Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Old Peculier

The recent weather has my bike in the garage and me indoors preparing for Christmas. The perennial chores of shopping, cleaning, and bracing for the onslaught of holiday visitors have me running at full throttle. Shooting a little late night pool at Zeno’s makes that holiday list a little easier to take.

Wednesday nights at Zeno’s is bluegrass and Bar-B-Que, and after 10 o’clock, there’s an import bottle special. The Theakston Old Peculier from Masham, England is on of my favorites. It’s a Yorkshire Ale and rather smooth and deep. My friend Jonathan treated me to this one a while ago, and I try to do the same with new friends.

When you are exposed to something new, even something just a little outside of your experience, it has a lasting effect. The Old Peculier won't exactly change your world, but once that door is opened you begin to look at things a little differently.

I never intended to own or ride a motorcycle. But it happened. It's a pleasure to ride something so simple and well crafted that it has become a classic. It's a machine that makes an instant connection with people. I can’t wait to ride again. This weekend promises to be a little warmer. Maybe I can get out there and catch a little taste of something new, something different.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Passing the Limit

There are things that you notice when you ride. Other bikers drop their left hand when they pass. People ask about the bike at gas stations. The mind opens up on the road. You begin to wonder… is there an age limit for leather pants?

I like the way my leather jacket fits. I like the wind resistance. I like the weight. It just feels right. It’s practical, safe, and sturdy. So, why am I worried about leather pants? Is it a fear of being the guy that roams the highways in leather gear that should be on men half his age (and size)? Probably. What’s the rule here? How far away from your bike are you allowed to go before the racing suit just looks ridiculous—ten feet, twenty feet? Not that I’d go for the racing suit. However, there are things to take into consideration and this is one of them.

Since the weather has gotten colder, my riding time has dropped off considerably. Not from a lack of time or desire, but from a lack of suitable gear. I need pants, and I need them soon. I have squandered the better part of this evening looking at various makes and models of leather and textile (none of which are jumping out at me by the way). They all seem too tight, too disco, too bulky. And in the end, too much trouble.

I think I’ll just go with the heavy weight reinforced jeans with armor in the knees—simple, understated, practical. Let’s face it, there is an age limit here, and I passed it.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Hello and Thanks

The more I ride, the more people I meet who share the same interest. Motorcycles, scooters, it doesn’t really matter—there’s a common love of adventure and freedom, and a desire to better understand ourselves. I think the same thing is true when you blog.

I’d like to say thanks to Steve for giving me a mention on Scooter In the Sticks, and to everyone who took the time to stop by and give my ramblings a read, welcome. I hope to see you back here soon.

Monday, December 3, 2007

So It Sits

The cold has finally hit. Wind and snow have now dashed any hopes of another ride before the holidays. My bike—along with a dozen other unfinished projects, sits and wait for another warm day.

Winter maintenance looms and I’m not sure where to start. The bike is sound, but there are things that need to be done. Gaskets should be replaced, cables tightened and lubed. And what was that soft feeling in the curves? Could it be the front forks? Time to clean out the garage and make a couple of calls.