Thursday, December 3, 2009

Civil War

To the victors go the Roses!

Go Ducks!



Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Summer Recaps

So my socks were sort of squishy tonight.

I must have gotten a lot of odd looks on the way home in the pouring down rain.

So, a few months ago, I was looking through the Oregon Revised Statutes. For all who are not in the know, that is what Oregon calls it's laws.

I forget specifically what I was looking for but I stumbled upon this:

811.385 Depriving motorcycle or moped of full lane;


(1) A person commits the offense of depriving a motorcycle or moped of a full lane if the person operates a motor vehicle upon a roadway laned for traffic in a manner that prevents a moped operator or motorcyclist from full use of a lane.

(2) This section does not apply to operators of motorcycles or mopeds whose use of lanes is controlled by ORS 814.240 (Motorcycle or moped unlawful passing) and 814.250 (Moped or motorcycle operating more than two abreast).

(3) The offense described in this section, depriving a motorcycle or moped of a full lane, is a Class B traffic violation. [1983 c.338 §685]

That means I get my whole lane sweet pea.

So, I haven't been doing much this summer. Just been commuting.

A couple of days ago I put the liner in my jacket and switched to my winter gloves. It made for an interesting ride to church because I grabbed the two gloves on top and left the house, locking the door behind me. It turns out that I had grabbed one summer glove and one winter glove. Fortunately, one was left and the other right, so I was able to ride anyway.

Over the summer I did do a few things.

I went to the Albany Bike Night.

And I also went to the Corvallis Bike Night.

There is something cool about seeing a row of helmets somewhere, ya know?

And I pushed the limits of what can be carried on the back of a Rebel.

All in all it was a good summer.



Monday, August 10, 2009

Tag, Your'e Not It

So I went to the Pow-Wow in Siletz this weekend.

I was going to park in the Bullpen and ride the short bus (giggle, giggle) to the grounds because it was easier, but I decided instead to park in the grass behind the camping area. This meant that it was a short walk to my motorcycle, and I was not dependent on buses of any kind.

I have found that generally, parking attendants are not prepared for motorcycles. He pointed me to a general area, and since it was fine by me, I complied, but he changed his mind and had me park a different direction slightly over more out of the way.

It turns out that the change was good because when I returned to my motorcycle, my single space had become "motorcycle parking".

After getting home, I was more tired than usual. I had been buffeted more than usual by the coastal winds and it tired me out.

Subject change.

I have been playing "Photo Tag" with some other motorcyclists in the area.

The point is simple. Someone takes a picture of their motorcycle somewhere and posts it.

The first one to post a picture of their motorcycle in the same spot is "it".

That person now has 24 hours to post a new photo of their motorcycle somewhere else and it begins again.

The latest picture as of this morning showed Timberlinn Park. I took a picture of the computer screen and after work rode off to tag it.

It was a good thing that I took a picture of the screen because the angle is different.

After getting home, I was surprised to discover that someone had beat me to it by an hour.

Oh well.

Better luck next time.



Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Naked Helmets

So, I had prepped a post about the photo-tag that I tagged, but I didn't post it, and right now my helmet is much more interesting.

Yesterday, as I was taking off my helmet in the parking lot at work, several vehicles sped rapidly out of the parking lot. As I put my helmet down to get my camera out, the tail fell off of my helmet.

Usually, when the ears and/or tail fall off the helmet, they fall off suction cup and all, and oddly enough they fall off when I put the helmet down, or some other stationary and opportune moment. You would think that they would fall off at 55 mph, but it's usually somewhere I can simply pick them up again and stick them back on.

This time, however, the tail had come apart from the suction cup. I think that this tail broke because I noticed that it had a tendency to swoop in a circle (the different tails that I have had seem to swoop and flutter differently), and I think that it twisted enough to break the thread holding the tail to the suction cup.

This is what a helmet looks like with no tail:

And this is what a helmet looks like with nothing at all (WARNING!! NAKED HELMET BELOW!)

On a different note, I had the opportunity to take a picture of my motorcycle from a different angle. Mine would be the good looking one. ;)



Monday, July 20, 2009

Freeway Speeds

Last Friday found me on the freeway going South.

Yes, the Rebel will go freeway speeds. (Isn't it neat how they let motorcycles that small on the freeway?)

So, I was on my way to Eugene to visit my sister and attend a Party-Lite party. That is where we ladies get together and take in lovely candle fragrances and chat about the things that ladies talk about.

