Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Director's Bike

( is mine to play with this weekend! )

This has been an extremely hectic week. Like anything a person really enjoys, there's a price to pay in return. Having been un-chained from the one and only period I was ever stuck full time in an office, I'm enjoying work more than I have in years.

I have a tremendous amount of independence. Which means there's give and take in the hours I work. This week's fallen squarely into the "give" category. Four 12-hour days have preceded the writing of this post. I'm not complaining at all, mind you. The only drawback right now is that I haven't been able to post much lately. Next week will fall more into the "take" column. Most of the folks I deal with will be on Spring Break. My brain has stored up some ideas for posts next week. It should be a prolific time as far as blogging goes. Not only in writing, but in catching up on reading other blogs, too.

Right now I'm staring down the barrel of a trip to Medford. Sometime tomorrow afternoon Katie and I will mount a different steed and go for a three and half to four hour ride South. Maybe more if we stop for supper along the way. No, this isn't a new bike in my stable. This bike, gang, just happens to belong to the Director of our motorcycle safety program. He's leaving early tomorrow morning with his daughters for his own Spring Break adventure. In the meantime, I have his ST1300. I cannot clearly express to you what an elite group I now belong to. Imagine a highly successful Old West gunfighter lending his pistol to someone and you start to get the idea.

I fully intend to fire some rounds through the barrel, if you get my drift.

Just before I sat down to write this I went out and put a few miles on the bike. The two of us also made a trip to the local community college so I could play with the bike on our painted range. I'm going to like this bike a lot! We're already getting along quite nicely, thank you. It's a lot like Sophie but more agile. Tomorrow I'll put some more miles on the bike. I mean, I'm forced into it you know. Yeah, we all should have such problems. I'm not such a "wonderful" rider that I would put Katie on the back for a long trip without spending a little time getting to know the bike first. See, it's all for a noble cause!

Saturday will be spent conducting an instructor update. The first half of the day will be classroom. After lunch we'll all go running outside like kids let out for recess. The afternoon will be spent running through our Rider Skills Practice course with half a dozen instructors. I'm planning on riding some demonstrations in some tight maneuvers. They'll also get a chance to learn to coach riders with ABS on their bikes. I'll make several runs through the braking chute doing maximum braking. The instructors will get to see what ABS braking looks like when the rider gets into it. ( the ABS, not the braking! )

Yes, they get to have fun on their bikes, too. We have a circuit ride that combines low speed maneuvers, swerving, cornering, a barrel run around three large cones, and some more fun stuff. They'll also get to ride some of the other exercises.

I'm really looking forward to it. These are dedicated and talented folks who are working to hone their craft. Besides, they're also my friends.

Katie and I will probably spend Saturday night down there, too, then make our leisurely way home on Sunday. Most assuredly via the long route. Maybe even over to the coast and back up North that way. Classic two-wheeled commuting. Ride to work; ride for fun on the way home.

That's probably more than you ever wanted to know about my weekend plans. You most likely won't hear from me again until Monday. There will be plenty to report by then. Stories of my friends, our ride, and the bike. Can't leave out the bike. I've thought about moving to the 1300 but haven't felt the pressing need. This will be a great chance to check it out thoroughly and see how I really feel.

Have an awesome weekend. Catch up with you on Monday. We're out of here on a long ride to work.

Miles and smiles,



Mad said...

Keep an eye out for the high speed weave that many people have complained of on the new Pan. We wouldn't want it chucking you off now would we!

Steve Williams said...

Sounds like you have all the makings of a fine weekend after a long work week. It is a handsome bike you'll get to try out. Is this now going to trigger an irresistable urge to purchase a new machine? I thought for sure you were going to end up on a scooter....

Good luck and have fun. Don't get into any trouble with the bike!

Steve Williams
Scooter in the Sticks

gary said...

Sounds to me like you are getting a bad case of new-bike-itis!

I'm right there with you.

But Frogwing only has 46,000 miles on him, and I'm going to be riding a new Vespa GTS back and forth to work this season, so I don't have the same motivation as you do.

It will be interesting to see what happens here, bro. Good luck, and Best Wishes, whatever you decide to do...

Ride well,

American Scooterist Blog said...

In a way I'm glad I'm too damn short to feel comfortable on bikes like that one. On the other hand...
As always, a great read. Thanks


irondad said...

I'm offended that you would even think I would be riding fast enough to experience a high speed weave! :)

A scooter will come. Right now the riding I do demands something different.

I dearly love Sophie. She is, however, getting a little creaky. I'd like to see just how many miles I could get out of her. It's the ABS that really attracts me, actually.

The same condition has kept me from the big BMW dual sports. I know how you feel.