Monday, November 24, 2008

Foggy Bottoms

So several weeks ago, the uniform guy wandered into my office at work peddling his new catalog and one of the items was a high vis vest. Apparently there is a new rule that says something about safety vests needing to be 'screaming yellow.'

One of the vests caught my eye, and after using it for a few weeks, I have to say that I am still happy.

It gets pretty foggy in the Willamette Valley in the mornings, so I am glad for the vest.

An unexpected side effect is that folks tend to think that I am a safety person.

Except the lady at the market who thought that I was a bus driver.

I was in a hurry and on the phone, so I couldn't politely inquire as to what would make her think that I drove a bus for a living. It wasn't until too late I realized that the high vis vest must be required for bus drivers too.

I can live with that.

As long as it gets me seen.

If I see the lady in the store again, I will apologize for not explaining (she was rather nice).

Ta!

Balisada

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A paid for motorcycle sounds different

A couple of weeks ago, I was perusing my bank statement, and was surprised to discover that I only owed $20 on my Rebel.

I could have paid it off long ago, but I wanted the good payments to be on my credit.

So I wandered down to the bank to pay it off.

They looked in their computer and said that it had already been paid off and the title sent to me.

After looking through my mail back home, a letter I had taken for junk mail, was in fact, my title.

Yay!

I went promptly down the DMV to get my title in my name only.

In my enthusiastic haste, I had forgotten to bring some money so I used their cash machine to retrieve some.

I had put my helmet on the seat next to me and left it while I used the ATM. For $500 bucks, it gets it's own seat.

Except that when I returned, someone and her teenager had taken my seat, so that my helmet was now sitting next to a teenager who probably had no concept of a $500 helmet that is only good for one hit.

I am sorry to say that I wasn't all that nice when I scooped up my helmet and chose a new seat. You would think that they would assume that the seat next to the helmet was taken. I know it's petty, but it still bugs me.

So I have only just received my title from the DMV.

My motorcycle is now mine, mine mine.

And I think that it makes a funny noise, now that it is paid for.

Perhaps that's the strings of bondage being cut.

Ta!


Balisada

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Long Distance Motorcycling

Someone pointed out to me another blog. In it, a fellow Rebel owner is taking a long distance trip on his Rebel. Read about it here.

5,836 miles in 21 days to be exact.

This last Friday, I had dinner at Evergreen Aviation Museum with some members of Easy Company. Talk with my neighbor turned to my motorcycle. She was advocating an upgrade to a larger motorcycle.

It's amazing how folks don't realize what a durable little bike the Rebel is.

It is often said of the Rebel, that you will give out before the Rebel will.

The dude who went from Las Vegas, Nevada to North Carolina found out that the Rebel is indeed a tough little bike.

I seem to recall reading about someone's trip to Alaska, on the Rebel.

I don't really go long distances, but it's nice to know that if I wanted to, my Rebel could make the trip.

Ta!

Balisada

Monday, October 6, 2008

Fall Term - Week 1

So it's Friday on the first week of fall term.

Fall Term is the busiest term of all. Enrollment is always highest in the fall, and staff is getting back from the summer break.

And they all need something.

So the week has been really busy.

Summer term enrollment is lowest because the college offers only a few classes that term, and with most staff gone, the parking lots are practically empty.

Which makes for good parking, so I usually park in with the cars because it's closer to my office.

But last week, I decided to park with the motorcycles in the corral, back of the college (remember, that I park on the "cool side of the corral".

On Monday, first day of classes, there were two others parked when I got in. I decided that it was worth it to take a picture:




The other two, by the way, belong to staff members.

Just after I snapped that, three other motorcycles rolled in, so I had to take another:



On the way home, I saw a single light behind me. I was in the left lane and the moped passed me on the right.

Like me, the rider was wearing a yellow and grey jacket and when he passed me, I turned and waved.

He seized the moment to yank at his shoulder. The "Revit" logo on his shoulder. Just like mine.

Dude is wearing a $450 jacket on a scooter.

Hardcore, man.

Hardcore.


Ta!

Balisada

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Roofing Staples and New Trailers

Gee whiz, I seem to be a forgetful person. I wrote this and then promptly forgot it. It should have been published after the Spruce Goose.

So, several weeks ago, I rode my motorcycle to work, and then went out and about for lunch.

I was rewarded with a roofing staple in my rear tire.

Yeah.

A roofing staple.

My tire was as flat as Brittany Spears' career.

I made an appointment to get it fixed and was delighted to discover that the shop could fit me in the following Saturday. Yay! I just had to wait a week.

Now all I had to do was spend that week looking for a trailer for my motorcycle.

I stopped into South Pacific Auto because I saw a lot of trailers.

The guy I spoke to showed me this trailer and said that he had people looking at it all week, and just that day he had a guy and his wife looking at it.

Okay.

Why don't I just let this 'guy and his wife' have first dibbs. He wanted nine hundred bucks and I wasn't that interested in buying a trailer that was really too big from someone that really seemed to be untrustworthy.

In the end, I ended up in Halsey paying nine hundred bucks for a bit smaller of a trailer (but I know that it's not too big and I think the other one was too big), and I liked the guy a lot more.

It's a tilt trailer, and if I get a spare tire to put on the front, the center of gravity will be changed enough to make it stay flat when I ride my motorcycle up and flatten out the trailer.

Best of all, it's red. Red to match my pickup.


Ta!

Balisada

Monday, September 15, 2008

Cupcakes don't transport well on a motorcycle

If you want to know, cupcakes don't transport well on a motorcycle.

I know from personal experience.

The first time, I fastened them to the pillion and away I went. When I got to work, they were all jumbled up and the frosting was all over the little "cupcake holes".

The next time, I decided to ride very carefully.

The cupcakes were still face up this time, but the frosting had vibrated to the side of almost all of the cupcakes, so that most of the frosting was on the plastic carrier and not a whole lot on the cupcake.

I mention that because I wanted to bring something sweet to work last week and I really wanted it to be cupcakes.

But given my past history with cupcakes, I decided on donut holes.

I have finally gotten my Rebel in from the 16,000 mile service.

I have not been riding much because I have this fear that I will be dripping parts behind me when I ride a long distance.

I don't know why I keep thinking that, it's totally irrational.

So I got my Rebel back from the 16,000 mile service, that I got at uhhh, 18,000 miles. I need to lube the chain more. Some day the chain will fall off at the wrong time because I did not lube it like I was supposed to.

I seized the opportunity to rediscover the joys of taking the long way home.

I then discovered the joys of a long trip by going to a family reunion.

I needed to bring something to eat, and I really wanted to bring cupcakes.

Yeah, we all know how that will end up.

At the end of a short 3 mile trip to work, they are, a bit ruffled.

At the end of a 45 minute trip to they could very well be quite a bit unhappy.

So I settled on chips.

I also got my GPS out for the trip.

I also connected up my new phone to the GPS (bluetooth). It's kind of cool. Hook up the earphone and mouthpiece, and you can make a phone call without taking out the cellphone.

Not that I would.

I really don't like talking on the phone to begin with, and I sure am not going to do it on a motorcycle.