I had gotten the time wrong and needed to take the freeway to be on time.

Yes, I could have taken 99 and gone through Junction City, but since the candles that are passed around rarely get past me, I was not about to deprive myself of any missed opportunities.

So I opted for the freeway.

I had not been on the freeway for a while and welcomed the opportunity.

I don't know about freeways elsewhere in the US, but in Oregon, they are really not a problem. Traffic is usually pretty mellow.

Folks who are not motorcycle oriented tend to worry more when they find out that I take my 250 on the freeway.

I don't know how to explain to them that the freeway is actually safer than surface streets in towns.

Here's why:
  • No cross traffic. All traffic is going only forward.
  • No stopping and rate of travel is consistent.
  • Not as many distractions. In a town, there are pedestrians, lights, Taco Bell, going-out-of-business-sign-guys, Starbucks, ect.
So I found myself on the freeway on my way to a plethora of candle scents.

I won't tell my dad that I got my motorcycle up to 80 mph, in the fast lane even. He worries.

After returning a few waves from passers by (people tend to wave at the ears), I ended up in Eugene safe and sound.

I must have had a bit of the freeway still in the system, because yesterday found me on the way to Green Peter Reservoir, and where I usually find myself going just below the speed limit, I found that I was tending to exceed it.

Except for the one time that I looked away.

I think that the car in front of me was in the process of stopping when I looked away, because when I looked back a moment later, it was almost stopped (sweet pea, 4 lanes of traffic and no light, the pedestrian can cross when it's clear).

I wasn't following very closely, since I had spent the miles in between Lebanon and Sweet Home practicing following for more than 2 seconds.

But I was a little curious to know if I would stop in time.

I was delighted to discover that without squealing tires and not very much pressure on either brake, I stopped in plenty of time. All those quick stops paid off.

I don't think I will be telling Dad that either.

The last time I was up at the Green Peter Dam, I actually parked my motorcycle in the road and took pictures. The only traffic was me.

This time it was actually quite busy. I was surprised.

I took one crappy picture of my motorcycle, and returned.

I was delighted to discover that my subconscious was not obsessed with speed anymore because I had no problem whatsoever keeping to the speed limit.

I think that next Sunday, I am heading to the coast for some clam chowder.



Sunday, July 5, 2009

Need Not Apply, Sort Of

I don't know what it is about exclusive clubs that annoys the living daylights out of me.

Usually, I have no interest in the club at hand, but the fact that the club states that I cannot attend annoys the ever-loving-daylights out of me.

So, I am getting my netbook ready for notes at church today and I realize that the announcement is about motorcycles.

Men's prayer breakfast and motorcycle ride immediately following.


I didn't want to be in your dumb club anyway.

Just remember that I still have more miles than you this year, and I did it on a starter bike.

And I am a woman.



Monday, June 15, 2009

Ride to Work Day 2009

I found out that Ride to Work day has moved.

The point is still to ride to work on your motorcycle, but it has moved from July to June. The website states some good reasons for moving the day, like cooler temps and better news coverage (something about Sunday being a slow news day).

Ride to Work day is really why I got my motorcycle to begin with.

I was working temporarily at a larger company and had wandered down on my lunch break to the parking lot where the company had asked all who ride motorcycles to park in a specific area so that all the employees could see just how many motorcycles were ridden to work each day.

It was there that I discovered that there were in fact, motorcycle's that were short enough for short people like me.

After that, I got my own motorcycle and have never gotten off of it since.



Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Getting Out

I'm wet.

Earlier today, an email arrived stating that a thread that I was following at Pacific Northwest Riders ( had been updated.

A quick look told me that tonight was Corvallis Bike Night.

It was something that I had always seen in the forums, and almost went a couple of times, but never could really make it.

I tend to play a lot of computer games. Lately it's been a lot of World of Warcraft and Sims3, but I wanted to have a conversation with someone who was:

A: Not related to me.

B: Over the age of 16.

I stopped by home and picked up my netbook (in case no one showed up I could go to church in Brownsville) and wandered over to the gathering.

I am really uncomfortable around people I don't know, so I am delighted to say that I had a great time.

Just getting into Corvallis, a motorcyclist turned onto a street the same way that I was going and intuitively I knew that we were going to the same place.

It was actually a good thing I crossed his path because we didn't stop at the pizza parlor that I thought we were going to stop at.

