Friday, March 9, 2012

Easing Into Riding Routine

The weather forecast for yesterday was spot-on. It was 55ºF (13ºC) at oh-dark-30 when I leave my home to drive to the downtown of my hometown where I work. Time to get the Harley out and ride!

But preparation for a safe ride is the key to a pleasurable commute.

Anticipating the good weather, I got my Harley ready for the trip the night before. I spent an hour going making sure that every nut, bolt, and cable was secure. I checked the brakes, lights, horn, sidestand, chassis, and tire pressure. Man, those tires lose air quickly, but fortunately I have a small air compressor, so I put in air to bring the tires back to recommended pressure. All set.

In the morning, I pulled my truck and my partner's car out of the garage, and then my Harley which is parked behind them. I donned my heavy leather retro chaps, gray biker jacket, gloves, helmet, and took off.

Oh, what boots was I wearing? I decided to wear my Wesco Motor Patrol boots. So comfy, tall, and protective. Vibram 430 lug soles provides good traction. The foot of the boot looks dressy with nice clothes, so no one ever noticed that I had tall boots on all day at the office. Truly, NBD.

I was a bit surprised that condensation was visible on some of the less-traveled roads which had cooler surfaces. But the main road -- the road on which I travel the longest distance of five miles (8km) -- was perfectly dry.

I still don't like to ride in the dark, but at least my new rear light bar lit me up brightly to be more visible to vehicles behind me. I even had a county bike cop pull up next to me at a stoplight and wave. "Nice morning to ride!" he said. "Yessir, have a safe day!" I said back. He smiled, then the light changed and I watched him pull out in front of me, observing the glint of a shine on his patrol boots reflected from a street light.

It's still something to get used to again, this riding-to-work routine. I need about 15 minutes more in the morning to get ready. I felt a little sore last night, but I'm sure that is transient. I have not ridden that much during the past few months of winter.

The best part? Free parking for motorcycles in the public garage near my office. I worked long and hard to support the legislation that our county council passed which provides that benefit to us bikers, so I truly appreciate taking advantage of it.

Life is short: ride!

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