Suzy made her first trip to Vancouver Island. To meet my parents in Tofino, I rode out this labourday weekend. The forecast was light rain, but as soon as I deboarded in Nanaimo, a heavy downpour started. It's a good thing I packed a rain-overall. The highway 4 that goes to Tofino is a beautiful road, but treacherous when wet. So I did not get to enjoy it to the fullest. Shortly before the town of Port Alberni, I came upon jammed traffic. I spent an hour or so waiting for rescue services to clean up an horrific accident. A trauma heli was flown in, together with 4 ambulances. When the road was opened again, I could see the car tracks going straight into the lake. It served as a stern reminder to be cautious (which I always am on the motorbike, especially when the road is wet).
I was able to get lodging and ferrying easily enough, probably because of all the rain. Most accommodations were full, but the Maquinna Hotel had vacancies, which was a decent place. It is sober, but it serves its purpose. During the first night I had a big scare. I was awoken in the middle of the night. At first I thought it was the telephone, but it turned out to be the control of my bike alarm. After I bought Suzy, I fitted her with the most expensive alarm that the dealer sold. After all, I learned my lesson in Lelystad, where my sv1000sz (a rare edition from Suzuki) got stolen. The alarm on Suzi will actually transmit a signal back to my keys, so that not only the alarm goes off, I also get a signal if I am within a few hundred meters. After overcoming the drowsiness, I got dressed quickly. No baseball bat at hand, but damn, I was mad. When I got outside Suzy was still there. A loud group of drunks were a little further down the road. I think one of them sat on Suzy, or kicked a tyre maybe. Anyway, I observed the scene for a while, and then went back to sleep.
The ride back was pretty damp as well. Which is a shame, because the opportunities of using all 185 horses are so rare. And Suzy's engine feels so much smoother when it gets a little throttle. It can be a drag to drive hundreds of kilometers with the throttle basically closed all the time. However, I did appreciate her reliability as she did not miss a single beat, even in the heavy downpour. One of these days, it will be a proper road trip, in the dry, with wide open roads. According to specs, she should hit 300 per hour, but so far, that has been academic: it is an unrealized fabled potential.