Friday, March 29, 2013

Yes, I rode to work today.

Traffic was fairly light. It is Good Friday and many folk either had the day off or took it off. Most of us Court employees were dismissed early. It was a glorious day to be set free.

I spent some time in Tower Grove Park. I wanted to see how the pine trees fared after last weekends snow. Not good I'm afraid.

As I was leaving this bike pulled up across the street. I saw a number of bikes and scooters out enjoying the Spring like weather. I also saw two Volkswagen Beetle convertibles. I noticed yesterday an Ad about the 2013 Beetle convertible. I mentioned to Heather I did even know the 2nd generation Beetle had a convertible option. She said she'd seen them. When I looked at some photos of them, I suspected I'd seen them, but they had always had their roofs up and I just had overlooked them. Today I didn't overlook them. I saw two. I wonder how long before I see a new 3rd generation 2013 Beetle convertible on the road? I'm on the lookout now.
  • 43F/6C with some clouds, but lots of sunshine for the ride to work.
  • 60F/16C and glorious for the home ride.

Thursday, March 28, 2013


Yes, I rode to work today.

I was able to wear Springtime gear. I wasn't the only rider out today. I didn't see many, but I heard them. I did see a bunch of Harley's parked in front of a bar on Morganford, but chose not to get a photo. There were just too many stereotypes in play.

I did take a photo of another bar on the way home.

Or at least it was a bar at one time or another. It is vacant now with "No Trespassing" signs in the windows.

Also, one the way home tonight I found myself waiting for a light to change next to the woman cyclist I met a couple weeks back on a day she rode and I didn't. Today we were both on our "steeds". We were able to chat long enough for us to learn each others names and where we each work. I wasn't surprised to find out we both work Downtown.

Later, I saw Mike T. Billie got her oil changed and a good look over. He told me he'd read on some forum of a guy with a Genuine Buddy 125 who just turned 50,000mi. Then he called me a "slacker" and we laughed.

  • 37F/3C and mostly cloudy for the ride to work.
  • 56F/13C with a few sprinkles on the home ride.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Feeling Better

Yes, I rode to work today.

And, a Deputy I've seen around the Courthouses, but have never talked to came up to me this morning. He told me he was glad to see I rode today. He said it just seemed wrong seeing me walk in the last couple of days without my gear on. "Now the world is back to normal," he said. Wow, I didn't know my riding had cosmic consequences.

This was another one of those mornings when riding to work meant I didn't have to clean the frost off my windshield. If it wasn't so dangerous watching people trying to drive without cleaning the frost off their windows it would be rather humorous. As it was, it was just terrifyingly pathetic. One fellow in a pickup truck was weaving all over the road, but refused to stop and either clean his windshield or let the truck warmup enough to clear it of frost. Maybe I should start carrying  some "You! out of the gene pool" buttons to hand out to those who are truly worthy of being recognized. Then again, maybe least not while my escape vehicle is Billie.

And, this is for Coop.

We got us some tough tulips here, too.

I'm feeling better today, still not great, but much better.
  • 25F/-4C and partly cloudy for the ride to work.
  • 45F/7C and mostly cloudy for the home ride.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


Nope, I didn't ride to work today.

I think the roads were clear enough to ride this morning. I know they definitely were clear enough by evening.

The truth of it is, I just wasn't feeling well and driving seemed the path of least resistance.

The snow is disappearing rapidly.

And, today I spied my first flamingo of the season.
  • 32F/0C for the morning drive to work.
  • 40F/4C for the drive home.

Monday, March 25, 2013


Nope, I didn't ride to work.

It is official. Sunday we set a new mark for record snow fall on a March day. The old mark was 12.1in./30.7cm. The new mark is 12.4in./31.5cm. I don't think we got quite that much where I live, and I'm sure some folk got more, especially those who experienced thunder-snow.

Since I'd been out traipsing around Sunday afternoon, I really didn't have all that much snow to clear off of the Yaris. The temperatures were above or just below freezing throughout the night and the snow was heavy, but not frozen to the windows.