But the setup will also tell me who is calling.

That's nice. Now I can tell if I have to stop or not.

I just have to hook up the GPS to the battery. Should be easy, I just don't want a stray wire hanging out in space.

So, anyways, I wandered on down to Eugene to a family reunion.

GPS got me there, and it's a good thing it did, because my mom was going to give me directions, and she got lost with her sister.

I also beat her there by about an hour.

I must have arrived when everyone else did, because I followed two cars in to the parking lot, but didn't recognize anyone. I called my mom and while on the phone, someone arrived that I actually recognized.

Does everyone have that problem with family reunions?

When I parked, I noticed that they didn't size the parking lot right and there was a space of about three feet on the edge.

Just the right size for a motorcycle.

Fabulous!

They have motorcycle parking:



See, just enough space for a motorcycle.


Ta!

Balisada

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Yes, the Spruce Goose Really is THAT Big

NOTE: This was written on Aug 6, 2008 at about 10:30pm. I sent an inquiry to Evergreen Air Museum and they did not respond, so I am posting this a bit late. ~Ta!



One of my goals this summer was to wander over to Evergreen Air and Space Museum and look at all the airplanes.

Last Saturday, I did finally.

I finally got going at about noon. It was a little later than I would have liked, but I was in no real hurry.

I had gotten it into my mind, that McMinnville was on the East side of Salem, so after plugging Evergreen into the GPS, I started out toward Lebanon and turned off at Crabtree.

Since I can't hear it anyway, regardless of how much I turn the volume up, I have turned the sound off my GPS and had not connected the headset (the gizmo complained about that too, it was liked being nagged by a parent or something)

I had neglected to change the setting from 'fastest' to 'avoid freeways', and it was telling me every mile or two that I needed to take a u-turn. The little whozit persistently pointed out that my next turn was a u-turn at the next road and go on the freeway.

It was about half way between Crabtree and Scio that the GPS either realized that I was never going to make that u-turn or it decided that the fastest way to Evergreen was another way.

When I got into Scio, I would have normally turned right and went through Lyons, but I went straight and ended up going through Stayton instead.

In between Scio and Stayton, I pulled off to let some other cars pass.

Since I tend to ride the speed limit or just a hair below, I try to do my best to not block traffic, but this was the first time that I had actually pulled over.

I looked around as I was waiting for another batch of cars that would have surely caught up with me had I not pulled over. It occurred to me that I was in the middle of farming country and this was a dandy place for a picture.

So I took a picture:


It was a short while after Stayton that it occurred to me that McMinnville was in fact on the other side of the freeway.

Oops.

I navigated Salem pretty well. GPS is good for something.

I was rather proud of the fact that when I got on the road to Dallas I was finally in the left lane for once and didn't go the wrong way in the fork.

Except this time I actually needed to be in the right lane of the fork in the road.

Oops.

I turned off and backtracked and it really wasn't a big thing because GPS told me that the side road I was on would let me turn left on my road and I would be back on track.

Except the city of Salem had made a change in that part of the road and you could no longer turn left.

Oops.

It was a good thing that I was really not in any hurry.

So I finally made my GPS happy and made a circle around the blocks of downtown Salem and once again found the fork to Dallas. This time I was on the right side.

The road that I found myself on was actually rather nice. It was very scenic.

Let me tell you about Evergreen.

When you ride up, you come in straight in towards the building that houses the airplanes, and you can see the Spruce Goose there in the window.

I paid my entrance fee and wandered in, trying to take in all the airplanes at once.

The first thing I noticed was some old helicopters that looked rather small. The looked so much bigger in M*A*S*H. Then I noticed a helicopter that looked a lot like the one from the show Airwolf (oh, did I just date myself?).

It was then that my astute nature clicked in and it occurred to me that the Spruce Goose had disappeared.

Yeah, I know, how does one loose an airplane as big as the Spruce Goose, but as I looked around I saw many fine aircraft, but didn't see Howard Hughes giant creation.

I then realized that the wall in front of me about 100 feet away and the ceiling above me was not a wall and ceiling.

It was in fact, the infamous plane built by Howard Hughes.

Wow.

I know that in our current society of giant H2 hummers that totally dominate the driving lane, and 767 Jumbo Jets that can carry a small army, have diminished our view of large, but WOW.

Given the scope of all the other planes in that era, the Spruce Goose towers over them all.

Quite literally.



Also, next to the helicopters, was an older styled motorcycle complete with sidecar.



After the motorcycle, they had a mustang. The plane and the car. Cool.

They had a B17 bomber.

And in almost every picture I took the Spruce Goose is there in some fashion, because of the sheer size of it.

My favorite was actually the replica of the Wright Brothers flyer. It really looked to me like a Rebel with wings.

The Wright Brothers were bold, because it looked to be rather . . . sparse.

If you get a chance to go, take it. It is a fun trip.

The way back was much less interesting since I took the freeway and got off at Jefferson.


Ta!

Balisada

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

My Motorcycles Home

I took my six hundred bucks that the government gave me and bought a kit for a shed.

Since I have been parking my motorcycle outside since my older sister moved in temporarily, I wanted the shed put up for my motorcycle.

The shed was a pain in the butt to build, but I am glad that I have it.

My cousin Brian helped a lot, and he stated that really it wasn't all that hard, it was just hot, and that made everything harder to do.

As a result it took several weeks to build. (Note that there were actually several days and often a week or two between these pictures.)

I want to start by showing off a perfectly leveled floor:


After the floors, the front and back were put together and attached to the floor. I then nailed the studs together and then nailed them to the shed:

After that, we nailed on the walls and put up the rafters that I had nailed together earlier. Lastly we hung the door. The walls were actually the easiest to do.

All that is left is to paint it some color that interests me.

Here is a closeup of my Rebel living in it's new home:



I should point out that technically, the shed is not done, since the roof still needs to be nailed on.

I have a tarp on it now and will put it on when the weather cools. I am really not interested in working in the heat right now.

Later I will show off my pics from my trip to Evergreen Air and Space Museum.

Ta!

Balisada

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Drive Thru's

So yesterday Dutch Bros was donating all proceeds to Relay for Life.

Since it was a good cause, I grabbed my Starbucks cup and stopped by on the motorcycle.

I am reluctant to go through drive thru's in general, but I was willing to make a go of it for Relay for Life.

When you go through a fast food drive through, generally, space is an issue unless you have a tank bag to stow your loot into. Otherwise you have to get off the motorcycle to stow it.

In this case, I had to wait behind a car and took the opportunity to take my glove off and get my money and my cup out. I did have to get off to retrieve my cup.

When it was my turn, I was able to present both to the barista. She was careful to tighten the lid and I was able to put the cup in my saddlebag without getting off. Kind of reached behind me.

It worked out okay, but I don't think that I will be making it a habit.

Ta!

Balisada

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Motorcycles and Mayhem

So last Saturday I decided that it was cooler at the coast and set off on the motorcycle.

I don't check the air in my tires as often as I should, and it was a good thing that I checked them before the trip because they were rather low.

On the way out of town, I filled them up.

Filling up the front tire is always easy. Just stick in the little nozzle and you are good to go.

