01 March, 2006 Temperature: 31 degrees F (-1°C)
The Baron and I left a half hour late this morning. It takes time to lose an argument with a proud, stubborn woman. Amy insisted that she already feels good enough to go to work today. I insisted she give the antibiotics more time to do their job before she tries to go and do hers. But the only way to win this argument was to stay home all day and stand watch over her while she recovered. I have more respect for her than that.
By the time we hit the street, the sky was turning twilight blue in the east. The Baron seemed to have a little extra torque this morning, probably due to the new variator. The forecasted freezing drizzle must have fizzled, because the roads were dry as a bone. I didn’t even turn on the Kanetsu vest, because I had all the insulation I needed. We rode to work in comfort, as I looked around for a photo op.
I found it on the Lake Street Bridge. Getting ready to make the usual right hand turn, I looked up at the old-fashioned streetlamps on the corner. I have always liked these, ever since I watched them passing by, while lying in the back of the family station wagon as a child. These were the days before mandatory child restraints. It’s a wonder we all lived through that, isn’t it?
Anyway, my Grandma lived on Marshall Street, in Saint Paul, and these were the lamps that lit the way to her house, under a cathedral ceiling of elm tree boughs. Most of the elm trees are gone now, and so is Grandma. I miss them terribly, sometimes.
But this morning, I decided to take a few moments and see if I could capture some of the magic I was seeing in a digital image. Scooters are wonderful vehicles for photography, because you can basically park them anywhere. I positioned the Baron, left his motor running to power the lights, and set up with my camera steadied against the stopsign pole. That’s the Minneapolis skyline on the horizon.
While I was concentrating on taking the shot, I didn’t notice the nice lady in the Honda Accord waiting about twenty yards back as I focused and pressed the button. Those cars are so quiet and unobtrusive. When I pulled my face back from the camera, I started, and said “OH! Sorry!”
She rolled her window down and said, “That’s alright. It’s a beautiful morning.”
“That it is.”, I said. “Thank you!”
She smiled, waved, and drove off. She will be out here on a scooter someday soon, I just know it. Or maybe a bigger bike. I could see it in her eyes. Not all who drive are box people. Some just haven’t gotten here yet.
The rest of my day was rather pleasant routine. During my “blunch”, I answered some of your wonderful comments. Steve Williams’ reply got me thinking about my blogging future, and the germ of an idea was planted. Well, that germ grew very quickly, and I made some inquiries with my Ride to Work sponsor, Andy Goldfine. Together, we have come up with…
We have nineteen days until “The Baron in Winter” blog comes to an end. After that, I will still be blogging about riding to work, but it won’t be in winter, and it won’t always be on a Baron scooter. My own beloved Kawasaki KLR 650, named Frogwing, has watched jealously while I have ridden the Baron for these past four months, and I’m sure he is chomping at the bit to get back on the road. At least I hope so.
But I am having trouble thinking of a name for my Ride To Work blog during the normal riding season. So I have decided to enlist the help of my readers in coming up with a suitable title.
I hate rules, but sometimes they are necessary. These will be very basic.
1) The name “Baron” will not be in the title of this blog, because Amy and I will be doing another occasional blog on the official Baron website called, “Baron Family Scootering”, once she gets her own scooter this Spring.
2) The title must reflect the nature of my commute, and the style in which I usually complete it. (Hint: Here is where research into my previous writings might come in handy…)
3) Employees of Aerostich, Baron Motorcycles, Kenda USA, and Bob’s Cycle Supply must be ineligible, because every other contest I have ever seen has this rule. I figure there must be a good reason for it.
4) I will be the primary judge, but I will also consult with Andy Goldfine and Shane Stillwell, to make sure the winning entry fits well with the Ride To Work mission. I might even ask Amy what she thinks.
Here is where the contest became real. I had suggested maybe a T-shirt or stickers or something. But Andy wrote back:
“Put up a $100 gift certificate for Aerostich/Rider Wearhouse catalog merchandise.”
So let it be written, so let it be done.
We will choose the name for my next Ride to Work blog on March 20th, 2006. Send your entries to the comments section. Good luck.