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Discussion Starter #1
Dear JStrom,

I read a post of yours in which you identified yourself as a natural born Canadian now living in Western NY. You mentioned a wish to visit Ontario and ride with some of the Ont Stromtroopers. I can identify with all of that, because I was born in Ontario and lived a few decades in the Province of Opportunity (or Oppression if you pay its taxes). I am feeling the pangs of Canada-fever just now, and they will only get worse when April arrives.

You have some damn fine ideas! Now, here is my plan.

I will be in Toronto from mid-May until August something. I will have room to put you up for a night or two or three, between which you and I can ride with Heavy and V-Tom and Shepherd and the usual gang of idiots and camp followers. Or we can ride without them; I know much of Ontario and I am sure you know some of it, and it is a pleasure to explore unknown territory.

In exchange, I would like you to show me some of WNY and PA. I have often driven US62 from Buffalo to I-79 (or the other way) but the Wee-Strom was on the dang trailer at the time, so it and I had no fun at all. If you can house me for a couple of nights, I would appreciate the opportunity to ride with you in the Empire State.

If only the Wee-Strom would catch on with the Amish folks who live near you. They are cordial enough, but their one-horsepower rigs are just not gonna keep up with us, and we probably can't convince them to get bikes. Wave back, and ride on.

I hope to see you this spring and/or summer.
Keith
 

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Hmmm?

Dear JStrom,

I read a post of yours in which you identified yourself as a natural born Canadian now living in Western NY. You mentioned a wish to visit Ontario and ride with some of the Ont Stromtroopers. I can identify with all of that, because I was born in Ontario and lived a few decades in the Province of Opportunity (or Oppression if you pay its taxes). I am feeling the pangs of Canada-fever just now, and they will only get worse when April arrives.

You have some damn fine ideas! Now, here is my plan.

I will be in Toronto from mid-May until August something. I will have room to put you up for a night or two or three, between which you and I can ride with Heavy and V-Tom and Shepherd and the usual gang of idiots and camp followers. Or we can ride without them; I know much of Ontario and I am sure you know some of it, and it is a pleasure to explore unknown territory.

In exchange, I would like you to show me some of WNY and PA. I have often driven US62 from Buffalo to I-79 (or the other way) but the Wee-Strom was on the dang trailer at the time, so it and I had no fun at all. If you can house me for a couple of nights, I would appreciate the opportunity to ride with you in the Empire State.

If only the Wee-Strom would catch on with the Amish folks who live near you. They are cordial enough, but their one-horsepower rigs are just not gonna keep up with us, and we probably can't convince them to get bikes. Wave back, and ride on.

I hope to see you this spring and/or summer.
Keith
Keith, your idea sounds interesting and you are very welcome to flop at my place anytime. April will likely be a busy time for me what with getting all the bikes ready for the season. My two stepsons ride and store their bikes at my place. Then there is the '86 Yamaha Radian turd bike I'm helping to get running for a co-worker. Oh yeah, forgot about the livingroom remodel. Good thing my wife is gone most of the day taking care of here Chiropractic business. Anyhow, keep me aprised of your travel plans and we'll work something out. You like hamburgers?
 

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Wny & Pa

Keith, yep lots of good riding just south of me down through the Allegheny state forest and park. One of my favourite rides is down through the middle of the park then back up US 62 along the river to Warren. You're right about the Amish, I always slow down and give their rigs wave and try not to spook the horses. Cheers
Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Sorry for the delay in communicating.

Dear Jstrom,

I have just returned from a 3400-mile ride to Texas and back. I had scant access to computers while I was away; otherwise, I would have written sooner.

I look forward to providing accomodation for you when you visit Ontario, so please tell me when you wish to visit Ontario and what you want to see there. I will be in Ontario from early May until early September, and I will have some free time in useful-sized chunks.

My plans include these rides:

Ride again with Ontario's star Stromtroopers, such as V-Tom, Heavy, Shepherd, and Janice if I am really fortunate. Likely a one-day event, or better yet, more than one. Feel free to join in.