The back one used to be a pain in the buttocks until I hit on the solution. I was trying to fasten the nozzle at the opening between the spokes. If I brought the nozzle through the upper part of the spokes it fit. Duh.

So filled with air, I was ready to set out. (is there a blonde joke in there somewhere? I am not even blonde.)

I set out and the trip to the coast was rather uneventful.

I did do much better on the curves. I picked my lines much better than the last time.

The Valley was hot and the wind that was blowing was hot.

It wasn't until Burnt Woods that I felt my first gust of cold air and it felt quite nice.

It was my intention to get some clam chowder, but I knew that Mo's in Newport was going to be packed, and didn't want to repeat my trip to Mo's West two times in a row.

So I decided to stretch out my trip and eat at the Casino.

It turns out that I should have eaten an Mo's West.

When I got to the Casino, I noticed a custom chopper next to a trailer in the RV parking but did not pursue the thought further. I should have because when I rounded the bend, I was presented with a billion motorcycles.

So Chinook Winds was having some kind have motorcycle rally and the parking spaces were taken up by booths of some kind and music.

Yay.


Now I get to park further back.

Rally's are really not my thing.

A get together of fellow Rebel owners are okay, but I have just enough social anxiety to be uncomfortable in large groups of people.

But there were a lot of nice motorcycles there.

On the way home I stopped at the gas station right next to Chinook Winds.

They were having problems with their pumps.

Not interested in waiting to find out that I wasn't going to get gas, I went to the next gas station on my side of the road.

It's quite a ways.

After filling up, I had an almost uneventful trip home.

At Blodget there is a convenience store and a road splitting off right in front of the store.

The store was on my right and there was a white van in the parking lot moving to get on the road.

There was a car in the split off road (what ever road it was) waiting to get on the highway I was on.

The van commanded my attention because it was moving.

When I had my permit, my Dad told me that everyone else on the road was only there to hit my vehicle, or to hit something that would hit me.

He said that was their job, otherwise they would be at home watching TV.

So according to that rule, the van was bound to hit me because it was moving.

Fortunately for me, most people are not good at their job, because I had slowed down (because she was moving) and she saw me at the last minute. So I swerved to the left a bit.

I am willing to bet that the lady in the van was startled.

Cars that pull out in front of you are a challenge because you don't know which way to swerve.

If they keep going in front of you, you can swerve to the right and pass behind them. If they stop you can swerve to the left and pass in front them.

It's like that Crusader at the end of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. "You have chosen . . . poorly."

Choose poorly and you end up a statistic. Kind of makes a motorcyclist pay attention.



Ta!

Balisada

Saturday, July 12, 2008

How many Balisada's does it take to change a lightbulb?

None.

Balisada doesn't change lightbulbs on her motorcycle. She takes it to the dealer and says "change my headlight." They smile and say "Sure."

But there is a wait in the summer so I had to change my own headlight.

In doing so, I have discovered that there is really no instructions on the internet, on how to do so.

I did run across this dude from Arizona's page, and he says that there is really nothing on the internet (yeah, I figured that out too) so he posted his instructions. I really do appreciate that he did so because I needed them. Here are his instructions.

So, first a disclaimer:
This posting on how I changed the headlight for a 2006 HONDA REBEL, is for entertainment purposes only. You need to seek the services of a qualified mechanic, and Auntie Balisada is not responsible for any injuries to you, your vehicle or the universe in general because you took this post as an actual guide on how to change a lightbulb.
Next an FYI:
Before you get started, locate the headlight. Should be easy.

Now, put down the screwdriver or wrench and find the two holes in the bottom part. These should be the ones that have little screws nestled inside them.

Now that you have found them:

DO NOT TOUCH THESE!

These are the screws that adjust the aim of the headlight, and have nothing whatsoever to do with replacing a headlight, so it behooves you to not mess around with them.

To remove the outer ring, there are bolts that stick out from the assembly (at least on mine).



First the instructions called for removing the cover of the black box just above and behind the headlight. I did that with a screwdriver.


Next, I was supposed to unhook three wires (I think one was blue and the other was green), but there were a lot of wires and I didn't know which ones, so I didn't.

Then I found the bolts on the bottom sides of the headlight. I found them at the 5 o'clock and 7 o'clock positions. I removed them with an 8mm socket, and put them on my saddlebag in the order that they were in on the assembly.


Next, I spent a lot of time trying to get the outer ring off. My book that I had purchased addressed the older Rebels, but not the newer ones, and there had apparently been a change in headlights. After a phone call to the dealership, I did what they said.

"Stand in front of the headlight and grab the bottom. Pull it up toward you and then pull straight up." Or did they say straight toward me? Oops. My bad. It will suck to be me when I have to do this again. They probably said toward me, since it's a lip sort of thing that comes up and over.

After some pain and suffering, it came off.

This is why I had pain and suffering. See the little lip on the ring? Yeah, it grabs the assembly and you have to lift up enough to unlatch it, but not up so much that you break the assembly. Which means that I probably pulled toward myself.


My next problem was in removing the wire from the lamp. I had a dickens of a time and eventually got it, but it sucked.


I then removed the rubber cover and found that a wire was keeping the bulb in place. If I removed the wire, I could take out the old bulb and put the new one in.


Then I put the whole thing back together in reverse order and was presented with a working headlight.

Off:


On:



Off:


On:



Off:


On:



Off:


On:



Well, I am now off to the coast.

Ta!

Balisada

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Swerving in North Albany

So Saturday was promising to be a respite from the hot weather that we had been having.

My Aunt was having a bbq and I had decided to ride to Salem, in lieu of riding with family.

My trip was rather uneventful, and I skirted the outskirts of Albany and then rode through Jefferson and out to Salem. When I got to Sunnyside, I got on the freeway and took the Detroit Lakes exit to Lancaster and then to my Aunts House.

I would like to take this opportunity to point out that after what I believe is the Kubler drive exit, there is a speed limit sign that I clearly remember saying:

"Speed 60"

Okay, perhaps it said:

"Speed 55"

Regardless of what the sign said, traffic was CLEARLY SPEEDING because I know that the speed limit was below the usual 65.

I read an article that talked about the most common excuses that police hear when giving speeding tickets.

I don't care how many cc's your motorcycle is lugging around, you will be using one of the excuses on the list.

"I was just trying to keep up with traffic."

I wonder if a trooper will give a 250cc Rebel a ticket for speeding or shake his head in amazement? Perhaps if I beep and wave merrily as I pass.

The trip back was a rather uneventful trip down the entire freeway.

Both the trip up and the trip back were uneventful.

I think that God was giving my eyebrows a break from their workout last Sunday.

Last Sunday was a rather beautiful day and I decided to get some chinese for lunch.

I had decided to go through North Albany and then wander to Corvallis for lunch.

I ended up going past the golf course on Springhill drive and turned right on Independence Highway. I had picked up a pickup behind me (punny, ain't I?) and was a bit surprised that the pickup didn't use one of the straight stretches to pass me.

Just after the Independence Highway turn, there is an 'S' turn.


View Larger Map

That's where my eyebrows got their workout.

