Tuesday, May 24, 2011

And What Did Heather Think?

Wow, when it comes to blogging it seems I'm only 1-for-May. I'm not exactly sure why. I know it hasn't been because of a lack of experiences. It's true I've been busy, but I'm always busy. Also, I've had an annoying health issue going on, but it hasn't been of the sort to stop me from riding, inline skating some, hiking a lot, and even getting in the season's first land paddle. I do know part of my blogging fall-off has to do with Heather's work load lightening up and her being home more evenings and around on the weekends. It has been good to spend time with her.
Hiking at Castlewood.
Land Paddling on Schoolhouse Trail in Madison County, Illinois.

Just hanging out at Horseshoe Lake.

So, let's begin to catch-up May. But, to do that I've got to go back to the last day of April. Actually, I need go back even a little more in time than that.

Who could that be inside that fullface helmet?
Yep, in early April Heather bought a helmet. She did it in preparation for what we had planned for the last day of April. We went to Spyderfest in Cuba, Missouri. Over two hundred Can-Am Spyders descended on the Mural City during the last week in April. We drove down on Saturday to check it out, eat some barbeque, and . . .
This was before half of the Spyders made it out to Cowtown, the local Spyder dealer, for barbeque. There were bikes there from both coasts and Canada.
. . . to test ride a Spyder.

There were Spyders everywhere.

Sadly, we didn't get any pictures of us on the Spyder. Heather has never been on a motorcycle or an ATV or a trike. So, riding on the Spyder while I piloted it was a big first for her. Zach, the guy in charge of the demos, gave us a quick run down of the controls and how to put into reverse, gave us a few suggestions on where we might like to ride, and sent us on our way. We tested a RT with a semi-automatic transmission. It reminded me of my experience of driving a snowmobile. Of course, the way I ride a snowmobile has very little in common with the way my brother-in-law rides a snowmobile. You see, I have a slow hand and don't drift through the corners while approaching triple digits. That said, the Spyder easily took the curves at ten-plus mph above the posted speed. It did everything I asked of it. I liked the transmission, but I'm sure others would miss the clutch. Would I buy one? Well, definitely not a RT. Both Heather and me think it is butt-ugly. The RS on the other hand could be an interesting year around vehicle for me . . . if it didn't cost so much; and if it didn't get such horrible gas mileage; and if I was convinced I could afford to maintain it.
The guy wearing the helmet with the horns rides his Spyder year around in Minnesota. He tells me with an automobile snow tire on the back and sandbags to add weight over the rear wheel it can handle snow  up to four inches. If there is more snow than that you have to wait for the snowplow to go through first. By the way, when he's really ready to ride the highway he wears a fullface helmet.
A Cow-Am
The orange Spyder is a RS. The blue beast next to it is a RT Touring.  I didn't get any intentional pictures of any RT's. No surprise there.

I really liked this rig.

And, what did Heather think? I'm not exactly sure, but the next weekend we made a trip to Cyclegear and . .
She bought a jacket.


  1. I think that maybe Heather's going to get a Spyder. If you're lucky, you may get to use it ;-)

  2. Yes well some thing is a foot.....carnt wait to find out what it is. The fact you are sharing an adventure togethe is awesome. Enjoy your time together.

  3. Holy crap, 4" of snow? I come from Minnesota - lived there until I was 22, and that's one mean feat from a 3-wheeled, saddle-seated contraption. I don't know that I would ever buy one, but that does get me to a point where I would test ride one.

    Behind Bars - Motorcycles and Life

  4. Hmmm, she's bought a helmet and a jacket. Something is definately afoot :) And, I have to say I like it!

    Y'all enjoy.


  5. Richard,
    I could live with that outcome. I don't think that's how it is going to play out, but it would be okay with me.

    Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

  6. Roger,
    I am grateful to have the time with Heather. When she has projects getting ready to go out for bid we have to really work at getting our time together. This is much more fun.

    I appreciate you taking time to make a comment.

  7. Brady,
    Yep, 4" of snow. It got my attention. From most of what I read the Spyder wasn't exactly a snow bunny, but when I started meeting some of these guys from up "Nort" I found out different.

