Signs of Springtime

One of the first springtime signs is that since last week we are the proud owners (rental better saying) of a new garage for our four two-wheelers! Finally a proper home for them, and for us another additional hangout, livingroom or whatever you want to call it. The ladies that need some extra TLC (means they are not rideable at the moment) already moved in. We spent the weekend putting up some hooks and shelves on the wall and doing necessity-shopping at Clas Ohlsson.

In addition we made friends with one of the owners of the big neighbour-garage in that complex. It is five guys with custom bikes that rent that one – and they do have a loo… Could come in extremely handy if there is a certain need after a day out on the bike and home is far away… I think you know what I mean. Also, the guy we met gave us some tips of where to get a couple of sturdy shelves for all our stuff. Parts, tools and manuals for four different bikes do take some space and the storage we have right now is not really sufficient.

The poor one we spoke to returned btw to the garage in snow showers on his Kawasaki. Why that? Well, over the weekend springtime made an attempt to beat winter. And succeeded partly. Means on Saturday I sat outside on the balcony, in short sleeves and enjoyed the morning sun – without freezing. The entire Saturday it was (for the first time in 2009) gorgeous jeans-jacket-weather. Like our new-won friend we thought  it would continue like that during Sunday. So we went for a short bicycle tour wearing the same outfit as on the day before. And it became a very short tour – because it started snowing. Therefore, quickly back inside, winter jacket, cap and gloves on- and walking to the shops instead of cycling. It is supposed to be like that the entire week. But then again it cannot take very long anymore till springtime finally wins. The days are longer than the nights now! And in this country you can really see and feel the difference from week to week.

How much I look forward to us getting the other two bikes ready for rolling and down to the new garage… and then go to work by two wheels instead of train… nice.

A very important detail

Yesterday Dagens Nyheter had this picture on their main page:


In the evening back at home, we look at it together and admire it for its unique capture of the situation. And guess what the boyfriend comes up with? “Well, but after all the real question is, what kind of motorcycle is this there in the background?”

Starting into the winter season

Finally – Elisa is back home! This post comes a bit late as I got her already back on the 18th of October.

I was lucky with the weather – 10 Celsius plus AND sunshine! That is almost a miracle for this time of the year. Wrapped up in the boyfriend’s Yamaha snow scooter suit (made in Finland!) over the leather suit so that the cold air was kept out and therefore feeling like being on a bear hunt in Siberia (or even being a Grizzly myself) I made my way home, even halfway complying with the speed limits. That one does not necessarily do on a hot summer day – the faster, the cooler, the only way to not overheat in a leather suit in at least 30 degrees Celsius plus sun burning down unmercifully. Oh yes, that exists as well in Sweden. It is not just cold all year round, you know.

The workshop or better saying Sweden’s best Guzzi-mechanic Janne from the Italia Bike Center in Arboga did an excellent job. He even rebuilt the carbs completely as the sealings were too old and sucked in air. They were actually surprised that we made it to Arboga. Well, we refrained from telling them that the bike also made it to Helsingborg in Skåne and to Harjarö west of Stockholm, and to quite a few other places… Obviously with the same defect all way long. It clearly shows that the little lady seemed to be quite up for finally seeing the world instead of pottering around Motala or Linköping only… If we are lucky then she will also see a bit of the rest of Europe next year, but that is still far away yet from being planned too much in detail.

Back home, she got straight away prepared for winter. Emptying the carbs, closing the fuel tabs (my personal all time favourite when it comes to my own forgetfulness – opening or closing these little fellows) and some oil onto the cylinder heads against corrosion. Oh, and not to forget disconnecting the battery of course. Her motor block now sits on a piece of wood in order to keep the tires slightly off the ground, another essential part of getting a bike winter ready. Thanks to the service and judging by the final smooth ride home the rest was all in order and did not need any further attention. Elisa even got cleaned! Covered with her comfort blanket, a Guzzi flag (yes, I am a girl 😉 ) and a brand new bike cover she now sleeps against the wall of the garage till next year May. The season officially starts on the 1st of May. That means I will probably wake her up again some time in April so that we can start into our first proper season together!

Until then there will be some strict fitness training for myself. Why? Well, fitting into the leather suit a bit better than this year is kind of a crucial requirement for the next season – I do not want to swap to a new outfit and a custom bike next spring. Not to mention the lack of financial means for actually being able to afford all that 😉

When will I see you again, Elisa?

Finally, after a lot of work notes a personal one again. What it is about? Well, it has something to do with motorcycling. The season is definitely over now and I even missed the end of it, which is a pity really. The reason? I decided to leave Elisa (yes, a motorcycle can have a name, and this one has) on the 13th of September with a specialist to give her a very good check up. That was much needed as I did not have any record of when she got looked at by professional eyes last time. The two previous owners did not ride her much but fiddled much with her technical set up – and it was the question whether they really got all buttons and wires right.

As I know already, the carbs need to be totally rebuild and also a lot of small seals need to be replaced. So the latest news from last week was, that finally parts from Italy have arrived! So the work hopefully started this week. It would be great to have her back the coming weekend, as given good weather and not immensely low temperatures it would be possible to ride her to the winter quarter – and not carry her home on a trailer…. sigh. So, we shall see! Important is however to get her back and have her fit for next season!

In the meantime it is good to read the books of Lois Pryce – an immensely enjoyable writing style. Also, watching Ewan and Charley doing their trips help feeding the desire to learn about motorcycle trips. Lois’ is an adventure, especially the one down Africa. Ewan and Charley’s trip is a walk in the park in comparison.

Also it is now the time to think how to contribute a bit more to the forum of the Swedish Guzzi Club – winter time is building time.

1st of May 2009 the fun shall start again :-).

….and another significant day….

Today is a solar eclipse, new moon, my dad’s birthday, the funeral of the aunt of my beloved, my brother’s first day at work at a cabinet maker (he does an apprenticeship) and the first day for me to be out and about alone on a longer ride on my newly bought lovely Moto Guzzi v35 Imola up from Linköping up to Grythyttan. Let’s see what else is under offer today, hopefully not me taken too often the wrong turns! Oh – I forgot – water discovered on Mars is the the other big headline today! Anyway, where was I? Yes, motorcycling.

I bought Elisa almost a month ago, she turns 25 this year, by the way but has only 15000 kilometres under her belt, well, that figure already changed within last week to around 15300. She quite seems to enjoy to be out and about again and really doing a bit more excercise. During the past years she did about 500 km per year at the most… Almost a disgrace for such a pretty lady. Picture to follow in one of the next posts, some still have to be made. However, this is her Tech Spec if there is anybody interested. However, Elisa is silver-grey and not red.

So, let’s hope I make it alright and also back on Sunday night – it is supposed to rain on the weekend… not much fun… so let’s have it today!

Trevlig helg!