21 November, 2005 Temperature: 27 degrees F
This morning, the Baron and I departed at 0745 hrs. This is the latest we can leave and still insure that we arrive at work by nine. It allows fifteen minutes for the exigencies of traffic and/or mechanical issues. Call it Tactical Reconnaissance. I wanted to see if the roads would be navigable at this late hour.
Let me tell you, it is a different world out there around eight o’clock. This is the heart of the yuppie rush hour, and it seems they have discovered my secret route. They treat my cherished River Roads as an alternate freeway; barrelling along, bumper-to-bumper, at speeds around 35 mph, in a 25 zone. They are not interested in scenery, or allowing pedestrians to use the crosswalks. They are only bypassing the I-94 gridlock while ordering their flunkies around on the cell phone. It is an ugly scene indeed. I put on the high-beams and rode very cautiously.
Yesterday on the way home, I checked our maximum speed on the same section of Shephard Road, going the other way. This would give me a two-way average, and a fair approximation of the Baron’s real top speed. Winds were negligible, both ways. On the slightly-downhill homeward run, we topped out at 63.9 mph on the emap GPS. This makes for an average top speed of 60.65 mph, which seems reasonable considering my size and weight. Now I have all the data I need to make sense of the lies being told to me by the analog gauges on the Baron. To be fair, though, I have heard that most scooters have less-than-accurate instruments, usually calibrated towards the optimistic side.
Tonight is another late school night. I will have to face my instructor and present him with my horrible exploding trunk tale in lieu of my homework. Following that ignominy, I will have to ride through the heart of North Minneapolis after nine pm at night. I may or may not update this blog tomorrow, depending on how much sleep I can get and how busy it is at work. I will catch up with replies and updates over the long weekend.