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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Learning curve's

Every time I go out, I learn something new about the bike and myself.  On Saturday I thought I go get gas, then take the bike out for a nice spin on a lovely day.

I misjudged exactly how far I would get on the gas I had.  In fact, 1.5 miles up the road I'm calling the lovely, beautiful, smart and incredible girlfriend to pick me up.  Did I mention how wonderful she was?

The girlfriend let me know she was not happy about picking me up and getting gas for me, in fact I'm still suffering from this experience.  Lesson learned...About 210 miles is as far as I go go on a tank of gas, after that find a station quickly.

When I left in the morning the temperature was in the low 80's, a wonderful warm and sunny morning, within the hour the sky darkened, the clouds moved in and every time I looked down at my ambient air gauge...the temperature seemed to drop another 3 or 4 degrees.  I had packed a sweater under the seat and tossed that on, but not rain gear.  A friend had got caught out a few days before, and I should have learned from his experience.  The rain however held off and my little 50 miles sprint on the bike was all good.
An old bridge found on the ride.

David Masse, who writes the wonderful Life on Two wheels blog, once mentioned that he carried a crushed beer can with him to stabilize the bike when he pulled into soft shoulders to take a few photo's or so.  "Good idea" I think to myself, and promptly don't do that.   Then I pull off the side of the road to get a couple of pics of an old decaying bridge, which sadly my photographic skills do not do it justice.  I start to put the camera back into the bag and "OH SHIT!" the bike did not tip.  I was able to catch it in time...but lesson learned.  The camera landed softly on the grass and I was glad I dropped it, and not the Burgie.

There is a lot of learning involved.  How to do the basic maintenance, how to look for certain things, how to protect yourself, how to drive in X condition and how that differs from Y condition.

Is it worth it?  Oh sure there are gas savings, my full tank ran me a total of $12 dollars and I know I can go a MAXIMUM of 210 miles before needing to fill up again.  Does it save the environment?  Am I making friends in a larger community?
Along with the tangibles are a whole bunch of intangibles.

Ah Florida!
Of course finding something as strange and wonderful as this on the road does make it worthwhile, and being able to pull over quickly to take advantage of the camera is certainly a plus.

I'm still learning, the curves of the road and the lessons that the bike has to teach me.  What other joys does the road hold?  What other horrors and surprises?

To know that, I have to simply ride.


David Masse said...

Glad that worked out for you Robert :) I'm an ex-boy scout and you wouldn't. Elieve the stuff I carry in addition to that beer can: a full-ish tool kit including a tire puncture kit, bungee net, two webbing straps, full rain gear, summer gloves, waterproof gauntlets, ear plugs, 12 volt compressor, tire gauge, Kryptonite lock, helmet cable lock, cell phone charger, GPS unit, digital camera, small shopping bag, flashlight, emergency center punch automotive glass breaker and seat belt cutter, and, believe it or not, a monocular spyglass, in case I need a close up of wildlife or scenery. My motto is still "Be Prepared". Ride safely.

Dar said...

The best thing about getting into riding motorcycles or scooters is that you all of a sudden have a love of photography and drag a camera everywhere. You also learn to travel light and pack important goodies that save your bacon in unexpected circumstances. Good gear is priceless. Each time I go I invariably learn something new and it adds to my skill set. I am learning about how to efficiently store things on my scooter or motorcycle and that a jacket with a ton of inner pockets is something I can't live without. I feel more engaged in my environment whilst on the scoot or bike. Enjoy your new found passion! BTW I looked at a Burghie too, but it was a little big. Beautiful looking scoot!