Scoot Commute

Pressure Drop

I didn’t ride yesterday because there were tornadoes (!) predicted in the area and I’m somewhat sensible.  I did ride today on the BMW and it’s obvious that my mind was elsewhere because I forgot to turn off my turn signals after almost every turn (hey, at least I use them) and twice I forgot to downshift into first gear at traffic lights.  I did pass some guy on an old Tengai on I-95 (going the opposite direction) and I think I’ve seen him around West Warwick too where we’ve done the wave.  Oddly enough I didn’t see any other bikes this morning despite it being 70F and dry.

So yeah, I’ve got a lot on my mind.  I haven’t really been on my own in twenty years or so and I’m trying to figure out what my plan is or even if I have a plan.  I’m sure it’ll sort itself out and in the meantime I’ll do my best to do things that I enjoy.

And to change the subject I was messing around with Google Earth yesterday and found a much better Street View featuring Siobhan.

Pretty obvious who it is now!

Pretty obvious who it is now!

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Longshot Kick De Bucket

Posted in BMW R75/5 (Mackie Messer), Daily Commute by cheesebot on 2015/06/08

I’m just going to start this with a congratulations to American Pharoah and I’m sad that Siobhan didn’t get a chance to see another Triple Crown winner.  She so loved her ponies and would’ve been thrilled at the news.

The amount of time Siobhan spent on the computer working on this blog and other stuff (ADVrider ride reports and reviews, paying bills, selling and buying on eBay, etc.) was a massive amount of our time spent together.  As long as we lived together we shared an office with our computers back to back so we could converse while working or playing.  This was my typical view:

sioblog

My point is that writing is a lot of work.  Especially for a perfectionist like me who has to carefully chose the exact word, make sure there are no misplaced commas, and doublecheck my doublespacing habit.

Siobhan had to be constantly doing something and that was probably a good influence on me because it forced me to go out and do things atypical of my character.  We also always gave ourselves extra work for some additional income.  When we started out I was a caretaker at a nature preserve on Long Island in addition to my full time job at the university library.  She sold on eBay (a lot) in addition to her full time job and helping me with the caretaker job.  At the end she was teaching the MSF classes along with her job at Providence College (by the way, this write-up that PC did describes her job much better than my attempts) and we both were also managing rental apartments in houses that we own on our street.

Everything is up to me now and it’s a lot of work.  On our rides and trips Siobhan was the documentarian and photographer so I got the privilege of sitting back and enjoying the ride.  I’m too accustomed to experiencing and not recording so I won’t be as good at reporting.

Wow, that’s a lot of words to apologize for my lack of updates – see what I mean?

Anyway, I have been riding to work but, as I’ve said, my commute is mainly on the highway and so is far less interesting and dramatic.  The coolest thing is that I get to see elephants on the ride home because I pass the Roger Williams Park Zoo on I-95 (I promise to snap a pic as soon as I remember to grab the real camera).

For as long as I’ve owned the BMW R75/5 it’s had a sticky throttle and I thought this was kind of normal; or at least an effect of the throttle tube binding on the narrower-than-stock euro version handlebars that I have on there.  I grew used to it and I kind of liked how I could use the sticky throttle as a cruise control of sorts and use my right hand when necessary.  However, getting stuck in traffic the other day it just became unbearable and even a little dangerous because it got to the point where I had to use some force to bring the idle back down each time and I decided that it was time to open up the thing and figure out what was going on.

When I took the throttle assembly apart back in the garage, lubed everything up, and got it all back together it stopped working normally.  I took a look at the cam thingy that the throttle turns and noticed that the gears were pretty stripped.

I ordered a new one from Hans along with a spare clutch cable (can’t have too many of those) and some springs.  This weekend I had a chance to put it all back together and, OH WOW, it feels like a totally new bike.  The throttle is so smooth I just want to ride around for no reason whatsoever – and I did.

I still have to figure out what my vacation trip will be this year.  I have a lot of time I need to use up and right now we’d typically be preparing for our big camping couple of weeks.  I’m think about taking the BMW this time though.

Buffalo Stance

Posted in Advocacy, Daily Commute, MSF RiderCoach by cheesebot on 2015/03/31

It was a bit chilly this morning but I decided to ride in anyway.  My ride in was uneventful, maybe a bit windy but without any Murano run ins or any other bikes for that matter.  On the way home I decided to cut through the Warwick CCRI campus (depending on the time of day it can be a nice shortcut) to see if the MSF classes had started up again.  I used to stop and watch and visit with Siobhan if it was near the break time.  Tonight I saw a bunch of little bikes going around in a counterclockwise oval with a RiderCoach on either side of the group.  I couldn’t tell who the coaches were tonight so I’m not sure if they knew who I was as I slowly rode by and out of the lot.  I know that she made a big impression with these people too.