Many of the tulip trees were fixing to bloom when the snow came. This one is next to City Hall. I passed it during the walk from the parking lot to the Courthouse.

It was a short work day for me. Today Passover begins at sundown and Heather and I have cooking to do.

I didn't see any scooters out, but there were cyclists. It seems cyclists are almost always out and about. If you look closely you can see the snowflakes coming down. We experienced flurries today, but no new accumulation.

The trees in Tower Grove looked both beautiful and distressed.

This was a wet heavy snow, easy on the eyes but difficult on the trees, especially the evergreen trees. All the evergreens I saw were bowed and some were broken. Sad.

It has been above freezing all day and will be even warmer tomorrow. Will I ride tomorrow? We'll see. If not, I suspect I will be back on the road by Wednesday.

  • 30F/-1C and light snow for the drive into work.
  • 35F/2C and snow flurries for the drive home.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Talking About The Weather

Yes, I rode to work today.

And, the big talk today was about the weather. Not the weather today, but the weather which may or may not happen come Sunday. Some folk were saying they heard we are going to get twelve inches of snow. Others said six inches. The forecasters at the National Weather Service in their discussions are saying St. Louis sets on the boundary again. We are as likely to get two inches or less as we are to get eight. What I find most interesting about all the talk is none of this is suppose to happen until Sunday. Today is Friday. Tomorrow has the chance to be a pretty nice day with warmer temperatures than we've been having all week, yet all I heard about was Sunday.  I sometimes think people just like to scare themselves. Oh well, I'm not going to worry about Sunday's weather until I get up Sunday morning. After all, it isn't like there is much I can do about anyway.

If you get a chance to ride, please, be safe and ride strong.
  • 32F/0C and cloudy for the ride to work.
  • 43F/6C and overcast for the home ride.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Grumpy In A Hurry Drivers

Yes, I rode to work today.

And, I had more company than normal for part of my route to work. There was an accident this morning which closed Tucker Blvd to Northbound traffic. This meant lots of grumpy in a hurry drivers were detoured onto my usual route to work. I don't think they were impressed with the four-way stops and the stoplight.

As I pulled up to the stop sign at Walnut and 11th Street I noticed one of our judges was waiting his turn to proceed through the two-way stop. I was on 11th Street, which is one way going North, and he was on Walnut which is one way going East. I came to a stop. As Judge F. began to move through the intersection an SUV came up next to me and did a pause and go. Judge F. gave him the horn, shook his head, and said something, but since I can't read lips I wouldn't want to guess what he said. There was no contact and I was glad. I found it ironic to witness a judge be as helpless to do anything about an idiot driver as I am. I wondered if he was wishing, as I do sometimes, he could get the guys license plate number and turn him in, perhaps even throw the book at him.

At lunch I saw a bunny standing in line.

I don't know what he ordered, but it wasn't long...

...before I saw him sitting at a table with his head off feeding his face.
  • 22F/-6C and sunny for the ride to work.
  • 36F/2C with clouds for the home ride.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Yes, I rode to work today.

It was the first day of Spring, but it pretty much looked and felt like yesterday. If anything it might of been a little colder.

Changing buildings means a whole new set of folks asking me, "You didn't ride your motorcycle today did you?" And, when I say, "Yes, I did," comes the inevitable, "Weren't you cold?"

I think most of those who ask don't believe me when I say, "No." One Deputy responded, "Well, you do look like your dressed for it." I suspect he'll be asking me, "Aren't you hot in all that gear?" when he sees what I wear when it is 90F/ looks pretty much like what I was wearing today.

Hope Spring sprung where you are, unless of course you're upside down, in which case, I hope Summer is hanging tough.
  • 31F/-1C with a few clouds for the ride to work.
  • 35F/2C and partly cloudy for the home ride.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Sandals Aren't Mine

Yes, I rode to work today.

Well, my gear has settled in at work.

The sandals aren't mine.
It's not as nice as the closet in the once upon a time Presiding Judge's office, but it works just fine.

