Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Clear and Dry

Yes, I rode to work today.

It was clear and dry. Many of my co-workers were complaining that it was cold this morning. I didn't notice. And, my hands stayed nice and toasty. Have mentioned how much I'm loving my heated grips?

  • 24F/-4C with a few clouds and very little wind for the ride to work.
  • 41F/5C, dark and calm for the ride home.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I'm Going To Suggest

Yes, I rode to work today.

I had a chance to talk to Deputy D today. I asked him how his ride home on his Vespa was last night. He told me it was a little wet. He is working 3pm to11pm right now, and so, I suspect it was chilly, too. Even though I too did it, still it surprises me how folks buy a scooter and away they go. It became apparent to me very quickly I didn't know near enough to be out in traffic. Deputy D and I are going to talk some more tomorrow. He said he has some questions. Since the MSF Basic Rider classes are closed down for the season, I'm going to suggest he get  a copy of Proficient Motorcycling by David Hough. I'm, also, going to suggest he go ahead and spend some real money for some high quality gear. I have spent way more money on gear than I would have if I hadn't tried to save a buck. Oh well, I seem to remember someone giving me the same advice regarding gear, thus I will not be hurt if he ignores me.

It was overcast for the ride into work, but by late afternoon it was clearing. I assume it was clear for my ride home. All I know for sure is, it was dark.

  • 34F and overcast for the ride to work.
  • 40F and dark, but dry for the ride home.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Back At Work

Yes, I rode to work today.

It was a very long weekend filled with family and lots of food. I know it may sound crazy, but even though it was great fun I was quite ready to be back at work and my daily routine. It seems I'm most comfortable when I'm in my routine.

Something new greeted me when I came out to the parking area after work tonight.

Deputy D's scooter was parked in the cold and the rain. We may have a rider on our hands. 

The weather wasn't what I expected for the evening ride. It wasn't a problem. I had the correct gear with me and I stayed nice and dry on the inside all the way home . . .

However,  I was rather drippy on the outside.
  • 36F/2C and overcast for the ride to work this morning.
  • 37F/3C with rain and wind for the ride home.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

It Will Be Good.

Yes, I rode to work today.

Traffic was very light for the morning ride and when I went out at lunch time Downtown was nearly abandoned.

I think a number of people were getting a jump on the Thanksgiving Day Holiday.

I'll be enjoying a long weekend. There will be lots of family time. It will be good.

  • 45F/7C with an overcast sky for the ride to work.
  • 47F/8C and still overcast for the ride home

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Oh Well

Yes, I rode to work today.

The morning ride was in the ever most gentle rain. Some think I'm crazy, but I love this kind of weather. I like it even more now that Mike convinced me to add heated grips to the Symba.

This is a short work week for me. This Thursday is Thanksgiving Day here the U.S. of A. Every year I wonder if Thanksgiving is going to get skipped over in the rush to begin the Christmas Season, but so far it hasn't. That said, I'm noticing there are folk who seem more eager to participate in the Friday after Thanksgiving Day shopping day than spend a day being grateful. Me? I'm not much for crowds at the best of times. And, as I get older I'm finding less and less to be merry about during the countdown to Christmas. Thanksgiving is now the best it gets. After Thanksgiving the rest of the season for me is an endurance test. Oh well. 

Hopefully, there will be one more ride to work day.
  • 48F/9C with a light rain falling for the ride to work.
  • 46F/8C and dark for the ride home.

Monday, November 21, 2011

A Ruckus

Yes, I rode to work today.

We came to the intersection almost at the same time, but I was definitely there first. He waved me through even though I had the right of way. I'd never seen him before. He was riding a Ruckus. At the next stop light I gave him lots of room to my right. If he wished to come next to me he could have, but he chose not to. He followed me for a few more blocks and turned north. It would be some blocks more before I turned north as well.

A couple blocks after I turned north he and I encountered each other again. Once again it was at a four way stop, and again, I was there first. This time we gave each a big thumbs up. As I continued north I wondered if our routes might intersect again. Also, I wondered what streets he had taken and why. There is another scooter I see quite frequently. This other rider and I crossed paths, much like the Ruckus rider and I did today. Until I recently changed my route we would sometimes find ourselves next to one another at a very long stop light. He liked to tell very old and corny jokes.

Perhaps I will see the Ruckus rider again, and maybe not. He was wearing a half-helmet without a visor and didn't have a windscreen. I'm thinking he experienced a rather brisk ride this morning.

It was a little foggy this morning and there was a very fine mist for both the ride to work and the ride home. The mist wasn't enough to get my gear wet, but enough to leave moisture on my visor and windscreen. I wonder what it felt like on the Ruckus rider's face.

As is often the case the fog was more intense the closer one got to the River.
At lunch time I notice these two guys working.

I don't think I'd like their job on the best of days. I know I wouldn't like it on a day like today.
  • 44F/7C with light fog and mist for the ride to work.
  • 45F/7C and dark with a light mist for the ride home.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Today The Clouds Began Returning

Yes, I rode to work today.