I took these pics in September 2014

About to demonstrate an exercise on a TW200.

2014-09-23 18.51.49

Encouraging the next generation of riders going in a counterclockwise oval.

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She always loved to share her knowledge if she could help someone.  All of her jobs were about teaching in one way or another and I’m sure anyone who got their motorcycle license through her will remember her.

Hallelujah

Posted in BMW R75/5 (Mackie Messer), Daily Commute by cheesebot on 2015/03/28

This week finally brought milder temperatures and I vowed to myself to get on one of the bikes at some point (in between bouts of darkness and pouring rain).  I only got into the garage a couple times over the winter storms and even then it was just to move the battery tenders around to other bikes, move the snowblower around or grab some tools for something in the house.  Due to the mind-numbing snow and cold and grey combined with my occasional self-imposed isolation I managed to get none of the planned projects even started.  Whatever, I’ve got some time for that, now I’ve just got to make sure these guys are road worthy.

My usual go-to bike is the BMW.  He’s was running a bit rough last time so I wanted to check the timing, plugs, etc.

2015-03-15 13.40.39

The timing looked pretty good but when I pulled the plugs…

2015-03-25 17.56.32

I probably should check these more often.  It’s a good thing I found a seller on eBay with a couple NOS boxes of the correct plugs.

2015-03-25 17.54.08

Well, after getting the BMW all buttoned up and fueled up I found the battery was still too weak to get it going and the kickstart didn’t want to wake him up from his winter slumber.  It’s probably time for a new battery.

Anyway, I went over to the Honda Elite 250.  Turn the key, push the button – vrooooom.  Yay Honda.  I went over to the Transalp.  Turn the key, choke all the way out, push the button – vroooooom.  Yay Honda again.  I let it warm up a bit, pumped up the tires and checked for any loose thingies.

Finally on Friday the temperatures and precipitation conspired to get me back on the road.  I was nervous about hopping back on a bike (it’s been since Dec 5th) but I instantly felt at home – no emotional baggage (yet) and no uneasiness with my skills or balance.  I went to lunch at Trinity (typical Friday lunch) and had my mug filled with Siobhan’s Stout.

2015-03-27 12.49.50

Stop the Presses! Elmwood Ave is now one lane in each direction!

Posted in Buddy St. Tropez (Franz Biberkopf), Daily Commute by sbahn on 2011/07/20

Ok, how insane is this?!

I rode home on the little bit of Elmwood Ave that I need to ride yesterday. Everything was fine. Two lanes in one direction, two lanes in the other direction. All’s well in chaos at 5:30 pm.

This morning I take my right onto Elmwood Avenue and WHOA! There are new road stripings marking one lane, a center turning lane, and another lane for cars coming in the opposite direction. When did this happen? The DOT guys came on little cat feet in the middle of the night and did some half-assed re-striping. They’re not done yet and cars were going all over the place, trying to pass in the left lane which was now a turning lane. I cannot believe that I didn’t see a head-on collision in the brief amount of time I ride this stretch of road.

Seriously? DOT makes a MAJOR change to a VERY BUSY, highly travelled, MAJOR roadway in Providence and there’s ABSOLUTELY NO WARNING?! No signs over the last weeks shouting “New traffic pattern coming!”, no cops, no nothing.

What’s especially frustrating is I was at the meeting a year and a half ago when I asked one of the RIDOT higher ups about the possibility of narrowing Elmwood Avenue down to one lane in each direction to accommodate bicycle traffic, along the lines of what they did to Blackstone Boulevard. This guy looked me in the eye and said, “No.” Lying bullshit. This is the same guy who no longer works for RIDOT and has a cushy job messing up the DOT in Hawaii.

It’s not that I’m that upset that Elmwood is only one lane in each direction, although it will be a pain (see how slowly the traffic crawls along Broad Street). It’s that there was no freaking warning AND the striping wasn’t finished so everyone was, and is, confused. Absolutely unbelievable. I’ll be taking my “old” commute route for the next few days until Elmwood is done being restriped and drivers get comfortable with the new pattern.

Really. Unbelievable. I’ll take pics tomorrow. It’s completely insane. I’m waiting for the head-on collision news.