I don’t have that many followers here on WordPress but I do feel bad for those that I have. I’m no longer posting motorcycle related stuff here. I’ll only be posting it here:
I’m trying to keep all of my motorcycle and related posts in one spot and when I imported this from my Livejournal a lot of other random crap came with it. So this will be my last even slightly motorcycle related post on this blog.
If motorcycles are what you want then please check out the new blog. It’s the same with just a new url and everything is motorcycle related.
See you over there.
Keep the rubber side down.
If you’ve read more than one post on this blog you’ve heard me mention my “long way home” ride. It’s my break in my week or day that always puts a smile on my face. It adds about 20 to 30 minutes to my normal 25ish minute ride. It’s varied over the years as I’ve gained confidence and skill riding my motorcycle. In any form though it basically substitutes Skyline (Hwy 35) for 280 for as much as my ride home as possible. The changes are in how I get to Skyline from Palo Alto. When I first started riding I took Woodside Rd (Hwy 84) up to Skyline, and it was certainly twisty enough for a novice rider, and I did this for several years. Since then I have come to love taking Page Mill Rd all the way up and it is much more challenging and there for fun for my intermediate skills.
Enough talk. Here’s the map.
Writing this reminds me of the first time I rode up Page Mill, and I almost rode off the edge after getting too cocky after thinking I knew what the road was like. There are two turns that I really am not fond of that are pretty close to each other. The first is a uphill hair pin right hand corner, that is (for me) too steep to lean into and must be done in first gear. The second is not as bad but is a slightly less sharp left hand uphill hair pin that is off camber and a bit bumpy. They are my constant challenge, everything else I can do with out feeling like I don’t know what I’m doing. Though speed and effort needed does vary by day.
I really don’t want this to turn into a Cars suck motorcycles are awesome post and if it comes off that way I am sorry.
A few weeks ago I took the MINI to work, and I drove home the long way. It was a nice drive home.
Since then I’ve ridden home on the motorcycle almost everyday, and have taken the long way home two or three times. Each time I’ve thought about how different it was in a car. I did enjoy the MINI the other day, but even after a great drive home, it is still not the same as riding a motorcycle. I mentioned this in the MINI post, but it got me thinking again, about what is it that makes me love riding so damn much.
After much reflection it is not a speed thing as most assume. I think at its most basic it really is just the way you make a motorcycle turn vs. making a car turn. One is passive and the other is active. Strangely enough the motorcycle is more fun because it is harder to turn. Or maybe not so strange; things that are easy seldom give the pleasure of things you have to work for.
Turning a motorcycle is work. It involves leaning the motorcycle and the faster you are going the more it needs to lean and the more you need to move your body on the bike to keep it upright. That sounds strange, and I do not understand the physics of it all, but I trust the fast people (racers etc.) to know. So I do as they do (as much as I can).
Even with riding a motorcycle being so complicated (and doing it well is even more difficult). I still find that I wish I was better despite the fact that my riding buddy D thinks I am better than him now (of which I am a bit skeptical) but at the very least suggests I am no longer a novice.
It really doesn’t matter. What the end result is… is flying. Or swooping, or… it’s just awesome.
I’m not sure it’s healthy.
I know that if you asked some of my friends they would most definitely tell you it’s not healthy and would point to my leg for evidence.
What I’m talking about is how much it permeates my life. It’s like I live and breathe motorcycles sometimes.
This was brought into focus again last night as I was hanging out with the Lovely Wife and some close friends in the Mission District of SF. There are a lot of motorcycles in SF and the mission district is really the hub if you ask me. Not only are they all over the place but the two exotic bike dealerships are in the area as well as the Zeitgeist and the Ace Cafe used to be over there as well.
I seriously had to look at every single bike that drove by or was parked. It’s like a compulsion with me.
I do this all the time, but with as many bikes that were out, it really became apparent how often I do this. Sometimes to the detriment of simple things like holding a conversation with my wife… or walking in a straight line.
I took this photo as I was walking to Starbucks the other day:
Guy pulled into the gas station I was walking past, and after admiring his bike I decided that I had to go back and ask to take a picture of it.
Yeah.. kinda nuts.
So yes, I am addicted. I’m just not ready to admit that it might be a problem.