Scoot Commute

Ever Fallen in Love?

Posted in Bike Buying, Honda Superhawk CB77, Uncategorized by cheesebot on 2016/01/24

A couple of years ago (April 2013), Siobhán and I went over to Razee Motorcycle – probably to get some little part or an inner tube or spark plugs or something, but primarily to chat with Brendan.  Brendan works in the parts department and (along with Gordon, the owner of the shop) is a bit of a vintage bike hoarder.  It was close to closing when we got there so he invited us back to his house when he got off work.  Apparently he lives in Gordon’s old house where they both store quite a lot of old bikes.  I won’t disclose the location but I did sneak a couple pics with my crappy mobile phone while there.

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Norton Commandos, Dresda CB750, etc.

One of the things we always wanted to add to the collection was a Brit bike or another vintage Japanese bike specifically for Siobhán.  A Norton or BSA would be perfect to challenge my mechanical prowess and cool enough for Siobhán to finally feel like I wasn’t getting all of the attention for my bikes.  Something I always wanted to do was to be able to surprise Siobhán with a perfectly operational, totally cool motorcycle or scooter as a surprise present – like sneak it into the backyard with a bow and all on it.  And she could just hop on, start it, and ride off.

To this end I started a secret stash of cash.  Anyone who’s been in a serious, long-term relationship understands how difficult it is to buy surprise gifts for each other when your finances are combined.  I kept a constant eye out for good bikes on Craigslist or friends who know a guy, etc. ready to pounce on a great surprise.  But one day I came home to find Siobhán home and our neighbor Ron sitting in the living room.  It seems his computer mouse died and she went poking around in the depths of my-side-of-the-office and did not find a PS2 mouse but found an envelope with over $3000 cash in it.  UH-OH, busted.

She jumped to the conclusion that I was saving up money to leave her and run off to somewhere but I was able to convince her that it was just some of the cash rent payments that I hadn’t yet had a chance to deposit at the bank – which I then had to do.  So, whelp, there goes my surprise stash.

Fast forward to last October (2015) when Gordon Razee decided that he might have too much stuff in his hoard and should auction off about half of his collection, over 250 lots, to let someone else enjoy it for a change.  Without Siobhán around anymore all the finances are my responsibility and I just know that I’m going to be able to find that perfect bike for her.

I admit, it’s hard for me to get motivated and that’s one of the best things Siobhán ever did for me but when I want something I’ll make it happen so I got up early on a Sunday morning, prepped myself to head out to North Kingstown, and to go bring home a “new” bike to add to the much too large family.  Once there I found Brendan early on and asked his advice on the row of Honda CB77 Superhawks, which is another bike we’ve always wanted.

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Pretty Little Superhawks, All in a Row.

Yeah, I wanted one of these, I would’ve loved to get her one of these.  The Superhawk is, to me, the definition of a motorcycle.  It’s simple, it’s fast (considering it’s only a 305), and damn exciting to ride.  Also, we love Hondas and there’s nothing wrong with adding another Honda to the brood.  Anyway, I set my eyes on a red one (obviously) and got Brendan’s approval that it was probably the most complete one at the auction.

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The best of the bunch.

To cut a long story short, once I made up my mind I knew I was going to be bringing this home.  For me, and for Siobhán in spirit.  This is the bike I would’ve bought for her without question.  It sold for twice as much as any of the others did (yucky people were touching it and hanging around it all day) but I really didn’t care what the cost was in the end.

Now, if you go back up to the top pic that I posted here from Brendan’s house you might be able to see in the top right corner a little red bike with a red fender (not standard, I know, but I like it).  Brendan told me that these 305s were stored at his house and the realization that we had both already seen this bike a couple years before before was very important to me.

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Red Honda in a red Honda, again, but different.

A couple of ADVRider friends helped me load her into my car (fits nicely) and I brought her home to begin the revival process.

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2015 in Mileage

Posted in Honda Transalp XL600V (Kaiju), Repairs, Uncategorized, Yearly Mileage by cheesebot on 2016/01/01

I definitely didn’t ride as much this year as I had in previous years for various reasons but I’m not making any excuses and just here to post the facts as tradition dictates.  Pretty much all of this is from commuting and a couple of short day trips.

