.  In a perfect world I’d have room for active bikes and a workshop at the back with longer term projects on the go.

The 2 ½ car option at 24x30ft would feel cavernous by comparison to my cramped 9x20ft space, but a garage that big would mean I’d probably have to keep cars in it.  A safer bet would be an outbuilding workshop, like this Canadian made prefab kit.

They have an A style 20×30 footer for just over $12 grand.  That would be wider than my current space is long.  Instead of my meagre 180 ft², I’d have a whopping 600ft².  That kind of space would let me chase down all the loose ends I’m considering right now.

My current urges run toward a couple of dirt bikes for my son and I, a distance capable road bike and something more intimate for short blasts and track days.  While the working bikes get their occasional maintenance, I’d also like space for a project bike.

Roughly to scale, that 20×30 workshop would fit the bill nicely.