blogitto ergo sum

September 11, 2013

#216 – I ride on, little brother [part II]

3,372 miles ago, I got a motorcycle.  My little brother Guy made some comments that generated this blog post.  And here I am, riding with growing confidence, becoming more efficient in the ride initiation process that includes key, helmet, jacket, gloves, Bluetooth, choke and go.  Still unhappy about the limited shoe choices.  Or the helmet-hair effect.  Not as good a rider as I’d like to be.  Rider in progress of sorts.

Over a weekend, while riding back from Oakridge Mall out of all places, an itch in my ankle that drove me nuts, and the taste of a fly in my mouth led my frustrated mind to form two lists in my head.  Listing can be a good thing.

and as the lists grew, so did the realization. Yes, I ride on, little brother, and sometimes it’s not all cool & fun.  There are scary moments.  And I’m slower than the rest… more practice is needed.  And the only regret is that i don’t venture more, not facing enough challenge outside suburbia.

On the constant improvement side, i finally challenged the limits of a bike load of goods.  Used the mesh for the first time.  And it looks like this:


Loaded. Sep 3, 2013

On another day, I managed to load six gallons of water.  Baby steps, I know.  I am not trying to get to the level of the rider in the picture below.   After all, riding is meant to be about fun, and whenever possible, efficiency.  I can’t claim, even though it would sound great, that I got the motorcycle to reduce my carbon tire print.

So let’s go back to that ride, my very itching ankle, the fly inside the helmet, and the lists I used to distract myself.

List I – Can’t

Can’t wave goodbye, as I hit the road.  Ignite, clutch, shift to 1st, signal on, go, escalate, shift to 2nd, signal off… Starting a ride, any ride, involves lots of hand work.  Can’t spare one.  Sorry.

Shadow the Hedgehog. thanks to:

Can’t have coffee.  Thermo-mug, commuter mug.  I have a collection.  Actually drafting a post about those mugs.  But it’s not an option for the rider.  It’s not only at the beginning of the ride, it’s through the ride, one got no hands to spare.  Need both hands for riding [relatively] safely.  No drinking and driving.  Any drinking.  One of my more stupid riding moments was waving a thank you to a policeman who gave me the right of way…  The clutch didn’t like it.  Luckily, I didn’t lose complete control of the bike.

Some drinkers however, can’t deal with this no drinking imposition.  So they came up with this:

Can’t help you move.  Obvious, right?  At least this is what I thought.  Others, like Mike below, may be more helpful when you need help moving.

Michael Wiles, 29, Melbourne’s Eastern Freeway, Australia.

He did get a ticket and a fine for this, in case you wonder.

Can’t blow my nose.  Embarrassing, right?  Oh yes.  Gloves on.  All zippers shut tight.  The wind will blow or make you lose everything which is loose.  And it’s cold.  So your nose reacts.  Unzipping any pocket is challenging with gloves on.  And how do you reach your nose, prominent as it may be, when it’s under a helmet with a visor?

running nose? running nowhere. Sold on eBay.

Can’t cry.  Well, if blowing your nose isn’t an option, imagine crying.  Wind-related or not, one cannot afford to fog the visor from within. How are you going to wipe the lenses of your glasses?  Riding is not for the teary-eyed.

Please don’t cry. From dramabeans’s Bucket

More Can’ts: It’s a long list.  Think about dialing a number, with gloves on.  Think about CHARGING.  Your phone, your GPS, your headset; not an option.  Not with a 250CC engine that thinks of 72MPH as the fastest case scenario.   There are tons of accessories out there, but part of the experience is to be out there without the protection, shielding,  and amenities of the car, right?

Is “too many gadgets” a possibility?

You could always go shopping at shop at Motorcycle Gear and Riding Info.

I can almost hear you asking me about Siri, or suggesting other voice-activated apps.  And then there’s, of course, Google Glass.  Reading post, Is Google Glass the Future for Motorcycles doesn’t drive me to order one.  Not yet anyway.  Admittedly, it’d be great to have the map in front of my eyes, instead of having to look down to the not-so-well-mounted GPS. Maybe later.

Bottom line, I can’t call you while riding, and I’ve given up on figuring out the pushing sequence required to accept your call via the Scala Rider Bluetooth which provides the music.  So my riding is phone free and look around rich.  I’m not saying it’s the right thing for you.  Just saying that riding feels like the one activity that i enjoy more without it.  No phone, no text.

Go figure.

not me. from:

My list goes on.  Remember the itchy ankle that triggered this post?  Can’t take off your shoes. Not if you care for your soles.  The asphalt is hot, dirty,  and at times comes with tiny sharp objects.  Think you can rest your feet on it?  think again.

It’s gonna hurt, darling.

List II, it seems, will have to wait for the next post.  and it’s all about the things that I can and do while riding.  TBC.


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