Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Bonus time!

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.

Here's my fast shutter speed photo. Now I need more light since the shutter is open less time. Aargh! Maybe I'll stick to fast. Yeah, I like fast. Well, not for everything. Never mind.

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.

Business complete in Salem, I returned to Albany. It was good to see that the LBCC bike parking was being used. There were a half dozen bikes in the corral.

I was only interested in a couple. Here's Elvira parked next to Balisada's Rebel. What a couple of great looking bikes, eh?

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.

Looking back, this was a pretty good riding day. Our bonus time is going to end, soon. The forecast calls for rain tomorrow which looks to be with us for the next week or so. Oh well,

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,



Anonymous said...

Riding is very personal!
Sort of like who selects your underwear when you get dressed in the morning. Just you (I hope)!

You can tell the dastardly hard core riders, they are the riders who never winterize their machines other than putting the battery on trickle charge and adding some stablizer to the fuel.
Sure there will be days where the roads are clear and without snow or salt, and on those sunny days, go riding.

Damn I miss now the best time of the year!

Charlie6 said...

damn, there's competition for roadkill up there? Geez....

Mike said...

Today was definitely Bonus Time in Oregon! Thanks again for the mention, Dan. I look forward to meeting you tomorrow. Just make sure Granny's not there.

bobskoot said...


Your photo skills have really improved. You are actually searching out subjects. I liked that last water shot.

Photography and Riding, they complement each other. Looks like you are getting a lot of use with that Nikon. Old cameras had clutches for their cloth shutters, but not the new ones

bobskoot: wet coast scootin

Anonymous said...

What an awesome post, the fun you had is really contagious :D
you're really getting good with the camera ... and there is no sh thing as a gratuitous shot, certainly not when it contains a motorbike ;-)
peace and love!

Lucky said...

I, for one, am very much looking forward to puttering around Astoria in the winter aboard my Ural while wearing bright yellow fisherman's rain gear. Because if people are going to stare anyway, you might as well put on a show.

Some great photos in this post. Looks like you're getting the hang of that camera!

Troubadour said...

Still stalking or just making sure I rode? I've been riding the Triumph while I get new tires mounted on the Ninja. Thanks for the mention.
I caught your comment on Bucky's site and thought I'd invite you to put your hardcore, year round riding and camera skills to the test and help keep our local photo tag going through the winter.

irondad said...

I prefer to pick out my own underwear, thank you! I've never winterized a motorcycle in my life. Dang, does that make me ONE OF THOSE riders?

Well, we do have an unemployment rate that's one of the highest in the nation. Not to mention more than our share of Rednecks!

Granny only believes in homemade vittles. We're safe, I think.

Take care,


irondad said...

I sincerely appreciate the positive feedback. However, one needs to be careful about enouraging certain people, you know?

By the way, when you mention the third water picture are you talking about the droplets frozen in time?

Take care,


irondad said...

Thanks for the compliment. I try to be contagious with the fun. When I want to work on the intellectual side, I come read your blog!


You need a big fishing pole sticking out the back of the sidecar. Plus some big fishing lures dragging behind. You will be an awesome addition to Astoria.

By the way, I'm headed back up there next Thursday. I'll put some bright yellow raingear on layaway for you!

Take care,


irondad said...


It's hard to explain, but there's a certain comfort in seeing one of your bikes there. Some things become a part of daily life. Like the sun coming up.

Like people you know who ride all year and you see the bikes parked in a certain spot. Just a quick check lets you know all is right with the world that day. It's admittedly weird, but welcome to my world!

Thanks for the link. I'm definitely going to play. This is intriguing.

Take care,


Balisada said...

That is a nice bike!

Elvira is not bad looking either!