Thursday, July 29, 2010

OK, So I wimped out....

It's late Summer.  What does that mean?  Random who-knows-where pop-up thunderstorms.

I hate it.  Every day I look at the 'by-hour' weather report.  Monday and Tuesday, the likelihood that I would get wet was VERY. HIGH. so I didn't ride to work.  But Wednesday, finally a break in the weather.  I could ride.

I did take precautions, I put the rain-gear in under the seat and rode the larger scooter.  I made sure I was ready.  Then, the call came...

Wifey had run up to Bowling Green (about 20 minutes north of here) to run some errands.  As she was headed out of town she texted me saying "WOW, Had to pull over due to the rain!".  Nice, the rain is THAT hard??!  I quickly checked the radar and sure enough, all of these little pop-up storms were everywhere.  EVERYWHERE.  Not the nice little green spots either.  BIG RED spots with just a little green outline. 

My mind starts racing.  Yeah, I don't mind getting a little wet.  I rode to a rally 3 hours in rain (totally drained me, but that's another story).  Wet isn't the issue.  I WAS afraid of being blown off of the bike in a storm with lightning and heavy winds.

I sat there a little longer... 
I checked the radar again...
I thought about it....
I checked the radar again...

BOOOM!!!!!!  (the thunder starts at the plant)


I checked the radar again....



Me (to anyone generally):  OK, I'm going to take a little break and go change vehicles.

Everyone knows I ride.  I have even gotten VERY nice follow-up text messages from folks here asking if I had missed the storm on the way home.  So, people (that heard me) just grinned.  Some said "Yeah, good idea."  It's only maybe 20 minutes round trip so, and I always get here 30 minutes early.  I didn't think anyone would care. (No-one did.)

I race home.  The wife, knowing I was coming, had even left the garage door open so I could just shoot right in.

So I run in, swap keys, kiss the wife thanking her for her thoughtfulness, and head back to work in the truck.

All is good, but....


Yes, more thunder.  But NO RAIN!

I knew it.  Every time I wuss-out and do something that I think was the smart thing to do this happens.

Of course, I play it off again.  (like the flat tire)  I just tell everyone "Hey, I just took the hit for all the other guys who ride to work.  Because you know:  I'm a giver."

To quote Tony Soprano:  "Waddayagonnado..." 

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Maintenance... More than an oil change...

Yes, it's come to that time where the break pads on both my Burgman and my wife's Elite must be done.  Mine is just making a weird squealing noise but the Elite is just ugly sounding.

Now, I have ordered parts from my usual on-line source.  Bike Bandit, however I'm sure there are other great sources out there for aftermarket and OEM parts.  I have just been using these folks for a while now and I have had good luck thus far.  For both sets of brakes (and an exhaust gasket for the Elite) it was around $60.  I thought that was a pretty good price.

Now, this weekend (should the parts arrive) will be interesting.  I have both service manuals.  I plan on doing this job all myself.  We will see how well it goes.  I'll keep you posted....

...Will Mitch be able to make all the repairs?....
...Will he get them almost back together only to find he needs one more thing?....
...Will he get his fingers caught between the wrench and a very hard piece of metal?.... (very likely)
...Will his wife just look at him and shake her head....

... We will find out all these things, and more on the next installment of....

As the Scooter Wheel Turns!!!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Today's story brought to you buy the "Just Scoot!" blog....

I feel the need to post something today.  But being tied up with other things, I decided to share something I found on one of the other blogs I frequent.

This blog is "Just Scoot!" and is written by April who works for Scoot Magazine.

Its' about Embarrassing your children.  But in my opinion these kids KNEW they had the coolest Mom in town.

Monday, July 19, 2010

The "Scooterist/Homeowner" Dichotomy (as I see it)

As Scooterists (or anyone who rides 2-wheels) we can't wait for that time of the year with the temperatures rise to the level that it's REALLY fun to ride.  For me that means not having to ALSO pull out the insulated coveralls, and the thick gloves, and something to protect my neck from the cold, etc.  However with those warmer temperatures come the dreaded RAIN.  Can you ride in the rain?  Yes.  Is it as fun as riding in the Sun, NO.  Is it as safe as riding in the Sun, NO!  So on those days I choose to take the 'other mode of transportation' meaning my little red truck.  I tuck inside of that enclosed box, and look at the clouds on the horizon and think "No, you won't get me today.  ah-HA!!"

