Day Two

"New Rubber, New Weather, New Country"

Friday May 26, 2000

Spokane WA - Nelson BC

4:18 driving time - 245 miles


by Whizmo

Today was a day of changes:  The R1100S got a new front tire (good), it decided to start raining (bad), and we pointed the bow of the ship towards our rendezvous Sunday with the tour group in Whistler (good).  This means we sleep tonight in our friendly neighbor to the north.  We're staying in Nelson, which for you movie trivia fans, was the shooting location for the movie Roxanne  (Steve Martin, big nose, Darryl Hannah).  Gore-Gee-O-So, even in the rain.

But before I review today's activities, I've got to get something off my chest.  I've been sitting silently for a couple of these tours now, while Gizmo made motorcycle humor at my expense.  Now, I must admit  it was good humor, but everything has its limits.  Now, I could rake Gizmo over the coals by going back and digging out all the blatant lies, glaring inconsistencies, and gross exaggerations, but that would be small of me.  No, I'll just let Gizmo's sudden desertion of the Harley-clan (to....shudder....a BMW for heaven's sake) stand as testimonial to how he treats old friends in his relentless pursuit of a story.  And  I'm serving notice right now that future attacks will be met in kind.

There, I feel much better.

Ok, this morning we took off like a dirty shirt for Beaudry Motosports (showroom to left) in Post Falls Idaho for a new tire.  When I looked in the phone book last night and saw that we were not ten miles from one of the premier motorcycle shops in the country, it was a slam dunk - Fritz was getting a new skin.  We pulled up and were met by Mark Sutton - Ducati mechanic extrordinaire (several readers know Mark as they ship bikes to him for maintenance from such far-flung locales as Little Rock Arkansas).   Dave (didn't get his last name) expertly mounted a new Dunlop and we were off, $180 lighter in the wallet.  

Well, not quite true, there was a BMW electric vest there that had my name on it.  Actually, the real reason I bought it was in spite of Gizmo who had his eye on it as well.  And we all know what Gizmo would do with the vest next year when he decides that BMWs suck and the only real bike is <insert random bike brand here>.  

Just kidding of course, I really needed this vest.  Really.  The only piece of electric clothing I'm carrying is an Aerostich "Unobtanium" (don't ask about the name) fleece jacket and while it is a wonderful jacket, it is a bit bulky and overkill for many situations.  The BMW vest is perfect when less is more.

While at Beaudry, I spied a couple of beautiful Moto Guzzi V11 Sports (I believe my friend Peter Wylie has one of these on order) and a MV August F4.  Both models are Italian motorcycle work of arts, but the F4 is in another world.  I think it runs something like $60K.  I'd have to get a real job to afford one of these.

About 10:30 we rolled out of the shop and headed up to Sandpoint Idaho.  The setting of the town is quite fetching as it sits on a long lake and is surrounded by mountains.  I'm looking for a summer cabin rental and spent a few minutes talking with some realtors - this place is definitely on my short list.  We attempted to eat at the Whistle Stop Cafe (we ate there on our 97 trip), but they were doing some kind of remodeling; the guy painting the joint recommended the Corner Cafe nearby.  This was a great choice.  The proprietor chatted with us for nearly 20-minutes as we discussed the plight of small towns like Sandpoint that have to make tough choices between tourism and industry.  Tourists - not us of course - like known quantities, so they tend to hit a Starbucks before they hit this Corner Cafe.  It is a tough issue and I don't profess to have the answers.

Gizmo's Turn

What's The Difference Between a Harley and a BMW?

No, this isn't a joke. Since I've had a chance to put some serious road miles on both bikes, here's my assessment of the key differences.
1) The BMW has much better weather protection. We hit rain today, and aerodynamic cocoon of the K1200 kept me warm and reasonably dry. By moving my hand a few inches in any direction, I would have been soaked. But the grips are located in a nice little area of no wind. Result - warm and dry hands. Same for my feet!
2) The BMW has much more power. It's much easier to pass on two-lane roads without being worried about whether or not I'll make it with time to spare. 
3) The BMW is much more sure-footed on corners. It feels like it's glued to the ground. In spite of its size, it feels very sporty in the twisties.
4) The moveable windshield on the BMW lets me get exactly the right amount of air on my face. Very nice.
5) Locking storage means I can leave spare gloves and accessories on the bike at night. 
So, you ask, is there anything I like better about the Harley? Well, the clothes are nice. I still have a lot of Harley clothing.  I'm going to keep wearing it for awhile.

