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.


  1. Jimbo/cpa3485:

    I had to fuel up with 94 octane, price was $1.68/ltr = $6.36 /US Gallon. 46 ltrs cost $77.

    I also see dumb motorists every day. They never signal, make right turns on RED lights without stopping. The same old car, every day, same girl changes lanes move often than you can blink your eye, whichever lanes appears to be faster. Plus the tailgating . . .

    can't wait for your video

    Riding the Wet Coast
    My Flickr // My YouTube

  2. Jim,
    I often wonder as a big SUV or spotless, waxed to high gloss pickup does a jackrabbit start if they complain about the price of gas. This is true especially when I find them waiting at the next light when I get there. It certainly seems wasteful to me. Oh well.

    Sounds like a great day at Botanica, maybe one day you can show it to me.

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  4. Dear Jimbo:

    I currently own a Ford 150 Pick-Up with a 40-gallon gas tank. It costs $11.50 to start it. But I do love the truck.

    I am delighted to see you in the saddle again. I have begun a year of non-riding for medical reasons.

    You wrote: "Sometimes its surprising what kinds of thoughts enter your head when you are riding." I took that as a cue and wrote about some of the things that occur to me on a ride. Then again, my thought process tends to be a bit different from other folks.

    Fondest regards,
    Twisted Roads