Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Polar Bear Ride

Here's the trusty old steed mere seconds from the start of the Polar Bear Clubs annual New Years Day Dip into the Port Angeles harbor. By the time I had made it to the beach, the countdown was at 3-2-1 GO! And in the chilling drink they went. Being less than an amateur photog, my attempts at some good followup action shots were blown because I made some stupid mistakes. Oh well, there's always next year.

The day turned out cold with a steady rain. I couldn't "ride" in the New Year by driving my car just to stay warm and dry. That would bring on some kind of guilty feeling, so I suited up in my raingear and headed to the beach. A guy that I know saw me on my scoot and instead of saying hello, he just shook his head and walked off. That alone made it worth it.

It was impressive to note how many people were out enjoying some kind of physical exercise on this morning. Aside from the peoplesickles, the runners were on the Waterfront Trail, bicyclists were out in great numbers, and there were eleven kayakers that had crossed the harbor to watch the event. A nice healthy way to start '07.

Myself, on the other hand...well, I ride. Thats what I do. And apparently I was the only one to do so while I was out and about. Hurrying home after watching people grow goosebumps didn't seem to be worth the effort, so the decision was made to spend some time wandering around the streets to see if anyone else was riding like me.

Nobody wanted to come out to play. I was the King of the Streets on a motorbike, with no one to contest me. Maybe latenight revelry had taken it's toll on their will to jump on their bike and ride into a chilling rainstorm. I'm glad I did.

As we began this year, I made no resolutions to do things that are different that what I like doing now. I did set some personal goals though. I've included some thoughtful suggestions on my short term goals list. One being a riders comparison of my three scooters, as suggested by Gary Charpentier. I'll do this up right, so it'll be a bit before it's posted. The other will be my taking the Motorcycle Safety Foundation course, and an even more advanced course later on. This old dog could use some training.

A recent post on Musings of an Intrepid Commuter by "Irondad" drove the last nail into a thought that has been in mind for the past few months. Safety training for anyone, no matter how long you've ridden, can only enhance the riding experience. This will also provide thoughts and words for future posts. And who I follow in the footsteps of others, I may post a culinary review of the "Fat Smitty Burger" that should add food for thought. All in good time my friends, all in good time!

But for now I'll continue plodding ahead into the gale force wind and rain that I call my daily commute.

Have fun,


Blogger Combatscoot said...

More power to you, Bill! Though your blog was started shortly before mine, you still inspire me. I didn't make any resolutions, either, but I do want to complete some advanced training this year to polish-up on the old skills. Ride on.

5:37 AM  
Blogger Biker Betty said...

Glad you were able to make it out on your scooter. Even with the rain, it sounds like you had fun. My husband and I took the MSF beginners course Feb '05 and can not say enough good things. We loved it and they were very thorough. We will be due the advance course pretty soon.

11:32 PM  
Blogger Bill Sommers said...

I apprieciate the nice words. As the new guys on the blogroll, I feel like I'm in good company with gents like you to set pace with.

And yes, these old skills can use some polish. I'm looking forward to the training.

Always good to get out and putt around.

I feel good about getting the chance to take the MSF class, and will follow you guys into the advanced course as soon as I can.

Have fun,

7:55 AM  
Blogger Steve Williams said...

Head shakers aside, the Polar Bears make any winter riding seem pretty cushy. I suppose we all have our ideas of what seems nuts in other people.

Good decision to take the MSF course. I've been twice now and will go again this spring. The more I ride the more I realize how much I don't know. Always something to learn.

5:00 AM  
Blogger Paul said...

Hi. Is that a 1964 GL a couple photos down? It looks like new.

3:34 PM  
Blogger Paul said...

Is that a 1964 GL you are on a couple of photos down? I have one of those too. But yours looks like new. I made homemade floor mats today.

3:35 PM  
Blogger Bill Sommers said...

Yeah, I didn't have it so bad. At least I was dressed for the cold and wet. These hardcore souls were one or two garments away from lettin' it all hang out.

I'm thinking about organizing a ride next year for motorbikes and scooters to bring in the new year.

Thanks for stopping by. The Vespa is a '66 125cc Gran Tourismo.

I had to verbally arm wrestle the Coast Guard agent that inspected it to clear Customs, since the State wouldn't let me license it without international transfer paperwork. He also thought that it was new.

My original documents from Italy read "1966" for the year of manufacture. Old Blue's a clean machine!

Have fun,

4:50 PM  

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