Visit London Ontario, then drop in on Eugene in Mio Michigan. He puts four-cylinder engines into vintage Honda Super Hawk frames, and the results are amazing. I may drool so much on a creation of his that he will beg me to haul it off the lot.

From Mio MI, head up to both Sault Ste. Maries, meeting a Texan named John in the big one (that's Ontario's Soo), and riding with him to Manitoulin Island, via Chi-Chee-Maun (which is misspelled) to Tobermory and the Bruce Peninsula and then down to St. Thomas to see the Elgin County Railroad Museum (again for me, first time for John). You may not want to be part of this, because John tends to go a tad slowly on his KLR.

Ride up Québec's western edge to James Bay. If I actually find pavement where I expect gravel, I may explore to the east along Transtaiga (which is not misspelled) and/or the route to Lac St. Jean (where you can't get drown so long you stay on shore). I believe I will learn that the only pavement is the same chunk I ride north on.

Couple of visits to Muskoka, perhaps guerilla camping as I have often done before.

3-day ride/camp/ride/camp/ride with a grand-nephew who is determined to get a bike when he can afford one. You won't want to be part of this one, I suspect.

And others as they occur. I believe I owe a visit to the Stromtroopers of Port Perry and nearby towns. I hope to underwrite a donut-tasting at the haunt of some late hockey-player.

Now, about the accomodation I promised you. Plans have changed, and I need to modify the promise ... to this: I will pay for two nights for you and me at one or two Ontario motels. I HAD a place to stay during my five-month visit to Ontario, but that particular house will be nothing but a hole in the ground come May, so I need to do some scrounging and sucking up, in order to have a place to stay. This is not a problem for you or any other Stromtrooper to address, and I will have it solved by my arrival.

So let us please schedule your visit to Ontario first, and my visit to WNY and PA second. I think I will want to head west from PA, to visit Ohio en route back to Toronto.

Still interested?

Keith
 

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...you and I can ride with Heavy and V-Tom and Shepherd and the usual gang of idiots and camp followers....

Keith
Not sure if being a camp follower is that much better than being a usual idiot. Maybe I'll just refuse to be in the gang at all and remain my usual brilliant, warm, caring, jovial, handsome, if somewhat rotund, self. You okay with that Keith? :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Looking forward!

As one of the idiots and followers, I am proud to be included.

Whatever you do is fine by me, Heavy. I greatly enjoyed the ride when you led me and others along roads I knew and other roads I did not know.

I have no way to participate in the April 20 ride. One of these years I will manage to ride to Meaford in time to see again the Beaver River Rat Race, which happens near that date. When I lived in Ontario, that event was one of the beloved rites of Spring. Watching the homemade boats, or the ruins thereof, is always a treat.

If I may join you and others on a delightful ride of Spring instead, that would suit me damnwell. I will bring my snuggies and be prepared for chilly weather. Last week I was riding in chilly drizzle in Texas, and it felt a whole lot like Ontario to me.

Cheers!
Keith
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Texas is all the same: variety no matter where you look.

Texas's terrain varies enormously, and includes many of the same kinds of terrain found in Ontario. Two major differences: Ontario is much bigger than Texas, and the glaciers didn't reach the Lone Star State.

I saw fields that were so rocky that no animals were grazing there. Even Muskoka is not so rocky as part of the Hill Country just west of San Antonio. The roads were much like ... oh, 118 west of Bracebridge. For sure,the palm trees didn't look much like Ontario.

Sometimes the streams flow over secondary roads in Texas. Where water often flows over the road, there is a flood gauge, which is a vertical pole with marking indicating how deep the water is at its deepest. If you can see the "2" but not the "1" then the water is between 1 and 2 feet deep, and your Strom will probably make it but your Cadillac will perhaps bog down and lose $10,000 in value in a few seconds. It's Texas, so you make the choice between go through and go back.

Deciduous trees in northern Alabama were just beginning to show the hint of green that Ontario's trees will present in early April. In southern Alabama, the same sort of trees already had small leaves, in the light green that is so welcome a sight to Canadians.

Before long, either Charlie or Lou or I will post photographs in the "4 for Texas" thread in the Florida section. We are not great photographers.
 
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