Sunday, December 21, 2014

Battery Assistance

I've never really used my battery tender in past years. The reason was because I usually rode thru the winter months. Oh, I might miss some days due to snow or extreme cold, but usually not more than 2 weeks or so.

But I'm not riding much at all right now. There are many reasons, but have also come to the realization that Max is now more of a recreational machine than a daily commuter. That's okay though. Its just that as circumstances have changed, the maintenance needs have also changed.

I had a Saturday task in the garage repairing a ballast in light fixture. I thought I would at least give Max a start and get his juices flowing a bit. It's been cold lately, but today wasn't bad, temps in the upper 40's, might even go for a short ride.

Upon turning the starter though, I heard of the very slow groan of a starter that wasn't being supplied with enough juice. Just barely turning over.

Oh well. Time to get out the battery tender.

The charger comes with a connection ton the battery that you can actually leave connected to the battery. The other end connects to another cable connected to the charger which is actually plugged in to an AC circuit.

The connection is very simple with only one small concern on my part. The battery in Max sits under the floor. Somehow the cable would have to "poke out" somewhere out of the floor.

But it turned out not to be a problem. Connections were accomplished and the red light on the charger showed that everything was working.

Sunday morning, the light turned green!


Ride on and Carpet Diem, my good friends.

And have a Happy Holidays while you are at it!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A Thanksgiving Remembrance

This is just a link to something I wrote a few years ago about the Holiday Season and a particular story from a Native American viewpoint.

It is actually my most viewed single blog posting (by far).

Hope you enjoy if you're reading it for the first time.

Hope you have a fond memory if you have read it before.

Carpe Diem my good friends!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

A Wise Man Once Said....

Embarrassingly, I had not even started Max for about 4 months.

Did he hesitate?


Not even for a second.

Sometimes I wonder if my mind is going around in circles especially with regard to riding.

But Bobskoot suggested to me that perhaps I just needed to go for a ride.

So I did!

Not a long ride. And it was a bit chilly. Last night we had our first hard freeze. And silly me, I had my summer gloves on. But I did have my gear jacket on, and some heavy jeans. (I forgot what cold hands on a bike felt like)

Max ran like a champ. It felt good. 

Almost hate to admit this, but Max has been up for sale. But no offers. Not even any bites. 


There may be more rides, and ride reports in the future.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

This bothers me

I went to pick up some Korean food for dinner tonight and saw this bike parked on a sidewalk. 

Good grief! Does the world owe this person some kind of favor! I can't park a car where he did. And I wouldn't park Max there either.

It's wrong. It's rude. And I think people will  react negatively to bikers in general.

Ironically, probably about 30 yards away is a covered parking garage with designated motorcycle parking available. 

Maybe this person can't walk that far but I doubt that. 

It just bugs me.

Ride on and Carpe Diem my good friends.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Entertaining a Question:

The Decision to Ride

To Ride Or Not to Ride

That is the question

I used to write about this question occasionally, but usually the subject concerned the weather. Was it going to be smart to ride in today's weather. Sometimes I'd be mad because I missed a day of riding because I thought the weather would be bad, but turned out not to be so, or vice versa.

At Burnett's Mound in Topeka Kansas

 But today I'm actually contemplating something different

To Ride or Not to Ride



In other words, I'm beginning to question whether it is smart for me to ride at all given my health condition.

Like Hamlet, Here's the Rub,

You may not be aware, You may not care, but there are some subtle and sometimes wicked after-effects that result from a cardiac arrest.You might think that it's all about the heart, but the brain can be also affected by a cardiac arrest. A lack of fresh oxygenated blood to the brain during the arrest can cause a lot of symptoms such as memory loss and coordination problems including the ability to perform very basic functions. Some of these symptoms are severe, some minor.

So, what's the problem......

