20 March, 2006 Weather: Cloudy and un-Springlike, 36°F/ 2°C
It was so nice to get back on the scooter after driving the cage last Thursday and Friday. My knee feels about 90% now and my legs don’t hurt anymore.
The break was good for the Baron as well, I think. He started right up and idled fast, seeming to strain at his leash. Though his bodywork is battered, his heart is still beating as strong as ever. Duct tape took care of the cracks in the dash, and he looks like a combat veteran now.
So the Baron and I have made it all the way through to Spring. At least, that’s what the calendar tells me. Wow…
During a normal year, today would have been our last day together. But since we still have six to eight inches of snow on the ground, it looks like our tour of duty has been involuntarily extended. I don’t mind. There is no other motorbike that I would rather be riding in these conditions than this tried and true Red Baron.
The plan right now is to push on to the end of this week, and then take a look at the long-range forecast. If there is no snow predicted for the first part of April, then the Baron can retire with full honors.
Having said that, we still have to announce the winner of the “Name My Blog” contest. Can I get a drum roll please? Wait… not yet. Let’s do the honorable mentions first.
By the time I had reviewed all entries on Saturday, I had ten titles submitted by six different readers. Since I am a racing fan, I will construct an imaginary podium here and introduce the first three finishers in reverse order:
In third place, with an entry that was elegantly simple, was reader JS_011762 with “Ride Well”. This is how I sign all my replies to comments, and I don’t want to get too repetitive. Thanks all the same, JS.
Second place ran a really good race. It would have come in first, if I hadn’t taken the time to Google it. The San Francisco Chronicle, and SFGate.com, has something called “The Commuter Chronicles”, and I didn’t want to seem like I was plagiarizing anything currently playing on the web. Jim and Susan entered a whole bunch of different ideas, and it was fun sorting them out. That funky frog fixation at the beginning was quite humorous. Thanks for playing, Jim and Susan, you were very good sports.
In the end, I needed something that would fit the mission of Ride to Work dot org, and still reflect my penchant for wandering. Nobody nailed this, not exactly. But Paul Streeter came closest with his entry, “Diary of a Rush Hour Rambler”. It is to him that we award the $100 Aerostich / Rider’s Wearhouse gift certificate.
It’s not perfect, mind you, and in the interest of artistic license I am going to trim it a bit to fit my vision. I have written diaries as columns my whole journalistic career, so I’m not going to start up another one here. But rush hour is when I ride the most, and when I ride, I tend to ramble. Put me in front of a keyboard and an empty screen, and I ramble some more. Ramblin’ is a way of life for me, on most days, and it is while ramblin’ that I am happiest.
So, without further ado, (you can do that drum-roll now), I present the title to my next blog on Ridetowork.org:
“Rush Hour Rambling”
Good job, Paul. Enjoy that prize!
EXPOSURE, part II
Tomorrow morning, at 6:15 in the a.m., the Baron and I are going to be on Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis, at the WCCO-TV studio once again.
They are going to do a follow-up to the story they aired at the beginning of this adventure. Kind of a, “Look folks! Would you believe they actually made it?”.
The photo you see at the beginning of this entry is the Baron outside of our do-it-yourself carwash, getting a bath before his last TV appearance. I put the front fender back on after we got home. I want him to look his best for the cameras.
I’m looking forward to answering their questions, whatever they may be. My message is a simple one:
“Are you a working class person who craves adventure, but you always seem a dollar short, or a day of vacation away from your dreams? The answer to this dilemma is simple. Buy yourself a motorbike and some good riding gear, for much less than you would spend on a car, and Ride To Work.
The adventure is waiting right outside your front door! “