Sunday, April 29, 2012


It is Spring, but a recent Sunday felt more like an early autumn day. It would be sunny one moment and spitting rain the next. There was a chill in the air. And, the sky was full of clouds.

This wasn't the weather I was expecting. I had to preach in the morning and so my play day couldn't begin until the afternoon. I hoped the weather would be much like the day before with it's sunshine and 60F/15C temperatures. I wasn't aware there was rain in the forecast, but I woke to wet streets.

My original plan had been to inline skate or ride or best, do both. The uncertainty of rain took inline skating off the menu, but I could ride.

I passed the Presbyterian Church on Delmar. It seemed they had something special going on. This is the same Church which not long ago invited folks to bring ladders on a given Saturday and a sculptor used these to make an art installation. These looked to be some sort of flags, but the sign wasn't helpful and my curiosity wasn't aroused enough to do anything other than take this photo.

During one of the bursts of rain I got the idea to head over to the Community College where the Motorcycle Safety Classes are held. We had beautiful weather the weekend I took my course. During lunch I mentioned to one of the instructors how lucky we were to have such great weather. He agreed, but told me in some ways he liked it when it rained during the course. Yes, it was uncomfortable for him and often miserable for the students, but students who took the course in the rain learned something my class couldn't. They learned that everything we were taught worked in the rain, too. I'd been concerned about riding in the rain, but that comment opened something up in me. Of course, there are some traction issues, but that means slowing down, not staying home.

I wondered how the class was doing on this on again, off again rainy day.

Of course, when I got there it wasn't raining and the sun was out. The course looked dry. When I took the course it was mostly DR's, Rebels, and 125cc Eliminators. It has been a while since I took the course and the fleet has changed. The majority of bikes were TU250X's. There was only one DR200. Who knows maybe it was the one I rode during class, but I doubt it.

I hung around for a while just watching. A Harley rode by and seemed to check me out. He turned around and headed back toward me. He asked me if I was part of the program. I told him I wasn't. It seems he has a daughter who wants to take a class but lives outside the Metro area. He'd taken his basic training at a Harley-Davidson dealer, but had done an advanced class at the Community College. We talked for awhile. When he mentioned he'd had his bike up to 110mph, and I countered with having gotten 115mpg out of mine it became obvious we were very different riders, but it was obvious we both took safety seriously and loved to ride. We had a nice chat.

It didn't occur to me to take a picture of John until he'd pulled away. I just barely caught him.
He and I have been riding for about the same amount of time. He's in his mid-fifties, a few years younger than I am. He has 21,000mi. on his Harley in three years. I have close to 16,000mi. on my Symba in two.

On my way home I passed this road side rest spot.

Since I've seen this sofa setting in this same spot for a couple of months, I couldn't recommend it for a nap.
Another great urban ride, no matter what season it seemed to be.


  1. i could have used your 115mpg yesterday!!

  2. Great post Keith, love the first pic of the clouds and sun.

    I like the way you countered the mph with your mpg, touché indeed.

    1. I, too, liked the first photo. It as much as the weather reminded me of Autumn. I don't know why, but it just looked like a photo from October.

      The conversation with John was really nice. We weren't sparing as much as just owning who we were. It is very good when that happens.

  3. Keith:

    like you, I am not interested in going 110 mph. I let people pass all the time. everyone is in a rush to go nowhere fast, and you usually catch up with them at the next light anyway.

    be patient, summer will be here soon

    Riding the Wet Coast
    My Flickr // My YouTube

    1. I'm definitely not a speed guy. And, with urban riding you are spot on: Those who hurry end up spending more time waiting.

      The weather here has been gorgeous, I have nothing to complain about. Today was the first time in ages I have rode to work in the rain.

      Thanks for stopping by, I always enjoy your comments.

  4. Our corresponding weekend was like that too. It was great smelling the crisp morning air. We took to enjoying the patio instead of getting on the bikes.

    I had a friend that had to take is MSF class in the rain and he says the same thing as your instructor. Have to respect that!

    1. I think it is difficult for those who don't live where the humidity and higher temperatures start early to really appreciate how wonderful a day like this feels. We have already been above the 90F mark and more this weekend. Crisp is indeed a good word for it.

      I still have this bad habit of grabbing the front brake lever rather than squeezing it. This is definitely not good when it rains and has added unwanted excitement to a couple of my rides. Perhaps I should add ABS to my wish list for a new bike. You think? Sounds easier than breaking a bad habit :)