I would like to point out right now that my mistake was treating the 'S' turn like one turn and it's not. An 'S' turn is two turns. In my case it was a left and then a right.

Two turns. Each needs to be treated as it's own turn. Ideally, you end the first turn by setting up for the second.

When I began the turn, I was looking through the turn and already looking head to the end of what I perceived to be the end of the turn.

I had noted the three bicyclists and the car.

The bicyclists were in the exact middle of the 'S'. The car was just behind them.

In scanning back through the turn, I again turned my attention to the bicyclists and car.

I would like to point out that the CIA is not going to snatch me up due to my superior intellect.

I point this out because I actually spent a second or two trying to figure out what happened to my road.

Taking up the left 1/3 of the road is the bicyclists.

Taking up the next part of the road is the car (off the center and several feet in my lane). It has thoughtfully left a LOT of room for the bicyclists.

And then there is me, stupidly trying to figure out where my road went off to (Excuse me, has anyone seen my road? I thought I left it right here, but someone must have moved it).

Essentially, what I saw, directly ahead of me was a car.

Fortunately, I was in no real hurry during the ride and had also slowed down to take the turn. I was probably going a max of 20 miles per hour.

When my brain finally caught up with reality, my eyebrows got what cartoons probably call a 'wild take'. That's where the eyebrows pop up about a foot above the head, and that is what mine did.

And then I did the only thing that could be done.

I swerved.

I would like to point out that I spend a lot of time swerving.

No, not around cars trying to run me off the road.

The pavement reflectors at LBCC are actually a hoot if there is no traffic and I am getting quite good at them. At ART class, we swerved at 30, 35 mph and I know that I could have done faster. (I wouldn't try this. Security will probably write you a citation, and I don't do it very often. Just when I know they are elsewhere on campus and there is no traffic on the campus road.)

The only issue that I had was I wasn't sure if the car was done infringing on my lane. Apparently he was and my swerve was flawless.

Especially since I didn't panic once. Not a bit.

After I peeled my eyebrows off the top of my helmet, I turned left at the next left (Suver Road) and then left again at the next major highway that runs right into Corvallis (99W).

The pickup that I had picked up chose to pass me after turning on Suver Road. Probably decided that he didn't want to follow someone who apparently attracted so much attention.

Ta!

Balisada

Friday, June 27, 2008

Dialated Pupils

So I listened to my messages on Monday evening and was surprised to discover that the eye doctor called to remind me about my eye appointment the next day.

This was interesting, because I had to take my cat in to the vet for his "special" surgery (that would be to get him neutered) on that same day.

As much as I would like to put his travel carrier on the back of my motorcycle and have him ride pillion, I decided that:

A: it would be unsafe, even if I was able to fasten the carrier completely.

B: it would be a spectacle that would surely end up on youTube. Short fat woman with ears and tail on helmet and cat carrier complete with shrieking cat. Yeah, that's ending up on youTube.

So I drove to work, stopping to drop off my cat at the vets. After lunch, I drove home, picked up my motorcycle and rode to Salem to the eye appointment. Then I rode home, picked up my pickup and drove to the vet and picked up my cat.

That's a lot switching. If gas wasn't so expensive, I would be inclined to just drive, but really the Rebel is the smarter (and funner) choice.

At the doctors, they dilated my pupils.

Personally, I think that the eye doctor gets a bonus for every time they dilate someone eyes.

It turns out that if they leave you in the waiting room long enough, then the really bright light they shine in your eyes is just as bright, but isn't in your eyes as much.

Usually, it's difficult to get my eyes to cooperate, but they were behind this time and I waited in the waiting room for longer than usual, so my eyes had more time to adjust. (If inquiring minds want to know, my eyes are getting better, he says that the swelling is going down. Which is nice because I was unaware that I had swelling.)

So the light outside was a brighter than I would have liked, but I wandered down the street a bit to Taco Bell. My pupils recovered while eating my taco salad.

After Taco Bell, I wandered across the street to Fred Meyer and purchased some sunglasses. They helped a lot better with the pupils. Next time I wander up, I will be sure to bring them along.

After riding a few days with the sunglasses, I find that I like them and will continue with them. Best of all, they were only $15 on sale (cue ZZ Top, Cheap Sunglasses).

I should take a picture of myself with the sunglasses on.

Oh, I should also mention that they did a test for what I think was glaucoma. That would be the test where they shoot a bit of air into your eyeball and your other eyeball says ain't happin'en and you have to hold it open with both hands.

Only my eye doctor has the latest and greatest of equipment.

This one is over before you even really know you started. It tests pressure a different way and mine is like 16 and 17 or it may be 17 and 18.

So, if you still get the 'poof test'. Tell your eye doctor that there is a newer and more reliable test out there.

So enough about eye doctors and more about motorcycles.

I haven't been riding mine.

I spent the longest day of the year in my house cleaning.

The freeway trip on the way home from the eye doctor was also uninteresting. Which is good.

Two people that I know are seeking their motorcycle endorsement. There is someone that I met a few times at work, who I found out was getting her endorsement. I met her as she was going into the classroom portion of the class. She was really excited. But then she always seems to be excited so it's hard to be sure.

Then there is the lady at Safeway. She has just gotten hers and is looking forward to riding in the quiet residential area that she lives in.

I hope them both the best.

So, here it is many days later and the picture that I took of my glasses really didn't turnout, and I am tired of looking at this post in my drafts folder, so here it is pictureless.

Ta!

Balisada

Friday, June 13, 2008

Finals Week 2008

I like finals week.

It's a nice blend of slow and busy with a dash of stress thrown in for good measure. My favorite finals week is Spring term.

Summer is nice and lazy, and the frantic chaos that is Fall term is invigorating, but Spring term brings it's own set of issues that fascinate me.

Like lost cars. People only seem to lose their cars in the parking lot in Spring term. Not that one has been lost this week (we had that a few weeks ago).

So I started this on Wednesday and here it is Friday and I only have 3 paragraphs. It's not like I have been inundated with work to do. It must be a spring thing.

On Monday, I parked in the 'corral' and took a picture of all the bikes that were parked when I got there.

Several motorcycles in a designated motorcycle parking area.
If you look, you can see that there are quite a few bikes there at 8am. Usually, there are only 1 or 2. Finals week means that schedules are a bit different, so I was fortunate to get my usual parking space (that would be me with the Safeway bag hanging off the handlebars).

You can barely see my helmet hidden behind the railing. You can also see that most of the motorcycles are on the 'cool' side of the corral. :)

On Wednesday, I parked in front of the college in a regular parking space. Since the parking lot is almost empty, I feel that my motorcycle is safe from whatever.


A Honda Rebel sits in a parking space next to a van
Today, Friday, my motorcycle is parked there again, but the college is uncharacteristically busy. Folks are taking tests for classes on a non-traditional schedule, and the dental clinic above us is open.

I keep telling my boss that I am going to park inside the building this summer. I tell him that I am entitled, and if I pay a rental fee, then the normal parking rules should not apply. Funny thing is, my Rebel is small enough that it could actually fit through the doors without taking out the middle bar (I could even press the handicapped button), and it could sit quietly in the hall next to my office without any fuss.

