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,