Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Morning Ride

The motorcycle is out of the shop. It only needed a new front shock. All last week, I rode the Metro to work. It was a pleasant change as I got a bit more exercise walking to the metro station and I managed to get some reading done. I read "She's a Bad Motorcycle" and enjoyed the collection of short motorcycle stories by different authors.

This morning, I thought about riding the metro and not the bike. I would not have to put on the gear... but I would have to walk or spend money on the bus and then spend money on the metro....

As soon as I started the engine I was glad I had chosen to ride. The trip takes me down Rock Creek Park. As I entered the park, past the city golf course where an early-morning golfer was walking to the tea, I realized that I was getting a good dose of oxygen just traveling through the park.

"...much better than the air on the metro," I thought.

Then, as I was passing Kennedy Center the sun came up and it turned into a very golden morning--gold that nobody could catch and put on a shelf or in a bottle--gold that made me feel rich to be alive.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Heaven or Hell

Again, the fantasy finds me: The fantasy of having a job riding motorcycles all day and writing about it each night. Wouldn't it be a great column?

Depends on whether or not you like my writing, I suppose.

Then I wonder whether the only reason I haven't been granted that wish is because providence sees some greater purpose for my talents and that if I were to be given such a life of indolence if I wouldn't find myself very unhappy.

Is motorcycling only enjoyable as a tonic?

Thursday, September 15, 2005


Details are at

So embarrassing to go off the top of a corner on a group ride. Re-reading Proficient Motorcycling I'm thinking that my skills need to be sharpened further, but shock adjustments also played a role.

So, this week, I'm driving a friend's car to get to a class that is out in the hinterlands. Good thing the Garmin is small and portable. This morning, with fog and strange roads, I would have been lost. Worse, it was raining and one of the windshield wipers was shot. The Garmin got me to a Target where I could get a replacement blade for less than $5.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Garmin lesson

My love of my garmin GPS has grown over the last two years even though newer models have come out with more memory. The GPS V has a 28M limitation. This means that if I'm touring country side, I usually have to re-load maps at lunch, for the afternoon, then again after dinner in the evening, for the next day. It takes about half an hour.

That forces me to stop somewhere for a half an hour. Not a bad idea.

On long, fast freeway rides, the unit lets me program in a route. The book doesn't tell you, but the route includes information about points of interests--gas stations, restaurants, hotels--at each exit.

The maping software has a few shortcomings. People change roads faster than maps, sometimes. Today's lesson is to let Garmin plan a route, but to make sure that I accept the option of reviewing the route.
Had a bit of an accident:


Tuesday, September 06, 2005

WashPost article on MSF class