Too bad I can't. It would be nice to look up and see my motorcycle.


Ta!


Balisada

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

After 20 Years

A post at Rebel250.com piqued my interest. Click here for post if you are interested.

Someone read a mid year speech by the Honda CEO and posted the interesting parts.

Here they are:
"Honda plans to install PGM-FI [Honda's motorcycle fuel injection technology] on most of its motorcycles worldwide by the end of 2010. "

"Honda plans to install ABS in all 250cc or larger class models worldwide, except off-road models, by the end of 2010."

"In advanced nations, Honda will introduce its innovative environmental and safety technologies including a Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) system for motorcycles which significantly improves fuel efficiency"

Essentially, it means that the Rebel will be getting a facelift.

The Rebel was introduced in 1985 by Honda. Except for a few cosmetic changes, it is the same motorcycle 20 years later.

How is that for staying power?

And now it's going to change. The new Rebels will be getting fuel injection, Anti lock brakes, and a few other extras (someone in the thread mentioned liquid cooling and improved charging components will be needed to support the new additions).

As I ponder the additions, I think that a lot is being added to a rather small motorcycle.

Now, if Honda still had the 450 Rebel hanging around, they could simply kabosh the 250 and put the extras on the 450, since it seems to be more able to handle them.

Of course, I am not a mechanic. Perhaps the Rebel can handle it.

Whatever the result, change is in the wind for Hondas, and a small part of me is jealous.



Ta!

Balisada

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Sunday Update

Really quick update to the post this morning (that would be the previous post).

I adjusted the freeplay and discovered that it is absurdly easy.

The Harley wasn't there, but I there was a dude with a Harley shirt.

Ta!


Balisada

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Leaving a trail

I have been riding my motorcycle to work the last few days.

This is noteworthy because I adjusted my chain again.

Myself.

I don't mind working on my pickup because if parts start falling off, it's no big deal, you are still safe inside (but I have it on good authority that the parts falling of a vehicle will, in fact, make sparks as they bounce along the road).

I am reluctant to work on my motorcycle because I am somehow convinced that I will make a mistake of some kind and that could be a problem when you only have two wheels.

Happily, parts have not fallen off of my motorcycle, but my rear brake did seem a bit more firm than it did before. After some checking, I see that I need to adjust the freeplay. My bad.

When I ride to church on Sundays, I am always the only motorcycle in the parking lot.

So, imagine my surprise when I discover that another motorcycle has wandered to church:



As I post this on a Sunday morning, I do wonder if it will be there today. Last week I looked around for anyone who might own the Harley, but didn't see any likely suspects.

Oh well, I guess I will just have to wait and see.

Ta!

Balisada

Monday, May 12, 2008

Another First

So I thought that after 15,000 miles, I had done all the firsts.

I remember my first bug.

I had ridden to the next town over for a class. The ladies in the class were quite surprised. Almost shocked actually, that I had purchased a bike. They politely looked as I proudly pointed to my helmet and exclaimed:

"See! My first bug!"

I remember the first time someone pulled out in front of me. She was turning left by the way. Go figure.

A few days a go, I found my first pile of bird poop.

Yay.

See, here it is:

So anyway, I had the second part of ART. That's Advanced Rider Training.

I have discovered that my lines suck.

Big surprise there.

They improved toward the end of the day, but I really think that I just memorized the course.

There were tons of motorcycles there because the riding part of my class was postponed, so we joined another class. While they were in class, we were out on the range.

So I need to improve my lines (because I memorized the course, the go cart range where we were had thoughtfully put a striped area at the apex of every turn, so you just had make sure that your turn apexed at that part).

I also need to look through the turns more. They said that I wobbled in the turns because I was moving my head around. I need to work on my peripheral vision.

During the break, I was astonished to discover that several motorcycles had chosen their helmet color to match their bike.

I realize that motorcycles are a personal thing, but I never realized how safety minded I was. Well, at least they were full faced helmets. I would be willing to bet that their jackets probably matched too. I also realized that my tendency to take my helmet with me was not actually common. Many motorcyclists leave their helmets with their motorcycles.

So anyway, here is a pic of my Rebel hanging with the 'big boys".



Yeah, I know there is only one other motorcycle in the picture, but I got there early and the other class was not going to start until an hour after we did.


Ta!

Balisada

Monday, May 5, 2008

My New Chain

Jeez ooooh pete.

You would think that I died or something, since it has been so long since I posted.

So a few weeks ago, I took my new chain to the Advanced Rider Training class in Canby, Oregon. (I brought my motorcycle along too. For kicks.)

I packed a lunch.

I put the liner back into my jacket and wondered if I would have a chance to take it out when I got too hot.

I set my GPS and left early in case I ran into traffic.

Half way to Salem I was reminded once again that my gloves are not, despite what the salesman told me, cold weather gloves, and was very grateful that I had put the liner in my jacket.

So I stopped in Salem at a Walmart Supercenter to warm my hands. As I wandered around I noticed that it only seemed to have food and was setup exactly like the Winco in Corvallis.

Then it hit me.

This is not Walmart. This is Winco.

Duh.

I am so smart.

So I got on my way and found my way quite easily to the go cart track where we would be practicing.

I was the first student to arrive:


Eventually, 8 other students wandered in and class started. It was the classroom in the morning and the range in the afternoon.

After lunch, the instructor looked at the track, rode it a few times and decided to try the afternoon class.

While he explained and the other instructor demonstrated the first exercise, it rained.

Since the track had a thin layer of rubber on it from the go carts, this was not good and class would have to be postponed.

On my way home, I almost stopped in Salem, and it turns out that I should have because I forgot that the freeway is concrete, and it poured. That meant that the spray did not disperse, but instead comes back up, so I had water coming at me from two directions.

But, eventually I got home, because here I am now.

Last weekend (okay, not last weekend but the one before, gee whiz, time flies) was the first entirely nice day after a flurry of cold. rainy weather. It was the kind of day that demanded that the motorcycle go somewhere.

As I prepped the Rebel, it occurred to me that a bowl of clam chowder at the beach sounded nice.

After filling with gas, I headed through Corvallis toward Newport.

I was glad that it wasn't too cold, because after my class (where I got soooo wet in Salem) I had taken the liner out of my jacket and was not really in the mood to once again get cold.

Traffic was light the whole way, so I was free to go just below the speed limit.

Which I did.

That's why I like cruisers. Where sport bikes seem to be in a hurry, cruisers enjoy the scenery.

Which was littered with dead animals.

Really. Lots of them. It must be a spring thing.

I turned right in Newport and headed North toward the Devils Punchbowl. Right at the same spot as the Devil's Punchbowl is Mo's West, and that's where I got my clam chowder.

See, here is my motorcycle at Mo's West:


So, now the weather is starting to be nicer, and I am looking forward to more trips to places in my area.

Yay!

Ta!

Balisada

Thursday, April 17, 2008

A Fixed Chain Rambling

So I have my motorcycle back.

Today was inservice at LBCC so except for some stuff in the morning, the afternoon was mine.

I started out my day by attending a group meeting with my immediate co-workers about an action packed topic - Loss Prevention. On the way there I rather grumpily reflected on how nice a morning it was and it would be super if I rode a motorcycle.