    The thing about the Spyder is it is its own ride. You can't really compare it to anything else. Once I stopped trying to figure out what it was like was when I started enjoying it.

    I've learned that the dealer is crucial when it comes to Spyders. I've, also, learned that Cowtown is one of the truly elite Spyder dealers. That's a plus.

    Thanks for dropping by.

  8. Allen,
    Welcome. I drop by your blog often and enjoy it.

    I'm with you. I'm not exactly sure what is "afoot", but I do like it. I'm just trying to stay out of the way and let whatever it is develop.

    Thanks for the comment,

  9. Ahhh...nice!! About the helmet and jacket, that is. LOL. The Spyder is appealing on some level. I do hear very good things about them. But I am thinking it might be more difficult for you to park on the sidewalks. You might be relegated back to the parking garage. Push for a vintage Vespa for Heather for summer. :)

    Good luck!


  10. Something to keep in mind if you are looking for something to use during the winter is that the Spyder has traction control that can only be disabled by disconnecting the ABS wheel sensors. Folks around here have voiced "issues" with the traction control on gravel and snow. Also, the belt drive is exposed to small rocks getting flung in from the front wheels.

    I have no personal experience with them myself. They look like a lot of fun.

  11. Nice pics! I am mixed on the spiders, but that could be because I am a newly minted scooterist. As for the snow, I think I will stick to my 4 wheeled vehicle, bus or by foot. They are crazy here in Victoria when it snows & no one can drive in it. Hope she gets the vehicle she wants. Land paddling looks interesting.

  12. Lori,
    I checked with the powers that be about parking the Spyder in the motorcycle lot and was told it would be okay. By the way, a hack would also be allowed. Vintage Vespa? Actually, Heather is rather smitten with the Ruckus, but she is timid about riding. We will see.

    Good to hear from you, you busy woman you.

  13. Richard,
    Ah yes, the "Nanny". I'd written off the Spyder until I got in contact with the rider in MN and another in Newfoundland. That said, the nanny is known for doing funny things. It is such a complicated beast and Can-Am's dealer network is suspect. Oh well, I don't honestly expect a Sypder to show up in our garage anytime soon.

  14. Dar,
    Some travel to the tip of Argentina or the Trans Lab Highway or around the world. My adventure is riding year around and doing it as safely as possible. Each to their own. I think there may be some two up in our future, but besides that I'm clueless where all this is leading.

    Land paddling is great fun. We're wimps and stay on pretty level ground. In Madison County, Illinois just across the River from St. Louis there are miles of paved trails. It is a perfect place for land paddling.

    Thanks for stopping by again.

  15. Dear Keith:

    I am amazed... Going from a relatively small motorcycle to a Can-Am Spyder is m,ore than a vasual jump. But if the lady you live with is being helmets and gear, I strongly suggest you go with the flow. Buy the damn thing and send us the pictures from Big Sur.

    Fondest regards,
    Twisted Roads

  16. That's how it starts...you try on some gear, or go sit on a bike or two...next thing you know you're looking at finding a bike and learning to ride. This is definitely going to be good!

    I think I'm one, maybe two for May. Not really sure why, just worked out that way.

    Nice post to catch up on your month!

  17. Jack,
    Sorry for taking so long to respond to your comment.

    I think the Spyder is special in regards to jumping from a "relatively small motorcycle" to nearly 1000cc bike. I sat on a Aprilia Mana, which certainly isn't a big bike and thought, "OMG this is heavy." But with the Spyder there is no issues of weight. Being over 60 and a candidate for a future knee replacement things like holding up a bike just might become an issue. Anyway, I don't think it is going to happen for a number of reasons.

    Thanks for reading and writing a comment.

  18. Kari,
    Actually, she's been circling a Sach's Madass. It is a 125cc bike that is much like a mountain bike. We've had a bit of a financial set back or that bike might have been hers. We'll see where this leads. I think you're right "This is definitely going to be good!"

    Thanks for stopping by,