Things were a bit wet on Friday. Ok. Quite wet. So there was no question I was going to ride. Katie just shook her head and gave me this knowing smile. Kind of like you give to someone that you know is crazy but you don't know if they know it. A smile that says,
"You poor soul. You don't know how sick you are. On the other hand, I kind of envy you."
Maybe I should provide just a little more background. Ladies love tough outlaws and Katie's no exception. She doesn't think I'm crazy for riding in bad weather. What she finds crazy is the contrast. See, when the weather is as nasty as it can get, I will unfailingly ride and look forward to it. When the weather is nicer, I am finding myself a bit more ambivalent about riding these days. Not that I don't love riding in the sunshine, but for some unexplained reason I tend to waffle a bit more about it.
I took a photo of a sign at a Nike store last year and showed it to Katie. She thought it described me but with a twist. Here's the sign.
Katie says the twist is that I don't need to make other people look bad to feel better about myself. In fact, I do a lot to help other folks experience personal growth. It's one of the things I really love about being a professional motorcycle trainer, for example. Especially with more experienced riders. I find great satisfaction knowing that a rider is better off when they leave a class than when they arrived. This blog is an extension of that kind of thing, I suppose.
Just today Katie and I went to the mall to see some orchids on display. While we were there I noticed this guy kept looking over my way. Long story short, he came over and greeted me. He was one of my students from several years ago. This guy had taken a couple of long motorcycle trips since then. He told me that he still hears my voice coaching him as he rides. I like that kind of feedback.
I can't tell you why I am how I am. Maybe it's the need to establish credibility. How much respect would you give a teacher if you knew they didn't actually live what they were teaching? How well can a teacher guide their students if they don't have a wealth of experience themselves to draw from? I don't want to be looked up to without earning it.
Maybe it's my firmly held belief that we should either walk the talk or quit talking. I don't think I suffer from insecurity at all. Whatever the reasons, I always welcome the chance to pit myself against adverse riding conditions. Thus my riding on a really wet day.
How wet was it? Take a look.
The G11's swivel screen is great for taking self portraits. Have to hurry, though. Not sure how waterproof it is! There's already water on the lense.
I use Nikwax wash-in waterproofing products on my gear. Looks like it's still holding up.
What was the old Honda versus Kawasaki sportbike ad? Something like, "Even the Ninja knows he must hide from the Hurricane", I believe. Thus, it seemed prudent to come inside and dry out. I had to make a few phone calls, anyway.
Isn't it interesting that we can make our own little oasis with a few simple things? I think we serious riders are a pretty self sufficient lot. We make do with a lot less baggage than most. I also notice that there was still water on the G11 lense!
I discovered that my tank bag zipper now leaks in heavy rain. If you look just past the cell phone you'll see a pile of papers under my reading glasses. They ended up a bit wet. Not a biggie except for this one.
This is a factory machining template that I needed for my next stop. You can see how some of the ink ran and some red ink from another paper bled through. Fortunately, the information I needed was in two different places on the template so it all worked out.
While I was at the table a fellow instructor came by. Not having ridden, please note. That's ok. Scott spent a lot of years as an Oregon State Police motor officer. His dedication to riding and his skills are second to very few. What was interesting is that Scott told me he'd seen the bike in the parking lot. He wasn't at all surprised to see me riding in this weather. Pretty high compliment!
Unlike Thursday, yesterday never dried out. That's the way it goes, sometimes, eh? It's still riding!
Miles and smiles,