Wednesday, April 23, 2008

24 heures du Mans

For the first time ever, a Dutchman won the 24 hours of le Mans for motorbikes. Congratulations to Barry Veneman. See the press release of his team. And what do you know... he did it on my bike! This means that the GSXR1000 is officially the fastest production motorcycle in real-life conditions.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Baseball bat

This morning I picked her up. I was a little concerned whether the insurance guy would let me register and insure it on my Dutch license, but he did. Convincing him that I am a very experienced rider, with 14 yrs no claim and 80 percent discount took more effort. In the end he would give me a 40 percent discount instead. Well, at least it is something. I had my Dutch insurance company make a statement in English on my history. Insurance is very expensive over here. Maybe because there are more accidents in Vancouver than in Amsterdam? With the discount, I still had to pay over a 1000 dollars per year for simple liability only. I bought two heavy duty chain locks. In addition to this, I bought the most expensive motorcycle alarm that I could find. It even has a 2 way radio connection. If someone touches my bike I will be notified if I am in a 1 mile radius. I will have to get a baseball bat or a gun to deal with the low lives that try to take away this baby.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Road Insanity

Oops... I did it. There is no sane reason for it. It makes no sense what so ever. It will be utterly unusable. It is an unnecessary luxury. But boy oh boy, what a magnificent machine. Yesterday I bought this 2007 GSXR1000.

It's the pinnacle of motor sport, in the very exclusive category of 1:1 power weight ratio. It weighs 170kg, and it produces 170hp. To protect inexperienced riders, Suzuki put 3 control modes on the bike. So you can ride it with 50hp less when it rains. I am pretty confident that I can handle it though, thanks to my years of experience, and the two advanced rider courses I did with KNMV on the racetrack in Lelystad.

The bike I bought was a demo model, used by the dealer. It has 3000km on it, but the warranty will start the day I bought it. I intend to pick up the bike next weekend, when I will have received my leathers and helmet from the Netherlands. I have to look into insurance now. Fortunately, I had my "royementverklaring" from the Dutch insurer put in English, stating my 80% discount. I hope they will honour it here. At least the low tax of 12% made it a sweet deal. Buying a bike in the Netherlands will result in 19% sales tax plus 19.4% BPM tax.

All in all, Bram is now officially the fastest thing on the roads, here in British Columbia. Let's hope I have all the self-restrain that is required of me now.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Road Trip

The American North West is a beautiful place. That is why Amy and I chose it as the rough destination for our road trip. We had a 4 day weekend, and wanted to unwind. The variety of landscapes in Washington alone is impressive. The weather varied just as much. We had a hot sun, heavy rain, hail and show. It depends on which side of the mountains you are on. And the most impressive thing of all: we had a direct hit by a Dust Devil. It looks like a small tornado. The path of it crossed the path of the car, and the timing was exactly right. BANG on the hood of the car. It was less scarier than it sounds though. At first we tried to cross the mountain range at the far north in the US. However, after driving up the mountain, we had to go back again, due to a closed road. The map said "closed in winter". I guess April 5 is winter in these parts. In the first night we stayed in Wenatchee. The second day we visited Spokane. It is a very beautiful city. Check out that awesome bridge. Also we took a picture of Abe and Abe. We spent the night in Coeur d'Alene in Idaho. The last night was in Yakima. Don't go there, it is boring, and you cannot find any restaurants there. The roads were awesome. There are a lot of back roads, most of them with no traffic on them. It really helps me relax driving there.

Friday, April 4, 2008


What an amazing story. According to the Dutch Justice Department, it is impossible for Americans to get asylum in the Netherlands. Yet, one woman with her children is the living proof that it has been done. Her daughter tells the story. Sadly, the Dutch neighbour was browsing the FBI website 14 years later, and called in the feds. It must have been the reward money or maybe he did not like his neightbours?