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Wind training


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It had been 6 weeks of pretty nasty weather from early February to mid March, but I was keeping busy with work and a few projects. The bike wasn't getting out of the garage and the ice, gravel and sand were building up on the streets. I was also adding to "the essentials" on the bike (front lighting, used tankbag, trying to set up some rear facing LEDs, milling a different luggage rack). Warm weather came almost two weeks ago and all the snow was off the streets by last weekend. All that was left was about 3 inches of gravel at every intersection frown.gif Then last Wednesday the street cleaners came and released me from my little trap.


Headed out on Saturday, not intending to go far but (as usual) just had to keep going. Some of my favorite foothills roads were clearer then I thought they would be, and there were lots of other bikes out - way more then my last sojourns out to the foothills in December. Put 150mi my first day back on the bike (outside the city) since early December. Sooo, I was feeling brave enough to head out to Banff on Sunday .............


After my Saturday ride (and driving my my son and daughter to their things), I was in the local BMW shop checking to see if he had any headlight covers in. Dave (the shop owner for AnderWerks) and I got to talking and he lent me a Cee Bailey's No. 2 tinted windscreen to try because he could get me a discount if I ordered both the windscreen and shield.


***Shameless plug***


If you are travelling near or through Calgary and need service or parts go to AnderWerks. I have no affiliation with them but they have always been good to deal with and will try to handle "short notice" service as well as they can. They have a website and are listed in the BMWMOA Anonymous book.


***** End Shameless Plug ******



So early Sunday I got up and started prepping the tankbag, charged up the MP3 player and camera batteries and installed the "loaner" windshield. I was also waiting for my son to decide what to do with his day so I knew when I could go for my ride. Finally I was ready about 10:30 and headed west.


Going from Calgary to Banff is best done in the early morning to avoid the westerly winds which strengthen as the day goes on. Those westerlies are worse during warming trends as well (chinooks). Two strikes against me frown.gif


First 20 miles I notice there seem to be no bikes on Highway 1 heading west or east, unlike the dozens of bikes I saw on the smaller foothills roads the day before. There do still seem to be lots of vehicles with skiis and snowboards headed both directions, though smile.gif Then the winds hit. Probably averaged a 30 mph headwind, but they get twisted around by the mountains and foothills and throw you around a lot. On one or two sections I was using up the whole lane (bashed right, bashed left). This was one of the few times that the turbulence behind a semi was safer then ridng on my own. Also one of those times I was very glad the RT weighs as much as it does.


So after another 45 miles plastered on top of the tankbag (around Canmore) things settle down - because it's raining frown.gif At this point I have seen a total of 3 motorcycles on the road in over an hour and I'm ready to turn around. But wait, there's a clearing in the clouds over Banff (about 15 miles away at this point) so I soldier on. Get in Banff (typical Sunday, no parking, no-one knows how to drive, three inches of sand and gravel in the parking lane anyway) and figure the best photo will be in a parking lot at the Cave and Basin. What I forgot was that the road up there was in the shade. Although I didn't have a snowbank like on Cory's trip it was still wet, muddy and the odd ice patch.


Anyway "got the photo":



Next on to the Banff Administration building (wait, I don't remember a cattlegaurd soaked with rain the last time I was here!!):



And then on Highway 1 nearing Canmore on the way back:



The trip back was nowhere near as tiring, as I was working with the wind. Saw a few more m/c headed towrd Banff. No one was waving, they all needed two hands on the grips smile.gif Felt good enough in to go for a little detour down that same road as is on the BMWSportTouring title page again, too. 350 miles for the first weekend back on the bike but it was just nice to get back on.


Thanks to Dave from Anderwerks for the "loaner" windscreen. I have no idea if it works, since it was so bloody windy I think nothing would have worked. Thanks to Fernando Belair for the tank bag. If it hadn't been to Banff before, it has now! Thanks to Bob Weiss for the Challenger earlplugs, they worked great along with my RCA Lyra MP3 player. I didn't even need to adjust the volume once. Thanks to Daryl for the EasyMount bracket and wiring harness. Everything worked as planned.


Where to next? Well it's supposed to snow again tomorrow so skiing sounds great smile.gif


Mike Cassidy

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Dang, it man, you take some great pix! I found the new one for the front page! grin.gif That last one is spectacular.

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Great Pics!!! smile.gif Glad you got to get out and ride. Sooner than you know it the weather will be great and you'll be sitting around talking about this "First Ride of the Season."

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Mike .. I agree with David, that last photo is great! Reminds me of all the great scenery I've scene from the seat of my RT ...



Chris (aka Tender Vittles),

Little '77 KZ400 in the Big Apple

Black '99 RT for Everywhere Else, such as...


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Thanks everybody.


It's easy to take good pics when you're surrounded by nature such as it is. For instance, here's today's nature:



Six more inches expected overnight. Probably aboot the 10th last snowfall for the season frown.gif Just when I was getting my hopes up for riding tomorrow (heavy sigh). Well, the RT is tucked safely in the garage, skis are ready for tomorrow if the roads are still open.


Mike Cassidy

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Yeah, those are great photos. But Mike, what I really admire is the Riding.


You set out and then faced unknown, variable, and challenging conditions. You found decision points, and wisely assessed your options. At each opportunity, you did just what you could.


In the end, "It" worked out great, you took advantage of that, and WOW, there stood a Grand Riding Experience.


Thanks for sharing that with us.


Oh. Did I mention those photos were GREAT!!!??


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Yepper wind was a pain in the pookus on wifey and my ride yesterday in Wyoming too. I liked your pics and article about Dave's place. I have an Anderwerks sticker on my K12LT from the 6000 miles service they did for me on the way home from Alaska 2 summers ago. I love that highway from Banff or actually all the way across to Prince Ruppert. Linda and I want to go up and just slowly navigate it again and enjoy the wonderful scenery and all the great people those two western provinces offer. You guys rock "eh"? Flint smile.gif

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