Friday, April 13, 2007

Mother Nature's Yo-Yo

OK, this is getting a little out of hand. Yesterday was sunny and beautiful, with temps nearing 10° C (about 50° F) - basically perfect spring riding weather. Last night on the news the weatherman said (and I quote) "not really sure what's going to happen tomorrow due to a strange weather system coming through". Ha! Oh well, I've got to give the guy points for being honest.

This morning when I got up the sky was grey, but no snow. When I finished breakfast, it was starting to come down. By the time I was ready to leave for work, it was really coming down! Now I'm sitting here at my desk looking out the window at the snow covered street. Morning DJ on the radio says all the schools are closed, as are the colleges, universities, medical clinics, etc... Yet, I'm still here. I guess it's not that bad, I mean, it's not like I could be riding!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Get Me Out Of Here!

Sitting in my office, it's near quitting time and I'm looking out the dirty window at the street below. It's right then that I see something that really stirs my soul... five motorcycles ride past in the street below (two Yami Stars, an ST1300, an Z1000 and a ZX-12). That settles it: I need to ride.

Some of my coworkers think I'm a bit strange due to what they consider to be an "unhealthy" obsession with motorcycling. I figure it's probably one of the healthiest things I could do. From a purely emotional and psychological standpoint, when I ride I effectively filter out all the rest of the crap that a typical workday in bureaucracyland can throw my way and leave lingering in my brain. Kick-up the kickstand, press the starter button, drop it in gear and let go of the clutch... Poof! All the day's worries are flushed away until tomorrow.

If anything, it's a hell of a lot cheaper than an half-hour at the therapists'

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Guess Who's Back?

Just when the scent of spring was lingering in the air, I wake up Sunday morning to several inches of freshly fallen snow on the ground and storm-like conditions outside. So much for the idea of an Easter ride! Just when I think that I've become jaded and Mother Nature has run out of tricks, she pulls a fast one on me and I'm humbled.

On a positive note, the white crap seems to be melting away this afternoon, and they're calling for more "seasonal" temps by end of week. Maybe I'll go for that two-wheeled egg hunt next weekend...

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Change of Seasons

Things have been busy at work lately, but then again it always is at this time of year. I’ve been spending way too much time at my desk (nights, weekends, Argh!) and not enough time at home. My wife’s been great about it, but I can still pick up her vibes and she’s growing impatient hoping that this spring rush will lose some momentum. There is a silver lining, however: I’ve been riding Silver steadily for the past two weeks!

Man-o-man, it is such sweet release to be able to sit down on it and feel the weight of it beneath me as I tilt it off the sidestand. I’m impressed by how thoroughly reliable an “entry-level” Japanese motorcycle can be. After spending almost 5 months on the paddock stand, I just dropped the battery in it and pressed the magic red button. Instantaneously it purred back to life, sputtered for a fraction of a second, then settled into its oh-so-familiar idle.

I took it easy for the first few days though. Lots of sand and salt dust still on the road, and I haven’t had a chance to practice much either. The old airport’s parking lot where I used to spend a few hours practicing figure-eights, slaloms and braking techniques has been barricaded. I guess I’ll just have to find another vacant parking lot.

For now, I just can’t wait for April to pass and things to settle back down at the office, just like Silver settled into a steady idle.