On the way home, it rained.

Not just sprinkles, or showers.


I could feel the water rapidly seeping into my shoes even before I was out of Corvallis.

I don't think that my pants were able to absorb any more water.

And I loved every minute of it.



Sunday, May 31, 2009

Keen Observations

I cleaned my coat this weekend.

In retrospect, I see that it really needed it. I don't do this very often because it is always a big production to clean and dry my jacket.

The dogs toy bin was emptied out and filled with water, and the jacket, minus the armour, was put in to soak. This time around I added my high-vis vest and my helmet liner to soak.

I stirred them around a few times in a rather futile attempt to mimic a washing machine and left the bin in the sun.

The heat of the day had set in when I returned later to hang them out to dry.

At the end of the day, when I brought them in, I learned something very interesting.

Items left drying in the sun, take an exponentially shorter amount of time to dry if they are left to dry in sunny hot weather.

Okey-dokey. Have to remember that one.

All of you suzie-homemaker-types, stop rolling your eyeballs at me. Auntie Balisada is "microwave compatible". I like my microwave ovens and my washing machine. Yeah, the washing machine grumbles because I kind of packed everything in, but whatever.

Where usually, my jacket is hanging in the bathtub all night (hmm, now that I think about it, this whole drying in the heat thing is probably why my sister was a bit confused when I wanted to dry my jacket in the bathtub the first time I washed it), this time it was dry before I went to bed.


Well, getting ready for church this morning I kind of forgot about cleaning my jacket and was actually rather late because I was putting the armour in the little slots.

. . . and emptying the water from the pockets.

Yeah, I forgot that the pockets are rather water tight, so to speak, so that when water collects, it really collects, and drips out of the pockets when the jacket is turned every which way.

I am so observant too. I actually spent some time trying to figure out where the spot of water on the carpet came from. Looked at the ceiling. No, my ceiling did not suddenly develop a hole. No cups or bowls of water anywhere. The CIA is not going to snatch me up anytime soon because they need my quick thinking skills! It is a good thing I practice all the right motorcycle skills I need on the road!

A quarter of a roll of paper towels later, my pockets were dry and I was on my way to church.

Late but on my way.

I am not surprised that I didn't see the moped in my way in, because I was rather late.

But I saw it on my way out. Actually, I saw it in my mirror as I was getting ready start my motorcycle. Almost missed it on the way in and out.

And I worry about cars being observant enough to see me. Sheesh. I think that the pot may be calling the kettle black so to speak.

It was not until later that I recalled a conversation I had at church with someone. It is common knowledge at church that I ride all the time, even in rather 'interesting' weather. The day had finally come where it was nice weather and a lot of folks remarked to me how nice the weather was for riding.

One person, in mentioning the nice weather, stated that he should go home and get his moped.

Yes, Auntie Balisada, woman of quick intellect and sharp observations, has only just realized this might be his moped an hour or two after seeing it.

Now if I could just remember who I was talking to.



Monday, May 18, 2009

Spring Beginnings

"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free."

So says the words at the base of the Statue of Liberty.

It almost seems like a Harley Davidson commercial. All I need is an artful photo of a Harley Fatboy in front of the Statue of Liberty and I am good to go.

It sounds corny, but really it sums up my Sunday.

I was delighted to discover that I was finally not the only motorcycle in the parking lot at church. I recognized the dual-sport, but there was another that I didn't immediately recognize. The owner chose to leave their helmet on their motorcycle, so I didn't get a chance to at least wave to the owner.

These past few months my mind has been troubled.

So when the weather was glorious after church, it didn't take much prompting to find me on the way to the coast for clam chowder.

Just a quick stop at work to pick up my cell phone, since I had left it there the day before, and I was on my way.

All motorcycles that I saw on the way told me that a lot of other folks were "yearning to breathe free" as well. It has been a long time since I have seen so many motorcycles.

There were not so many at the coast, probably due to the fact that it was rather nippy and foggy there, but the clam chowder at Mo's West was actually rather good.

So, it was a refreshed and happy Balisada that returned from lunch at the coast.

I paid more for lunch than I did in gas.

I really like my motorcycle.



Monday, May 4, 2009

Not Exactly


So I watch the news every morning before I go to work.

I watch just enough to find out what the weather is going to be like for my dog and to find out if there are going to be thundershowers or hail. I will not ride in that kind of weather, so I try to pay attention.

