OUR STORY – Beginning, Middle and End

Want to get in touch with me, Leslie? Try posting a comment anywhere or email @ lsofarelli@gmail.com 😉

****UPDATE: January 2014 – Very sad to report we have separated after 17 years.  Not my choice, Leslie but Cheryl is off finding herself.  Although this is a public blog, some things will remain private but I will be continuing this BLOG and will also continue with my obsessions to ride and take solo trips.  I hope despite this separation many will still follow my blog and I promise to keep it as diverse as I have been in the past, present and future.  It’s been an awful time for me but will remain optimistic time will heal.**** This page will remain in its original post as it is part of me no matter what.

UPDATE August 2013-We got married after 16 years living as common law

UPDATE: 2013 so far as started out with a BANG. Cheryl now got a new job in the RCMP working the Forensics. It’s Cheryl’s year for the learning curve. I love my job with BC Transplant as I am settling in nicely. Wedding August 2013 and that too is coming up fast. We got new bikes at the end of 2012 and we now own 2013 BMW F800GS bikes.

UPDATE: 2012 has been an interesting year…Leslie got a new job and is now working for BC Transplant as an Organ Donation Coordinator and Organ Donation Specialist. Cheryl continues to do well in her policing career and we got engaged. Wedding will be next August 2013. More info please read below. 😉

2014 My First SOLO TRIP (May 17-June 15-14,100 KM’s)
2014 SOLO Trip
2014 Solo X Country Trip – Leslie 2013 BMW F800GS

Leslie’s ’13 F800
Wedding Day August 14th 2013
Our bikes attended our wedding too
Honor Guard made us cry even though Cheryl is a RCMP herself


Cheryl and I met in 1997 in Bellingham, Washington. We kept in touch over the year via the internet plus flying back and forth. Before we both knew it I moved all the way across the country to a new country no less in march 1998 and been here ever since. I, meaning Leslie grew up in New York on Long Island where my family still remains except my brother.

Went to College in upstate NY and grad school back on Long Island where I got my Masters Degree in Social Work. Since 1999 I have been working as an Intensive Care Unit Social Worker at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver, BC and still loving my job after all these years.

Cheryl grew up in the lower mainland of BC and many of her family members are here as well. Beautiful place to grow up and go to school. Throughout Cheryl’s teenage years and adulthood she worked for her mother’s family business. However, at the ripe old age of 35 she decided to embark upon a career in law enforcement which she has been enjoying for over 4 years. Cheryl has found a passion within the Police force working with kids in schools.

We have been together as partner’s for 15 years and after Cheryl graduated Depot (Police Training) we both got motorcycles and our licenses. I grew up on bikes and Cheryl always wanted to learn to ride. Learning was easy for Cheryl and getting back on a bike for me just made sense. Cheryl thinks I am obsessed with bikes but to be honest once she is on the road I can’t stop her.

The above picture was from Summer 2011 when we borrowed 2 Triumph Tiger XC bikes from Triumph Canada for 44 days. Gave them back. Below is from when we were in Dawson Creek summer 2012 with our Beemers.

Cheryl loves video games, I love wild life, Cheryl dreams about white sandy tropical beaches, I dream about seeing the polar bears in Hudson Bay, Manitoba.

Opposites attract and we both share a passion for adventure motorcycle touring. We learned this after buying our first 2010 BMW F650GS bikes. We travel well together making sure we are both taking care of ourselves. Cheryl is the brains, mechanic, navigator and packer, I am the organizer/planner.

Cheryl is the quiet one, I am the loud New Yorker. Cheryl loves video games, I love live web cams featuring Bald Eagles, Falcons, osprey’s and Owls. In the end it works and most importantly works really well when we are traveling.

This trip is a once in a lifetime trip (summer 2011) and will try to make every moment count. Thanks to Triumph Canada for loaning us kitted out new Tiger 800XC bikes and to Western Powersports for putting them together for us!

Thanks for coming along for the Triumph Tiger 800XC Summer Alaskan Tour and hope you stick around for our future adventures on whatever bikes we ride. LIFE is good on a bike!

Meet our 2013 BMW F800 GS Twins!

60 thoughts on “OUR STORY – Beginning, Middle and End”

  1. Thourghly enjoying your story. After all the excitement of Kirsten finishing the Iron Butt look forward to reading your daily blog. Am embarking on a cross country the 12th of July but wish I was headed north again. Ride safe and enjoy.

