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Blue note


by Lucky Luc

Note from the editor: is proud and excited to bring you the "Blue Notes" of our good friend Luc Brière, writing under the "Lucky Luc" pen name, given his ability to live out the riding adventures that most of us dream about. He will continue totest two wheelers and write on technical matters in and For over 15 years, Luc has commented in Moto-Revue and Motomag on the latest motorcycling news, under the nom-de-plume of "Père Bleu". While we often agree with him, please note that his views do not necessarily reflect those of


Truly, truly, I say unto you: change is worth taking some time off.

What's up? Well, aside from switching to the Web after years in the printed media, I'll begin with the end of the cold season and the annual threat letter the Quebec licensing bureau sent to me a while ago. I didn't even open it! After all, I know what's in there and there's nothing we can do about it anymore besides paying the stupid fees. My finances are taking a double hit, as my primary bike needs some rejuvenating before I can ride it and, besides, Mother Nature is still not wearing her bikini.

What am I planning to do this season?

Reviews and road tests
In Quebec, scooters are being viewed more and more as an efficient, environmentally-friendly way of zipping around the city (at last!). We all know about 50cc scooters, which can feel pretty tight for normal-size adults like me, while offering limited performance in an urban setting. At the other end of the spectrum, full-size scooters (400cc and above) are comfortable and competent, with true touring capabilities. Happily, a middle ground is developing for 125cc to 300cc machines, and I intend to try them out in day-to-day riding, commuting and on one-day excursions.

Big Rides
Once again, I feel an irresistible craving for New Orleans' famous "barbotte noircie" (blackened catfish) and gumbo! To add to the temptation to ramble, my good buddy from the Golden State, "California Don", will be in Louisville (KY) with the radiant Kilby on June 24. I owe him a beer, so I am going for two birds with one stone.

I'll leave on June 23 for Louisville, trying to avoid highways as much as possible, and should be rolling in Bluegrass on the afternoon of the 24. There's a nice seafood restaurant down near the muddy Ohio River that needs to be checked out. Mmmm!

From there, New Orleans is a 1,200-kilometer one-day highway fest. It can be done, but late-June Almanac forecasts for Louisiana call for hot and damp weather, not to mention 150 millimeters of rain (Montreal gets 100mm in August, our wettest month of the year). But Hey, I really need to spend a full day in the Big Easy, so I'll be staying there two nights, which means two great breakfasts at the Café du Monde (

After that, the plan becomes vague. Either I shoot for San Antonio in the Great State of Texas, and visit the Alamo (that's another 1,200-km ride!) or I head toward Key West on the Southern tip of Florida, to watch the sun set into the Gulf of Mexico (1700 km, so I would have to sleep in St. Petersburg). If I choose Texas, I'll come back through Oklahoma and Missouri. If it's Florida, I'll ride along the East Coast all the way to Virginia and include a stretch on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

So much for my annual attack of White Line fever! My dirt-riding friends, total nutters one and all, want me to take them up to James Bay, in early August to avoid the worst of man-eating mosquitoes up there. Starting in St-Michel-des-Saints, we would ride on forest roads up to a small fishing preserve somewhere between Gouin Reservoir and Chapais/Chibougamau for our first sleep. Then we go on to Chibougamau and Nemiscau for a second night at Relais 381 -- 381 kilometers away from Matagami. We would then cross the entire Taïga (North of Caniapiscau Reservoir) and ride back to Radisson (2 days) before stopping in Chisasibi and Longue-Pointe (THE beach on James Bay). I haven't figured out our return trip yet.

In all likelihood, I'll be riding the KTM 990 Adventure long term loaner we have here at For New Orleans, the good people at harley-davidson are lending me a CVO Road Glide, complete with saddlebags and reasonably airy fairing, to offer some protection from the rain but also let some air through on really hot days. Yummy!

Rationalising the fleet
My trusty 1978 Honda GL and my Suzuki V-Strom DL 1000 are both for sale, as I cannot ride them pain-free with my after-market hip. I need a long-legged machine with a narrow seat, so Goodbye GL and DL; and let's see what else is out there.

"Lucky Luc" Brière