Time, Stand Still…

Weather: Hot and Humid
Road Conditions: Congestion and Construction in the `Cities.

Captivated by motion, some days I wish I could stop the clock.

“Summer’s going fast, nights growing colder
Children growing up, old friends growing older
Freeze this moment a little bit longer
Make each impression a little bit stronger
Experience slips away…” – Rush, “Time Stand Still”

It must have been the Back to School crap on the store shelves that started the reaction.

Suddenly, time seems to be going too fast. Summer is getting away from us! There’s still so much I want to do this riding season, before Winter comes back and I have to make The Decision.

Even the Existential Gravity, which slows the clock whenever I walk through the doors at work, seems to be weakening. It seems I have so much to do, and so little time, both in and out of work. Trying to fill every moment with meaningful experience eventually wears you down. When can I rest?

“When you’re dead…”, says the dark one with the scythe on my shoulder.

Yeah, I seem to remember saying something like that, back when I was young, and every day was an adventure. Now that I am battling middle age and high blood pressure, I’m just not feeling it like that anymore. (160/100 yesterday… bad?)

“Alright Charpentier, just what the hell are you whining about now? Shut your pie-hole and get back on that treadmill. Move! ”
-Drill Instructor Gunnery Sergeant Ego

So, my brand new Vespa Rose is in pieces out in the garage, and it is too hot and humid to work on her right now. Frogwing is happy to be back in harness as my primary mount. We won’t be going up to Duluth for “Bring Out Your Dead” this weekend, it’s just not in the budget.

No, I’ll be staying home this weekend, working on my motorbikes, and maybe we’ll get out for a ride or two.

In the meanwhile, I am going to meet with the man known as “Motogristle” after work tonight. We are going to take photos of him with his unique Honda GL500 “Gullepumpe”, and discuss his Winter riding strategy, among other things.

I’ve got a young lady from Adelaide, Australia who rides to work. She has sent me a story of her daily ride, along with some photos from Down Under. Just a little editing to do on that one, and you will see it here.

As the Aerostich sticker says, “So many roads, so little time”.

Are you feeling the pressure yet?

18 Responses to “Time, Stand Still…”

  1. Bill Sommers Says:

    I just got back from a 3 day trip to the coast. I can’t believe that my yearly visit to the beach is over all ready. Time is tickin’ quicker than I can step!

    Have fun,

  2. Sidewalk Dan Says:

    Time Stand Still indeed.

    Pie-hole. What a word.

    Approaching 15 yrs since I “fondly” garnered the knowledge of that word. Right next to that lovely phrase that I won’t mention here, but something to do with a chicken and a pistol holster…

    Golf Charlie this is Delta Foxtrot. Adjust fire, over. Two rounds, VT in effect. Shot over. No impact, no idea. Check fire, over.

    15 yrs. Where did it go??? No impact, no idea…

    Oh yeah, is that pic from the Miss. Mile?

    Sidewalk Dan out.

  3. The Snark Says:

    160/100? Geez, slow down brother. Or cut down on the meat, salt and cut out the sugar completely. I want to continue reading your work and riding with you one of these days if I get the chance.

  4. Buster Brown Says:

    Pressure? My bp, which has always been sort of reasonable, has recently gone stratospheric. Trying a beta-blocker, which I’m guessing will not work too well. I don’t suppose the smoked trout is helping, but I couldn’t resist. I just got a package containing two of the fish I caught in lake Michigan last weekend. Shelly and I went through the smaller of the two for dinner. In any case, I am revisiting healthy pursuits like bicycling, and tarting up a couple of old Bianchi 3-speeds.

  5. Tinker Says:

    You need to pay attention to your blood pressure, at that level your doctor will probably give you a fistful of clonidine and make you take them on the spot. As a survivor of 4 strokes, let me say you do NOT want to have one. I was more or less permanently confused for 2 years, and am only recently approaching normal (such as it is) again. Seriously, get it treated and under control…

  6. Gary Charpentier Says:

    Bill: I wonder if E.G. works in reverse, like a rubber band snapping back after we leave work…?

    Sidewalk Dan: How many times have I told you not to shoot off your artillery in the house? ;^P The photo was taken on West River Road, or whatever they are calling it these days.

    Snark: Cut down on the…!? Man, you are describing my entire diet here! I’ve got all four food groups covered: Meat, cheese, hot-sauce, and beer. Are you trying to turn me into some kind of wussy herbivore?

    Buster: My Spec. Rock Hopper is still collecting dust in the garage. Since the weight pile isn’t helping my cardio any, I suppose I could revisit the OTHER two-wheeler… I’ll just have to run playing cards in the spokes, so I get that motor noise.

    Tinker: He actually just doubled my Lisinopril `script. Yes, thank you for joining the multitudes who are nagging me about this. Message received. Changing the diet is going to be the most difficult part.

    Ride well,

  7. shaun Says:

    true true….. F the loss of summer. I just got new rubber for the VTX and havent had time it in. Thats ok because that leaves more time for me to do some sweet rear tire distruction. Thanks for the great blog man.

  8. conchscooter Says:

    You’re paying attention and that’s all that matters. And yours is anything but “a life of quiet desperation,” as the saying goes. Contentment is the enemy, its sidekick is passivity and its legions are those that never question the direction of travel.
    Its an axiom of middle age that one starts to worry, but we break through and in old age supposedly learn acceptance. I think I’m ahead of you and am starting to enjoy the latter. I hope Scooteriffic shakes me up a bit.