  2. Great story, Leslie. Your trip looks amazing and it’s a good cause! Have fun! Robin and I will be enjoying the twisty roads and camping in the Castlegar, Nelson, Kaslo, Revelstoke, Kamloops areas this August. I’m curious how you decided to choose the Triumph Tiger 800xc over the BMW f800gs as I’m considering trading in my 800 cc Honda VFR Interceptor for one of these. What is your advice?

  3. Really enjoyed your RR in Alaska. Was up there for 40 days a few years ago, and it was the moto adventure of a lifetime. Hope to see more RRs and photography from you both.


  4. Hi Leslie and Cheryl,
    Are you home safe and sound? What an opportunity to share such beautiful country, wildlife and meet other adventurous people. I’d love to hear more about it!

      1. I met the two of you at U-Alaska (I’m the KLR guy from Maryland). I also spotted your bikes in Anchorage when I went in for some repair work. Hope everything went well on your trip. I kept running into folks who bumped into the two of you up there, so it seems you really racked up some miles during your trip. I also recently finished my 10 week trip and am now back in the real world. Hope you enjoyed Alaska as much as I did.

      2. hey there Ken…so, how many miles did you rack up? we LOVED it up there…..and would go back right now if we could. Although the weather was not always the best we could not have asked for a better experience even though our bikes were stalling almost the entire trip. Triumph I think may have resolved that issue by issuing a recall after we got home. Reality sux eh? Nice to see you here! Leslie

  5. Hey you two.
    Great site and very cool videos. thank you so much for sharing them. I miss my bike and the open road. I look forward to seeing more videos. if you guys are up for a weekend trip, the islands are nice.

    1. thanks…there is a video page on this blog. Has them all in once place. Just click the link in the header of the blog. What islands are you referring too?

  6. Cheryl and Leslie,

    Hello from a new reader in central Virginia who is absorbing everything he can about motorcycles, riding, and the notion of entering the fray at the age of 50. I found your site because, in my motorcycle fantasy life, I ride a later-model BMW F650GS. As with cars, I seem to be hardwired for European machines, especially German ones. The Triumph Tiger 800 is sounding pretty nice too.

    I am not at the stage of actually buying a motorcycle to call my own, but it’s fun to think about. I decided the next logical step is to take a MSF beginner course and see what it really feels like and whether this is just a crazy phase I’m in. Fortunately, I have an indulgent partner and he and I will be taking the course together in a couple of months.

    In the meantime, I look forward to hearing more about your adventures, both on and off the bikes.

    Charlottesville, VA USA

    P.S. – One of my dearest friends lives in North Vancouver. Beautiful part of the world you’re in there!

  7. Welcome Jay…there is a lot to absorb all over the Net. have you been over to the Adventure Riders Forum? Great source of info over there. That is where we posted our live report when on our summer trip. You can learn a lot from many other experienced riders. We are still learning so much. Glad you stopped by and hope to see more comments from you. Take a look around and let me know if you have any questions. Welcome once again….we love new readers. Leslie

    1. Hello, Leslie. Just checking in three months after my initial post with an update. My partner and I successfully completed the MSF course in April, bought a little Suzuki 250 shortly thereafter to keep practicing on, and on Saturday, got our first big-boy bike, a 2010 Biarritz Blue F650GS. I think I’m in love! -Jay

      1. you just got yourself the same colour and year as Cheryl. Awesome and now the fun is just about to begin and obsession. LOL Remember, it’s not polite to have your new bike in the bedroom…I was told mine had to stay in the garage! LOL 😉 Have fun! Let us know where you end up taking her!

  8. Hi guys!

    I work for D3O, the company who provides some motorcycle brands like Klim and First Gear with impact protection technology to protect riders. Are you wearing Klim gear with D3O inside by any chance? If you are can you let me know what you think of the D3O in your motorcycle clothing?

    Many thanks, Lisa (from D3O)

  9. Do you know anything about the 40+ over the posted speed limit == vehicle seizure law in BC? I saw an article on one wheel drive dot net. I haven’t seen any other news on the topic. Not sure if it is true or not. Can you clarify or point me to a resource? I’m heading up to Whitehorse in about 6 weeks. I’ve got a lot of miles to cover and would like to avoid any “extra” problems. Thanks, Ivan

    1. Yep you heard right Ivan…Cheryl is a cop…according to the motor vehicle act if you are caught going over 40KM over the limit they can seize your bike. Be careful through BC in general…they do give tickets for sure but in the Yukon and Alaska away from populated areas you do not need to worry. Be safe and have fun. Good question.