I believe I am continuing to experience some symptoms of brain anoxia (lack of oxygen) that occurred during my cardiac arrest. In my case, it's not extremely serious. I function just fine, most of the time. But 3 1/2 years later, I still have some minor symptoms, and they do not appear to be going away. I believe some of these symptoms affect my ability to effectively operate a 2 wheeled motorized vehicle. I say "might" because most of the time I think I am just as competent as before. But other times I know that I am not as alert, mentally,  as I should be. I am afraid that I might not be able to recognize and react as quickly as I should to certain situations that could be encountered on the road.

And I'm the kind of person that feels that if I'm going to do something, anything, then I'm going to do it right, and safely, and competently. Otherwise I'm not sure it is worth doing at all.

A beautiful day near Eskridge Kansas

So, I'm wondering.......

And it's not easy.

It's a bit difficult to think about it.

I hadn't ridden in about 6 weeks. But 2 days ago I started Max, expecting him to balk a bit because it had been a few weeks since I had even started him. Of course, he started right up on the first touch of the starter. What a good friend he is. And I've ridden the last couple of days to work with no incidents, even got a couple of nice waves from other riders yesterday. Weather has been spectacular. Upper 40's in the morning, maybe a bit cool, but about 70 for the ride home.

It's nice to be riding again.

But in the back of my mind I'm beginning to wonder......

I know one thing.... A long day ride, hours long, is probably out of the question. I don't have the stamina, mentally, to do it anymore. So short trips it will have to be. My romantic dreams of long distance motorcycle touring are probably gone.

I'm not selling Max, at least not yet. It will still be fun to take some fun rides here and there. And when I don't think I can safely accomplish that, well another decision might have to be made. I'm not there yet.

In the Flint Hills of Kansas about 60 miles northeast of Wichita

Ride On and Carpe Diem,my good friends,

And if by chance someday that I decide to cease my riding on,,,,,
I guarantee that I will continue Carpe Dieming!

Monday, April 7, 2014

New Tires for Bruiser

It took me about 30 minutes to change both tires. 

(I've done this before)

The handy dandy tire tool for prying the tire on and off the rim

Once you get the old tire off the bike, the next step is to remove the tube. I opted to keep the tubes I had, rather than replace them. They aren't real old, never been patched, and I keep new tubes on the bike at all times. If it fails, then I just replace the tube. 

(Again, may take just a few minutes, you know, done it before)

Insertion of the tube in the new tire
You see, the tires on this old mountain bike were the original tires that came with the bike. And I can't even tell you how old the bike is, for sure. But, I'm thinking it's about 20 years old, early 90's era. It was time to replace the tires. 

New tires are a Specialized Crossroads (puncture resistant, too)
These new tires have a less aggressive tread pattern. A little better for road and light trail riding because there is less "rolling resistance". 

(Love that term)

The other advantage for road riding is that these tires are capable of higher psi's, up to 80 psi. I had been running 40-45 psi, even a little less if I was on a trail. I can still dial down the psi for a trail, but the higher psi will be an advantage for the road. Again, less "rolling resistance".

Side by side, old and new

It was almost dark when I finished up, so I just did a quick spin down the street and back to check out the ride. Felt good!  Will do a longer ride this next weekend, and hopefully some longer rides next week. Tax season is almost over and I'm hoping to do some riding (motorized and non-motorized) next week after the 15th of April.
Ride On and carpe diem, my good friends!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

A Little Exercise

Signs of Spring are apparent these days

I've been needing to get more exercise. Its been hard the last few months. Really cold weather. And I've put on a little weight this year. I need to get rid of some of it.

And I've spent a lot of time at the desk at work lately. Really busy at the office? Its that time of year for me. But I felt the need to get outside, maybe raise the heart rate a little bit. Blast out a few cobwebs from the body.

So on a beautiful Sunday morning I took out on Bruiser, my trusty and faithful mountain bike. Pumped up the tires, and headed out.
Makes you wonder if the designer of this sidewalk was drunk.
It was a windy day. Wind advisories were posted for strong winds from the south? But, not much of a surprise there. After all, the word Kansas means people of the south wind. Correctly described, at least in the springtime.

