Tuesday, November 28, 2006

First snow.

Curses! Suddenly I'm as blind as a fish swimming in oatmeal. It's my own fault. I shouldn't have laughed. Not out loud, at least. It was just too funny. Two very large human beings crammed into a Subaru station wagon. Looking like two watermelons in a fruit cup. They were coming at me in the opposite direction. This was farm country. I did what was appropriate. I offered a friendly wave. Two unbelieving looks pierced my visor like lasers. I felt like a tentacled Martian waving at the hapless humans. The effect was the same on these observers.

That's when I laughed loudly in my helmet. Then went blind. I suppose it would be good to mention that it was snowing. By now very little was sticking to the ground. The air, though, was saturated with swirling flakes. Just like when you shake one of those snow globes. I was wearing photochromatic Ray-Bans. Snow increases the glare, you know. I'd been wiping slush off my visor frequently. When I laughed out loud everything fogged up until I couldn't see. The visor came up in a hurry. Now I faced triple jeopardy. The fog cleared. Snow flakes landed directly on my glasses. Both sides of the visor were collecting slush. Time to stop and figure out how I got here in the first place. Actually, I know how it happened. Just like it does every other time.

Katie and I woke up to snow. There was a layer of white on everything. Like someone had dusted confectioner's sugar on a cake. I was slated to telecommute to work today. Around nine it was time to thaw Katie's car. Got her off to work safely. I watched the flakes coming down. Now it was warm enough that not much stuck. Paperwork and reports screamed for attention. I'd missed the really fun time, anyhow. Still, snowflakes softly called to me. Sophie wanted to go out and play. I could hear the scuffle of her tires as she pawed the ground. I'm sorry. I'm busy. You're not really supposed to ride a motorcycle in the snow. I tuned out the distractions. Tried to concentrate on work.

Finally I did what any sane and reasonable motorcycle commuter would do. I rode. In the snow. Some areas had a lot. Some had a little. All the while I can hear Sophie revving her motor in glee.
"Let's go freak people out!", she'd begged me. It seems we'd done it to the station wagon guys.

I think I did it to a cop, too. We passed a County patrol car coming the other way. I swear I could see the cop shaking his head. Would he pull me over? Would it be a VBR? ( violating the basic rule ) I rather think it would have been for "Very Ballsy Riding"!

The snow melted as fast as it fell. We made the most of every minute. Riding in the snow is great fun. As long as you don't crash, of course. Crashing wasn't on the menu today. The snow finally quit. It was back home to my trusty laptop and more reports.

Katie got home from work. I didn't tell her about the ride. Not until later. We settled in to watch the football game. Green Bay at Seattle. It was snowing in Seattle. Looked like Wisconsin. Brett Favre was making his 242nd consecutive start. I finally told Katie about my ride in the snow. She asked me why she wasn't surprised at that. Her voice was scornful. Her eyes radiated admiration. Maybe that was aimed more at Brett.

I spoke to Brett on the phone once. We have a small connection. It was thanks to Aerostich. I'd finally sent my jacket in for repairs after a get-off. Just after Christmas came a call. A man named Michael had left a message at the office. The note said Michael had my jacket. An errant address label had sent my package to Green Bay. I called back. Michael turned out to be an equipment manager for Green Bay. I'd watched Brett play the Bears on Christmas Day. I told Michael that after the game I figured Brett could use some cheer. The Bears had won. Michael told me that Brett was sitting nearby. The phone rustled and then came "The Voice". It was either Brett or a great impersonator.

Andy helped me get my jacket back. Thanks, Andy!

The game announcers talked about how Brett was superhuman. Extremely high pain threshold. Never quits. Sickness and injury don't stop him. He does things he's not supposed to be able to do. A couple of days after his Father died, Brett played. He played his best. The day after my Father died I taught a class. Filled in for a sick instructor. I understand how the therapy works.

Katie looked at me. Then she floored me.

"You and Brett have a lot in common. You know you shouldn't do things but you do them anyway. You're both freaks of nature. Nothing stops either one of you. You're the Brett Favre of motorcycling!"

Katie's frustrated and mystified sometimes. Beneath it all is a grudging respect.

I'm flattered and humbled by the comparison. I don't know about Brett! We're both driven to do what we do. Passion drives us to excel. Being stubborn keeps us from admitting we can't do something. You know what's sad? Some of you know EXACTLY what I'm talking about.

As you can see, more storms and snow are coming. The next few days should be interesting!

Miles and smiles,



Steve Williams said...

First, something is different. Did you switch to the new Beta blogger? If so, was it wasy and did you lose anything?

Snow already.... earlier in the week we had a forecast of snow flurries for Friday. Now they are calling for rain and 60 degrees. How can they be that far off?

You better watch hanging out with the Sophie girl or you'll get into trouble. It's a bad sign when they start luring you away from work in the middle of the day.

At least Katie isn't referring to you as the Ben Rothensberger of motorcycling...

Either way, be careful riding in that new white stuff.

Tinker said...

I prefer to think HE is the Dan Bateman of football. Don't you?

Mad said...

I like riding in snow too - in a weird masochistic I hope I don't crash kind of way. Last year commuting home in blizzard conditions I stopped at a roundabout and suddenly saw a GSXR600 loom out of the snow; we gave each a slow nod that seemed to perfectly say "Aha! I am not the only nutter out tonight"

Combatscoot said...

A friend of mine rode his Ural with sidecar to work and back in all kinds of weather for nearly ten years. He told me about the time a very gung-ho highway patrolman pulled him over for riding in the snow because he thought he was drunk. My friend turned the rig around as he pulled-off the road so he could easily get going again, and the officer freaked and tried to block him. After a long conversation, Smokey decided to let my friend go. As he pulled away, he saw that the officer had got his car stuck. My friend just kept going.

irondad said...

I did switch to the beta. It's supposed to give me more flexibility which I haven't had time to explore. The switch was easy and I didn't lose anything that I'm aware of.

I'm curious what looked different that made you notice.

Remember the TV commercial for the Suzuki Katana? A yellow bike was in the guy's office begging him to go play. That's what Sophie does. I'm selling the CBR to a friend. That's the bike that really begs to be bad!

Ben doesn't seem to either be riding or playing football too well these days.

How cool! I like it.

I'm not a thrill junkie but I really seem to need that feeling of being on the fine line, sometimes. Lets me know I'm still alive, I guess. Roundabouts are great. We're just getting some but the idiots here have no idea how to use them , yet.

I've been a badge-heavy young officer. If you live through it you eventually become a good cop. Looks like some justice was served, huh?


Steve Williams said...

I can't remember now what I noticed. I think it might have been the header looked thinner or something. And the "Publish your Comment" button looks different.

gary said...

So you actually got snow before we did here in Minnesota? Will wonders never cease...

The way I'm feeling lately, I'm thinking of changing the title of my blog to "Musings of a Decrepit Commuter". But then, I wouldn't want to rob you of an obvious future title for YOUR blog. ;^)

Ride well,

irondad said...

Let me propose a trade. You can have "Musings of a Decrepit Commuter" if I can have "Rush Hour Doddering".