Sunday, September 30, 2007

Getting Used To Getting Wet

Looking out the kitchen window this morning gives me a good look at what the National Weather Service calls our "first hydrologically significant event of the season." Meaning lots of rain. The areas west of P.A. have gotten over 2 inches since last night, and the rivers will probably get close to flood stage by early this evening. Ahh, the Fall season has arrived.

My most recent post has the photo with sunny skies and beautiful views. Today is just plain wet and dreary. Just a few days ago we had the windows open until after dark because it was still a bit warm. Now the heaters have been turned on, and the long sleeved shirts returned to the front of the line as daily wear. Sweaters will be added soon enough.

At some point today I will don the fishtail parka and set out for a little ride in the rain. I hadn't ridden much this past week, and I think that a couple of my scooter riding cronies at work are beginning to suspect my resolve. The fact is, that I've been spending a bit more time with the Harley lately, and my riding has been in the evenings. After having it down so long, it feels good to blast down the highway on the old ratbike again. I'll post a photo of the ratbike in its lastest form in my next post. I changed the look again, and took it back to the way it was 2 years ago. The way that feels best for me when I'm riding it.

I have to tip my hat to the guys at work that have continued to ride as the season has turned. JayBee, TallSlim and even Dreamcrusher have been real consistent in using the scooter as daily transportation. As we press on in the coming months and face more "hydrologically significant events," hopefully we can keep our scooter parking spots filled up with our little band of scooter fanatics. After all, it's only rain...

Have fun,

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Welcoming Autumn With JayBee And Mod Kevin

Here you see my pal JayBee, and Mod Kevin enjoying the view of the Elwha River on the first day of Autumn. And what a nice first day at that.

After spending the early part of my day riding in a local bicycling event, I had come home for a shower and a change of duds when J.B. phoned me up to go for a little putt. I had spoken about my rides out to Altaire Campground, and this turned out to be the destination of the day. J.B. had called Mod Kevin, and we all met up in a parking lot at 8th and Pine St.

The pace up Black Diamond Road, then onto Elwha Road was just right for soaking in the sights. With the leaves beginning to turn from green to brilliant yellows, golds, and reds, every corner offered a postcard view. The rather cool temperatures added to the reality that this is truly Fall, and Summer has moved on.

What I was really into, was sharing the experience with these cats. I've been exploring these roads for awhile now, and have had some great moments. It'll really be sweet in a week or so when the colors are full, before the leaves start to fall. We already have a plan to roll back up to Altaire, in full retro Mod style. I'll have to ride the Vespa just to keep in style with these two.

At one point today, I glanced over at Mod Kevin and he was looking smooth in a PorkPie hat, and an authentic British Navy sweater. J.B. was also sporting a British military sweater, and they both had on a variation of the fishtail parka. For the next ride, we've agreed to wear the real fishtail parka's, and do it up right. With the cooler days upon us, we'll need them. We'll probably take some tasty grindage, and some high-test coffee, and make a real event out of it.

Whatever we end up doing, it'll be cool. This is the time of year to get out and ride, and really take in what is around you. These two cats will agree with me. And when they get out, they do it in real style. That's how they roll.

Have fun,

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Neighborhood Is Changing

Seems like life is taking it's toll on our little blog neighborhood. We find John over at Combat Commuter "packing it in" to continue his effort to rebuild his home life, and then yesterday I find that my biggest influence in moto-blogging is sliding into "hibernation." What the hell?

I have some solid favorites that I follow in the blog world, and Gary, the "Rush Hour Rambler" is in the top row of my favorites. Even if he pops up now and then to post one of his "Ramble Plans," the lack of consistency in his writings will be what I miss. I liken it to when my close friend told me that he was shipping out in the Navy. He was still my pal, and I would see and hear from him on occasion, but the fact was, that he was gone indefinitely and that was a void that was hard to fill.

But we all move on and continue down the paths that we are meant to follow. My path will still lead me to my keyboard to share my little snippets of life from my neck of the weeds.

The landscape that we've gotten used to is changing, and if "change is good" as the saying goes, then I'm cool with that. It won't stop me from checking in at their sites now and then to see if they have come back for a visit, or maybe for an even longer stay.