After lunch, we made tracks for Canada and the rains came.  It never rained super hard, but it was consistent enough to give our latest glove combos a good test.  Famous last words:  I think we've got this glove problem licked.  I'm using new BMW summer Gore-Tex gloves; Gizmo thinks regular leather gloves hosed down with water repellent spray work well enough behind the LT's huge windshield.  I'm sure they'll get tested again.

The scenery got more and more spectacular as we traveled north.  This is remote country, evidenced by the USAF having their survival training school in this area.  I think this is the school where they plunk pilot trainees down in the backwoods with a couple paper clips and 3-inches of used dental floss and come back a week later.  Maybe Scott O'Grady (of Bosnia fame) will stumble onto our web site and tell us what REALLY goes on there.

Day 1 Contest Results

The response to yesterday's contest was so overwhelming, we're overwhelmed in trying to decide who sent in the best answer.  But if we had to pick the top three - actually the only three - they would be:

Bob Seidensticker

Born Scott Alexander, who won a Golden Globe award for writing for the 1996 movie "The People vs. Larry Flint"? or Who played the hit man Jules in the 1994 film "Pulp Fiction"?

Sorry, Bob, you're disqualified, only one entry allowed per customer.

Mike Kanarek

What actor was born Dec. 21, 1948, in Washington, DC. and raised by his mother and grandparents in Chattanooga, TN, attended Morehouse College in Atlanta where in 1969, he was briefly suspended for taking several members of the college's board of trustees, including Martin Luther King, Sr., hostage during a sit-in to protest the absence of black trustees and a black studies curriculum, then graduated in 1972 with a degree in theater arts, remained in Atlanta while finding work in television commercials and regional theatrical productions, until his first, small role in a feature film, Together for Days (1972), then in 1976, after making a brief appearance in the short-lived television series Movin' On, moved to New York City, where he became involved with the Negro Ensemble Company, performing in several notable productions, married his college sweetheart, actress LaTanya Richardson, in 1980, whom he had met while attending drama classes at Morehouse's sister school, Spelman College, then made another television appearance in The Trial of the Moke for public television's Great Performances, landed a walk-on role in Milos Forman's Ragtime (1981), returned to TV working for two years as Bill Cosby's stand-in on The Bill Cosby Show, was cast as Boy Willie in the original Broadway production of August Wilson's The Piano Lesson to rave reviews, continued with a starring role in Wilson's follow-up, Two Trains Running, and a long series of walk-ons in such films as Coming To America (1988), Sea of Love (1989) and Goodfellas (1990), and in the same period was directed by Spike Lee in School Daze (1988), Do the Right Thing (1989) and Mo' Better Blues (1990), and as the crack-addicted Gator in Jungle Fever (1991), that performance winning him a special jury prize at the 1991 Cannes Film Festival and the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor, then over the next five years went on to costar in more than 20 feature films and several made-for-TV movies, often playing the African-American sidekick to white leading men, and is now perhaps best known for his portrayal of Jules Winnfield, the Jheri-curled, philosophizing hit man in Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction (1994), which earned him an Academy Award nomination for best supporting actor, but also played Zeus, the sidekick of Bruce Willis in Die Hard with a Vengeance, and also appeared in A Time to Kill (1996), the Long Kiss Goodnight, the Great White Hype, had a small role in Star Wars, and will appear in Shaft, scheduled for 2000 and Renny Harlin's Deep Blue Sea, as well as producing and appearing in Caveman's Valentine, as a homeless, paranoid, schizophrenic, concert pianist/private detective, and as Mefisto in Onyx, and Rules of Engagement with Guy Pearce, Tommy Lee Jones, and NYPD's Kim Delaney, and finally, joins Leonardo DiCaprio in Slay the Dreamer, a thriller set around the assassination of Martin Luther King?"

Sorry, Mike you caused a circular buffer overload.

And the winner is Jamie Engen with the response:

Which Shaft star is known for the quote "What kills me is that everybody thinks I like jazz."

Jamie, for winning today's contest, you will be pleased to receive a slightly used Bridgestone Battlax 120/70-ZR17 tire, a random pair of soggy gloves (whichever leaks next), and one unused plastic referree's whistle (sorry, the lanyard to said whistle is currently being used with my digital camera).


This photo depicts a picture currently hanging on the wall of the Corner Cafe in Sandpoint Idaho.  Why is this person eating a floppy disk?  Given how lavish we were with yesterday's contest winner, I can't guarantee that we'll have prizes as good, but we'll do our best.

Keep those cards and letters coming.

Whizmo and Gizmo