Exploring the Unknown

Exploring the Unknown
Representing the 99%!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

DesTination: Au Petit Poucet

Operation - Au Petit Poucet
As dawn came and went I found myself pacing about anxious and excited to get on the road for the first time since buying my Suzuki Intruder 1400, for a reason other than commuting to work. A local riding group by the name of Dragon Riders had organized a day trip to Val-David, Quebec. Don't let the name fool you... by the end of the day the group's organizer aptly renamed it 'Ice Dragons' as temperatures dropped to minus eleven with the windchill factor and speeds being driven. The ride promised to be scenic as it would take us through St. Eustache, Lachute, Morin Heights and finally Val-David where we would be going for lunch at a restaurant called Au Petit Poucet, a personal favorite of our group's organizer, Steve. Having never met before today in person all six of us found our way to our meeting point, Moe's Bar and Grill.


Everyone trickled in and by 11:00am we were off as a group of six, though we were only five riders, one of whom, Bruce, had his wife with him as pillion. The weather was biting cold at high speeds so we decided to do the reverse of our road itinerary and went through the twisties first instead of saving them for our trip back. Our rag tag group of five riders must have been a sight to behold as we thundered along the highway. Raffi was riding his K1300GT, Beakster was on a 2007 Triumph Bonnie he had just collected from the United States just a week previous, Bruce and his wife were on a Yamaha Virago 1100 whilst our fearless leader, Steve was on his Yamaha Road Star that was chromed to the hilt and undoubtedly was a driving hazard for oncoming traffic at night when and if he drove past sunset! (Just Kidding Steve... kinda....) I am pleased to say at this point that despite the trouble I had with my bike when I first picked her up from the shop (both after the first and second time) she performed flawlessly and the Corbin seat was particularly a treat to have given the amount of hours and time spent on it today.

Bruce - "What the HELL have I gotten myself into?!"
Photo © Steven Houle
Raffi - With His Pride and Joy
Photo © Steven Houle
Beakster & His New Girl Bonnie!
Photo © Steven Houle
Steve's Chromed Dragon
Photo © Steven Houle
Au Petit Poucet
Despite the cold wind the sun was out in force and whether we wanted to admit or not there is something just terrific about braving the elements and going for a ride on a motorcycle especially a ride that takes you into the mountains and past lakes. I have found that so many other clubs have been cancelling their trips for various reasons that it was refreshing to finally just meet a group of brave (and possibly slightly crazy...) individuals like myself who just wanted to ride regardless if it meant pecker freeze at the end of the first half of the trip! (Note to self, wear underwear in future...) By the time we finally arrived at our destination most of us (i.e. Bruce and his wife) were probably shaking their bikes to pieces being as cold as they were. Fortunately Au Petit Poucet has a centrepiece fireplace that allowed for us to warm up as we sat and ordered are food. The atmosphere inside, albeit warm and cozy, also reminded me of a hunter's cabin. Apparently nothing says rustic like the dead stuffed and mounted carcasses of Canadian Wild Life. Still, despite the  quasi animal serial killer interior decor the service and food at Au Petit Poucet was delicious!

Wolf Steak is a Popular Meal!

You Get To Choose Your Own Roadkill...

Don't Stare into the Light!
Famous for their pork and even Cabane De Sucre specialties I found myself being boring and having a club sandwich with a twist - instead of chicken it was made with ham - I think anyways... 

The Last Supper?
For a group of strangers who had met for the first time today I was pleasantly surprised at how easy going everyone was and how relaxed the atmosphere at Au Petit Poucet was. The staff were great and did not make us feel rushed. Each group member had something new and interesting to bring to the table and good conversation was abundant as was food and tea and coffee. Before we knew it it was already 15:30hr and time to start back home.

Au Petit Poucet
The Fearsome Five
Steve - The 'Ice' Dragon Biker and Me - Pecker Frozen! :-)
This was the first of many rides to come for me with my new(ish) bike. Yet, despite all of my travels both on and off a motorcycle, it never ceases to amaze me how friendly actual bikers really are! I have never met a group of people as friendly as the proverbial biker regardless of his or her 'affiliation' or 'creed'. There is something quintessential about motorcycling that brings people together in such a way whereby complete strangers will wave to you as they ride by on their bikes. It is a way of life that will bring people together from all walks of life for a meal whom may have otherwise never even acknowledge one another if they were driving by in their urban assault vehicle. There is a camaraderie amongst bikers that for the most part transcends the usual suspicion and distrust of one another and gives us an opportunity to make friends where friendships are usually far and few between. The Trip to Val-David was a success, albeit a partially frozen one. As we drove off we eventually split apart going our separate ways and soon I found myself alone again as I headed towards the 40 East towards my exit. I couldn't help but find myself thinking about the next trip. If you are interested in joining this group have a look at their website or facebook page. There are no membership fees, no club politics, no whining about the weather. Just good company and a willingness to meet new people!

4 comments:

  1. Very good and colorful description of our day! Good stuff!

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  2. Nicely done, looking forward for the next adventure.

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  3. Hey Mario,

    Great to meet you the other day. I passed my enclosed track test today and have my road test booked for next week. Bonneville is still not running great so I've ordered some carb rebuild tools and a pair of vacuum gauges to balance them, hopefully having it running spot on soon. =)

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  4. Congratulations Chris!! Though, I think it's crazy that they are making you redo everything!!! We definitely have to meet up again in the near future! Best of luck with the Bonnie!

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