This morning, to be honest I heard the man talk, but didn't take in the words.

All that I remembered is that there was something about rain.

Sweet pea, this is Oregon.

We get rain.

Lots and lots of it.

Like Eskimos have several different words for ice, we even have words for the different types of rain.

Honestly, I ignored him. It was one of those days where I was going to ride no matter what.

Well, this afternoon it rained.

Yes, actually rained.

Not a mist.

Not a drizzle.

Not a shower.

Actual rain, that actually made me rather wet.

My socks were not exactly squishy, but I was most certainly rather wet all over.

And you know what?

Still quite happy.

People who drive, often just don't get why we motorcyclists are still out in the rain, happily riding along.

If I ever figure it out myself, I will be sure to let them know.



Tuesday, April 7, 2009


The somewhat rainy weather today was made gloomier with the memory of the glorious sunny day that I had last Sunday.

I had gotten my motorcycle from it's 20,000 mile checkup and intended to start working on the next millage milestone.

I had decided on an easier trip for my first trip of the year and took hwy 99 to Eugene.

On the way, I was saddened to see a horse laying down in apparent injury. I slowed, but since the owners were not home, and not knowing anything about horses, there was nothing I could do.

I found out later that the horse was fine. Someone who knows horses said that on that same day he saw several horses taking in the sun in exactly the same fashion that the one that I saw.

Since no trip to Eugene was complete without lunch and a cinnamon roll. I took in lunch and stopped off at the mall to get a cinnamon roll.

It was on the way back that I had an interaction with someone who just doesn't get it.

I was in the left turn lane turning left, and he was in the opposing lane turning right.

So essentially we were both turning onto the same 4-lane road from opposing directions.

Except that I took offense at sharing the road and he didn't seem to mind if he almost got hit by a vehicle much larger than him.

I bet a semi-truck driver that had tried the same thing with him would have received a much ruder gesture than just pointing to the two lanes, and some choice words to reinforce the point.

But somehow it's always my fault, even if I did have the right-a-way.

But as a motorcyclist, I cannot afford to assume that he was going to merge into the right lane. You know what happens when you assume.

You make an ass out of U and that other guy.



Monday, March 30, 2009

20,000 Miles

So last week was Spring Break.

You would think that the College where I work would be empty, but actually it was a beehive of activity.

The contractors were busy pouring concrete on one side of my office, and busy building a building on the other side of me. In the parking lot a tractor safety class was being held. In another parking lot, facilities was using a scissors-lift to check the parking lot lights. Sometime in the middle of the week, the Diesel shop needed a couple of large machines picked up and another dropped off.

That's a lot of activity for someplace that is not even really open.

But today was day one of Spring Term 2009, and I was thoughtful regarding a post in another blog that I read.

He was talking about special parking for low emissions vehicles and how motorcycles usually fit into that category.

Generally, motorcycles fit into the "cheap, economical and (depending on your point of view) environmental friendly" category.

So, I was thinking about this as I left work today, and was delighted to discover that I was only 4 miles away from 20,000 miles. After frittering away three and a half miles, I took a before picture:

Then I took an after picture:

20,000 miles.

That is a lot of miles on a motorcycle that is really considered to be a "starter bike" in the motorcycle world.

A couple of years ago, someone started a discussion on a Honda Rebel Newsgroup that I belong to regarding the economics of motorcycles.

It was inevitable that the more numbers minded members would work out the numbers of owning a motorcycle.

Generally, it works out like this:

MSRP for a 2009 Honda Rebel: $3399
Arai Quantum II Helmet: $525 (or a less expensive brand, for about $100)
Insurance Premuim Per Year: $230
Basic Rider Training: $150
Riders Skills Practice: $90
Advanced Rider Training: $150
Revit Jacket: $450
Winter Gloves: $90
Summer Gloves: $70
Willie and Max Saddlebags: $250
Floorboards from Jacks Rebel Warehouse: $139
Yearly Maintenance: est. $200
Gas: $4.33 per fill up (I'm sorry, how much were you guys in the minivans spending on a fill up during that last gas price hike?)

So while some costs are only spent once (motorcycle, training courses, ect), some are spent more often (yearly, every few years, or every week) and it was decided by the person who did the numbers that really, motorcycles are only economical if you were going to buy a second vehicle anyway. Then really, you would spend less.

