Dirt

So after a full week of riding to work with either wet roads or in the rain my bike looked much worse for the wear:

Where’s the chrome again?

Needless to say I took it apart Sunday and washed the gunk off. Currently it’s covered up awaiting my return from the great snowy north! (Pics of the snow coming soon)

Music

I tend to want to have some music playing when I ride. As it’s been discussed in a couple of forums I read the opinions are pretty much divided. Some feel that it’s a distraction and others love it. Some think that it’s an abomination to listen to anything other than the bike and the wind..Whatever..If i’m in the mood for music I listen to music..If not I don’t…Pretty simple..For those times when i’m in the mood I use my SanDisk Sansa. It only came with 1G of space but it has a slot for a microSD card which I had a spare 1G card..So 2G of music is plenty for the commute. The biggest selling point of this player for me is that it can get FM. So I can get traffic and the morning show I like to listen to on the way to work.

Another selling point is that it “just works” under Linux. I don’t need a gui or any special software to put mp3’s on it..I plug it in, it gets picked up as a removable storage drive and I just move the mp3’s I want into the Music folder. Simple eh?  All of this functionality and it’s no bigger than a normal usb drive:

Do you ride with music or without?

Bad Weather Riding

These last few days have been pretty tough as far as riding. I’m really making an effort to ride in the rain since it’s something I’m not overly comfortable with. I always listen to the “little voice” about riding in bad weather and so far this week he’s been quiet so I’ve ridden every day. Now it’s not that I *like* riding in the rain or cold..In fact I hate it..But I feel it makes me a better rider by finding out the limits of my bike and riding in conditions other than ideal. You never know when you’re on an extended trip when/if it will start raining. I was extremely nervous when I took my trip back in October about bad weather. Luckly the only two days it rained were the two days that I used for a rest day.

This past week and a half or so the weather has been perfect for riding, aside from the rain of course ;). Over the weekend it was in the mid 60’s with nothing but sunshine. Those days bring out the fair weather riders. Now there is absolutely nothing wrong with being a fair weather rider. I still consider myself a fair weather rider. I’ve started really getting into riding no matter what the weather is though. But I’ve only been in that mindset for a few months now. So far I’ve hit some pretty damn cold weather. Multiple times in the last 2 weeks when I head into work the temp is below 25F. Since I really don’t have any “good” cold weather gear yet I’ve been riding with my summer armored jacket with a sweatshirt on underneath it..Definitely not ideal but good cold weather is expensive, but it gets me by. Having a good windshield keeps most of the cold just on my hands and legs. Also found out that if the temp is under 28F I might as well not wear my gloves because they do no good at all.

And now back to the fair weather riders..I went to IHop for breakfast on Saturday and there were several bikers there ranging from Goldwinger’s to Harley Riders..They were heading out as I pulled in and I watched them gear up..They were seriously dressed like it was -10F and it was ~62F. I pull up with my summer armored jacket on with a tshirt underneath and my summer gloves and I was very comfortable. One of the guys looked over at me as I was getting off and asked if I was feeling the cold..I laughed and told him I had ridden to work on the coldest day of that week and that the temp today made it feel like spring time. He shook his head and finished putting on his chaps and puffy leather jacket.

I guess that’s the positive I take out of crappy riding days like today when it’s cold and wet…When a random “warm” day comes along during winter I know that I can truly enjoy it without worrying about freezing to death. But I have to admit that even when it’s miserable, cold, wet and just generally crappy..I still love to ride. Everytime I walk out of the house no matter what the weather is I just can’t see myself taking the jeep to work. Does that define passion or obsession?  I’m going to go with passion because I don’t like to obsess about anything 🙂

Settled Down

Ok..Things look like they’re back to normal..If you still come in via http://kickstandsup.year26.org you should update your bookmark or history to reflect the new address. My old blog located at http://www.year26.org is back up now as well. Originally I was just redirecting everything from that site to Kick Stands Up but I figure I’ll keep it around for a while since I’ve posted a lot there.

Some Changes

I bought a different domain to host this site. Since I started this it’s something I decided I wanted to keep up so moving it off my main domain seems the way to go. Over the next day or so this address will change to:

http://www.cubezombie.org

I thought that was a fitting title since it’s the name I go by on several motorcycle forums. You shouldn’t notice any change on your side but you’ll need to update your bookmarks. I’ll have the necessary redirects to get to the new site.

What A Difference

I’ve been riding almost every day since I fixed my old bike and I’ve been riding everyday since I got my new bike. There has been some *really* cold mornings but overall it hasn’t been that bad. I won’t go so far to say that I wasn’t cold, because I was damn cold..But it wasn’t an uncomfortable cold. I think this is due to the windshield that both bikes have. The new bike even has lowers which are below the windshield and deflect a good bit more air.

I’ve also found that anything below 30 degrees my gloves suck. It typically takes me 45 min to get to work with the route that I take. Under 30 degrees and 15 min into the ride my hands start to get numb. I’ve found that as long as I move them they don’t get so numb that I can work the clutch and brake. I also picked up a pair of glove liners for, ~9 bucks, that are silk and not only do they make it easier getting my outer gloves on but they also give me an extra 10-15 min on those below 30 degree mornings.

Today was just a perfect morning to ride in. There was no humidity in the air which means no frost on the bike (naturally since I remembered to cover it up last night) and the temp was 40 degrees. Perfect riding weather. There are some pics after the jump that I took on Wednesday since it was ~23 degrees and I forgot to cover the bike the night before

Continue reading “What A Difference”