  9. jim Says:

    Well young man I’m sure you have heard this before but the older you get the faster times goes, at least that is how it works for me.
    It’s almost August and I haven’t had any really good overnight rides. Been sick with pneumonia and then coplications of it , six weeks worth, really kinda sucks.
    Watch the blood pressure, walk a lot, that seems to help.

  10. irondad Says:

    Don’t let the back to school stuff put a rush on summer. Staples had a big “Back to School” sale a freakin’ two weeks after school was out. Sheesh! Everybody else is at least 6 weeks early.

    I’m actually trying to find down time, myself. There’s never enough time to do all the “nothing” you want to do.

    Pardon me for putting a little embellishment on Jim’s comment. My Gramp used to say that life was like a roll of toilet paper. The closer you get to the end the faster it goes.

    As to the blood pressure, just cut out the hot sauce. Beer’s a vasodilator. Wider vessels lower pressure. The hot sauce, on the other hand, makes all the openings in your body clench. Except tear ducts, of course.

    Repeat after me: Open vessels-good. Closed vessels-bad.

  11. Gary Charpentier Says:

    shaun: I dare you to do your burnout in the parking lot at work. Of course, if you take me up on it, this reply will self-destruct in five seconds…

    Conch: Thanks for the wise words. As for that other thing, wait and see… (she’s not so “bad”).

    jim: Sorry to read about your pneumonia problems. Hope you are feeling better now. We still have the best part of the season to go here, as Autumn is always my favorite time to ride.

    irondad: I’m not cutting out the hot-sauce, but maybe I’ll cut down a bit. Moderation is a concept I never quite absorbed in my youth. Maybe it’s time to explore that now… I’ll think about it while I’m taking a walk, or riding my bicycle.

    Ride well,

  12. Steve Williams Says:

    Whether life presents itself as a blur or as a deliberate series of moments closely inspected has been for me a result of the decisions I make and my ability to release my death grip on expectations of myself. I’m my own worst enemy when it comes to putting pressure on myself. I like to think it is something outside me that is doing it but that’s just my way of avoiding responsibility….

    Not so say there aren’t real pressures and crisis but again I can choose how to process them. As I get older I am better able to step away from things and just do the best I can and accept the outcomes. When I feel myself speeding up, overwhelmed, weighed down by responsibility and work, then that is the time to let go.

    Riding helps but I still struggle to get my brain around the right attitude.

    Did I just see an snowflake float by the window?

  13. Dan Jones Says:

    We maturing fellows have to watch the weight and blood pressure. I was putting in more time scooting than bicycling last summer and it started to show around the middle. My new rule is one hour of biking for each two hours of scooting. So far–so good. Get that bicycle out of mothballs and get to work!

    P.S. Might have a new 400 cc horse in the stable by the end of next week.

    Ramblin’ Dan

  14. Doug Says:

    I suspect we experience time as a percentage of our life. At ten years of we age , one year is 10% of our existence. At fifty, a year is only 2% of our existence. Excuse me, I think I need to go add more percentage to my bike time.

  15. Gary Charpentier Says:

    Steve: You seem to have very solid self-discipline, and I mean that in a good way. ;^) My approach to life is much more reactive. I like to think that I just “go with the flow”, but when the flow goes negative, that’s not such a good thing. Speed and minor violence are a regular part of my daily commute. This is something that you seem able to avoid. Location, location, location…

    Dan: Yeah, the bicycle thing. It’s gonna happen, as soon as I put Vespa Rose back together. If you get the Burghman, reach out and grab me next time I’m riding past your house on Sunset.

    Doug: That’s a very interesting formula. It certainly seems valid from where I’m sitting. Yeah, I guess I’d better get out there myself…

    Ride well,

  16. Bro Shagg Says:


    Not sure if you will see this, but I hope so. (I was out of town for a couple days for a funeral.) There is/was a shop in Key West that sold nothing but hot sauce. ConchScooter might know where it is. I was walking by one day and saw this red car that had been turned into a chili pepper parked in front. Of course, I had to check the place out! (NOTE: With a different paint job, the car could’ve been a rolling rat for an exterminator- thank God I’m not colorblind!) While I’m not an afficianado of the stuff myself, I did spend the better part of an hour in there reading the interesting names and descriptions of what could happen to me if I chose to ingest their product! Just one more reason for you to ride down there!


  17. Gary Charpentier Says:

    Bro Shagg: You have given me the opportunity here to use my favorite French phrase… Je vous tout. (I see all.)

    That was on the side of the Nieuport 17 flown by the “Cassidy” character in the movie “Flyboys”. In a previous life, I’m pretty sure I was Cassidy…
    If you haven’t seen it, you should rent it.

    People make too much of hot sauce. They take it as a masochistic challenge, when it was only originally intended to be used in moderation to spice up otherwise bland food. Anyone who has ever eaten a C-rat or MRE (or my dear Mother’s casserole) knows how valuable Tabasco can be.

    Eat a Habanero pepper sometime. Whole. Just chew it up and swallow it, and have a cold beer handy. Oh, and be close to a restroom… Clean you right out, I promise.

    Hey, I wouldn’t ask you to do anything I haven’t done myself.

    Ride well,

  18. Bro Shagg Says:

    Funny- when my proctologist found out I had no insurance right before my colonoscopy, that’s what he wanted me to use for the “prep-work”!