I'm still getting used to the old familiar. I'm back in Criminal Records. I'll be working with paper for a little while. Things have gotten a little out of hand since I left. Once I get things caught up I'll start scanning criminal files.

I finally got situated at my own desk late this afternoon. Tomorrow I hope to feel more settled and be a little more productive. With all the change of the last couple of days, I was particulary grateful to be able to ride after work. Today it was definitely tonic for a weary soul.
  • 31F/1Cand a couple of clouds for the ride to work.
  • 46F/8C and cloudy for the home ride.

Monday, March 18, 2013

No More Closet

Yes, I rode to work today.

And I forgot my camera. Of course, this means no beginning of the week photo. Hopefully tomorrow.

Today at work I moved back across the street to the Carnahan Courthouse. This means no more closet for my gear. That was short lived.

My new supervisor is the supervisor I had before I moved over to the Civil Courthouse. We are a good team. He said to me this morning, "I bet your looking forward to Spring?" Aren't we all? But, I knew what he was talking about...warmer riding days. Truthfully, I thought the temperatures today were mighty fine.

When it comes to the temperatures and riding, I'm not one to complain very often, but when I do it is more likely to be about it being too hot rather than too cold.
  • 37F/3C and overcast for the ride to work.
  • 49F/9C with some clouds, but plenty of sunshine for the home ride.

Friday, March 15, 2013

I Ain't Complainin'

Yes, I rode to work today.

Yesterday I was hoping for a 30degF warmup during the day and instead I got a few big snowflakes and a half hour of sleet. Not to be deterred today I was hoping for a 40degF swing.

I wasn't the only one thinking today was going to be a fine day to ride. I was able to take some vacation time and when I left at lunchtime I found Billie had company.

On my way home I noticed lots of people out jogging, walking their dogs, or playing in the park.

When I got home I switched to Isabelle and just headed South to nowhere in particular. I just wanted to enjoy the warmth and stretch Isabelle's legs. It was just a quick little thirty and then some mile jaunt out Lemay Ferry Rd. I saw lots of bikes out, but didn't take any photos.

The urge to just keep on going was very strong, but I really wanted to get some time on my inline skates. I stayed on plan and managed to get my skate in. I did a little over 7mi/11km in 55min, a nice leisurely pace.

I didn't get a 40degF swing. The temperature rose from 32F/0C in the morning to only 70F/21C while I was skating, but I ain't complainin'.

Wow, it has been a very full day and it is far from over. Nice.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 14, 2013


Yes, I rode to work today.

I knew it would be a stretch if we had a nice warm 30degF shift in the temperature from my morning commute to my home ride, but I hoped for one nonetheless. You can imagine my surprise and dismay when I came out at lunch and discovered it was sleeting. The good news was it was nearly 40F/4C and none of it was sticking to anything.

By mid-afternoon the sun was out.

By time for the home ride it had clouded over again.

I didn't get as big of a warm up as I hoped for, but I'm not complaining. Jim of Premeditated Living over in Wichita tells me it was in the 80F's there today and promised to send it my way. We'll see.
  • 34F/1C and overcast for the ride to work.
  • 52F/11C and partly cloudy for the home ride.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


Yes, I rode to work today.

I had a helmet theme going this morning.

First I read in the newspaper about a proposal to suspend Missouri's helmet law for the month of August. (You can read the article here) The idea is to help tourism by allowing riders heading for Sturgis to ride through Missouri with their heads bare and their wallets open.

Then when I got to the Cafe one of the regulars (yes, the one who worries about me) came over to my table and told me about a television program he watched all about the science of motorcycle helmets and motorcycle safety. He had no idea how much went into designing the helmets. He told me about airbags for bikes and all sorts of things I already knew about, but was all new to him. He, also, told me he thought it was really smart I gear up. That's when I told him about the article in the paper. He responded, "Well, that just sounds stupid to me. People ought to at least have to wear a helmet."