  10. Hi Leslie, Thanks for sharing your blog with me. I love you guys story. I can see so much happiness radiate from all the photos and memories you both have decided to share. It was a pleasure meeting you this weekend. Hope you and Cheryl have a wonderful time here in the US.

    1. Hey Brenda great to meet you too…and thanks for commenting on our blog. You’re a great all around OPO coordinator and I hope to be able to tap into your expertise as I grow into my new role. Please stay in touch and be well!

  11. Hi
    Great adventure!
    One question please: I’m a 5’3″ girl and I want a Tiger 800XC but I think I’m too short. What is your height? Where your bike lowered? Low seat option? Thanks ans good luck! Cheers, Sandy

    1. I’m the short one, Leslie. My inseam is 30.5 inches. I used the low triumph gel seat on the low setting. Not flat footed at all but I felt sturdy on the XC. Hope this helps. Go sit on one with a low seat on low setting and see how you feel.

  12. Hi Cheryl and Leslie…I love your website and adventure motorcycling stories…maybe you will visit Australia one day and I would be happy to show you girls around…take care…regards Mike.

    1. I was down under back in 1989…love your country. Spent 10 months between NZ and OZ. One day we will be there on our bikes…one day. Thanks for stopping by and checking in…we appreciate it! Leslie

    1. We are actually planning a trip to S. America in the next few years. Life has been crazy over here…Cheryl got a new position in the RCMP with forensics, we are getting married and time is just flying by…but we will get to your beautiful country one day…it’s on our travel plans for sure…thanks for stopping by our BLOG Eric and hope to see more of your comments! Welcome!

  13. Hi Cheryl and Leslie, I just want to tell you that I really enjoy your blog. I’ve been touring Newfoundland for the past few summers on a Sportster 1200, and finally decided that I need a bike better suited for long distances. Reading about your adventures on your BMW’s definitely swayed me in the direction of ADV bikes, and I bought a 2009 Vstrom 650 last weekend. Absolutely no regrets!

    If you ever make it to this side of our beautiful country I’d love to show you around 🙂


    1. Congrats on your Strom…would love to ride your part of the country. Tanks for stopping by our blog and commenting. We appreciate the nice compliment. Leslie

  14. Hi there. I found your site thanks to Kevin Brent and decided to start here and discover who you were – I must say it is a pleasure to meet you. I am certain I will be back for many visits.

    1. Welcome and thanks for stopping by. We see Kevin around here all the time…nice to see other folks check us out because of him. Hope to see some more comments from you and again thanks for checking in.

  15. Thanks for checking out my blog and liking a couple of posts! I really enjoy your blog and stories and have been following for a while. Cheers to lots more riding in 2014, maybe our paths will cross at some point! We are planning a bike trip to Banff and Lake Louise this September, so that is our big trip of the year. Happy New Year!

  16. Really enjoyed reading about your adventures. Last year I completed the Riders basic safety course and got my first and second bike. I know two bikes, 1981 r100 and a 07 f650gs. It was a giant first step but as you know the enjoyment is endless. Ride safe and Happy New Year!

      1. The nomination is in the post that I linked to in my comment on January 10. The Sunshine Award was my first, so if you read the post, it gives you an outline of the awards process. A lot of bloggers don’t do awards, because it is a bit of a “process”. Loosely, you recognize the person who nominated you, you provide x number of interesting facts about yourself, you answer the x number of questions posed by your nominator, then you nominated x number of other bloggers to get the award. My nomination of you is towards the bottom of the linked post. 🙂

        Let me know if you have any questions.

  17. I am so sorry for what you must be going through, Leslie. Warm, peaceful wishes are flowing your way from here in Virginia.

  18. Been looking at your stuff for long long time. Keep your head up! I love what you do for all the riders out here, so keep up the good work that you do. Everything will work out.

  19. Stumbled on your blog while looking for brake parts for my Concours. Kind of odd to end up here but life takes us places we would have never imagined. Really great reading and photos. My sympathy on the divorce, seems you slowed blogging after. Hope you are healing.

    1. Yes, Life takes turns that also take you by surprise. Amazing you have noticed my slow down on blogging. I suppose I have been busy with other things but I have managed to blog my x country trip May/June this year and trying to get back into the swing of things. Actually working on a post from yesterday’s ride. Thanks for stumbling on my blog. Hope you stick around Rick. Leslie

  20. I hope you are mending and loved reading through both your adventures…and solo too 🙂 sending good thoughts your way this holiday season and a happier new year in 2015.

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