Selfie while waiting at a stoplight
Now, the smart thing to do, when on a bicycle in windy weather is to first head out against the wind, while you are fresh, then as you ride back home, you will be able to ride with the wind.

Of course, I don't always do the "smart" thing.

But I was close.

The water feature as I headed south against the wind
First I headed north. I know, wrong way, but there actually was a plan. The bulk of the ride would be either east or west, and the plan was to finish up going north.

This path is really fun when the vegetation is present, almost like riding in a jungle? Not today though.

I thought it would be easier to ride south through a neighborhood, protected from the wind by houses and trees, and I had a particular neighborhood in mind.

It was still slow going, curvy streets and pathways, but the effect of the wind was lessened.

Then I turned back west for a while, eventually reaching another turning point.

Signalling a right turn, back north, with the wind, toward home.

Ride on, and carpe diem, my friends.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Man, There's a Lot of Sand Out There!

With some of the snows we had this winter, the city/county authorities used sand instead of salt solutions because the temperatures were too cold for the salt to work well.

At least that is the reason they gave.

All I know is that at almost every corner or intersection there is a buildup of sand. And we know how dangerous that can be to 2 wheeled riders.

I'm here to remind you that it is not just the wheels of your vehicle that you need to worry about.

But remember that when you stop at a light or stop sign, what do you do?

You put a foot down, don't you.

Make sure that foot doesn't end up on a pile of sand! OK?

Ride Safe and Carpe Diem , my good friends.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Sometimes it's the little things....

That can turn a day around.

I really wish I was more eloquent with words. Sometimes I wonder if Mrs Bakalar, a memorable and inspiring English teacher I had in High School, would be impressed with anything I jot down these days. Then again it may not really matter that much in the grand scheme of things. Frankly, in a way, I write for my own sanity. Not sure if I give a damn what anybody else thinks. So there!

So let's see how eloquent (or not) I can be. 

Last couple of days have been a bit crappy. Really busy at work. Lots of stress. A couple of demanding clients. Feeling a bit unsure of my abilities. Venturing a bit into areas of tax law that I'm not as immediately familiar with. Piles of paperwork getting even bigger. Having to perform a few work duties that I really don't enjoy. Get the idea?

And it can be hard sometimes to overcome feeling sorry for yourself. You just want everyone to go away and leave you alone. You feel like you have to carry all the burdens upon your shoulders. And you're 57 years old now. You're pretty darn smart, and you're good at what you do, but you just can't quite carry the loads you used to. 

And in reality, I'm starting to realize that it's all just so much bull$hit! I don't want to carry all those loads I used to, and maybe that's okay!

So here's something to ponder.

I get home and there is this lovely woman who shares her life with me. It's been a crappy day, we're both tired and hungry, but she manages to make the time to cook up some dinner. And she puts that extra special touch of her love into it. And it is delicious. And I tell her so. 

We watch a little television together. We don't even say very much to each other because of fatigue, but we share the enjoyment of just being so utterly comfortable with each other. Thirty five years together can do that. 

Then later that evening I take our dog (and our cat) for a little walk. Not far, mind you. We had snow 2 days ago. It's not frigid, but cold outside. Heavy coat, hat and gloves are advisable, although the canine and the feline seem readily adapted to almost any kind of weather. 

But here's the thing. We are outside. In the elements. All of our senses are tuned in to the surroundings. We see the moon shrouded in some thin clouds. We smell smoke from some of the fireplaces in the neighborhood. We hear some dogs bark as we go by a house. We can sense that they are upset that they are confined to a back yard while the 3 of us get to roam freely. We feel the cold air on our faces, the snow on some paws.

It's life! It's real and it's exhilarating!

What happens at the office isn't!

We're out there experiencing the world. The cell phone isn't ringing or buzzing. Nobody cares about money in the bank or taxes that need to be paid.

