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Yamaha FJ – On the Road

Two sunny days in a row happened last weekend, so on Monday I bought insurance for the big bike — my Yamaha FJ1200. By Friday, I was riding confidently, under a partly cloudy sky, to Yaletown. I was scheduled to meet with a documentary film maker who wanted to interview me about one of my teachers and the benefits of her program.

After the interview, which was quite short, I thought I would join my daughter for dinner, so I phoned her as it started to rain. We made plans, but as I talked to her the rain turned to small beads of hail. I decided to have a coffee and wait this one out. The closest Starbucks was the only organic coffee in the area. Starbucks will go organic if you insist, they will make you a bodum press of organic coffee if they don’t have any on tap. As the hail was quite fierce, I lingered over the brew, but then it started to clear up a bit. I quickly saw my chance to head out, returned to my bike and shook the hail off the bike cover. The FJ started easily, even in the cold, but I knew the remnants of the hail was still on the street, so I was careful not to start or stop too quickly.

I started to head over to my daughter’s house, but decided to go home instead as it was really cold and I was worried about the weather. I had seen a couple of lightning strikes and the big, dark clouds now covered the sky. I was quite close to home when the hail started coming down again. My hands freezing as I drove very carefully on the slippery stuff, I managed to park outside my house and cover the bike quickly. The hail was coming down very thickly by then and I felt lucky to have made it home.

Later, I looked out the window and confirmed I had made the right choice.

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In Vancouver, it usually snows enough to cover the ground a couple of times a year. This was taken Friday, April 18th, 2008. The spring flowers are out, the daffodils and tulips are blooming and the early cherry trees are already finished. It is so unusual that I know this unseasonable cold is a symptom of climate change. This cold and hail must be affecting the local farmers and gardeners. There are some people who think that the global warming can cause an ice age as the pendulum swings back to self-correct the climate. I am worried about the future, but I will do what I can in the present.

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