I then attended an assembly of all my co-workers for longevity awards. Yay.

It was on my way to lunch (free with my immediate co-workers) that I got the call I was waiting for.

My motorcycle was ready.

Yay!

I had been thinking the night before that perhaps my motorcycle would not be ready for Monday. I have signed up (and paid for) Advanced Rider Training, and my class was on Monday.

This was unfortunate because my motorcycle was broken. I was really, really, really stressed the day I dropped it off. The shop was scheduling three weeks out, and that would mean that I would miss my class. Fortunately, the shop agreed to look at it and see if the chain was a quick fix.

But I had forgotten my keys when dropping off my motorcycle.

The next day, they said that they didn't have any master links in stock and would have to order one. It never occurred to me that the ordering of the part would put me past my scheduled training date, and I was reluctant to call the shop since they had graciously squeezed me in.

So I was rather happy when they called and said that my motorcycle was ready.

They even washed it.

Cool.

This is what a chain looks like:



Now I was faced with the prospect of getting over to Corvallis to pick it up. Everyone I know was busy.

Fortunately my sister offered to take me over. While she was there she oogled the scooters. She totally needs a scooter.


Ta!

Balisada

Sunday, April 13, 2008

My Bag of Luck

"You start with a bag full of luck and an empty bag of experience. The trick is to fill the bag of experience before you empty the bag of luck."
I think that I have been using my bag of luck lately, and it's all due to my own stupidity.

I have been stressed lately. Lots of stuff piling up on my desk at work and a report that I am working on is overdue.

I should have known that I was overstressed when I was convinced that my dogs food storage bin was empty (even now I am convinced that it was empty), so I bought some more food and found that it was about 1/3 full. Don't know where the food came from, but obviously, I bought some food for him after the last time I fed him. (I put lots of food in an 'endless feeder', so I only feed him about once a week.)

That incident has been on my mind, and I have been considering taking more time off of work, but haven't progressed beyond that.

On the way to church this morning, I was passing the high school track and this rather unpleasant sound comes from my motorcycle and it loses power.

I verify that it's in gear and still no joy.

So I coast to the side of the road and took stock of my situation.

It was a quick check. I was stuck with a motorcycle that had a broken transmission. So, I called my dad.

"Check to see if it's in gear." Yeah, I did that already. I told him that it was in first gear and still rolled freely.

"Check to see if you have a chain." Of course I had a chain. What kind of question was that? But I dutifully checked to see if I had a chain.

My chain was missing.

So my transmission was not broken, but my chain was.

I pulled up to the next crossroad and waited for my dad.

This is what a Rebel looks like with no chain:



See, the chain is right here:



We got a trailer and brought my motorcycle home.

It's now sitting in my garage with no chain, and I have only myself to blame.

I read a book written by a pilot who flew helicopters in Vietnam. He was talking about the preflight checklist and accidents. He had gotten into an accident and said the inquiry usually determined that the cause of accidents was "failure to properly preflight the aircraft".

That would sort of be me.

If I had lubed and checked my chain regularly, I would be sitting in church right now instead of at my computer with a broken motorcycle.

I had just spent 86 miles running around the countryside with a dead cell phone and my motorcycle breaks 2 miles away from home in town.

Rats.

My bag of luck is emptying.


Ta!

Balisada

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Trials and Tribulations

So the weather today was rather nice.

I slept in this morning and watched some TV before setting out to change my oil.

Changing the oil turned out to me more of a task than I had thought. It turns out that when I had it in the shop last, they tightened up the nut a bit tight.

I burned my arm twice before I got the nut loose.

But I did get it loose, and I did get it tightened again.

I also put fresh oil in it.

It was when I went to start it up that I realized that I had left the key on for about an hour and a half and now I had a dead battery.

I hooked the battery up to the Battery Tender and took the liner out of my jacket while I waited. While I waited, I wondered if I would get too cold during my ride.

An hour later, I had the battery charged enough to start and then I discovered that I couldn't keep it started. It kept dying.

I decided that it would wear off and put my gear on and started out. Apparently I thought that the problem would just "go away".

It kept dying.

Dejectedly, I turned into a parking lot and reflected on the fact that my cell phone was dead and that my motorcycle was not working because the problem did not "go away".

Then it hit me.

Someday, I will truly, honestly and deeply remember the purpose of the petcock before I decided that my motorcycle is broken.

After turning the fuel to reserve I went merrily on my way to the gas station.

20 min later, I finally got my gas.

There was only three cars there when I pulled in and it was while before I even saw anyone.

Just after I saw the guy, a pickup pulled in behind me.

Finally the guy comes and says that there is only one of him.

I think that the problem is not that there is one of him, but that the 'one' employee is mismanaging his time.

So he punches some buttons and hands me the nozzle and then goes to help the guy in the truck behind me.

Now that I finally have service, I have no gas pumping into my empty gas tank.

I point this out to the attendant and he leaves the guy (they were just talking anyway, gas can pump itself) and pushes some more buttons and gas finally comes out.

When my tank was full, I put my gascap back on, and waited.

And waited.

And waited while the guy behind me left.

I waited some more.

Then the attendant finally came up and asked if I wanted a receipt. (I refrain from stating a rather sarcastic "No, I just thought I would hang out at your gas station for a while because it's a happening place").

Finally I get to actually go.

Half the day is now past, but I can finally go somewhere.

I decided to wander out past Crabtree and then through Lyons.

It was a nice ride and I lost count of how many motorcycles that I passed.

There is a nice store in Lyons that I stopped at to get some water.

After Lyons I went to Salem. The pace was a bit faster, but the road was still not well traveled so I wasn't forced to go faster than I wanted.

In Salem, I passed the State Penn and stopped at the downtown mall for some Cinnamon Rolls.

I was waiting for a stoplight and I reflected on how hot I was, and remembered that earlier I was actually concerned that I would be too cold.

On the way back from Salem, I went up Commercial, took the Sunnyside Exit and then turned on Enchanted Way. I turned left at the end of that road and went through Jefferson to Scravel Hill road. Scravel Hill took me straight on to Hwy 20 and I took it all the way home.

All said and done, I spent about 86 miles of fun. Here is a link to my ride.

But the guy at the gas station still makes me mad.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Bear-ly Cold Weather

So winter's grasp on the weather is slowly fading and I have been sorely tempted to take out the liner in my jacket. I have resisted because I took it out last year to early and spent a lot of time getting too cold on my motorcycle.

There have been times, however, that I have been hot.

So I unzipped the vents in my arms. It seemed wrong somehow, since the liner was still in my jacket, but it sure made it a bit cooler.

And then a couple of days later it rained and I couldn't figure out how come my arms were wet.

Oh. Yeah. The vents.

So now they are zipped up.

I went on a ride the other day. It was a little jaunt around Albany. I love these farming roads!

So I started out at the College and then went over to Seven Mile Lane and turned off on Frye Road.

Before I turned off on Frye Road I stopped at a "pasture entrance ramp" and fastened down my saddlebags. The small part of me that wants to just not worry about everything wants to leave them unfastened. But they flap around too much.

