Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Farewell 2015, Hello 2016!

A happy Tony post 'Tail of the Dragon' 

Monte Carlo Grand Prix Track
It is hard to believe that 2015 is now behind us. It was a fantastic year full of travel (of the international and domestic variety), challenges and success at work and catching up with old friends and family.

Eight months ago we were riding along the Monte Carlo Grand Prix track, soaking up the sun in Cannes and Ville Franche-sur-Mer, walking the beautiful streets in Paris and riding bicycles in Amsterdam. Six months have passed since we were winding through the Smoky Mountains on the 'Tail of the Dragon', heading from Nashville to Atlanta. My vacation allotment didn't allow me to join Tony and Andrew further on to the Florida Keys but I am grateful for the time that I did have travelling with them.

Eiffel Tower Selfie
We finished up the year with a trip out west for Christmas. No two wheel travel for this trip, thanks to Canadian winters, but it was an enjoyable trip with experiences old and new. I had some much needed time with friends and family, remembering who I am and where I'm from.

It is a hard feeling to explain but sometimes working and living in Toronto in the financial services industry makes one forget their roots. The drive for success, surrounded by bright and ambitious colleagues makes one forget how far they've come and how fortunate they are to be where they are at this moment in life. Time with people who love you and have known you for twenty years or your entire life allows you to relax and just be.

Garibaldi Park, Elfin Lakes Trail

The last days of the year were spent in Whistler with Kirsten and Sietse. At the suggestion of Kirsten, I agreed to an overnight 23 kilometre (round trip) alpine snow-shoe trek. Three kilometres into the journey we began a five kilometre vertical climb that had me doubting my decision and deciding that my resolution for 2016 was to get myself back into reasonable shape. The sunset at the end, the view of the galaxy without light pollution, the sunrise the next day and the priceless time spent with family made me very thankful that I had taken this opportunity when it was presented.

Amsterdam Canal
2016 travel plans are already in the works. A fast and fabulous five day trip to Dubai for me with an immediate turn around at the airport to meet Tony for an equally fast trip to San Miguel de Allende to visit parents at Casa Kelly. May will see us on two week motorcycle trip through Spain, followed by a Canada Day long weekend trip to check out Pittsburgh and catch a Chesney concert. A milestone birthday celebration for myself with my Mom will come in the fall, where and what exactly is still to be determined. Not to be one who allows grass to grow beneath my feet, I am already looking to plan for us to explore a new continent in 2017 - Australia!

In the meantime, we hope you follow along as we wander this great earth meeting new friends, taking photos and writing about our experiences.

Laura & Tony

"Salute" to a new year, to sunshine, sea and adventure

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Toronto Distinguished Gentleman's Ride

We had the distinct pleasure in participating in this year's Distinguished Gentleman's Ride, an annual event that aims to raise awareness of and money towards prostate cancer. 

With the support of friends and colleagues, Tony and I raised $280 collectively - thank you to everyone who contributed. 

Also thank you to Paul at Back Alley Moto for arranging the Toronto ride, Rise Espresso for providing the meeting place and human fuel (aka, espresso) and Town Moto for their hospitality at their monthly ride in. Great weather, great day, great crew, great cause. 

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Friday Ride

One of the many benefits of working in the not-for-profit sector is balance of life. Making a difference in the community is a great return on my life investment, but having time off to enjoy the things I love to do is another large motivator. Yesterday was one of those days off. I managed to get the bike tuned up after the long trip to Key West. Once the guys at GP Bikes service took care of the Explorer then I was free to head north into the Highlands. I didn't take many pictures because my co-pilot was in her office, but I did get these few. The Trent Servern Waterway is a series of locks and lakes that cover a 386 kilometres route in southern Ontario.

Buckhorn, Ontario  - Lock

Buckhorn, Ontario - Lock

Buckhorn, Ontario - Lock

Bobcaygeon, Ontario - Lock

Bobcaygeon, Ontario - Lock

Kawartha Lakes

Sunday, August 2, 2015

7 AM Sunday Morning Ride (Church)

I love early mornings. There is nothing better than the freshness of a new day as the sun comes up. Warm light over the horizon, some reading and meditation with some deep rich espresso. As soon as I make my way through these daily rituals I look to get on the road. Crisp air and perfect light with no traffic. No matter where I am in the world this is always the best time to be on the road. I found out a few years ago that riding the perimeter of Toronto using the freeways can be a great ride in the early morning. Very serene for a big busy metropolis. My own version of church on Sunday.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Canada Day Ride - Tail of The Dragon

Five years ago I headed by myself from Victoria to Key West. I met a biker on the ferry from Galveston to Bolivar who mentioned that I had to go to Tennessee/North Carolina and do the Tail of The Dragon. I had spoken earlier that summer to another biker on Oregon's Snake River Highway who said those exact same words to me.  So that year I spent my first afternoon riding up and down this 11 mile stretch of road that has 318 corners. On Canada Day this year I got to do this for the third time with Laura riding pillion and Andrew on his bike. Not only did I get to share it this time we also captured it in full with our new GoPro. 35-40 miles an hour does not sound like much until you experience this road. Just ask the Harley rider at about 8 minutes into this video who went over the shoulder. No filter, no enhancements just tank mounted camera. All fun!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Smoky Mountain Ride

Laura, Andrew and I had an epic ride yesterday to Atlanta (the long way). Here is the Map (Map 2 because Google Maps allows finite waypoints). The 'Tail of the Dragon' is right in the middle of this ride and we have a full length video to follow. Over 400 miles and thunder and lightening as we left the Smoky Mountains and crossed the Georgia State Line....