Tuesday, April 26, 2011

April Showers - FOR THE LOVE!!!!!

OK, yes I know it happens every year.  Yes, I know it's been happening so long that there is that nice little saying “April Showers bring May Flowers…”


Come on!!  I mean really?  According to this site we have had as of this morning 7.42 inches of rain in April.  According to the UK site we have had rain of some type 18 of the last 30 days…

This is giving me a serious downer.  Scoots are in the garage.  Rain for the foreseeable future.  Sigh….  And of course the first song on my ‘random play list for the day’?  “When the Levee Breaks” by Led Zeppelin…  Universe how you mess with me.

I have at least been lucky enough for a couple of nice Saturdays so I guess I can’t complain too much.  I’ve been able to stick to my “Ride at least once each month of 2011” new-year’s resolution.

Take this past Saturday for instance.  It was high time I got lost, and it was a great day for it.  I took out on Stella for a nice ride.  It still amazes me that after growing up in this area I can take a turn and still get lost.  LOVE. IT.
Note to self:  Get small compass for Stella….

Yes, I think back to my 4-H days (wasn’t a boy-scout) and learning how to find a semblance of where North is due to the time of day and the sun.  And it came in handy, but for a while there I really thought I was going to be stranded in the back-woods of southern KY and northern TN with no gas.  Man I didn’t know that road went there.  But now I know, and I know that it’s a good hour and a half ride.
I’ve found that I’ve started developing ‘routes’.  So far I have a ‘15 minute’ route, a ‘half-hour’ route, and now an ‘hour and a half’ route.  I’m pretty sure that if I go much longer on the Stella however I’m going to have to find a ‘make sure you go by a gas-station’ route. 

Sad thing, they just aren’t as frequent way out here in rural areas.  Finding some beautiful country.  Great landscapes.  Nice gently curving roads.  Just not that many gas stations. 

Challenge accepted.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Beware the Rides of March.....

March in Kentucky.  No longer winter, but not quite spring.  Days of wonderful Sun and warmth bringing you to come down with a strange yet strong case of spring fever.

Last night I was buoyed by the prospect of my first ride to work of the season.  I went out and made sure all was in order.  Charged the battery on the Stella, made sure my lights were working.

I told the wife, "Yes, I think I will 'man up' and ride in tomorrow."  I knew it would be cold in the morning.  And also knowing by the new work hours (in at 6:45 am now) it would be colder than normal.  That's OK.  I will thaw, and I've been way colder on a ride.  By noon it was supposed to be near 70, so "Scoot-On!"

Was I right about the ride?  Yes.  I was COLD.  Well, my legs were cold.  My torso and arms were OK due to the leather coat (more on that in a minute), and my gloves were just right.  I have somehow developed a wind leak around my visor so my face was a bit chilly.  But not bad.

But let's get back to that jacket and another thing no one ever thinks about over the winter while you are shut up in your cozy house attempting to stay warm.....

We will call that EATING...  Yeah, that..  Far more than normal.. Because hey, here you are shut up in the house, watching TV, and Oh.. I think I want some chips... or popcorn.... or whatever that's quick so you can get back to that episode of 'whatever is on tonight'.  It seems that I may have put on a few more pounds than I thought. 

Due to the cold I got out the trusty weathered leather riding jacket.  You know, the old 'Harley-Davidson' kind with the kidney belt.  Best yard-sale find ever.  My mother-in-law found it for I think $30 for my brother-in-law.  He is tall and thin, it didn't fit.  But me (shorter and 'more round') it worked perfectly....

Until this spring....

I get all of my gear together, put the coffee in the thermos, slip my coat on and go to zip... oh bother....

Suck it in....

OK, it's zipped.  I put my back-pack on with my trusty thermos in the side-pocket and get on the road.

My drive to work isn't long.  About 10 miles.  Through my small Kentucky town, not much traffic at that time.  All of the old men are already at the diner getting coffee.  Sleepy people stirring around.  Kind of nice actually.  But WOW, was it cold.  :-)

Anyway, I get to work.  Walk in taking off my helmet, already forgetting about the smallness of the jacket due to the thoughts of the upcoming day.  Then the fun starts.

First, let me pass this small fact along.  I work for a Japanese company.  And of the Japanese companies I've ever had dealings with, one thing that is common is what is called an "Open Office".  No cube walls, only VP and HR in an office.  Just desks sitting right next to each other.

I walk in, saying hi to the folks around me.  Set my helmet on the desk and take off the gloves, then go to take off the backpack.

OK, have you ever seen someone trying to catch the sleeve of their coat by spinning in a circle?  Kids do this a lot.  Well, take that mental video and run it in reverse and you have me attempting to get my backpack off. 

The jacket was tight and to get the backpack off of my back I have to reach over my shoulder and lift it up to remove my arm.  Yeah, that was pretty.  I won't go into it.

I look over at a couple of ladies that work near me, yeah they were laughing....

I'm so glad that I can give other people a chuckle in the morning.  Looks like that new year diet needs to start now....  yeah....