Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Sun's out!

Suddenly the ice and fog lifted. I ignored it for a while. What it looked like was one of those Claritin commercials. The world's all fuzzy and then the gray gets peeled away. Underneath it all is sun and clear skies. Colors are suddenly more vivid. Sad, dull, people in the commercial are suddenly rejoicing. Looking through my visor I thought it was television. Turns out it was the real thing.

I realized that fact when the driver of the van in front of me slammed on the brakes. The tires squealed and I had to reach for my own brakes instead of the mute button. I've got to confine myself to watching the Food Network. Then I'll know if it's real or television by whether there's something to eat in my field of vision.

It was a day for people to go somewhat crazy. After so much fog and cold, we actually had some sunshine. Like bugs, the riders were out to enjoy the sunshine. Everybody came out to frolic in the sunshine.

Before we go further, we need to get one thing perfectly straight. Irondad does not frolic, ever!

I admit to riding with a grin on my face once in a while. A grin does not a frolic make.

I'm out on the bike almost every day. Sometimes you get cold, sometimes you get too hot, and sometimes it's just right. Yesterday was a little short of "just right" but it wasn't bad. Having a call to make in Lebanon, I decided to try to look up an old friend.

That's a whole story by itself which I won't describe here. Suffice it to say he has several Subway franchises. One happens to be inside this Wal Mart. He wasn't there.

I did notice, looking over the parking lot, that it pretty much illustrates motorcycle commuting. One bike in a sea of cars. One day it will change for the better, I'm sure.

The area South and West of Lebanon has some great backroads. Twisties are confined to a few "S" curves here and there. If you just want to ride and enjoy some solitude, though, these are the roads where you want to be.

On a whim, I caught Highway 99 in the middle of Tangent. There's a seed company called Barenbrug something or other. My brain always wants to say "Barenburg" for some reason. Anyway, Bradley, of Troubadour on a Triumph fame, works there. I thought I'd go sneak a picture of his bike and Elvira together. I saw what I thought was his bike up by some black tinted windows. They kind of look like a Darth Vader wall. I hate to admit it, but I declined to go up to the windows and check the bike out, let alone ride Elvira up there for a picture.

I had no idea who was behind those windows. Unlike Obama and the window, I figured somebody would call the cops or something. I usually like stirring the pot, but just wasn't in the mood at the time. I've never formally met Bradley, so that was another consideration. I didn't know how he would take it. So I rode little circles of indecision in the parking lot. Finally, I hit the highway and went for easier game.

Linn Benton Community College is just down the street. I moved my targeting scope sights towards Balisada's Rebel. I believe my hunt was successful. At least some lucky Rebel got its picture taken with the famous IRNDAD plated bike, Elvira.

Once more I found myself unsure of where I was. I knew it wasn't television. I was thinking more of a nightmare. Suddenly I've become miniaturized and placed in an ant colony. I've always wondered what it would be like to live in an ant hill. Classes must have just released. Like trails made once ants have found a food source, there was a constant stream of students. I tried real hard not to get any in my tire treads. Taking this picture, I found it wasn't a matter of getting a picture with nobody else in it. It was a choice of how many people would be in the background. Squeezing the shutter quickly, I managed to get only one in the background.

You see her hiding her face? That's because I never took my helmet off. She's probably wondering what kind of pervert is doing this kind of thing. Relax, girl, I'm after the bike, not you. Come to think of it, Balisada's going to start wondering what kind of pervert is stalking her! Well, that's me. Stirring up suspicion and profligacy wherever I go.

If you look in the background, you can see a few people are riding to work or school. That's encouraging to see. There's a few more that don't show up in the photo.

Once I was finished with my stalking duties I headed for DMV. The plate expires this month for Elvira. I tried not taking my helmet off in DMV but they wouldn't serve me until I did. Oh well, I was hoping I'd intimidate some people ahead of me into leaving early. I'm happy to report that IRNDAD will be running the roads for the next two years!

Miles and smiles,



fasthair said...

Mr. IronDad: Nice to see so many bikes out. Your bike looks good in the sunshine too. Suppose to be nice here again this weekend so with any luck I'll get out again for a ride.


bobskoot said...


I've been really wanting to commute and this morning I was really tempted, but lucky thing I didn't. I hit ice (in the car), but luckily I have 4 wheels so skidding is not problem. would have been a big problem with only 2 wheels. Also when I got to work, the whole parking lot was still a sheet of ice. Temps were 1C and I could feel the FWD slip as I accelerated. There's still too much ice in the mornings as I leave before 7am. It's getting brighter earlier and later in the day so soon we won't be commuting in the dark.

Conchscooter said...