On the weather front, I'm still mystified as to why the trucks were out treating the streets last night. I mentioned to my friend Maggie maybe it was just to keep her off the roads. She told me they have been doing a pretty good job of it this year.
  • 29F/-2C and partly cloudy for the ride to work.
  • 42F/6C with a few clouds for the home ride.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Treatment

Yes, I rode to work today.

And, the sun is back in my eyes during the morning ride. The sun has moved more to the North and it will be interesting for the next couple of weeks.

On the way home I barely avoided getting sprayed with the brine they put down on the streets. I've looked at the forecasts and can't quite figure out why they are treating the roads, but I'm glad I didn't get the treatment.
  • 30F/-1C with a couple of clouds for the ride to work.
  • 47F/8C with a few more clouds for the home ride.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Partly Dark

Yes, I rode to work today.

Daylight Savings Time has begun. This means darkness for the ride to work. I was hearing lots of people complaining about the time change. I don't like having to recalibrate my senses, but I am very happy about having more light to play outside after work. Well, eventually anyway. If Al Sleet had been giving the forecast for today he might have said, "It is going to be dark throughout the night followed by increasing light early in the morning, but remaining partly dark throughout the day."

Obviously someone thought it was a perfect day to Roughhouse.

And, I'm happy to announce I didn't drop my new helmet.
  • 36F/2C and overcast for the ride to work.
  • 36F/2C and overcast for the home ride.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Arch Madness

Yes, I rode to work today.

And, there were lots of people Downtown today. It is the the weekend of the Missouri Valley Conference Men's Basketball Championship, better known as: Arch Madness.

At lunchtime it was folks wearing blue.

After work they were wearing yellow.

Traffic, too was heavier than normal. This evening I was especially happy to put the Downtown in my review mirror.

It's the weekend. Be safe and do beautiful things.
  • 31F/-1C with a few clouds and a little haze for the ride to work.
  • 51F/11C and a little cloudy for the home ride.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Signs of Spring

Yes, I rode to work today.

Today as I sat at my desk I noticed a sign of Spring. I heard motorcycles outside. I heard that distinctive Harley sound and I heard the whine of sportbikes. Heather and I are divided over how we feel about the whine of a crotch rocket winding out. I sort of like the sound. She can't stand it. Neither of us are particularly found of the Harley sound.

At lunchtime I noticed a much less controversial sign of Spring.
  • 24F/-4C and hazy for the ride to work.
  • 45F/7C with some clouds for the home ride.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

I Had A Meeting

Yes, I rode to work today.

And, it was a lovely day here.

It was a very long for me. After work I had a meeting, which lasted until nearly my bedtime. The best thing about the whole adventure was I rode Billie. This meant my evening commute expanded to over 35mi/60km.
  • 31/-1C and partly cloudy for the ride to work.
  • 37/3C with a few clouds for the ride from Downtown out to Kirkwood.
  • 31/-1C and a clear night for the home ride.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Yes, I rode to work today.

This was the kind of a day three years ago I would have drove. Three years ago I didn't have the tools to figure out what the weather would be. Three years ago I wouldn't have had the confidence to ride in the wet, let alone ride on streets covered with wet snow.

One of the morning regulars at the cafe was especially concerned about me riding today. When I asked him why, he mentioned the snow, the rain, me not having wipers on my helmet, and how crazy the other drivers are. Funnily, the one thing I was concerned about he didn't mention. I was concerned about the wind. There was a possibility of gust up to 30knots.

It snowed quite heavily all morning but the temperatures stayed well above freezing.

The snow let up around noon just as things were getting slushy.

By the time I rode home it was snowing again, but the streets were dry. It was much like riding in a giant snow globe. And, the wind? It, too, did what the forecasters predicted. It wasn't much of a problem, but it was the biggest problem I faced on my commute today. I know some get their thrills from speed or riding through the twisties, but for me it's reading the tea leaves of the weather forecasters correctly and riding safely when most others won't ride at all.

The old helmet worked just fine today. I used my Fog-eVader and didn't experience any fogging.