Shortly after turning off on Frye Road, I saw a bear in the road. Not a real breathing bear, but a stuffed bear. It was gringy with road grime, but was still a new bear.

I was reluctant to fasten Mr Bear to the back of my motorcycle and gave him a short ride to the next driveway and left him propped against a fence post.

After Mr Bear, I turned left on Grand Prairie and followed it to Spicer Drive. I followed Spicer drive for a while and another motorcyclist came up rather fast and passed me after giving me a jaunty wave.

If you want to know, Spicer Drive turns into Tennessee School Drive at Highway 20.

Further more, if you follow it around, it does this little loop thing and ends back up on Highway 20.

It was while I was on the little loop thing, that I was suddenly overcome with the desire to change my oil.

I don't know what the deal was, but for some reason, I was overcome with a deep, resolute and unyeilding need to change my oil.

I was convinced that my oil was old and not protecting my engine and that it was going to leave a trail of parts behind my motorcycle. That's not a fun prospect. My sister knows from personal experience.

So I wandered on home, fully aware that I would not actually be able to change my oil because the engine would have to cool, and it was going to rain. Don't ask me why I didn't just change my oil in the garage. Heaven forbid that I should use the garage for what it was designed for.

So here is a map of my travels that day:


View Larger Map


Ta!

Balisada

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Winters Last Gasp

So I have been riding a bit sparsely lately. Just to work and back really.

I have been tired lately, and although the sun has been out, or at least it has not been raining, I have not really been riding. It turns out that when the sun goes down, it takes what little warmth there is with it.

I did ride to work this morning, as usual.

The weather man on tv, said something about snow levels, and showed his little computer models of little green blobs, (surprisingly his maps of jet streams and cold fronts was missing). He failed to state anything more interesting than "rain at times" for the valley, so I tuned him out.

I think that I should have paid attention to his little green blobs. I seem to recall him saying something about it being cold today, and darn if it wasn't nippy out today.

I must be mentally ready for the warm weather, because I do have a warm face whoozit that keeps my cheeks and chin warm, but it never occurred to me to use it. I have been considering taking the liner out of my jacket lately, but compromised (if you compromise with yourself do you win or lose?) and simply unzipped the air vents in the arms of my jacket.

It was a good thing that I did leave my liner in because it was was indeed cold out this morning.

But I said that already.

So last week, I did actually go for a rather short ride around the outskirts of town. I took some farming roads to see where they went and discovered that they went to hwy 34. Here is a map of my trip.

Just after turning off on Goltra Road, and passing some train tracks, I saw three turkeys in someone's field. I honked my anemic little horn, and they didn't even turn and look.

Great. I don't even get respect from wild turkeys. I hope you end up as the guest of honor at Thanksgiving.

I like those spiderweb of farm roads that we have in the valley. It makes for interesting riding in the warmer months. It's great for new riders because traffic is often light on those roads and their many twists and turns, as they wind around the properties makes for good practice.

So last week it was finals week at the Community College where I work.

When I returned to my motorcycle to go home, I discovered that all the motorcycles were parked on the "cool" side of the corral. (It's going to be a while before that gets old).

There were only three of them, and as I looked it occurred to me that (follow my reasoning, here):

1. My side of the corral is the "cool" side of the corral.
2. Therefore, since the presence of my motorcycle makes it the cool side of the corral, the other motorcycles must be groupies!

Okay, stop rolling your eyeballs. I was fighting a cold that day that was actually brought on by my stubbornly riding in cold and wet weather (I got soooo wet on the way home last Wednesday).

Here is the picture of my groupies:


So, if there was one Harley (yeah, I know that the one is a Yamaha, work with me here) on each side, then they would be body guards. ;)


Ta!

Balisada

Friday, March 14, 2008

It's Going to be a While Before This Gets Old

So it's getting to be the end of the term.

There are three Honda Rebels that park in the motorcycle parking where I work and occasionally I meet one. A few weeks ago I posted a picture of when all three were at the same place at the same time.



Last week, I again went to my motorcycle and found that all three were again there and, in the same place:



They are even in the same order!

It's going to be a while before this gets old.

Actually, this is probably the last time that all three will be together at the same time, given that the term is ending and next term the schedules will not be the same.

So, it's been warmer and I have been wanting to wander further than the usual trip home, and twice I have started out somewhere only to have the sun set.

I keep forgetting that at this time of the year, when the sun sets, it takes the warmth with it, and my gloves are really not that warm.

I don't think much will happen this Saturday either because I think that it's supposed to rain.

I know that I have really been riding all winter, but I do have my limits.

We will have to see what happens.


Ta!

Balisada

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Modified Trips and Lines that Blow

So I went to Siletz this last Saturday. Here is my route.

My aunt has written a children's book and has donated a copy to the library in Siletz. Apparently, on the library's birthday, she also did a book signing.

The plan was to attend the 15 minute book signing and then wander over to the coast and get some clam chowder. I figured that I would know where to eat when I saw it.

You know what they say about the best laid plans of mice and men.

So I went through Corvallis, and then Philomath and finally Siletz. Philomath was doing some improvements on main street for a while and it looks like they have finished the project, so the streets are nice and flat. No potholes yet.

A short time after Philomath three motorcyclists merged onto the highway in front of me. They were a group of some kind because they each had a small yellow flag with a blue logo on it. The area that they came out of had a little store, so they must have stopped there for a short break.

So I gave them some space, but traffic slowed, and I kept moving up on them.

I am always mindful of another riders space behind them, because I know that some riders do not like to ride with people that they don't know.

I also know that new riders will sometimes try to join a group. So it was not my intention to join them, and I hope that they realized that.

Their ride took them to the town of Toledo and they turned off there.

Overall, it was a nice trip to Siletz. No really interesting things happened. Of course the speed was slower than normal, so it was easier to enjoy the scenery and the day.

The 15 minutes I had planned to spend in the library turned into an hour and a half, and was then followed by pizza at the local pizza place with a few of my relatives (I have a million and lots had shown up).

I had to leave the party early in order to make sure that I was not going to traveling the mountains in the dark.

It was on the way back I came to a rather difficult discovery.

My lines suck.

Meybee they blow.

Perhaps they bite.

In April I will be attending an ART class. That's Advance Rider Training. You get to take it when you get 12,000 miles experience.

I can just see the instructor in ART class telling me that my lines are bad:

"Hey, you on the red-headed-stepchild-of-a-motorcycle! Your lines are bad. Are you just riding randomly in the lane, or are you actually planning and scanning the road ahead?"

Perhaps the instructor will be more like what you see in boot camp:

"HEY MAGGOT! WHERE ARE YOUR LINES!"

"YOU WERE ISSUED LINES IN BASIC RIDER TRAINING! WHERE ARE THEY NOW? HAVE YOU BEEN TAKING CARE OF YOUR LINES? HAVE YOU BEEN USING YOUR LINES?"

These are my lines.
There are many like them,
but these lines are mine.

My lines without me are useless.
Without my lines, I am a cross on the side of the road.


So I guess I will be finding lots of twisty roads to practice my lines.

Ta!