But, the poster also pointed out, rather astutely I might add:

YOU DO HAVE THAT WONDERFUL MOTORCYCLE FEELING, which is the biggest and best advantage, and one cannot really put a dollar value on this!

That wonderful motorcycle feeling.

I originally got a motorcycle in 2005 because I was not interested in spending $4.50 a gallon for gas and was really only intent on using it to commute to work and back in the summer.

My sister said once that when I got on my motorcycle, I never really got off.

And she is right.

I discovered that wonderful motorcycle feeling and found that even though it costs me a bit more to run the motorcycle than it does to run my pickup, I prefer the motorcycle because of the "wonderful motorcycle feeling".

And part of that "wonderful motorcycle feeling" is what I paid to fill it up today:



Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Need Not Apply - Take 2

I realize that this is rather petty, but I am not going to let this go.

Another quick article in the local paper today caught my attention.

Apparently the ignorant tight ass society is trying again to make a go of making a club.

New motorcycle club to meet Friday

Anyone interested in starting a new road brother chapter motorcycle club can meet at 5 p.m. Friday at Chasers Bar on Second Avenue in downtown Albany.

Members must have an American-made motorcycle 880cc or bigger.

For more information, call Westside at (503) 851-7529.

Apparently, the cc requirement is down from 883, to 880, and they are meeting again, so I am forced to wonder if enough people showed up.

But I still don't want to be in your dumb group.



Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Need Not Apply

I perked up at reading the headline:

Riders invited to start new motorcycle club

So I clicked on the article, and found it to be rather short:

Motorcyclists interested in starting a club for riders of American-made bikes with engines that are at least 883cc’s are invited to a meeting at 5 p.m. Friday at Humpty’s Dump, 916 Old Salem Road N.E. For more information, contact Westside at (503) 851-7529.


I didn't want to be in your dumb group anyway.



Monday, March 2, 2009


So it's been raining off and on for the last several weeks.

The week before the weather was iffy, but it didn't rain.

As I was turning into the church driveway, I saw two motorcycles down the road. I hoped that they would turn in to church, but statistically, I knew that they wouldn't.

Imagine my surprise when I found that they did indeed turn into church, and we all parked together in two spaces.

I have been seeing more motorcycles in the parking lot lately. Last Sunday it was two cruisers, a month or two ago it was a dual-sport. Sadly, the only motorcycle that I see regularly is the Harley Davidson Springer Classic, and that is during the summer months and not very often. I only saw the dual-sport once, and yesterday I forgot to check the sanctuary for the two cruiser riders I saw the week before.

I forgot to check because, yesterday on the way to church I got caught in the weather.

The weather was okay the week before, and it wasn't raining when I walked out the door, so I didn't think twice about starting out. Except for Summer, the weather in Oregon is always grumpy.

In Oregon, if you don't ride in the rain, then you don't have a very long riding season.

Coming out of Starbucks on the way to church, I felt a few raindrops. I was hoping that what I currently felt would be the end, but it turns out that what I felt was the 'scouting party' for the actual rain.

It wasn't really pouring, but since I don't wear any protective legwear, my jeans were rather wet, due mostly to the spray from the road. Good thing I didn't have to ride any concrete roads on the way to church!

For the first time ever, I wore my helmet up to the awning in front of the church door. I don't mind rain, it's just that the ends of my hair were already wet from the rain, and I was not interested in getting the rest of it soaked too.

We had some missionaries at church speak briefly about their mission.

It turns out that they are going to Papua, New Guinea, where it's very mountainous and not very many roads. Travel between remote areas is done by small planes. He was a pilot and his job (for I believe Wycliffe, probably spelled wrong) was to fly supplies and other things around.

He related the following story:

It takes about 20 years for the Bible to be translated into the native language of a people.

One translator, who had just finished a translation, had developed a relationship with one of the native folks where he was stationed.

The native guy was a smoker who rolled his own.

Before leaving, the translator gave the native guy a copy of the newly translated Bible, knowing that the guy would use it for his cigarettes.

All that he asked of the guy was that before smoking it, to read it first.

Several years later the translator was at a Christian Conference, where he saw the native guy he gave the Bible to, was attending, and struck up a conversation.

They guy said:

"I smoked Matthew."

"I smoked Mark."

"I smoked Luke."

"But when I got to John 3:16, I decided that I couldn't smoke the Bible anymore."



Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Parking Rants

So I was reading a post an another blog that I follow.

You can read it here if you want.

She was talking about motorcyclists tendency to shoehorn themselves into any space, regardless of the fact that the motorcycle next to them cannot now get out or is too close for comfort.

I started to reply, but when my reply was actually three times as long as her post, I decided to post my edition of the "me too brigade" here:

Park away from my motorcycle.

Just because my motorcycle takes up less space than whatever it is that motivates you forward, does not mean that you can take up your space and part of mine. Can you hear me those of you in the extra-large pickups that take up the ENTIRE parking space?

Yes, I know that you are worried that people who own $40,000 vehicles still fling their doors open without regard to the vehicle next to them, and you want more of a cushion, but they make a space just for that problem.

It's called the back of the parking lot.

Use it.

Yes, I am perfectly happy sharing a full sized space with another motorcyclist, but be aware, that if I get to the space first, I park in the center of the space, just toward the back, so that cars can SEE ME (sorry, but it's all about me sweet pea). If you want to fit in toward the front of the space, be my guest. You can try off to the side, but remember, we both/all need room.

This brings me to my next point.

Just because you can fit into a space, doesn't mean that you should fit into a space.

This is not a contest to see how many people can fit into a phone booth, or motorcycles into a space. Please bear in mind that when I prep to get on my motorcycle, I will often do a complete circuit around it for various reasons. Give me some space.

Also bear in mind that I am a short fat woman.

Not only do I use more soap in the shower, but I need more space around my motorcycle, and I am not willing to traverse an obstacle course just to do a circuit around my motorcycle.

Which brings me to my last point.

I know that my Rebel really is the cheapest motorcycle that Honda makes, and you are thinking that it's no big deal if you tip it over or knock the mirror out of adjustment, but if you want to know, I am actually quite attached to my motorcycle. It’s a hoot to ride. If it gets tipped over, it's going to peeve me off.

If you knock the mirrors out of alignment, not only will I be peeved off, I will wonder if someone tipped over my motorcycle and put it back upright and walked away.

Yes, I know that I look my motorcycle over every morning when I go somewhere on it, but if it has been knocked over by a car, then it needs a more detailed look-over.

Damage is often more than cosmetic. The brake line could have worked loose from the housing on the handlebars or the shifter pedal could have cracked. Ever take a step expecting a step to be there, but it wasn't?

Try it on a motorcycle at 65 miles per hour.

And don’t give me that line of crap about how I chose such a dangerous hobby.

Okay, we seemed to have wandered offtopic, so moving along.

What if you could have any vehicle you wanted parked in your driveway, money no object?

What is your dream vehicle?

Yeah, I already bought mine. I rode it to work today.

And it would really annoy me if it had any dents, dings or scratches.



Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Taking Chances

So I took a chance last Sunday.

Everyone who is related to me, stop rolling your eyeballs, it wasn't that kind of chance.

The weather on Sunday was iffy.

I looked out of the front door at the weather, and it was raining enough so that I would be rather wet when I arrived at church, so I drove.

Since my first stop is Starbucks, I found that it had stopped raining when I came out with my coffee. I decided to take a chance and change to my motorcycle. Home is on the way to church anyway.

Well, it didn't exactly rain, but there was enough 'sort of rain' and enough spray on the road that my pants were a bit wet when I arrived.

Well, I was taking a chance anyway.

But on another note, I have been thinking about a Darwin Award that I read.

It can be found here.

The story:

Wascally Wabbit
2008 Darwin Award Nominee
Unconfirmed by Darwin

Snowmobiles and alcohol are a dangerous mix. Then came the rabbit.

After a day spent partying and racing snowmobiles in the wilderness, a group of snowmobilers were headed back to their cabin, when up popped a jackrabbit! They gave chase. Several collisions were narrowly averted, and so all the snowmobiles backed off... except one.

This snowmobiler kept his eye on the quarry and rapidly closed in. The rabbit darted aside to save itself. The snowmobiler closed in again. The rabbit ran toward the road, where there was less snow. Trying to ram his rabbit before it crossed the road, the man accelerated to Mach 1.

But the rabbit had other ideas. It darted into the culvert beneath the road. Witnesses stated that the snowmobiler never even braked. There was a metallic crunch as the accelerating vehicle rammed into the culvert, followed by a blast that shattered the snowmobile into a thousand bits.

