I was talking to Balisada the other night when I was teaching class at LBCC. She kindly dropped by to offer greetings. We were both in the process of dealing with riding gear. Balisada was geared up and ready for the ride home. I was taking gear off and thinking about getting the classroom ready.
We talked about how we were still getting some nice days here and there. Balisada said she thought these days were a gift to those of us who were going to ride all year. A lot of folks have returned to their cages. People are thinking of winterizing bikes. Thoughts of battery tenders and fuel stabilizers are on their minds.
In contrast, there's those of us who are thinking of renewing the waterproofing on our gear. Winter gloves are coming out. Once again, I've put off wiring Elvira for an electric garment. Maybe I'll pull her out of service for a bit and do some catching up. Dean W. has kindly offered to help me with this project. He is a prince among friends.
I'm reminded of a video game where you get extra "lives" after a certain point. Of course, I haven't seriously played a video game since Pac Man. I used to be pretty darn good, though! Most players have fun for a bit but soon lose out. Others hang in longer and are rewarded with bonus time. That's what these extra sunny days are. Bonus time for hanging in there and conquering, as it were.
I'd be remiss to not include a disclaimer here. Our climate allows us to ride all year with few exceptions. It gets pretty darn wet but there's little snow. Black ice, maybe, but not too much really adverse stuff. I fully recognize the advantage this stupidly wet climate brings for year round riding. Not everybody can, or even wants to, ride in bad weather. That's okay. Riding is a deeply personal experience. Each needs to ride their own ride and be respected for doing so.
Up in Salem is this motorcycle only parking area. In the summer this place is crowded with bikes. It's free and close to several state agency buildings. Today it is empty. Nearby is a fountain where I decided to exercise my fledging photographer skills. Hey, it's like riding, isn't it? We learn by doing. If only I could find the clutch on the Nikon, maybe I'd feel more at home.
Here's my slow shutter speed to make the water look less defined. Of course, then I have to readjust the aperature and exposure. Why is it so complicated? I have to just keep thinking about windows and curtains. Somehow it helps.
I was comtemplating having some coffee and a snack in the Employment Department Building. I changed my mind. Hearing sirens, I snapped a quick photo. The paramedics went into the cafeteria. Maybe some other time.
No, I'm not really stalking you, Balisada, despite what it looks like! I simply find cheer and comfort seeing the proof that others besides me have adopted a year round motorcycle lifestyle. Balisada has her "cute" tiger ears and tail on her helmet. Let me tell you, I've seen her around town on the Rebel in all kinds of weather. On just about any day I can ride by and see the Rebel parked at the college. Balisada is as far from a poser as anyone could get. Don't let the dimunitive size of the bike fool you. She's a hard core Road Warrior.
Speaking of stalking, I took a loop through the parking lot of the Darth Vader looking seed company. I know Bradley is going to think I'm stalking him, too. I'm sure he saw me through the windows today. Although I'm throwing everybody off today by not wearing the Hi Viz 'Stich. I'm toying with a blue and black Kilimanjaro for fun. I like the 'Stich better. Sure enough, the Triumph was there. As it is almost every time I stalk Bradley. I mean, drive by. The Ninja must be getting a little TLC after her boo boo. Bradley is an inspiration to me, too.
We're blessed with some scenic roads around here. There's still a lot of open farm land just outside of the urban area. The sun is enjoyable to ride in. However, the middle of the day is proving a bad time to get some good lighting. I'm noticing how the bright sun washes the color out of things. However, I'm also learning to use a polarizing circular filter at right angles to the sun to help out. I thought ths photo came out fairly nice. The sun's to my left. Just to prove that I actually took this photo myself, good or bad, here's another one. The gratuitous bike shot.
The filter did a good job of taking a lot of the glare away. For some reason they say the polarizer won't work on glare from metal surfaces. I guess it's some sort of light reflection theory that's over my head. Anyway, if you enlarge the photo, you can see the stripes of the concrete reflected in Elvira's body work. Bonus pin striping!
On the way back into town, I saw something slumped in the roadway. I thought it might have been Reep. With his arthritis and all, I thought he might have ventured West, fallen off his bike, and that I would find Fireballs in the weeds someplace. I was relieved to see it wasn't our favorite "fun to harrass" friend.
No, this is our Redneck version of slow tourists. Kind of like what happens to those who go to Key West and "fiesta" too much. These are real obstacles in our part of the Hundred Acre Woods. Yes, you will experience traction issues, so be warned. Eyes up!
I started to grab the thing by the tail and pull it off the roadway. Suddenly, a very old flat bed truck with siderails and a rocking chair tied to the roof screeched to a halt. An old gal with a long skirt, wire rim glasses, a ponytail, and a shotgun jumped off the truck. Her voice screeched like the truck tires as she threatened me. I was firmly told to go get my own road kill, thank you, she was claiming this one. Whatever, Granny! Hmmm, she and the old man looked kind of familiar, somehow.
I'm finally going to meet Mike in person, tomorrow. We're meeting for lunch in Corvallis. I'm enthused about it.
Miles and smiles,