18 November, 2005 Temperature: 29 degrees F
Well, it looks like we’ve made it through another exciting week. This morning’s ride was easy and uneventful, compared to the last couple of days. With the temperature at a balmy 29 degrees, I was humming Beach Boys tunes inside my helmet. The roads were damp, but not frozen, and traction was good. Time at takeoff was 0545 hrs.
Of course, traffic was very light at that time of the morning. After I was satisfied that traction was not going to be a major issue, I allowed myself to look around a little bit. Riding through the park along the Mississippi River, I marvelled at the austere beauty of our cities in winter. The light blanket of snow on the ground contrasts with the stark, bare trees to give a feeling of dormancy; an entire landscape asleep.
Yet the twinkling lights of the Twin City skylines whisper promises of fun and adventure, good food and camaraderie. As I gazed out at the view from the Lake Street Bridge, I had an epiphany: This blog is going to become somewhat routine as winter wears on. Especially if I take the same route, at the same times every day. But, what if I varied the routine, and visited various places along the way?
I can stop in at Mickey’s Diner, for instance, and have a nice breakfast on my way through Saint Paul. There are a couple of Dunn Bro.s coffee shops along my route as well. I know these places are open in the morning. Then, I have any number of options on the evening commute. When the weather isn’t earnestly trying to kill me, maybe I can share some of the local attractions with my readers!
Tonight, after work, I am going to Bargain Jim’s to get a replacement for my exploded trunk. I have worked out a design for a shock mount which should work great in cold weather. As with all great designs, it is elegantly simple. The trunk will be mounted on a thick layer of foam rubber, and the screws will have fender washers and locknuts on them. I will take photos of the installation this weekend, and try to post them to this blog for your perusal.
Also this weekend, I will take care of some periodic maintenance. The optimistic odometer shows 1,224 kilometers now, which actually means something around 1,000. I will check the fluids, tighten nuts and bolts, and give it a good cleaning in preparation for the ceremonial application of sponsor decals. Then I will spray some WD40 on all the exposed metal parts and take the Red Baron out for some recreational scootering, maybe a photo safari of Saint Paul. Sunday is supposed to be sunny and 43 degrees… I can’t wait.
THIS JUST IN: I received an email from one of my coworkers that Joe Soucheray mentioned me on his Garage Logic radio show last night, at around 5:40 pm. His show goes from 3 to 6 every weeknight, on 1500 KSTP AM, and in my opinion it is the best radio show going right now. Unfortunately, I never get to hear it because I don’t have a radio on the scooter! Well, maybe I can call in tonight when I get home.
Finally, I encountered another rider out on West River Road this morning. He was southbound as I was heading north, riding a red KLR 650, around 0630 hrs. I waved, but he looked pretty tense on the handlebars and didn’t return the gesture. That’s OK, at least he was out there. If by chance that rider is reading this blog, get in touch with me. Let’s meet for coffee somewhere.