BMW Winnipeg then Canada Day in Winnipeg

July 3, 2011

Thursday morning. Alarm on. Up early.

Mission : BMW dealer in Winnipeg. I got there at 8:30 as I was asked to. They were just bringing bikes out in front of the building for the day. As I drive down I notice that without luggage or any extra weight the front end problem is just about gone.

When I arrive, I immediately meet with Dustin, whom I had talked to on the phone the previous day. He’s all business.

I tell him about the front end, they put the bike on the center stand and they do all the pulling and turning of the forks and steering. A little dance with the bike that I am starting to be familiar with. He says that he thinks the front end is fine. I told him it was better this morning, without the luggage and he and another mechanic discuss this and they say that since I am not that heavy, as most guys riding these bikes are around 200 lbs, the extra weight in the back lifts the front end creating this instability, especially at low speeds when you lose the centrifugal force of the wheel in action. He requests to try the bike himself. I was very glad about that. It seems to me it would be the best way to duplicate whatever I am trying to explain.

“Got the key?”


He took off in the morning sun. It’s the first time that I actually see someone driving away with my bike this way. As he leaves, I hear the distinctive K bike whine fading in the distance, the red color shines in the sun. Nice bike.

About 8 minutes later he came back.

“This bike is sound.”

I feel a good amount of relief coming over me. I was prepared to do what ever needed to be done, but it’s always a bit of a cross your fingers moment when you are about to get the diagnostic. Could be terminal… could be nothing serious.

He then addressed the idling issue, he got a can with alcohol in it and sprayed over the manifolds where the carbs are. The engine’s rhythm gets disturbed noticeably.

“You hear this?” he asks me.

“Yes, what is that?”

“There is a leak at the manifolds, the rubber seals… they’re 20 years old, with that kind of heat, they don’t last forever…”

“Can I ride it like this without damaging the engine? I am going to Montreal, then back.”

“Yes, it will idle poorly but When you get to Vancouver get it looked at by your mechanic.”

That was pretty much it. I bought some oil as it had been burning what seems to be the normal amount for that type of bike and distance covered.

The rest of the day was a normal Winnipeg day. Melonai, my friend, calls this town a place of extremes. Extreme cold in the winter, extreme heat in the summer. Today the temperature went up to 33 Celsius. We are sweating just sitting around. But I don’t mind. It’s been so cold since March when I froze my butt in Nashville, then I froze in Vancouver with below normal temperatures for the last few months. A little heat is good.

One really cool little highlight of the day was to catch the airing of the TV show I had just shot in Vancouver for Radio Canada. We almost missed it. It’s short, but the shots are gorgeous, I’m playing well and it’s all seamlessly done. I was pretty excited. I will have a link to give you in the near future, I promise…

Friday was Canada Day. I celebrated with Melonai’s family doing traditional family activities like going to see the trains, going to the park to catch some music, then going for the fireworks. That was actually quite cool as I never really do “normal” family activities and seeing the kids laugh, play, hearing the music, meeting friends, sitting in the sun and enjoying “a day off” was an interesting experience. Beowulf rested.

Diesel engine train

Steam engine train

the old "Prairie Dog Station"

the station dude who told me that if Quebec separated "all of Canada's problems would be over" .... Dream on.

the train's engineer.

Assiniboine Park Canada Day stage and celebrations

Winnipeg from the car

lots of character buildings

Homes and neighborhoods that are reminiscent of different times

walking to the fireworks by the river

the sun endlessly sets on the horizon as the shadows lengthen

the crowds gather

even Jesus is there

Ghosts in the night

... and they started

and we oooohed and aaaahed

and it went on and on

until the final hoopla

then we all walked back with smiles on our faces.


3 Responses to “BMW Winnipeg then Canada Day in Winnipeg”

  1. bobskoot Says:

    Danielle: I’m relieved that Beowulf is Okay and nothing serious happened. It’s good to take a day off and relax. It’s been a long time since I have been to Winnipeg. It was when I drove across Canada as far as Quebec city and back to Vancouver.

    ride safe

    Riding the Wet Coast

  2. David Says:

    Whew on the bike story. Really nice photos Danielle. You have covered a lot of ground. My daughter seems for the moment to be stable. More later.

  3. Forrest Says:

    I feel so relieved that the bike was okay, Danielle! I mean REALLY. I LOVE the photos. It makes me really glad that you were able to unwind and just enjoy the day. All the photos were beautiful. The photo of the stage and the crowd gathered for music in the park makes me wish that I was there too.

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