This brand of snowmobile had a fuel tank mounted in front. The culvert admitted the tip of the snowmobile, then cut into the cowling, spilling fuel over the hot engine. The body of the snowmobiler was blown twenty feet back into the field.

The rabbit's whereabouts was unknown.

One of the things that I remember from Basic Rider Training is "Target Fixation".

I remember because it was a rather fascinating concept - you go where you look (so look through the turn)

It has been explained to be many times by motorcycle training professionals that motorcyclists need to ride their own ride.

The dude on the snowmobile was not riding his own ride, and was fixated on the rabbit, not the path of travel.

Yeah, I know that the rabbit was not on a path anyway, so there was no real path, but the temptation when riding is always rather strong to just follow the person in front of you.

This story kind of makes you think twice about that.



Thursday, January 8, 2009

My Socks Aren't Squishy

Someday, I am going to remember to post things I "save for later".

This was written on Jan 8th.

Have fun!


So I rode to work today.

I have had a cough that I think was actually pretty serious at the time.

The time being the middle of November.

But I couldn't quite shake the cough, and have not been riding in order to regain my health. I think that the reason that I couldn't shake the cough is because it was quite serious. I felt fine, I just had this cough.

I don't even want to speculate on what I am probably getting over. I just want to enjoy the satisfaction that comes with riding a motorcycle to work, in rather grumpy weather. (It's kind of this, "I conquered it" thing.)

If it rains anymore, I think that I will have to start building an ark and gathering animals, two by two. It has rained that much.

It's actually starting to flood in Washington State, and in the Valley, where I live, we are probably going to be spared flooding, due to the fact that it doesn't actually rain, it just lightly rains.

So anyway, I rode to work today.

I looked at the black clouds, the light rain coming down, and the trees blowing, and decided to pack an extra set of pants and socks because I was going to be pretty wet when I arrived at work. Happy, but wet.

So now, here I sit.

Pretty dry, in fact.

It wasn't as wet as I thought.

Except for an irrational fear that all the air was going to suddenly escape from my tires, the trip to work was pretty uneventful.

Which is the kind of motorcycle trip I like.

Now I just have to make sure that my dad doesn't find out that I rode to work.

He still worries.



Friday, January 2, 2009

A Coughing Fit

So, I haven't been riding lately.

The warmer than usual autumn weather prompted me to not dress as warmly, and now I have a cough that I can't get rid of. I really don't want to aggravate it by being out in the cold, so I have been driving to work.

I must say that I like how my time spent actually getting my vehicle ready to go in the morning is shorter.

I went from 10 minutes to 60 seconds.

On my motorcycle:

1. Walk outside to deck, place helmet, coffee cup and gloves on corner of deck.
2. Pet dog.
3. Walk to motorcycle shed and unlock.
4. Put motorcycle in neutral and back down ramp and into driveway. Try and get enough momentum on the ramp to take you into the turn so that you are perpendicular to the road, while still in the driveway. If not enough momentum is gained, then the motorcycle will have to be pushed back by hand and that sucks, so get those feet a-going.
5. Start motorcycle.
6. Walk to the deck and retrieve the gear.
7. Put gear on motorcycle.
8. Check motorcycle over for road-worthyness.
9. Stop checking motorcycle and throw the frisbee for the dog. It will get rid of him for at least 10 seconds. 15 if you are lucky and he has problems picking it up.
10. Repeat step 9 until shed door closed, motorcycle checked, gear on and coffee cup stowed.
11. Ride to Safeway and get coffee.

In my pickup:

1. Walk outside to deck and driveway, petting dog along the way. Don't worry about the frisbee because he won't have enough time to go get it while you are on your way to the truck.
2. Get into truck.
3. Start truck.
4. Drive to Safeway and get coffee.

I must admit that I like the ease that my pickup was. Just get in it and go.

So our nicer-than-normal autumn weather suddenly turned winter-like in the first weeks of December. You know, snow and everything. That kind of weather usually waits until the new year to present itself, but this year it must have been tired of waiting.

But this morning was the first day that looked like rain, snow and other nasty weather might avoid, so I decided to ride my motorcycle to church.

After about a month and a half of driving (wow, gas bills are high when you do that) I was looking forward to riding my motorcycle.

I must admit, it felt like I was meeting an old friend after a long absence.

I saw three other motorcycles today while out and about.

I think that my first wave was rather over-enthusiastic.

Oh well.