EMS, meeting Bob and Canucks madness

June 12, 2011

I had forgotten to mention where.

EMS, Essential Motorcycle Services, in Vancouver , South West Marine Drive. That is where I brought Beowulf for the steering head bearing fix. I had found them on the internet, then my ex-mechanic who moved on from motorcycling wrenching to go back to school, recommended Ted’s place.


First impression : I get there, it’s relaxed and “holy crap!” there is a girl wrenching… A GIRL MECHANIC. A woman in a motorcycle shop who is not a girlfriend, a babe on a calendar or on an add for some sort of motor oil or some cheesy ad of some kind. So that is hyper cool.

meet Carly, she works on the big bikes too!

the other super cool thing, I didn’t have to make an appointment days ahead for an oil change, I got in, they did it and got out shortly after.

Also, they are down to earth, real people that won’t charge you so much for their services that you got to take a second job just to keep your bike running.

AND… I didn’t get attitude, overcharged, sneers, comments or plain abuse because I am a woman. Thank you!

Thinking of abuse… I think I’ll remember forever going into this Harley dealer with the Buell XB9 and ask for a TPS and they made me wait 4 hours, did not do the repair, charged me twice as much than they had charged the owner (a man) before and told me stories about how “dangerous” the bike was now and that I should leave it there while they figure out what… Oh and I forget that they had me make an appointment two days earlier for which I drove 50 miles only to be turned around because there was no mechanic available.. Oh well… It makes for good stories! But I would never go back there.


So anyways, Friday morning I went to EMS because Beowulf felt funny. In a not so funny way. I arrived at 10 AM sharp, I was concerned… I said to Ted :
“it’s wobbly at speed, there is noise and clicks when I brake and the braking pulls to one side, when I hit bumps it feels really harsh…”

“Oh I know what it is” said Ted as he pushed the bike in the shop..

“You do?”

“Oh yeah, it’s easy.”

Now that is a word I like coming from the mechanic… Easy.

Beowulf getting adjusted in the head...

“It’s the bearings, they have to be adjusted…”

That simple eh. I learn every day. I really wish I knew more about bikes and their mechanical idiosyncrasies. I feel things going on but I can’t tell if it’s serious or not… and I get somewhat of a hypochondriac with my bike… It’s the speed… I love to go fast and the thought of something going wrong when I go fast… it just is not a cozy thought.

So he re-adjusted the bearing and he said :

“Hey, there is a guy who came here yesterday, Bob, he knows you, he’s your biggest fan.”

“Bob?” I’m trying to remember any Bob I would know who has a motorcycle and I come up empty. Ted continued :

“Bob said to me : Danielle Hebert! Danielle Hebert is coming here! Do you know who she is?! Ted continues :
“I told him you were going to be here this morning and he was very disappointed because he had to work.. We’re having a BBQ tonight, 5 PM and we’ll watch the game, you’re welcome to come down Bob might come down too.”

I wanted to watch the game somewhere, so why not here, these people are really good people and I might get to figure out who Bob is! So yeah, I’m on for the BBQ the game and all kinds of surprises.

The bike was fixed in a few minutes, I headed out back to Richmond, sat in a cafe with WiFi and worked on the translation job I got on Thursday, then I had to scoot over to Ladner for a medical exam. You probably wonder why in hell go all the way to Ladner for that… well lets just say their waiting list is shorter…

After that was done, I was back on the 99 heading towards Vancouver. As I approached the exit for the 91 this guy passes me with this beautiful BMW, a sporty looking newer model, I gun it to see that bike closer. We both climb the ramp that leads to the 91 when about a mile down the road the traffic pretty much stops. So here we are side by side.

“Nice old BMW you got”
“Yeah I love it!” That spurted out of my mouth… then I thought, I think that is the first time I say that out loud about Beowulf. it’s as if our private affair was now public.

“You live in Vancouver?” he asks.

“Well, I used to, I’m here now… I traveled all over, left last June and now I’m kind of address-less…” I rambled on, I should really shut up sometimes. As soon as I said that I thought about what sort of impression you’d make by saying your address-less… I re-directed..

