Thursday, June 18, 2009

Down but not out

You may remember my post about my first ambulance call teaching a motorcycle class. My step son tells me the person who was injured during my class is in the middle of an evening class for which he is the range aid. He says she is doing well and happy to be back in the class. She choose to wear a full face helmet for the class.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Zen and idiots

Here's the new rule. Ride to work at least once a week.

Beautiful morning, temperature in the mid 50's in Chicago. With little time for riding in my current circumstances, I will need to commit myself to ride to work once a week. Today was a perfect day to ride. I-57 is a breeze going in or on the return trip. Traffic is fairly spaced out with an average speed of 65-70. I know the speed limit is 55, but that is the pace set by traffic. Once I-57 merges with I-94 (The Dan Ryan) is slows to real rush hour traffic. Even so, this morning I only had to plant my feet twice on the rode. The traffic pattern of the Dan Ryan including adding a lane and the new surface eases some of the congestion. Just a ridership of the Metra has thinned a little, I have to believe some of the cars on the Dan Ryan has thinned as well as a result of unemployment.

It wasn't until I got on the Dan Ryan that my Zen of riding was disturbed. Once on the Dan Ryan, cars are jumping from lane to lane to get one or one cars closer to work. This behavior means consistently getting cut off. Okay I am a little used to that. However once per trip and cager moves over into my lane without checking mirror and ignores my presence. The short peep of the horn is my only recourse to make me feel better as the cager usually forces themselves into my lane and I back off. I know I can't win. Unfortunately I get mentally sucked in for the next five minutes thinking of bad ways to react. Riding along side the car and giving it a kick, flipping them the finger, carrying steel ball bearings to through as the car, etc.... Of course I won't end up doing this as it will have no effect and could produce road rage with a cager. As before, the horn is my only way to vent. If I could only get back to enjoying the ride as quickly as the cager who cuts me off forgets about me. I will work on it.

It was good to ride to work today. Enough said.

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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Back on the bike for one

My step-son graduated from HS this week. In the midst of this business he has been working as a range aid for the motorcycle classes on weeknights and the weekends. My step-daughter Ebony came home for a week to be here for the party and celebrations. Ebony get this motorcycle bug started in me in 2005. Ebony is someone who likes to explore new activities. She came across the motorcycle classes while living with us after graduating from college. Ebony asked me to take the class with her and I said why not. I had grown up riding dirt bikes but hadn't ridden a motorcycle for over 20 years. Of course the rest is history. After taking the class, Ebony bought a Ninja 250 that she shared with me during the summer of our first riding season. That fall, I purchased the Concours. She had the bike for a couple of years, but went to Boston to get a Master's in Medical Science to help her get in Med School. After the first year away, "we" decided to sell it to reduce her expenditures while in school. As she had only been paying those minimum payments, I ended up eating about a thousand in order to sell the bike.

Ebony just finished her first year in Med School and Boston University with straight A's. While home for the graduation, I helped her remember the basics of motorcycling while using Neil's new Ninja 250. We had a mini motorcycle course on our dead end street. She following me in the subdivision for around 20 minutes (lots of curves), then made it out to roads that took us up to 55 mph. She was happy to be back on a motorcycle. After Med School, I know she will have a motorcycle of her own again. In the meantime, there will always be a bike at home for her to ride.