Sick Days

23 January, 2006 Temperature: 6 degrees F (-14C)

It seems I have caught the upper respiratory bug that has been making the rounds at work. People there have been hacking, coughing, and sniffling for about two weeks now, and the symptoms hit me hard this weekend. This is what happens when companies combine vacation and sick time into “time bank”; nobody is willing to stay home when they’re sick. So we all get to share our germs with each other.

Strangely enough, the Baron has developed a breathing problem of his own. The automatic choke has stopped choking, and he is very hard to start. I replaced the actuator, but that made no difference. We are going to Baron HQ tonight to get this sorted out. No sense both of us being sick.

It was a cold ride this morning, after the luxurious temperatures we have enjoyed lately. We didn’t stop for coffee, because we were running late, and my feet were frozen numb by the time we got to work. That’s not going to help me recover. I suppose I could hijack my wife’s car for a couple days, until I get over this, but I’m too stubborn. As long as the Baron will start, we’re riding. We’ll just leave early enough to allow for a warm-up stop.

GOOD NEWS: Our local Ford plant, the one I mentioned on Thursday, has dodged Ford’s first round of plant closings. Our governor is working with the company to find a way to keep them running, with alternate fuel vehicles or whatever. I wish them luck.

That’s all I have for today. Survival mode is engaged, and I am just going to gut it out for awhile until I feel better. Friday’s post is generating some pretty good discussion in the comments section. You might want to check that out, if you haven’t already.

7 Responses to “Sick Days”

  1. Dick Aal Says:

    Now admittedly Northern California has warmer temperatures than where you are during the winter months. BUT I found that when I was riding all year round, I did NOT get a cold. I would get one good cold a year when driving to work in a cage. I rarely got the flu. I worked in an electronics plant with plenty of other people. (Hewlett Packard for 30 years) But when I started riding full time, I never got a cold. I rode for about 6 years straight with no colds. I then got a small pickup truck to haul our horses around and started driving it to work and got one big cold that first year. I also found over the years that when ever I rode all year round, I did not get a cold. I have now been riding full time for just over a year for the first time in almost 20 years and I have not had a cold during either of the cold seasons so far. I wonder if other people have seen this effect?

  2. irondad Says:


    Sorry you are sick. Hope you and The Baron are both in top running order real soon. What’s really interesting is how our lives ran parallel this weekend. I came down with something but it is affecting the digestive tract instead of breathing. Yesterday in the freezing fog the ST started cutting out. I think the carb vent tubes were icing up from the wind chill / moisture combination.

    Anyway, I just wanted to send my well wishes to you. It can’t be helping things riding in 6 degree weather, but that’s what we do, isn’t it?


  3. Steve Williams Says:


    Hope you feel better soon. Spoke with a friend today the is getting over Whooping Cough so things could always be worse.

    I haven’t been getting sick like I used too but I haven’t had the Vespa long enough to attribute it to riding. Perhaps I am just getting meaner as I age gracefully.

    Wish I could “gut it out” when things get tough. I am much more likely to curl up in bed and whine to my wife “can you come cuddle me…” Yeah, I’m a wussy. I ride in the cold and pat myself on the back for being tough, but on those days when it is windy and zero and riding to work on the bus I still have to see those damn construction workers walking on I-beams messing up my tough guy fantasy.

    Also hope your scooter gets over its illness.


  4. Marc Says:

    Yes, I am a firm believer that riding strengthens the immune system. Gary, just think of how sick you would be right now if you weren’t riding the scooter.


  5. Bro Shagg Says:

    Dick Aal- Actually, I have noticed that. About 15 years ago, I worked in a deep freeze and never got a cold while I had that job. While I had other indoor jobs, I would get sick enough to stay home at least once a season, and have enough minor colds to keep the local pharmacy and Kleenex stock moving. Now I have a job where I am outside 6 or 7 hours a day again in the cold, snowy North East and I stopped getting colds again.

  6. Mad Says:

    Heh! I have a mental image of you and the Baron wrapped up in a duvet snuffling and wheezing. :p
    I hope you’re feeling better soon.

  7. Dick Aal Says:

    Yes hope you get better soon. Coming from North Dakota to California I always thought of myself as an outdoor able to rough it type. Most of the time while driving my pickup to work instead of the bike, I would leave the window down to enjoy the fresh air. One day a few winters ago, it was about 30 degrees out and I as usual was driving down the freeway in Northern California enjoying the winter briskness with my window down. Ahead of me I saw an old Ford convertible with the top down going down the freeway just ahead of me. I thought well here is a hardy fellow. I couldn’t belive my eyes when I got up beside him. Here he was. One arm steering the car, a gallon carton of Dreyers ice cream in that hand and the other hand with a spoon eating the remains of the ice cream. And yes, this was about 7:30 am on the way to work so it was his breakfast.

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