Bloody hell! All the way to the Lebabon to annoy people! I manage it here at home all the time, no problem on the Bonneville. Today I took the car as the Trumpet is in the shop (getting a tach), not because of ice spilling out of the freezer onto the road (Canadians should learn to save energy and keep ice off their roads).

Balisada said...

That would be me.

Although I am not parked in MY space on the other side of the corral.

That day I had actually drove to work, due to my icy sidewalk, so I went home at lunch and picked up my Rebel.

Parking motorcycles in motorcycle parking at LBCC is actually kind of tough at times, due to how many people ride.

Next term, if anyone tries to go off campus for lunch, they will return to find that their space was taken, and all the others filled.

It's kind of nice to see so many motorcycles, although it's nothing compared to what OSU (next town over) is like.



Arizona Harley Dude said...

What a great job you have Dan! Being able to ride, discover, and explore during the work day makes me envious.

Also, thank you for the link to my blog.

-Tim said...

mmm, I miss two year registration stickers...

Charlie6 said...

ok Dan, so you don't frolic, but what about prancing?

1-UP said...

The sun appears here, as it has today, however there is packed snow on the roads and no doubt this evening we shall have slippery
conditions. Oh and the temperature is minus 13 Celsius.
My renewal date for the motorcycle
is not due until my birthday end of May.
What's the story in Oregon? Renewable during the 30 days prior to your birthday?
And what plate is residing on Sophie? Does that plate get renewed as well?
Here the fee is C$48.00 for a year.
Motor vehicles are $74.00/year.
In the City of Toronto the fee is an additional $60.00, regardless if two wheels or four. Bugga.

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Sir:

Your post was pure inspiration to me. If we didn't have a fresh 8 inches of snow on the ground, I too would have ridden over to a girl's college and taken a few pictures myself.

Fondest regards,
Twisted Roads

Stacy said...

@1-UP: Our vehicle registration costs are laughably cheap compared to crazy places like California and New York. $60 for a 4-year motorbike registration on a brand new bike. After that, it's $30 for a two-year registration.

The registrations are valid by date, and not tied to birthdays, or somesuch. Yes, if you have multiple bikes and/or vehicles, you have to keep track, but the DMV is usually pretty good about sending out a reminder.

@Jack: Surely just to take pictures of all the motorcycles, right!

Troubadour said...

Ha, if you had stopped you would have had about four long faces staring back at you from behind the prison glass, one of them being me. And what are you doing circling the parking lot on your bike in the middle of the day, midweek? Shouldn't you be at work like the rest of us poor saps? Stop taunting us and get a job. ;)
Seriously though, stop by and say "hi", I'm always up for a quick break in my day to talk bikes.

Lucky said...

I gotta get up to Oregon. Winter will be the perfect excuse for getting a Ural.

Also, I think we've seen you frolic - although it may have been more of a gambol or romp...

irondad said...

The bike looks good but is really hard to keep clean! Good luck on getting out yourself and riding. Snow will eventually melt.

Soon, my friend, soon. Ice is a nasty thing. I'm glad you're being prudent.

I'm an equal opportunity offender. You eschew electronics in favor of mechanical things. Now the mechanical tach breaks? Hope you're on the road soon.

Wouldn't it be closer for you to park in the South lots? Of course, not nearly as fun as parking with the bikes!

Arizona Harley Dude,
You're welcome. As to jobs, you're a teacher, remember. I'm just a glorified salesman on a motorcycle.

Wait until Governor Tax and Gouge Me gets his way. Fees are supposed to more than double.

Prance? Prance? I suddenly have this picture of riding in tight leotards. Prance?

Hang in there. The thaw is coming. Stacy clarified some of the registration thing. I filled out the paperwork to transfer the IRNDAD plate to Elvira. Then I applied for a new regular bike plate for Sophie. It's good for a couple of years.

A small correction, though. My personalized plate is more money. It costs $80 for two years. I guess that's why they call them "vanity" plates!

Thank you for caring enough to keep track of such things, by the way.

Thank you for the kind words. It almost makes me feel bad for giving you a hard time on your very entertaining site!

Thanks for stepping in. And helping to keep Jack under control!

Now I'm going to come do more circles and honk my horn to make sure you all see me! Was that your bike up by the glass?

I'll go with "romp". I'm always up for a good romp!

Somehow I just can't see you tied down with a sidecar. However, while I was typing this, a picture suddenly flashed into my brain. You, with a wicked grin, chasing people in the snow with the Ural. So I guess I could see it, after all.

Take care,


Steve Williams said...

Something just doesn't sound right here. It's the middle of winter, of the week, you shouldn't be having fun.

Last night my yard was covered in snow. This morning it is all gone. I will finally go for a ride and try to have some fun.

Steve Williams
Scooter in the Sticks