Hello all riders! This Christmas season I was blessed with some vacation time and with my bike being stored in Vancouver I decided to make good use of it. The plan of the ride is to go down to Death Valley, then head into Mexico to visit Copper Canyon, ride further to Southern Mexico then ride back into the US to fly home to Montreal. However not everything went as planned. DAY 1 and DAY 2 (Montreal to Vancouver) After a 2.5 hour drive I fly early out of Quebec City to Toronto then to Vancouver on one of these. With my Givi Maxia E52 in hand I board the plane. The top case it too big to be a carry on so I have to have it checked. I did not have this issue with WestJet last summer but with AirCanada it was a no go. The Givi case did not fare well in the belly of the plane and comes back with busted reflectors. Lucie picked me up at the airport in Vancouver. Before I go any further you must meet Lucie and Pol. Lucie and Pol are some of the best people you will ever meet. I consider myself extremely lucky to have met them last summer in Anchorage, Alaska. We ran into each other twice in Alaska and they very generously offered a parking spot for my Versys in Vancouver. This allowed me to spend more time in Alaska and fly home to Montreal at the end of my trip. But this was only the beginning of their generosity towards me. After they picked me up from the airport I was reunited with the Versys. Needless to say, after many months, I needed some alone time with my bike(can't you hear the Marvin Gaye music?) Along with a nice and new much needed Center Stand, I had two new tires shipped to their place. The front I would carry for a while but my rear tire was done I installed it in Pol and Lucie's garage. I also installed a new rear chain I brought with me on the plane. Funny fact about air travel and chains. If you travel with a chain in your carry on luggage, it is considered a weapon. However if you tell the Xray operator that it is a drive "belt" then all is well and you can bring it with you. I am not so sure this explanation will work in the states. Bike all ready to go, or is it? While I was doing the maintenance on the bike its battery was hooked up to a charger in Pol's garage. Unfortunately the battery would not hold a charge anymore so Pol and I went to Wal-Mart to buy another one as the dealers would not open until Monday. I have secretly named Pol and Lucie's house is the house of wisdom. We can all agree on this one. The next day, the weather was pretty darn nice for December in Vancouver (9 and no rain) so Pol and I decided it was time to go check out the city. One thing I learned about pol that afternoon is that the man can ride and that Vancouver is his playground. On cold and damp pavement I was finding myself riding below Pol's pace on occasions. My Versys had a German companion that day. Looking west at the Downtown area. I asked Pol if there was a high spot in Vacouver that you can ride to and have a nice view of the whole the downtown area. Not too long after that request, at every red light in downtown Vancouver, he started gesturing the motorists to roll down their windows and in his accent proceeded to yell at drivers the word "CYPRESS!!!" "How do I get to CYPRESS!!!" His efforts were rewarded and we found ourselves riding through Stanley Park and across the Lions Gate Bridge to Cypress Bowl Road. At the overlook we met a local rider and chatted with him for a bit while darkness fell. Shot of Vancouver from the overlook at Cypress After that we rode back into town and into the Gastown District. We then went back to Stanley Park and while Pol patiently waited I took too many pictures of the Lion's Gate Bridge. During my stay in Vancouver, while being fed many great home cooked meals, I spent hours discussing travels and motorcycle trips with Pol and Lucie. They are quite an adventurous couple. For instance I learned that they crossed the Atlantic by sailboat in the 1970's and I also learned and was amazed that Pol only started to ride motorcycles in his 60's. So there you go folks: proof that you can learn and start to ride in your retirements years and then ride far!.. all the way to Alaska and back!.. and on a big bike, two up at that! Live life folks and never let people or you own thoughts discourage you or tell you that you cannot do something.