“what year is your bike?”


“Oh wow, that is much younger than mine.” it’s a R something 800 BMW. Looks pretty sweet, rugged but sporty. He’s kind of cute, as much as I can see with the full face, red head. I love red heads… But I feel like a twerp. I’ve never been one for the quick confident repartee with good looking strangers.

The traffic opens up, we gun it up the bridge. It feels good to ride on some open road. Everything is so slow here. Sometimes I see perfect lines where I could lane split, so tempting.. but illegal here. And where 80MPH was the sort of median speed on the 210, here when I reach 60 – 70 it’s sooooo fast… and sooo illegal. Sigh. they got new squads of mean, lean looking cops just to catch speed loving people… A new program with all sorts of fines and seizures of vehicles coming along. So I behave.

We get into Richmond and he turns for the Knight Street Bridge. I wish I could say something but what is there to say. Enjoy the moment, then let it go.

I was still sorting all that out in my head and was not quite sure where to turn or what to do until game time, I ended up finding myself in insane traffic on Bridgeport. Holy cow. It took about 30 minutes to go no more than 2 miles. Nuts! Of course the “out of gas soon” indicator lighted up. Patience.

I finally made it to Vancouver and EMS and the game started. What game? The CANUCKS!!!

some Canucks drama when they lost in Boston

some Canucks fan madness

serious support

one of the multitudes of flags..

Vancouver is overtaken by Canucks fever, the hockey, Stanley Cup, the finals, against Boston. As a kid I devoured hockey, then lost interest, no one could play like Montreal did in those days… But lately I’ve enjoyed following the blue and green guys.

The game had started when Bob arrived. He showed up on a nice big V-Strom, dark blue, it brought back some memories. Bob took big strides toward me and gave me this bear hug.
“I can’t believe I’m meeting you face to face!” He laughs and I laugh too. He’s been following me on the blog for almost a year. He knows everything that has been going on.
“it’s as if I know you!!!” he exclaims.

Bob and Beowulf

“Where is Beowulf?” I take him out to the my bike. He gets his camera out and takes numerous photos. Me and Beowulf, him and Beowulf, me next to his bike, on the right on the left, me on his bike. It was funny, it was in good spirits. To feel such genuine joy from someone. The wonders of the internet where we can connect with others in so many ways.

When I had started the blog my intentions were to give my friends and family a place to check on me without me having to write dozens of emails and risking forgetting someone. At one point I had thousands of viewers in a month… I wondered many times who were these people? Here was one of them and it was quite special.

So we had burgers & smokies on the BBQ, watched the game which the Canucks won, bringing them one step closer to the cup, it was a good time, fun and they are a great bunch of people. Then it was time to go. I headed back to Richmond completely energized, pumped by the day, the moments, meeting Bob, fixing Beowulf and on top of this all it didn’t rain!

I got on Beowulf, Bob on his V-Strom we headed out. The streets are effervescent with hockey fever. It’s electrifying actually, everyone is cheering, honking, kids run around with giant Canucks flags.

It’s all good. The sun sets. another day gone. It was a good one.


3 Responses to “EMS, meeting Bob and Canucks madness”

  1. bobskoot Says:


    It was great meeting you too. When Ted brought me to the back of his shop I was surprised to see you there. I’m glad you came back for the BBQ. I hope our paths cross again. Have a nice trip to Montreal

    ride safe

    Riding the Wet Coast

  2. mq01 Says:

    and thanks to bob i get the pleasure of crossing paths with your blog! sounds like you’ve been on quite the endless road! 🙂 i look forward to reviewing your posts and following you. meanwhile, next time, if you’re in NorCal…

  3. Charlotte Says:

    Oh yeah… go ahead and lane split… he he he. I have been naughty, I just roll on down the shoulder if it is sweltering hot. Figure if I get pulled over I tell them it is an AIR COOLED bike, if I don’t keep moving it will explode !!! Not sure if that would get me out of a ticket, and I am not too keen on trying ! Keep on leaning… hard… to the right ! : ) : ) : )

    Char and ‘The P’

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