Dreaming about summer


I guess it’s time to prepare my bike for summer trips.

I like owning a bike because it makes short distance travel very accessible.  My Honda Shadow gets better than 50mpg in most circumstances. Even with city driving.

It’s also small enough to park anywhere. Between two cars. In spaces that are too small for cars. Walk ways, sidewalks and other stuff can also be even more convenient. For instance in Chicago you can park on the sidewalks.

To the right you can see where I parked for 4 days in Harlem. I should mention that the bike sat there (near Manhattan and 112th) for four days. I left some of my bags and contents on the bike. The bike was basically untouched. After returning to Ottawa, I parked on Bank Street for about 2h. When returning someone bent my mirror. I must say this is more evidence that New York is a much friendlier town than Ottawa.

Broadway in New York

Also this type of cruiser style motorcycle is quite quiet. People don’t notice you much. The police are disinterested as well.

Except once when I was cruising down Broadway and the police were on a binge to pull over every motorcycle. In this case there was a Dominican Parade and apparently they pull over every motorcycle the passes into lower Manhattan.

Police in New York are much more professional and friendly than our poorly trained forces.

This was a pleasant experience. I just parked the bike for 20m or so while they checked all my paperwork and ran whatever checks.

Apparently they had three different agencies there. Federal, State Troopers and City police.


There is a disadvantage with a motorcycle when it comes to comfort. It’s much harder work than operating a car.

On longer trips you need a gel seat. Otherwise you get a soar rear end like you can never imagine. When driving a car, you can choose lots of different ways to rest the weigh on your rear. On a bike, you will have one or two sets of foot pegs so there is only one or two ways to sit.

You wont notice this much till you are much over a 4h trip though.

I found this out on this run to Chicago from Ottawa.

I had no gel seat, plus I had not yet adopted a tank bag. That really helps when travelling in USA because of tolls. It really helps to have a glove box sort of thing in front of you for change. Also for refueling.

Near Pocono Mountains

The elements is another interesting thing. In the picture to the right, I was tooting along on a beautiful day about to pass through the Pocono Maintain area. It was so nice out I just had my light vented jacket.

Suddenly I saw what looked like dense fog again. I pulled over when I saw a huge load of hail in the ditch. There was a 1 km stretch that was covered in hail stones as large as 1.5cm.

Wasn’t any need to pull over I just wanted to marvel over the hail.

This wasn’t cold or anything. But rain can be very annoying for a motorcycle. I can’t emphasis the importance of having good equipment for a bike. You can’t wear ordinary jackets and stuff because they will flap (and fall apart) and will not have good airflow patterns.


The other thing is that you learn to live with very little storage.

I’ve added two leather side bags, a trunk bag and a small purse on the front forks for sunblock and a few tools. I have a couple of tank bags as well. The one on the right is my small one for local travel.

When I’m in a city I usually take the rear trunk bag off and leave that where I’m staying.

A windshield is also a good thing to have. I have a full size police style windshield. This will take up almost everything that comes your way. You wont have any issues with bugs or whatever’s out there.

Also, you’d be surprised how hard it is to sit up in the wind on a bike. The windshield takes up a lot of force on your behalf. On the down side, it will destroy your gas mileage. But I’m still well over 50mpg.

I think this summer I will use the bike for everything from Toronto to Montreal to Ogdensburg. I’ll use car and train for some other locations.

HackTrip 1.0

Hacktrip 1.0

I’ve really enjoyed my experience with my local HackSpace (Modlab). I’d like to meet more people within maker and hacker community so I’d like to do road trips (perhaps 2-4 weeks) to learn more about the wider community.

The more the merrier, so everybody who’s interested please stay in touch! Not dates are set so lets talk it up! Please comment or email me at darcy@siteware.com.

1) What times are good for you to make a trip?
2) Are there any other points of interest to add to the list?

I’d like to write about everything I learn on these road trips as well as take loads of pictures and video.

I’ve listed the hackerspaces and points of interest in the rough order they are on the map.

Looking at all the hackerspaces, it looks like there are two main legs of the journey. Toronto Cluster and East Coast Cluster.

