Monday, January 16, 2012

Testing before the lesson.

On a cold winter morning recently I set out for Portland to have coffee with Robert.  He has been kind enough to read and comment on this blog.  In one of his comments Robert expressed that he would like to meet me in person.  Silly him.  However, meet we did.  We talked about how one has to be sort of fearless to ride a bike.  The subject of sometimes being tested on something we haven't studied for, yet, also came up.  I came away from the meeting impressed by having been in the presence of a thinking man.

The hour and fifteen minute ride up was cold.  According to Elvira's ambient temperature gauge it was a couple of degrees above freezing.  That was before wind chill, of course.  Call it an ego thing, but I'm really trying to refrain from using the electrics.  No pun intended, but I tend to ride briskly in the cold.  At freeway speeds wind chill drops the temperature down about twenty degrees. So the temperature I felt went from the low thirties to the low teen's.  On the other hand, you don't pay much of a penalty for riding faster.  Check out this chart over at Rick's place, "Keep the Rubber Side Down".

You only pay a one degree penalty for riding at 70 instead of 60 ( mph ).  Click it up to 80 and there's only one more degree to be paid.  Not that I would ever break the law as an instructor, mind you.  I'm only offering this should somebody else decide to spend less time freezing.

Anyway, my thoughts were filled with the upcoming meeting.  This meeting in person thing is kind of like internet dating.  We all tend to paint ourselves in a good light.  Not that I ever claimed to be a six feet two inch tall handsome athlete named Dirk with six pack abs.  Still, I have been called a legend by several folks including some of our blogging brethren who have actually met me in person.  Realize, though, that the meetings were very short ones.

What would Robert think?  Would he be awed by the legend or let down by seeing a middle aged pleasingly plump rider slipping slowly past his prime?  I decided to let things sort out how they may and not worry about it.  Which is pretty much my standard operating procedure these days.  Like me or leave me.  Love me or hate me.  As long as people have a strong opinion I'm  happy.  The worst insult one could give me is to call me "boring" or "vanilla".

( Now I'm waiting for some obnoxious soul to put that in a comment:  Jack, are you reading this? )

Having sorted out all that needed sorted I was cruising happily.  Feeling kinda cocky at being the only bike I'd seen on the roads.  Basking in feeling like the tough warrior and thinking about how any other rider out here would be wired to the gills.  Yes, Sir, the grizzled veteran was king of the roost, cock of the walk this morning.  Then I got passed by a young man on a Honda CBR.  

I caught up to  him at the rest area.  Actually, he was just leaving as I was getting off the bike.  There was barely enough time to snatch this panning shot.  The rider had no wires that I could see and even less wind protection that I had on Elvira.

Dang!  Don't you hate feeling cocky then being one-upped?  I briefly considered riding the rest of the way without a jacket but quickly rejected that crazy idea.  My ego would heal as soon as the rider was out of sight.  It's still pretty healthy these days as it gets exercised regularly.

( to be continued )

Miles and smiles,



Charlie6 said...

Irondad, why yes...I have been one-upped while riding in the cold and feeling cocky about it: LINK

I try not to turn on the heated grips until things are below freezing but they are nice....

I miss the wind protection afforded me by the barn door sized fairing on my Ural....the little windshield on the Strom doesn't block the wind as much but it'll do.

Nice to see you online again.


Redleg's Rides

Colorado Motorcycle Travel Examiner

Trobairitz said...

I freely admit to using my heated grips on chilly summer mornings, alas, I must not have anything to prove.

I may never be a legend, but I shall be warm.

Is it me, or is that a new header pic too? Either way, I like it.

irondad said...


Thanks for the link. It was also a memory of a momentous event as it was the first post I commented on over on your wonderful site.

The unanswered question remains,

How far were the other riders going compared to us? I mean, I could ride in below freezing temps in just shorts and a t-shirt. For a block or so!

Take care,


irondad said...


The last thing I want to do is to make anybody else feel devalued if they use heated gear more freely.

Truth be told, it's probably better that riders use whatever is available to stay comfortable. From a safety and operational control viewpoint that's the course of wisdom.

For me it's a struggle against discovering I may have started down a pathway of declining strength. I've always been a spartan rider, braving whatever elements present themselves with no help from electrics. I ride in weather most won't.

To give in somehow signals to me a declining Warriorhood. I guess it's a personality defect when one continues to try to prove something to oneself when there's really nothing left to prove to anybody else.

Thanks for noticing the photo. I was at the Corvallis Airport late last week. As I was leaving I saw the sign about the flight plan. It was hard to resist even though I only had the 'Droid smart phone with me.

Take care,


Anonymous said...

CBR rider: probably younger than
IronDad's youngest motorcycle riding child.

At that young age and bravado overcomes brains, hence CBR rider was doing the normal thing. May his manly parts freeze solid to his underclothes and may he not produce more children like himself.

As to IronDad, iron gets real cold in the very real cold, ah but we know he has a warm heart and personality!

Right Dan?

VStar Lady said...

Irondad - real men do use heated grips! Of course real women turn on their heated vests, socks, gloves ... Don't worry about being called vanilla, for thousands, it's our favorite flavour.

Anonymous said...

I'm not ashamed to wear my Gerbing jacket and click on the heated grips. And even then, I don't ride in near-freezing temps! Of course all of the anti-skid and salt on the Pennsylvania roads has a lot to do with that.

irondad said...


Thank you for your curse. Though I admit the only reason I like it is because the young man showed me up!

As to the second part, Katie's the only one who is supposed to know I have a nice side!

Take care,


irondad said...

VStar Lady,

Thank you for gracing my blog. The perceived level of class and grace has just risen sharply.

I will think about that "real men" comment while I thoughtfully chew my quiche. :)

Take care,


irondad said...


If I had to worry about road salt I would probably think twice, too. Here we mostly worry about rain and all the sand they put on the roads when it even looks like it might freeze.

Thank you for reading!

Take care,