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.


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


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.


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.



Saturday, January 19, 2008

Motorcycle Thoughts and a Short Trip

So I read this post from "The Great Motorcycle Pizza Tour" titled: "Ten Ways Motorcycling Improves Your Life"

It's a rather interesting list of things that motorcycles do to improve your life. He mentions that:
The unfortunate cage-bound citizens around us, however, don't understand. They see the risk, but not the rewards.
You got that right. How many people on the road have the privilege of traveling in or on their preferred mode of transportation?

You don't see minivan owners pausing for a moment to connect for just an instant with another minivan owner by waving. Although I am told that Mustang owners do wave at each other.

Pieces of his list:

1 -
Fun. Motorcycling is the second most fun activity one could engage in. The third most fun is eating pizza, and the first most fun I'll leave up to your imagination, because my mom reads this blog.
I got my motorcycle because I was tired of paying three dollars a gallon for gas and needed something cheaper to get me to work.

I didn't know that motorcycles would be soooo much fun.

2 -
Calm. Road rage? No thanks, I've got my motorcycle. Sure, I've had to stop at 20 red lights, been cut off twice and my ear itches something fierce. It's ok, because, unlike my poor, trapped brethren in their cages, I'm still having a great time.
I find that I prefer to travel places on a motorcycle, rather than on four wheels. On four wheels, the point was the destination. On two wheels, the destination was only half the fun. Getting there was the other half.

6 -
New friends everywhere. If you've got a motorcycle, you've got new friends. All you have to do is be willing to talk to them. For all I rag on Harley dorks, I've met more great guys on Harleys than jerks. And the great thing about the jerks is that most of them are just too cool to talk to you.
This was an unexpected thing that I found happening to me every once in a while.

I would be standing in line minding my own business, waiting patiently for the line to move so I could get my morning double-shot-no-whip-non-fat-real-caramel-white-mocha, when the person next to me would strike up a conversation about how they used to ride motorcycles but had to stop, or they would mention that their son rides motorcycles. It's like everywhere I go, there is someone that I can converse to about something, and not have to sit in the corner by myself. Cool.

Except for the one guy I met at Starbucks who got all mad at me because I had the nerve to put tiger ears and a tail on a five hundred dollar helmet. I bet whatever it is that he rides or drives, he does so only for the image and not the fun. Pity.

10 -
A bike makes your butt look fast. Seriously, just like a monkey makes everything funnier, everyone's butt looks better on a motorcycle. You know it's true.
I have been thinking on and off about a larger motorcycle. I will have to keep this in mind and take someone else with me - "Does this bike make my butt look fast?".

So I was pondering this list on the way to church this morning.

I was running a bit late because I spent to long on the internet trying to figure out what the weather was going to be like. Ordinarily, I would simply look out the window, but today I was going to a different church in the next town over to listen to a series that promised to be interesting.

The weather I finally ended up finding stated "30% chance of rain - something something something." I actually stopped reading after that because 30% chance rain was good enough for me.

So I was just leaving town, and the car in front of me headed out onto the freeway.

I paused for a moment, and then followed.

The roads were sort of dry and there couldn't be all that much traffic.

It turns out that the freeway was indeed mostly dry, (Okay, fairly dry) but not devoid of traffic. There was a fair amount of cars and trucks.

I also saw another motorcycle across the median in the oncoming lane. I waved and received a corresponding wave.

I have always wondered about waving to motorcyclists on the other side of the freeway. If they don't wave, was it because they didn't see you, or did they just ignore you?

While on the freeway I pondered the list. I was indeed having fun.

Yes, I was cold.

Yes, I was damp.

But I was rather happy.

On the way home, I took a longer way home, not on a freeway, with a detour through yet another town (so it went: Albany, Jefferson, Albany, Corvallis, Albany).

I would like to point out that it was cold because my gloves are not a warm as I would like.

I stopped at the store and bought a few things that I needed.

I also bought some things that I didn't really need. Fortunately, I fit it all on the Rebel with a bungee web that I had bought (I received some balloons at work for my birthday, and needed a way to get them home. No way, no how am I going to transport the balloons by simply tieing them on the end of the Rebel. Short fat woman on a motorcycle with tiger ears and tail on the helmet and balloons on the back - YouTube fodder if I ever saw it).

Here is a picture of my Rebel and my purchases:

At least it's not loaded up like those ones you see in Asia.



Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Cold Weather and Delayed Postings

I started this post intending to post right away, but was stopped by some busyness that came up. It's a week later, and the busyness is only just slowing down. So it's kind of a timeline, of sorts.


So it's winter and riding has really been the pitts.

Cold weather has made riding difficult because it has been wet and cold, so the roads are not really good for motorcycles. I travel to work rather early.

Well, I call it early.

I have to be there at 8am, so the roads are not always the best at that hour. A bit later in the day, they are better for riding, but by then I am at work.

I recently ran across an article from someone who talks about waving to other riders. He then mentions "Nothing separates the true bikers from the wannabes like 30-degree temperatures."

He says that for the past week he has passed nothing on 2 wheels over a scooter.

That's hardcore.

You have to admire those folks on scooters. I wave at them, but they usually don't wave back. I don't think that they intentionally ignore me, I think that they are so into their ride, buzzing along (probably trying not to get run over), that they don't see me waving.

Here is the link to the article:


So it is a bit later (Jan 8th), and Andy (Good Day Oregon weatherman) promised clouds today and rain this evening. Since it was not all that cold, I rode to work.

Yes, I know that all around the valley, weather is making for interesting travel. But the roads were clear and the weather was really not cold enough to freeze the roads (or it cleared before I went to work).

There was only one motorcycle in motorcycle parking this morning.


I can't help but assume that my poor Rebel will be lonely all day:

I should have parked in the exact center of the motorcycle parking, to illustrate my Rebel's loneliness.

On my way to the lunchroom, I stopped by the motorcycle parking and discovered a total of 5 motorcycles in the motorcycle parking.

Good thing I didn't park in the center.

So it would appear that I am not the only "nutty motorcyclist" in the area (as folks in cars would say). At least my Rebel has another motorcycle to talk to.