Toronto Hack Cluster

Toronto: http://hacklab.to/
Tuesdays, 5pm
170a Baldwin St., Toronto, ON M5T 1L8

Guelph: http://www.diyode.com/
Mondays, 9pm
71 Wyndham St. South, Unit B, Guelph

Kitchener: http://www.kwartzlab.ca/
Tuesdays, 7pm
283 Duke St. W, Kitchener

Hamilton: http://www.thinkhaus.org/
Tuesdays, 7pm
25 Dundurn St N (back door, up stairs), Hamilton, ON

Buffalo: http://orderofbuffalo.com/, orderofbuffalo@yahoo.com
Have inquired about open house, address
Web site unclear

Buffalo: http://www.buffalolab.org/blog/, info@buffalo.hackerspaces.us

Buffalo Lab, a makerspace – learn, make play!

Buffalo, NY
1,667 Members

Are you:- Running out of hobby space at home or in your garage? – Interested in a joining community? – Willing to share knowledge and learn from others? – Looking for a pl…

Next Meetup

Community Potluck and Projects! (Weds) + Open Fiber Arts Lab

Wednesday, Jan 4, 2017, 6:30 PM
2 Attending

Check out this Meetup Group →

Will inquire about open house
701 Seneca Street, Buffalo, New York 14210 on the 4th floor
Dec 5th note: According to their Web site, they are having trouble making rent.

Rochester: http://www.interlockroc.org/
Tuesdays, 7pm
1115 E. Main St., Suite 42 (Door #1), Rochester, NY 14609

East Coast Hack Cluster

I suppose the East Coast Cluster could run from Philadelphia to Portland. I know there are lots of conflicts in open house times so perhaps the trip could be done in two directions, once on the way down, and then on the way back up to catch what was missed on the way down.

Pittsburgh: http://www.hackpittsburgh.org/

Washington DC: http://www.hacdc.org/
1525 Newton St NW, Washington DC 20010, (Near corner of 16th and Newton NW)

Baltimore: http://baltimorenode.org/
Thursdays, 7:30pm
Load of Fun Building, 120 W. North Ave, Baltimore, MD 21210

Baltimore: baltimorehackerspace.com (was http://harfordhackerspace.org/)

4600 Powell Ave, Baltimore, MD 21206

Delaware (Wilmington): http://www.vintagecomputer.net/

Philidelphia: http://nextfabstudio.com/
NextFab Studio, LLC, 3711 Market Street, Ground Floor, Philadelphia PA 19104-5504

Philidelphia: http://thehacktory.org/

Philidelphia: http://www.hive76.org/
Wednesdays, 8pm
915 Spring Garden (Suite 519)

Wall Township, NJ: http://www.midatlanticretro.org/

Highland Park, NJ: http://fubarlabs.com/

New York: http://hackerspaces.org/wiki/New_York_Hacking_Society

New York: http://www.eyebeam.org/
540 W. 21st Street, (between 10th and 11th Avenues), New York, NY 10011
Tel. 212.937.6580 Fax: 212.937.6582

New York: http://itp.nyu.edu/itp/

New York: http://www.buglabs.net/testkitchen

New York:http://www.nycresistor.com/
87 3rd Avenue, 4th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11217

New York: http://www.alphaonelabs.com/
148 Frost Street, Brooklyn NY, 11211
General meetings are held every Tuesday, from 7 to 10pm. All are welcome. These are the droids you’re looking for. Every Thursday we have open hours at 7pm
Every Monday we have Make A Bot Monday at 8pm

New York: http://hackerspaces.org/wiki/World_Hackers_United

Stoney Brook (New York): http://islandlabs.org/wiki/start

Waterburry, Connecticut: http://www.cthackerspace.com/

Meriden, Connecticut: http://www.nesit.net/
290 Pratt ST Meriden,CT on the 2nd Floor in the center of the building

White Plains, NY: http://irontribe.us/


Indian Orchard, Massachusetts (different trip?): http://www.meetup.com/TheGeekGroupofWesternMass/

Boston: http://witaitp.org/

Boston: http://builds.cc/
111 Cummington St Rm. B28, Boston MA 02215

Boston: http://miters.mit.edu/

Boston: http://loft.bocoup.com/

Boston: http://tuftscrafts.com/
14 Professors Row, Medford, MA 02155, Tufts University

Portland Maine (far!)


Montreal: http://foulab.org/en/wiki/Index_Page

And last but not least:

Ottawa: http://artengine.ca/modlab/
Every other Wednesday 5pm
2 Daly Avenue, Ottawa, ON

this one http://www.harborfreight.com/4-inch-mighty-mite-table-saw-93211.html

I’m still making the list: http://hackerspaces.org/wiki/List_of_Hacker_Spaces