Part VII - Onward To Guelph
As much as celebrating a great ride and sitting around the campfire sipping drinks and telling stories can be incredibly euphoric - so too the next day - can nursing a hangover, needing a shower, breaking-down camp, and packing the bike be equally disphoric. It was now time to leave - to say goodbye to those heading in different directions (Nathan and Richard had Belleville in their sights) and to enjoy riding with the remaining group for one last outing together.
It was also time to shake out the sand in my tent. I call this the Hercules method.
It was clear that the notion of boxed wine went down remarkably well with the group - down that is - onto the morning fire. An expensive way to douse a fire - but it was effective nonetheless. Here is Adam demonstrating his technique. You probably won't learn this in Boy Scouts.
And here is the packing ritual almost complete.
The last group photo was taken with Richard's camera back on the road in front of the camp. What a fitting image to close the weekend.
And here was the route Brian had mapped out for the return trip. Both Adam and I planned to head to Guelph (I wanted to visit my dad). Brian's destination was Brampton, but thought that Belfontaine was a good place for all of us to converge before going our separate ways. David was heading to Burlington, but decided to stick it out with us to Belfontaine as well. Bishop headed south to Toronto when we skirted the city on our way west.
I believe this photo was taken around the Port Perry area (labeled "C" above).
Brian - our faithful guide and purveyor of twisting routes - wasn't about to give up - now that we were heading home. There would be no sacrificing riding enjoyment for a quick-fix expressway route back. Any stand-outs? Yes. Although it's a well known and popular choice for those looking for some thrilling curves within range of the Greater Toronto Area - Buckhorn Lake Road was still a lot of fun to ride.
Throughout the weekend, I had promised some of the group an opportunity to try out my CBR150R. I described it as a CBR125R on steroids. Having recently owned a 2011 CBR125R - I guessed that the 150R produced about 16 hp at the rear wheel (the CBR125Rs typically show about 12 rear-wheel hp). The best time would have been during our group ride - but the weather and conditions weren't ideal - and unfortunately - no other opportunities presented themselves. Still with me riding a 150cc, Brian riding a racing cam modified 125cc, and Adam sporting his Hindle exhaust - we were somewhat curious to see how these bikes compared performance-wise. Our test certainly wasn't conducted in any kind of objective manner, as each of our bikes were laden with different gear and there were clearly considerable weight differences (including rider weights) between each bike. Yet all this didn't seem to matter as Adam and Brian lined up at a stop light for the first run. Keep in mind that if you were a pedestrian watching this action from a sidewalk - you'd have no idea that these bikes were actually drag racing. They don't accelerate fast by anyone's definition of the term. You'd probably just wonder why they were so slow to cross the intersection. I think Brian was just ahead of Adam after the first heat - so he won the drag - but not by much. The next drag featured an uphill run that seemed to favour Adam - and he pulled away a bit and claimed his first victory. Even though we were all aware of how much wind drag and weight make a difference in the performance of these low-powered bikes - I remember thinking that these friendly competitions really hit home how the outcome of a short race can change dramatically between the same riders - under slightly different conditions (e.g., weight, head wind, up a hill, etc.).
Adam - fresh off his recent win - was now getting cocky and wanted to drag me and the CBR150R. What I didn't tell him at the time was that I had followed behind on their previous acceleration runs and found myself catching up to them rather easily - despite clearly carrying the most gear, most weight, and the poorest aerodynamics. But I decided to relent anyway. It certainly wasn't a textbook run. And I think Adam's devious trick of drowning me out with his Hindle exhaust on take-off worked because he was almost across the intersection by the time I got my revs up (I couldn't hear my engine on launch and I bogged pretty badly). I still managed to catch up to him and pass him pretty handily though in a relatively short distance for the win. But..... it wasn't long before he got some retribution. We decided to follow it up later with a drag that ran directly into a strong headwind. This time I had a good start and left him for dead right from the beginning.....and he looked to be about 30m back and foundering. But as my speed increased, and the power of the wind became more formidable - I knew the increasing drag from my Givi case and saddles were about to betray me. In my mirrors - Adam looked determined and focused - I could see him drop it down into 5th - and then came the unmistakable and characteristic roar of a DHC-2 Beaver slowly gaining on me and then a mild Doppler effect as he slowly edged ahead at around 90 km/hr. I'm sure he had a big grin on his face. Geez these bikes are fun.
Stay Tuned for Part VIII.