1971 BMW R75/5

1/1/15: 87,036
1/1/16:  87,543
Total miles for 2015:  507

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1989 Honda Transalp

1/1/15:  47,853.6
1/1/16:  48,160.0
Total miles for 2015:  306.4

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19xx Mystery Bike (more on this coming up)

10/4/15:  15,571.0
1/1/16:  15,689.7
Total miles for 2015:  118.7

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My (cheesebot) mileage for the year: 932.1

Wow, I didn’t even break one thousand miles.  Now I’m angry – that’s pretty sad.  I promise to ride more this year.  I’m not going to beat myself up about it but, yeah, I am going to beat myself up about it.  This year went by very quickly and I did spend a lot of time in the garage.  It’s very therapeutic for me to be in there and fix things and there’s nothing more rewarding than hearing a bike roar to life after sitting for thirty years.  I was in there most weekends this summer instead of out riding.

24 Hour Party People

Posted in Uncategorized by cheesebot on 2015/09/18

I’m reposting this from my facebook page because I know not everyone who reads this blog is my facebook friend:

It’s been a while since I mentioned Siobhán’s Memorial Fund at Providence College. I’m bringing it up again because on Saturday, September 26th (3pm-5pm) we’re having a fundraiser in the downstairs pub at Trinity Brewhouse in Providence. For only $25 you will enjoy appetizers, a free Trinity beer, raffle prizes, and the pleasure of spending time with Siobhán’s friends and family.

Raffle prizes include a couple of gift certificates from Whole Foods and a bottle of Laphroaig single malt (Siobhan’s favorite) from Standard Liquors.

All proceeds will go towards the Siobhán Ross Memorial Fund at Providence College with the goal of providing aid to Providence College undergraduates from the city of Providence with financial need.

I will be selling tickets at the door for cash or checks so if you know you’ll be coming just pay at the door when you come.

If you can come – great! If you’re not sure you can make it please consider making a donation to the fund. You can print out this handy-dandy pdf invite (landscape format and fold over) and mail it back or, if it’s more convenient, you can donate with a credit card online at http://givetopc.org. Select “other” in the contribution category and add Siobhán Ross Memorial Fund.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/bkawcc44zn1mup2/sioinvite.pdf?dl=0

Thank you for your time and I hope to see you there.

Admiring the fire she made at Devil's Hopyard

Admiring the fire she made at Devil’s Hopyard

Adaptation

Posted in Uncategorized by cheesebot on 2014/12/13

At the services last Friday it was pointed out to me by one of sbahn’s coworkers that her last picture added to flickr was oddly coincidental.  I’d been so busy with everything else going on that I didn’t even realize.

Yeah, it’s a little spooky in retrospect but the explanation is that she went out looking to grab a tag on advrider.  She was unable to locate it but, as always, documented the search nevertheless.  For the record she was cremated (as per her wishes) and not buried in a cemetery.  I just remembered how we always pronounced the word “buried” very differently.  She pronounced the initial “bur” as in “burrow” but I said it like “berries”, as in “berried”.  She picked on me for it – she’s probably right.  I always let her win anyway.  We both have linguistics degrees so who can say.

The memorial service given by Providence College was way beyond anything I could have expected.  The outpouring of emotions and sympathy was overwhelming.  The chapel was standing room only and it was obvious how many people had been affected by this loss.  Personally, it was a whirlwind of emotions and activity and I am having trouble remembering it just a week later.

I rode Franz and enlisted our good friend tmlee to ride the new Husqvarna to the services.

I got permission to park the bikes on either side of the entrance to the reception following the memorial service.

I got the feeling that everyone appreciated this.  She was known on campus (and on this blog) for riding her bikes to work year round.  As soon as the service ended both bikes were surrounded by friends and family; touching, examining, remembering.

As I said, I can hardly remember much from that day.  We, the family, went out to Trinity for dinner the night before where they had introduced a new stout.

and I successfully exposed my much younger brother to the finer points of single malt Scotch whisky.

I just wish she were here to see all of this – I know it’s a cliché.  I hope she would say I was going a good job.

I cannot thank everyone enough for the kind words I’ve been given.  Whether in writing, in person, or over the telephone (I hate the phone) it’s evident how important she was to everyone.  Whether you know both of us, her and not me, me and not her, or neither of us personally (the internet is a funny thing) I hear and read your words.  I know there are various threads on several forums.  You have my thanks.

I don’t know where I’m headed or what the future holds for me.  I’m going to do my best to lead my life as she would have wanted.  I’m going to keep riding, finish the various unfinished ride reports (I know, right?) because I was usually there, and continue this blog as best I can.

On that note; my commute is a bit different than hers.  My job is twelve miles from home and since I usually have to hop on the highway for a bit I don’t ride as much as she did during the cold season.  I apologize in advance for this.  I did have to buy a new car and I’ll probably be using that for a little while but whenever I take a bike I’m sure I’ll have something to say about it.

Please be careful out there and give thanks for what you have, every day.