Tuesday, December 06, 2011

How to Lift a Bike

I'm posting this here with the blessing of Pat Hahn, who is the Communications Manager for our training program. That's Pat in the video, by the way.  One of the things I've learned in my pursuit of photography is that there is a definite advantage to being the one behind the camera.  Especially if there is a big heavy sport touring motorcycle to be lifted.

Pat and I lifted ( well, he lifted and I grunted ) this bike several times looking for the perfect take.  We may not have arrived there but we got close.  I do get some credit for making the narration happen in time with the action!

This blog post also marks a sort of milestone for me.  I have now officially lost my YouTube virginity.  It's also the first video here.  Don't expect to see very many more.

This is a sneak preview.  The video will be posted on the new TEAM OREGON website when it debuts in January. In the meantime, I hereby present "How to Lift a Bike".

Miles and smiles,


Monday, December 05, 2011

Don't be "derailed!"

A while back I shared the three guiding principles I ride by. One of those is "Riding with Purpose".

There's a lot to it but it basically means keeping your head in the ride.  One aspect is realizing we are on a motorcycle and then adjusting our thinking according.  Something that gets a lot of riders into trouble is thinking like a car driver while riding a motorcycle.

Car drivers may not even think twice about a certain roadway condition, for example.  For a motorcyclist, though, this same thing could be a real hazard.   It's critical for us to get our thinking on the right track lest we become derailed.  In the situation I recently discovered it could happen quite literally.

Over the past few months that have seemed like years, several major arterials in Portland have been clogged by crews ripping up the streets.  I've avoided these as much as possible because I've grown tired of doing snail impressions.  The other day my dictated destination didn't leave me much choice.  To my relief the construction is done.  To my chagrin, I know now why.  

In a huge city I guess light rail for mass transit is important.  To be effective said light trail needs to go where people need to be.  Well, it now goes a long ways North and South!

As it turns out, the light rail is pretty much the right lane on two major North-South routes.  There are three lanes of  travel so we could simply ride in one of the other two, right? The fly in the ointment is that a lot of the major destinations require a right turn.  Makes the intersection a bit tricky.

Car drivers don't have any problem with gliding over and making the right turn. As riders, however, we know we really shouldn't be doing that.  Our angle should be at least 45 degrees.  Not sure how we're supposed to do that when we have traffic REALLY close on our left that impedes moving over to get that angle.  

Truth be told, with the condition of the street and tracks right now a front wheel isn't likely to get grabbed.  Eventually the pavement / blacktop will start getting big gaps.  For now, though, I see the issue as being a combination of wet steel tracks and the required braking and lean angles for turning.  I've done it successfully several times with no unsuccessful attempts.  I'm aware of the hazard and change my approach accordingly. Hope the other riders do the same.

Ride with purpose and think like a motorcyclist.  Sometimes it means we need to slow down and be cautious as much as we hate that!

Miles and smiles,

P.S.  I'm trying Blogger's new layout.  There's a few things like paragraph spacing and stuff that I'm still working on.  The html codes seem different.  If anyone else is doing the same and cares to share wisdom I'm all ears, so to speak.