Now, that would be cool.

Have fun,

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

All Good Things...Are Good Things!

Well, since I'm back to the daily grind after nine days off from work, I figured that it was time to start poking away at the keyboard to get my blog world current. So, lets recap...
The vacation itself was a "fly by the seat of my pants" time, and I like it that way. I dinked around the house, and spent time with the kids and my bride. I also burrowed into the shop and got reacquainted with my bikes and the tools to keep them up and running. And in the case of my Sportster, it seemed like I always had to wrench on something.
The above photo was taken at the Hurricane Ridge parking lot in the late afternoon. The temp was around 75 degrees where I stood to click the picture. But I had to ride in a chilling fog for 13 miles before busting out into the clear blue sunny skys at around 4800 foot elevation. This was a huge bonus to the sweatshirt wearing day that I was enjoying at home.
I tried to pick a different destination each day to putt to and usually ended up in either the National Park or at a County Park by the water. No matter where the destination was, it was fun to ride and spend a little time checking out the surroundings.
The Sporty chose to keep me on my toes by throwing off parts that it no longer wanted. Like the fork stem bolt and washer. How in the world does this 5/8" x 1", 18 thread bolt just fly out of the hole? I had polished the top of the triple clamp just the day before, and it was intact. Maybe a road gremlin with a 15/16ths socket and wrench found me while at a company picnic Sunday afternoon. A stop at the local industrial hardware house got me fixed up. I first had to convince the dude at the motorcycle shop that it would be cool to call his supplier and ask what the bolt spec's were since the Harley's info was vague. They only list part numbers, and don't indicate within the part # what the size is, the way that some of the Japanese bike manufacturers do. Anyway, I got it done and got back to riding.
One thing that I do, and have always done while riding Harley's, it to pretty much dress like Marlon Brando from the "Wild One." Engineer boots, leather jacket with a denim "cut," that has a 25 year old Harley "Bar and Shield" patch sewn on the back, and a '60's era helmet complete with goggles strapped on. I get more comments about dressing "old school," but the truth is, that I've chosen this uniform since building my old '75 Ironhead Sportster almost 20 years ago. It's part of the deal I guess.
I put in equal time on the Big Ruckus, visiting Altaire Campground on the Elwha River one morning just to enjoy the smells of coffee and bacon and eggs being cooked over an open campfire. Having gotten my fix, I blasted home on Black Diamond Road with almost no traffic to contend with. Twists, turns, hills and beautiful views of the first changing colors of the Fall season, and literally three cars on the road. Sweeeeet!
All of this was just what the proctologist ordered, and I was able to roll into work with a fresher outlook and fully charged mental batteries. Work, meetings and classes...oh crap!
Have fun,

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Back To School

The spread between my postings is almost turning into a bi-monthly stretch. I gotta remedy that. The last few weeks have felt like a sprint finish as far as the work weeks go, but I cured that by grabbing up some vacation time so I could catch my breath and gear back a bit to enjoy some late summer days without the cloud of work hanging over my mellon.

I've been elected to a "team" of company folks to draw up the road-map for the future direction of our business, and this includes classes through the end of the year. Even though I'm on vacation, I'll be in class today for the whole afternoon. I'm commited to this project because I was voted into the position. Some folks were chosen by a steering committee, others were elected. I got the nod, so now I gotta "Git er' done."

And I will ride my scoot to class for sure. The riding has been nice lately with the cool, foggy mornings, followed by warm sunny afternoons. This is typical weather for this time of year, and it has always been my favorite time of year to ride. I was telling my wife this morning about when I bought my first brand new motorcycle off the showroom floor back in 1981. It was a Yamaha 550 Maxim, and I was telling of the time of year, and how it reminded me of those days. I said that I bought the bike on September 5th, and it was a day like today. How deja vu that its the 5th today, and I didn't even know it. Geez, I don't think about the date when I'm not at work. Time flies, man.

Well, little dude should be rolling in from kindergarten in a few minutes, so I'll go get caught up on his adventures before I head off to class. My books under one arm, and a Mountain Dew Amp Tall Boy in the other hand...I'm ready.

Have fun,

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