Balisada

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A black sheep and the "cool" side of the corral

So last Saturday found me on my motorcycle.

It was a nice day and I just had to be on my motorcycle, so I picked a direction.

The direction that I picked was north.

So I went the back way on Scravel Hill to Jefferson and then north to Salem. (FYI, if you go this way, remember when you come up to the freeway, take the Enchanted Way road just before the freeway. Then you are not speeding along a freeway. When you do meet up with the freeway, there is this odd little sort of exit/merge thing that will allow to to get to Commercial Ave in Salem without actually getting onto the freeway. You cannot go south this way, however without actually getting on the freeway for a short mile.)

If you keep on Commercial and then turn left on the bridge to Dallas, you can turn off at Rickreal, and then go Corvallis.

It's a nice ride. There was a lot of motorcycle traffic before Salem, due to the fact that the roads were really not very well traveled.

After Salem, there was a lot of traffic and no motorcycle traffic.

The speed limit on the road from Salem to Corvallis was 55, but traffic really goes 65+. Probably why there was no motorcycle traffic.

The first time I was on the road, I was going from Corvallis to Salem, and was on my way to my 600 mile checkup for my motorcycle.

I had only 600 miles total experience with a motorcycle and really didn't want to be on the freeway just yet.

It turns out that I probably should have been on the freeway, because that road that day scared the crap out of me.

So anyhow, here is a map of my travels that day. There was a stop off in Corvallis for lunch at King Tin. Click here for the map.

Okay. Now, listen to this.

I get to work just before 8 to an usually an empty motorcycle parking area. It's a cool area that is enclosed with a railing, that makes it a kind of corral for motorcycles. It's also a bit further into the college than regular parking so motorcyclists get to park up closer than the others.

If I am running late then often there will be a motorcycle or two when I get there and I always park in the same place (I like predictable). The others will often be parked in the same places too, but we are scattered randomly around the corral.

When I return to my motorcycle at the end of the day, more than once, all the motorcycles are parked on the other side of the corral.

What am I, a red-headed stepchild?

Is my motorcycle the geek of the motorcycle world?


Look for yourself:


All the motorcycles are clearly on the OTHER side of the corral!

And then it hit me.

My side of the corral is the cool side of the corral.

See look for yourself, and drink in the coolness of the Rebel:



On the "cool" side of the corral, it goes Rebel, Rebel, Vulcan, Rebel.

The other side of the corral, had a Shadow and a sportbike (Sorry, not up on my sportbikes, so I don't know what kind it was.)

It's good to be me.

Ta!

Balisada

Friday, February 8, 2008

Lost and Found and Lost for Good

So the weather on Wednesday morning was not raining, but supposed to rain later in the day.

Good enough for me.

During work it rained:




The rainfall was rather light, so I planned to ride to church later that evening, and when the time came to go, I had dried out.

But I found that it had started raining a bit harder. Since it was going to be too much time and trouble to put the Rebel away, and that was going to make me late, so I rode.

It turns out that I should have drove anyway.

I was rather soaked. My wet pants even dripped into my socks, making my shoes squish when I walked.

By the time I got home, I was one giant puddle.

I think I caught a cold. I am still stuffed up a bit.

To top it all off, when I got to church, I found that one of my ears had come off.

This is what a helmet looks like with only one ear:

Happily, I found my ear on the deck on my way into the house (that would be silver lining in my puddle).

Here it is:


I can see that this new helmet is going to be hard on the ears. The graphics on the helmet create just enough of a difference between graphics that, combined with ordinary road dirt, is going to be tough on the ears (the seal with the suction cup).

I think that I am going to have to purchase a bunch more.

So Saturday, I watched the Space Shuttle dock with the International Space Station.

It was the kind of day that only motorcyclists appreciate.

The first nice day toward the end of winter. While the Space Shuttle docked on TV, I could see the blue sky peek out from behind the clouds.

The roads were dry, and finally, it was not cold.

I pulled the Rebel out of the garage and picked a direction after stopping for air and gas.

Unfortunately, just outside of town, I found that the reflection in my speedometer was shy an ear, and backtracking the path did not find my ear on the side of the road.

So I had to return home and get a new set.

Fortunately, I had tied the replacement ears and tail together with thread, because the suction cup on the new tail was slightly flawed and it kept coming off.

So headed out of town towards Brownsville, and then toward Coburg. Going through Coburg (slowly, because I hear that the local Police are pretty quick with the ticket book), and ended up in Eugene. Lunch was at IHOP:




On the way home I took the freeway. I like the freeway. Not as many distractions for the driver, so it's really not as dangerous as surface streets. It's just faster.

I got up to 75 miles per hour on the Rebel.

The semi truck in front of me moved to pass someone, and the semi truck in front of him went to pass the same person.

I decided that whatever prompted them to pass, was prompting me to pass too and I passed, what turned out to be a truck pulling a trailer.

When they returned to the right lane, I found a long line of semis effectively blocking my way.

So, I rolled on the throttle and passed a loooooooooong line of semis. There were probably 20 of them, and they were all in the right lane blocking me from merging over, and the traffic behind me was not letting me go my usual 65.

Eventually, there was a break in the trucks and I merged back into the right lane and let what turned out to be one car by.

One car.

I busted my butt for one car.

Oh well.

A link on Google Maps of my route. Click Here.


Ta!


Balisada

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Distracted Driving and Multitasking

I know that I am supposed to be droning on about where I went on my motorcycle, and what I did when I got there, but the weather has been rather unco-operative lately. Although I almost rode today, I was dissuaded by the thought of my mom or dad finding out (stop rolling your eyeballs ;) - It's simply not worth the hassle of them calling me and complaining.)

I read a couple of articles about similar topics.

The first was about multitasking.

URL:
http://www.informationweek.com/shared/printableArticle.jhtml?articleID=205921005


The folks at OSU have done a study and found that really, you can only do so much at once.

Really.

They found that 4 is really the most that you can do at once. If you do more than that, you are doing a lousy job.

Which brings me to my next article that I found from Bikes in the Fast Lane.

It's a collection of motorcycles that have lots of doo-dads on and around the handlebars.

URL:
http://news.motorbiker.org/blogs.nsf/dx/busy-motorcycle-cockpit-too-much-data.htm

Motorcyclists are quick to complain that drivers always seem be distracted, but as technology becomes more affordable, are motorcyclists starting down the same distracted path?

We joke about the reasons that a Goldwing rider does not wave back (#2 Was simultaneously adjusting the air suspension, seat height, programmable CD player, seat temperature and satellite navigation system.) But as the toys get more sophisticated, that statement may someday be true.

So, since people can really only think of 4 things at once, and "gadget bloat" is increasing, how many toys do you really want on your motorcycle?

I read a book called "Chickenhawk". It's about a helicopter pilot in Vietnam. He mentioned in the book that they don't actually look at all the dials at once, they are trained to look at them in patterns. Perhaps those with all the gadgets don't look at them all once.

Okay. Whatever works.

As long as you don't crash into me.

So each post should have one picture, and below is a picture of my rebels friend. I parked it in an empty lot, and returned to discover that my Rebel had found a friend.




Ta!

Balisada