Wednesday, August 06, 2008

No parking!!

Things seem to be looking busier on the motorcycle scene lately. The dealer where I bought Elvira is telling me there's a three week wait for service appointments. Hey, I couldn't wait that long so I did the intitial service myself. I may be doing a lot more of them in the future.

Right now I'm seeing a lot of bikes and scooters on the road. Weirdly enough, the vast majority are waving. That brings up an interesting little story. It will digress from my point but what the heck. Not all who wander are lost.

I recently taught a class in Central Oregon. A guy was taking the class to get his endorsement. He'd already been riding for a while with a learner's permit. He asked my why all these other people on bikes were waving at him? He didn't know any of them, after all. Some of his fellow students filled him in. Anyway, where were we?

Oh yeah, right about here. Besides the long wait time at the shops, the other sure sign that more folks are turning to two wheels is the increase in our student counts. Demand is up 20 percent from last year. More students mean more instructor assignments. Most of us have actual full time jobs aside from teaching. A few, like me, have no life and teach almost every weekend. So we're running around panting for breath with our tongues hanging out. Fun, but exhausting.

A side thing most folks might not be aware of is parking lots. Yes, we need parking lots in which to make painted marks and hold our classes. No, we don't personally own any. So we're at the mercy of schools, businesses, colleges, and so on for space. There's several facilities that are kind enough to let us have more or less permanent space. So what's the big deal? Since the lots don't belong to us we can't control who parks on them until we arrive and secure them for our use.

When I ride to a range for the first time early in the morning, one of the first things I do is scan for parked vehicles. Over the years I've had to call tow trucks a number of times. We don't cause the cars to be impounded, mind you. We just have them moved to a place close by but out of the way. And we pay the bill. Still, though, it can take time to get a truck to respond. It's also something we'd just rather not deal with. I always breathe a small sigh of relief when I see clear space.

Recently I was teaching in Roseburg. I think I've hit upon the perfect solution. Let me introduce to you my new parking lot guardians. Never again will I have to worry about towing cars.

So you think you want to park here? Well, let me introduce you to my boys. If parking close to brand new riders doesn't scare you enough to leave, my boys surely will. You see, we don't need no stinkin' tow trucks. When my boys get through with you we'll just stick a stamp on your car and mail it home to you.

I'm quite pleased to report that my new program is working well. This parking lot is at the end of the Douglas County Fairgrounds. There was a Nascar event, some local circle track action, and a huge classic car show. Everyone seemed to be camping in the place next to us. Yet, not a single soul dared intrude upon our space. Now that's what I'm talking about!

I was actually feeling pretty good and even downright boastful. I dared anyone to come mess with us! Sedan, SUV, truck, motorhome, or whatever. Bring it on. Then I sort of started looking past the trucks at the bikes.

Hmmm, they do look pretty small compared to the trucks. What if the trucks suddenly go wild like some sort of rampaging elephants gone berserk? What then? Who or what do I save first? Do I try to save the students or the bikes? What's that? You wonder how I can even ask such a question in the first place? You're right. Shame on me. Everyone knows you have to save the bikes first. What was I thinking?

Fortunately, I remembered I had the magic black box in my pocket. You've seen those, haven't you? Ever watch a Monster Jam night? If it looks like the monster truck is in danger of getting away from the driver, the officials push a button, shutting down the truck's systems. Better than that pinching thing Spock used to do. I wouldn't even have to get close to the beasts. I found myself pulling the black box out of my pocket and letting the trucks see it once in a while. Oh yeah, they behaved themselves, let me tell you.

Come to think of it, there's a thousand uses for such a device. New rider getting out of control? Click. Shut them right down until I can mosey over and fix it. Really annoying loud pipes? Click. Squids and stunters? Click. You're starting to see the possibilities, aren't you? Whatever the Monster Truck Boys can't fix, the clicker can.

Think of the non motorcycle uses. Mother in law getting a little intense? Click. Boss droning on and on? Click. American Idol wannabe's that hurt your ears? Click. Go ahead. Dare to dream. Think up your own examples.

I suddenly feel my life's going to start being a lot more fun!

Miles and smiles,



The Snark said...


Wish I had one of those clickers. This morning a young girl in a matchbox on wheels cut me off when I was driving the truck.

Oh, the temptation to run her car over and mail it back to her.

Enjoy your summer mate, when the Silver Elephant is fixed, all will be revealed as to why I haven't been posting and riding. Or riding and posting, as the case may be.

Conchscooter said...

I want a clicker that kills cellphone reception, and an endless summer- oh wait I already have one or other of those...

Doug C said...

I keep my black box right next to my Easy Button - Very sweet!

That first photo had me looking to see if those trucks were RC models.

Oh, and check out the Gunbus motorcycle...

Balisada said...

I have an easy button on my desk. It's a hoot.

I needed one of those other black buttons.


One chick just used the 'extra' space on my right to pass me up while in town.

I sure wish I could have pressed the button and stopped to have a chat.


Bryce said...

Let's see...ham radio HF rig running
with 100 watts output. Ensure radio
is not properly tuned, say close to frequency of the electrics of said
large wheeled silly pick me up trucks.
Press transmit and wait...
Not legal, for sure. As to those so-called trucks on the big tyres, think of all the oil (yes oil is
a part of the tire making process
like rubber) those tires use, which
would be better in the fuel tank?

Then again waving at one of those
monsters would be interesting.
Let's standing beside one
would get my head well over the top
of the tire and maybe more than just a bit beyond. Some people seem to have all the money in the world for such toys...then there
are the sensible people on two wheels on motorcycles. Right?

Darn it Dan, don't you ever have fun for your self? As you noted work is hectic, after all it
is summer. And then there is that
matter of teaching on weakends.

Don't you ever get to sleep in your own bed? Why don't you keep Sophie and let Katie ride her?

You'll probably get zilch on a trade-in or private sale. Funny,
ST1100's and 1300'sare rather are around here. The local Honda dealer has a 2005 for sale, with
just a bit over 90,000 kilometres on the odometer. They wanted
C$7400.00 for it. The owner had traded it in on a new Goldwing, the one with the airbag option. The 1300 was in nice shape. I hopped
on to as best I could, sorry, it
would have been a good machine
15 years prior for me, but not now.
Am too fat, and definitely am not co-ordinated enough to even think of riding it, or anything else.

These machines are made for the young of body, lithe of heart
and not of gigantic dimension in
any one way more than any other.

Incidentally the dealer changed owners about three years ago;
and within six months all the old
staff were gone replaced my new
and in theory better people. The dealership had existed for some thirty years before being sold.
The new (to me)owner was on the floor the same day. he just shook his head and made a comment about big guys don't fit the new lower
to the ground machines any more.
He stands about 6'2" and looks
like a swarf stadning beside me. he asked what I rode, told him and the circumstances. He agreed, in part. I should keep my Modified
GL1100I if only because nothing out
there will fit me now, even with modifications. And riding a machine
with a V style engine would never do. He suggested I look at a Boss
Hogg or similar. Told him never;
have never enjoyed North American autos or their engines..strictly foreign for me. And on that note left the shop.