Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Storm Troopers and Tuesday Thoughts While Riding

I was listening to the television before I left for work today and they said that gas prices dropped overnight to roughly $3.45 per gallon. I thought, "Good for me", Max needs gas. Well, wouldn't you know, the price dropped everywhere in town, except where I got gas this morning. But the good news is that I only took 1.6 gallons, so I don't think I was overcharged too much. I was thinking that Max (the scooter) gets about 3 times the gas mileage that Monty (the Subaru) gets, and the Subaru is pretty good at 25mpg. Both beat the hell out of a lot of the soccer-mom Suburbans and other monster SUV's that everyone seems to own around here. Our family must be crazy to not want to spend more $ on just plain old gasoline. We have a neighbor with a big F-250 pickup that starts it up each morning and lets it warm up for 5 minutes before he even gets into it and drives off.

It is getting to be that time of year when the outside temperature is nice and cool in the morning, but warm (in the 80's) in the afternoon. It can be a bit of a dilemma as far as gear. My jean jacket can get hot, but I like wearing it more than my mesh jacket. The day will come this summer when the jean jacket will be put away until fall arrives, but not yet. I love riding when the temperature is in the 50's. It can be brisk when the wind chill effect hits you as you ride, but not so cold to be a bother.

I took a different route downtown today, East Douglas Avenue. I wrote about that street last summer while I was relegated to riding a bicycle. Its an interesting route, not too heavily traveled, and with a few interesting things to look at on the way. There are 2 school zones at 20 mph on the way. In a couple of weeks school will be out and the speed zone lights will not be flashing. I always reduce speed in these school zones, many other drivers only half-heartedly observe the rules. A Ford Mustang sort of blasted by me this morning in one of the zones. Alas, maybe he had a pill to take.

Sometimes its surprising what kinds of thoughts enter your head when you are riding. There is a particular topic that I have always wanted to write a blog post about, but have never gotten around to. It would take a little tech expertise to accomplish because it might involve a video taken while riding, or at least the assistance of another person. I thought about how to do this post while I rode this morning. Maybe someday I'll pull it off.

Sometimes I think about work while I ride, but am always a little afraid that my mind will not be attentive enough to the hazards of the road, i.e. other damn drivers on cell phones. On a morning like today, I am traveling west and I know that east travelers have to battle the low sun in the sky. I'll see someone approach the street from a side street and have to look into the sun as they decide on a spot to enter traffic. I hope to hell they aren't talking or texting on a phone at the same time.

As I rode I thought about the absolutely fantastic Mother's Day we had last Sunday. The kids fixed us lunch and afterwards we went to a local public garden know as the Botanica. The flowers were amazing and I got a few good pictures. Our son in law wasn't able to be with us (he was doing something for his mother), so it was just the 4 of us, sort of back together again, like old times. And we did really miss the son in law, but it had been a long time since it was just the 4 of us, and we had a great time.

Also,  as I rode this morning, for a few moments, I watched my shadow on the road in front of me.  The sun was behind me and my shadow was long enough to get a really good outline of Max and me on the pavement. I even practiced a few "waves" to see what they might look like to an approaching motorcyclist, and chuckled to myself as I was doing this. What a silly thing to do.

Watching my shadow, with the gear and helmet on, its easy to imagine that I look a little like a Storm Trooper from the old Star Wars movies or a football player riding a motorcycle. Kind of beefy in the shoulders, you know. So I though I would end up this post with this picture stolen from George Takei's (Sulu, on Star Trek) Facebook page. I don't think he will mind because I imagine he stole it from someplace else, from someone who stole it from someplace else, who stole............................... etc.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Less Formally Attired

It's a good thing that I wore less dressy pants today. The cargo pants will go well with my boots today.

They'll have to. I left the shoe bag on the kitchen counter when I left home this morning.

Today I get to ride a few extra miles. I have an eye doctor appointment this afternoon on the west side of town. I may not even go back to the office afterward. 

Damn!    :)

Its Thursday Morning.

3 1/2 commuting trips down ; 1 1/2 to go for this week!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

I thought I left it at ......

I've been known to leave Max's keys in the ignition switch on Max overnight while he sits in the garage.

I guess you could accuse me of being absent minded sometimes. Or maybe I am just sleepy first thing in the morning. Or maybe I am just getting to that age where memories are harder to come by or retain. Or maybe it is because of all the lab rat drugs I now take. Lots of potential excuses.

This morning, though, I found myself wondering what the heck I did with my little bag that I have been using to transport my shoes to and from work when I am riding.

For a long time, in my hardcore commuting days,  I used to leave my dress shoes at the office all the time. That way I could take off my boots when I get to work and just slip on the dress shoes. Since I have started riding again, I have just been taking the shoes in a bag each day. 

This morning as I was getting my gear on for the ride to work I realized that my shoe bag wasn't where it normally was. Was I worried? No!

I just thought I probably left it on the purse hook on the scooter overnight in the garage. After all, what harm is there in that?

Well, space cadet me, (sleepyhead) , I didn't realize until I was parking the scooter at the office that the silly bag wasn't on the purse hook. Was I worried? No!

I just thought that it would be okay to wear the boots all day long. Maybe not quite the fashion statement, but who cares.

So then I walk into the office, and there on my table is my bag that I had never even taken home the night before. Was I worried? No! (Well, yes, maybe a little.) (Maybe I am "losing it"?)

Ahhh,    Who Cares!

By the way, I am aiming to ride to work every day this week. Will be the first time in well over a year. The weather forecast is fantastic for the week. I'm not like Keith, I hate riding in the rain. (It's not the rain that bugs me, so much as the lightning.)

Two days of commuting are down, three to go.