As a homeowner with a yard that you want to look it's best.  When summer comes you look at your browning grass and just WISH that a little rain would come.  I won't even get into all of the farmers around here and their need for rain for their lively-hood.  With the way I handle stress, it's probably better I didn't follow my father on that one.  I get stressed enough over a 1/4 acre of grass, if I had several hundred (or thousand) acres of crops that I needed rain in abundance for me to feed my family I would be beyond a basket-case.  But I digress....

I want my yard to look good.  Yes, I could water.  But I do not think that is the best option.  So I do want that rain to come.  And I want it to come often so that my grass (or the above mentioned farmers) have all they need.

But could it come at night??  ( Don't hate...)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

So I guess I won't go home quite yet.....

This post was a little late in coming.  (Been a weird week.)  Last Friday I was all ready to head home to start the nice long 4th of July weekend.  I get my backpack on, head to the parking lot, get on the Stella and....

Flat Tire...

Now, I have to say this is a first for me.  Never had a flat like this.  I have run over something to cause my tire to go flat (A KEY!, Really?  Of all things a KEY??) but never just have one flat when I come out from work.

Just then I think.  Oh yeah, the Stella has a spare!!.  So I take off the cowl and go to grab the spare only to find that the spare was flat too!

Me on cell:  "Hey Honey.."
Wifey:  "Oh, Hey what's up?"...
Me: "Well, funny story.  Could you please grab my air-pump, and get in the truck and come over to the plant?" (I thought, bring the truck in case I have to bring it home that way...)
Wifey:  "Poor Pookie.." (Yes, she calls me pookie ) "..sure, I'll be there in about 15 minutes."

So, as I'm standing there waiting.  I get all of the "Oh, flat tire?" Jokes.  And stories of "Oh, I hate that.. You know one time I had a flat tire...."  I laughed at the jokes, and thought up the comment of "You know, I'm just taking the hit of a flat for everyone else at the plant for the 4th of July weekend."   Yes, that's me.  A giver.

After about 15 minutes or so standing in the parking lot, my dear one shows up.  I think I'll just try and air the tire up first and see if I can get it home.  The tire is holding air.  Good.  The wife gives me the "Go ahead, I'll follow you." signal and we take off.

Long story short, I make it home fine but the next morning the tire is flat.  Again.  Looks like I get to fix a flat.

I take the spare off.  I wonder if this one is just low on air?  I put the air-pump to it and sure enough it airs right up.  And it also holds the pressure for more than two days (I was riding the Burgman until I got this straightened out.).

It's been several years since I've done any type of tire changing.  I mean I've swapped out a flat, but I haven't removed a tire from it's rim and fixed a tube since my 'growing up on the farm' days.  Luckily for me, the Stella comes with the 'bolt-together' rims.  This means I wouldn't have to struggle with prying the tire off of the rim to get to the spare.  I had NO tools for that.

For those of you who have done this.  You are doing one of two things.  You are thinking to the first time you changed a tire on a split rim, and laughing at the finger you mashed.  Or the time you took struggling to pull the rim out of the tire.  OK, I'm in your club now. 

Finally I get the tire off of the rim.  Then I do the "Air the tire up, and run water over it to find the leak" trick my father showed me.  Yup, there it is.  A little hole in the tube.  I don't know why there was this hole.  I didn't see a hole in the tire.  Nor did I see anything fall out of the tire while I was struggling with it that would have caused it.  But there it was.  Just as sure as the nose on my face.

Well, to make a long story short.  This time I've tried the tube patch method instead of buying a new tube.  I may regret it, as that tire is now my spare.  But I'll keep an eye on it.

Oh, and I'll also remember to keep some type of 1/2 inch socket in my kit.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

OK, this is new.....

It's a mild week here in southern KY this week meaning instead of it being already in the 70's when I ride to work, it's moving up out of the 60's.  Now I am fine with the weather, it's really nice after these really hot days lately.  However this has brought about something new that I had yet to experience on my scooters.

Until this season all I had to ride was my Burgman with it's big nice wind shield.  This year I've started driving my Stella more and more to work.  So yesterday I took off to work like I normally do.  And, yes it was a little cold but totally bearable.  I rode all the way to work being cool, but never uncomfortable.

We have all ridden in the cold.  We get to where we are going and we have to rub our hands together, rub our legs, rub our cheeks trying to get them all warm.  But this was the new one.  Have you EVER had the coldest part of your body be YOUR ARM PITS??!?!!?!!

I mean come on, I don't EVER in my life remember my arm pits being the coldest part of my body.  Is it the air-flow on a scoot with no wind shield?  Is it the way I sit on it?  What gives?

Needless to say, I wore the good old 'light-jacket' this morning.....