Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Ride Home

It really was a beautiful day. It is "tax season" and we don't leave the office until 6:00 pm. At least it wasn't dark when I left. Oh, there were a few clouds, but the sky was pretty.

On the way home I encountered a couple on a small scooter going the same way I was. The little engine struggled to move them both along, but they did alright.

And later a Toyota minivan passed me on my left. What caught me was a small little girl in a car seat that seemed very interested in watching me ride. She had this look of wonder in her eyes. I smiled at her, but I am not even sure she could see me smile through my helmet. Still, I wondered if she would be a "rider" someday. Who knows?

The ride home was exactly as predicted:


The Ride In

The temperature was in the upper 30's. Almost no breeze. A cloudy sky was supposed to clear off and be sunny later in the day. The high temp was supposed to be almost 70 degrees. 

The ride home should be( to use an overused word) AWESOME!

I put in the fleece glove liners even though I wasn't sure I would need them. Turned out to be glad I did. I remembered from the last time I rode that all of the vents in my helmet were open. I decided to close them before I put on the helmet. Glad I did, again (even though my neck got a bit chilly).

As I left the driveway, one of my neighbors was walking out to his driveway to get his newspaper. I don't know the guy well, but like him and we waved at each other. He very well knows that I haven't been able to ride to work for a long time because of my medical issues and we both seemed to realize that it had been a long time since we had seen each other this way in the mornings.

A space between cars opened up on the busy street close to our home, and I sort of gunned it to get into the flow of traffic. The acceleration felt good and I proceeded south on Woodlawn.

I then turn west on Central Ave to head downtown. Central Ave is not my preferred way to go, but when schools are in session, my favorite way to go is not as fun because there are 2 schools on that route and there is lots of traffic at the schools. So Central it is this morning. That's okay. It's a little faster, not as much time to watch the sights, but okay. I get behind a long line of cars and wouldn't you know it, the car immediately in front of me is just a bit slower than most of the rest, but traffic doesn't provide any option to get around him. 

Alas, I'm in no hurry. And that is part of how my life has changed. A friend uses the term :"carpe diem" a lot and I have taken to that a little bit. At a stoplight I take a moment to look up and watch some birds, take a look at the clouds, and generally take in the surroundings a bit. How often it is we don't do that.

It's trash day for a lot of people and a lot of trash carts are pulled up to the street. I notice one has fallen over and the contents (consisting mostly of filled plastic bags) are lying on the ground. For a moment I think to myself about how those plastic bags decompose very slowly in landfills. How they accumulate in ocean and lake waters. Ahh, better living through chemistry.

As I ride I feel the sensations on my body. I am not cold. The winter gear has kept me warm and it is not a long ride, just about 15 minutes. My neck is a little cool, but it is exposed to the air. My fingers are feeling some chill, but not bad at all. Max is running like a top.

A little later I notice a Subaru following me, much like my famous Canadian Subaru, the one with the heated seats. The main difference is that the one following me is red, mine is blue. There is a lady driving and I wonder whether her speedometer speaks in kilometers rather than miles. 

I eventually change into the left lane and she passes me on the right. Yep, it's the same year as my car. Then behind her is a guy in a black Porsche Carrera. Really Nice Car! Max seems to puff up his chest as we ride near the Porsche. I wonder what would happen in a race! LOL

A few blocks later I get behind a cement mixer. There is a new YMCA being built downtown and I wonder if the cement truck is headed there, but it turns off before getting to the construction site. I think briefly of stopping to take a picture of Max near the fence at the construction site, but decide, Naaah. Maybe some other day.

I am now close to my parking garage so I proceed on. I make the turn to the garage and enter it having to go to a lower level to my parking space. As I get "downstairs" I notice that Max will have a friend to talk to for the day. They don't normally park very close to each other, but today I parked Max for a moment next to his friend to take a picture.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Tight Fit

I moved the vehicles around in the garage tonight. It's sort of snug, but Max fits just behind the famous Canadian Subaru. This is important for a quick get away in the morning.

And tomorrow looks like a very special day. High temp to be 68?


I'll take it!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Parking Nazi

In order not to run afoul of the infamous Parking Nazi at the lot we park at in downtown Wichita, I went over to the office to ask for a sticker for Max. You see, a few months ago, the parking lot was sold and the new owners became very adamant about everybody displaying a sticker on the inside of their windshields so that any parking attendant could walk through the  lot and make sure everybody was valid. Kind of like our present state attorney general, we don't want any illegals parking in our damn lot.

Well, you see, I had a sticker for Monty (the famous Canadian Subaru), but not for Max. I came to the office prepared to do battle and get that precious little sticker for Max. Would they understand? Would I have to show them a cancelled check and proper ID?

I feared the Nazi!

But, alas, my fear was totally unwarranted. He just said, "Here You Go!"

And I was really prepared to fight.

Then the next problem was "where was I going to put the silly sticker?" I don't exactly have a windshield, and what is there is very dark. Nobody will ever see that sticker if the Parking Nazi comes by. So you now see what I did, upside down and backwards on a reflector.

Who cares!  Let 'em sue me!

I actually took the Subaru to work first thing in the morning. I had a dental appointment at 11:00 am and wasn't sure how good I'd feel after the appointment, but knew that if I felt better later, I could still get Max out later in the day.

Which I did!

Max hasn't been downtown in over a year. Oh, I'd ridden him around a little bit here and there, but in very light traffic and circumstances, and only for a very few miles.

I forgot how much attention it takes to ride a two wheeled vehicle on busy streets with everybody seemingly trying to "Get Ya". Oh, it wasn't that bad, but the ride was a reminder to remember SIPDE and other ways of being safe.

My mouth is sore as hell!

But the ride downtown sure was nice. I'm looking forward to the ride home.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Thwarted Again

It was just a couple of inches yesterday, but enough to make today not wise for two wheeled transport.

Here's hoping for lots of melting today!

Long range forecast looks a little better!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Be Patient Gentle Readers

It hasn't rained or snowed here for over a month. Temps have been above normal. Great Riding Weather!

Then as soon as my driving restriction expired, you guessed it, the weather turns to crap. What's more, it looks like it will continue to be crap until next week.

We had rain and snow flurries today. It's supposed to be colder than normal for a few days. Therefore the end of the driving restriction has admittedly, turned out to be anti climactic.

Just know that:

Max is ready to go!

I am certainly ready to go!

I have waited a year for this!

I can be a little more patient!

Can you, the gentle reader, be patient as well?

I guarantee that unbelievable, exciting, astronomical, sexy(?), stupendous, and stunning motorcycle and scooter content will spew forth (yes, spew) from this web log in the days, weeks, months and years to come. Or my name isn't Jimbo.

To keep you occupied, here's a picture of Max's mirror.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Perfect Home Improvement Tool

Okay, so maybe I am 2 days premature before the formal lifting of my driving (riding) restriction.

But Dammit!

I needed to get 2 things at the hardware store. Just 2! And the scooter was sitting in the garage. And the car would have been way more tool than needed.

The scooter was the perfect solution.

So I donned the jacket and rode to the hardware store, made my purchase and rode back home.

Scooter vs Auto:

Gas mileage? Scooter!
Creature Comfort? Auto!
Fun? I think you know!