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.


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.



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.


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.



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.


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.