And by the time we arrived back home, the day didn't seem so crappy. Didn't feel so inadequate. I forgot for awhile about some of the perceived demands and responsibilities in my life.

And I reminded myself that I'm okay, just as I am. 

I am enough! 

And so is Jayna, the woman that means so much to me. And so is Sophie (the dog) and Moe (the cat). Even Jake (another cat) is okay. He even jumped into my lap to help as I was tapping out these thoughts on the iPhone. Hard to beat a kitty on your lap, unless you don't like cats.

And I don't know for sure, but I'm sure that there's not a lot to be impressed with in this feeble little exercise from a vocabulary or grammatical standpoint......

But somehow I think Mrs Bakalar would say that it's just okay. 

Overall, this turned out to be a pretty decent day. All because of some of those little things.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Another Pet Peeve: Turn Signals

Maybe I'm just feeling bitchy today, but am I right or not...?

The purpose of a turn signal is let let other people know what you intend to do. Right?

We all see people that don't use turn signals at all. Encountered a Miata that performed this stunt today. Thoroughly pisses me off! You?

Then there's another one I had just this morning. Someone in a Toyota Highlander makes a lane change into my lane right in front of me. I saw one flash of the turn signal (just one) and that was just before the person finished the lane change.

What's up with that? Huh?

What possible good does that do?

Ahh, nobody was really in any danger, but really, 

And I don't care if you are in a car, a truck, a motorcycle, a bicycle or in a space ship. You better be friggin' using that turn signal .....

So I don't have to 'guess' what the frack you are up to! 

There's enough other "stuff" out there on the roads to watch out for not to have to be messin' with trying to figure out what some other dolt is doing. 

Isn't that the point?

Comment me if I'm wrong.

And BTW, get off your damn cell phone while you are driving!

Man, I am bitchy today!

Ride On and Carpe Diem, my good, good friends!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Fortitude on Two Wheels

This photo was on the from page of the paper today.

Ride On!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Won't do any good to complain

This time tomorrow there may be 8-10 inches if snow on the ground. Not that it's really any worse than it is now. For, you see, we've had ice on the ground for the last 3 days. Neither condition is conducive to much riding, like none at all.

Max is safely covered in the garage beneath the Jayhawk flag. Hasn't moved for almost a month now. Besides the snow and ice, it has just been very cold here. Now I don't mind cold weather generally. Temperatures in the 20's are tolerable for awhile. But we've had a lot of days colder than that recently and the forecast for the next week isn't particularly exciting for riding weather. 

So I remain mostly patient. Mostly. But the patience is wearing  a bit thin. Oh well, it can't last forever. At least Max is in the garage. That yellow Harley is outside and hasn't moved an inch. Wonder what it will look like with 10 inches of snow on it.

I'll keep reminding myself that patience is a virtue. 

Ride On and Carpe Diem, my good friends!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Feelin' sorry for a Harley

Near my home resides a Harley. I walk by the home of this bike every other day or so when I'm walking the dog (and the cat).

I feel sorry for this bike. It is a very nice yellow in color. I'm sorry that I don't know more about Harleys to even know the exact model. It's big (to me), but not as big as many Harleys. And its a really nice looking bike! Sort of a basic cruiser, but a very nice looking bike.

But Here's the thing.

The bike has been parked right up next to the garage in this driveway for about 4 months now and hasn't been moved. Not even an inch.

Some thoughts.

Why doesn't the owner move it into the garage?  No clue here.

It has been exposed to the elements including rain, snow and sub-zero temperatures this winter.

If I were that Harley, you can bet I'd be pissed!

Even just a little bit of TLC would be nice. In this case there has been none.

Absolutely None!

So, my response to this is that I'm going to remember to give a little love to Max, my friend on the road. After all, if you don't take care of your bike, how can you expect it to take care of you?

Just Sayin'!

Ride On and Carpe Diem, my good friends.