The reason I replaced the helmet was the dual lens had separated and condensation was forming between the the lens. I used this as an excuse to move to a white helmet. At the time I bought the GMAX the snowmobile store only had black and bad graphics. I chose black. I took a risk and ordered a helmet branded by CKX, because they offered it in white and it worked out. The new one will be the same model, but in yellow and black, oh well.

I didn't really retire the GMAX, rather I was planning on re-purposing it. I fixed the dual lens with Gorilla tape, took out the breath guard, and am going to use it as a summer rain helmet. To increase its "being seen" factor I ordered a kit of hi-vis stickers from Aerostich.

I think it has a little more personality now.

And, maybe even some attitude. What do you think?
  • 35F/2C with light snow for the ride to work.
  • 33F/1C with more light snow for the home ride.

Monday, March 4, 2013

A Quandary

Yes, I rode to work today.

Often on Monday mornings getting inside the Courthouse can be rather hectic. Some Mondays are worse than others. Today was such a day. People were lined up reporting for jury duty, employees were attempting to enter, and the deputies were trying to ride herd on it all. One of the deputies saw me and waved me up to the front of the line. This is normal operating procedure. I cleared security and grabbed my backpack as it cleared the imaging machine. There were people all over. I moved toward the elevators doing my usual morning organizing juggle with helmet and backpack. I'm not really sure exactly what happened next. I think I was bumped, but I'd not swear to it. I know a deputy stopped directly in front of me and began directing people traffic and this caused me to stop rather abruptly. Whatever happened the result was me helplessly feeling my helmet slip out of my hand from above waist level and fall onto to the very solid marble floor. It made a very loud sound as it hit. Not good. As I picked my helmet up I noticed a small piece of plastic on the floor. It looked like a tooth from the latch of a backpack. I gathered it up just in case it was from my helmet hoping it wasn't.

When I got upstairs to my work area I checked over the helmet. I couldn't find any evidence it had been compromised by the fall. There wasn't even a scratch, nor could I find any broken plastic trim pieces. Now I found myself looking directly into the face of a quandary. I knew the wise thing to do would be just replace it, but it is less than a year old and I really like this helmet.

I emailed Heather about what had happened. She responded, "Sounds like there's a new helmet on the way." Fortunately, later as I was looking the helmet over again yet again I found where that piece of plastic came from. Mine is a modular helmet and the little plastic tongue I'd found was one of the posts which secures the chin bar to the rest of the helmet. I say fortunately, because I was leaning toward just sort of pretending the drop hadn't happened. I don't think this would have been a very strong choice.

When I got home tonight I did two things. I ordered a new helmet and I got my GMAX back down, cleaned the faceshield, and refit the fogEvader to my face. I know it was the smart thing to do, still....
  • 35F/2C and cloudy for the ride to work.
  • 51F/11C and mostly cloudy for the ride home.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Just Maybe

Nope, I didn't ride to work today.

I checked the forecasts and even looked out the window. Heaven knows I've ridden to work in worse.

This is about as bad as I encountered on the way to work.

I just had this feeling I wasn't supposed to ride today.  And so I didn't.

After work as I was nearing Jefferson Ave. I saw a cyclist I pass often on my way home. She, too, is out in all kinds of weather. I've been hoping an opportunity would present itself to exchange pleasantries with her, but so far it hadn't happened. The timing had been off. Tonight as I was waiting for the light to change I watched her ride up. She was reading my stickers on the back of the car. As she pulled next to me, I rolled the window down. I told her what I rode and she knew immediately who I was. I shared how I had a feeling I shouldn't ride today. She said I was wise to honor the feeling and added how difficult it had been this week to know when to ride or not. When I mentioned this was the first day this week I hadn't rode she told me I was doing better than her. This was only the second day she had ridden. And, then the light changed and it was over.

You know, maybe I wasn't avoiding something bad happening by not riding to work today. Maybe, just maybe, it was all about creating an opportunity to have simple interaction with a cyclist on a marginal weather day.

It's Friday again. Have a great weekend and if you get the chance to ride be safe, ride strong, and ride beautiful.
30F/-1C with light snow for the morning drive.
32F/0C with light snow for the evening commute home.