It was warmer this morning in comparison to yesterday. It was a toastie 38F/3C for the morning ride. We have had crystal clear blue skies the last couple of days, but today the clouds began returning.

Traffic was very light tonight. This time of year, traffic seems to lessen on Fridays. Maybe folks are using up their remaining vacation days.

  • 38F/3C and a few clouds for the ride to work.
  • 54F/12C and dark with wind gusts nearing 30mph for the ride home.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

And Then, There It Is.

Yes, I rode to work today.

Today I turned the idle up on the Symba. Tis' the season for it I suppose. It has been an odd autumn. It has seemed much warmer than usual.

Today it was 30F/-1C for the ride to work and I was wearing the correct layers. I was very comfortable. I didn't do so well for the ride home. I could have done without one layer. I was a little too warm for the ride home.

When I came out of the Courthouse there was a parade/demostration going by.

It was made up of a combination of Union members and the remnants of Occupy St. Louis. They were marching in the direction of City Hall, but I don't know if that was there destination or not. (Click here for what I read when I got home)
I saw the judge I mentioned last evening. I told her I wrote about her in my blog. She said, "Why? Because I told you to be safe." And, I said, "Yes." She laughed and so did I.

It's funny to me how I can ride by the same place day in and day without really noticing it. And then, there it is.

  • 30F/-1C with a few clouds for the ride to work.
  • 44F/7C and dark for the ride home.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

It Felt True and Seemed Genuine

Yes, I rode to work today.

But, I didn't ride to work as early as I usually do. I had a dentist appointment first thing and went into work afterwards.

It was much brighter than my usual commute Downtown.
This evening as I was letting Billie, my Symba, warm up and getting myself geared up, one of the judges came by. "Be safe riding home," she said, then added, "It's dark and I doubt people can see you as well as during the day." I thanked her for her concern. With the type of work I do in the Courthouses I don't have much reason to interact with the judges. I have to admit there are judges who even after the years I don't have a face for their name. Funnily, I have had more conversations with judges as they walk by Billie and me as we're fixing to leave than at any other time. I was touched by her concern -- it felt true and seemed genuine. I thanked her. I, also, shared with her how I wasn't at all sure folks saw me any better during the day than in the dark. The ones paying attention will probably see me either time, I told her, and the ones who don't pay attention won't see me either time. She agreed that there are a lot of distracted drivers on the road.

I'm not sure where I heard it first, but I've taken this to heart. I ride as if I'm invisible and as if I'm made of glass. I don't expect other drivers will see me. And, I'm very aware there aren't many fender benders when a motorcycle is involved in a crash with a car.

Just because I ride as if I'm invisible doesn't mean I don't take steps to make myself seen. I took this photo tonight just as I got home. Does the flag say, "Can you see me now?"

I would have preferred to have a more Hi-Vis helmet, but I wanted this particular helmet, it has a double lens visor and breath guard, and it came in black or with some not much more visible graphics. But, I've added a reflective sticker to the back to help it stand out at night.

On my way home tonight I almost hit a cat. Obviously, the cat wasn't paying attention.
  • 46F/8C with a few clouds for the ride to work.
  • 44F/7C and dark for the ride home.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

It Wasn't There

Yes, I rode to work today.

It was an unusual commute. There just wasn't any traffic. Even when I neared Downtown the traffic was exceptionally light. Again and again, I'm reminded of how each day is a unique ride even over the same streets.

I, also, forgot my camera. I left it next to the computer at home. I have a Fuji XP and when I'm riding, rain or shine, it can usually be found attached to a lanyard hanging around my neck. With the change of seasons it has migrated to my pocket, but still handy.

Of course, I missed a great photo opportunity today. After work I was at the grocery store picking up a few things. I kept hearing what sounded like a bird, but thought little of it until a woman next to me said, "Look at that." There was a man in line with a cockatoo on his shoulder. Since I was in my riding gear my hand went for the camera. Of course, it wasn't there.

  • 54F/12C and cloudy for the ride to work.
  • 62F/17C and dark for the ride home.

Monday, November 14, 2011

No Chance of Rain

Yes, I rode to work today.

The weather today was more like Spring than Autumn. The forecasters said there was a 30% chance of rain, but when I got to the motorcycle parking area I knew there was no chance of rain.

This bike isn't in the parking area if the owner thinks it might rain.
And, he was right once again. No rain.
  • 71F/22C and overcast for the ride to work
  • 69F/21C and overcast for the ride home.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Flags Were Still Dancing

Yes, I rode to work today.

The morning began on the coolish side. It was still windy, but nothing like yesterday.

The flags were still dancing  . . .
. . . but, this fellow was unmoved.
Tomorrow is Veteran's Day and the Courts will be closed. No work for me.

Here, the Veteran's Day Parade was last Saturday. I guess too many folks have to work for it to be actually on Veteran's Day. Sad. In a perfect work we wouldn't need soldiers. The world is far from perfect. Tomorrow I will be mindful of the things endured by the veterans of our Armed Forces and be grateful for their willingness to serve.

  • 37F/3C and clear for the ride to work.
  • 45F/7C and a few clouds for the ride home.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Yes, I rode to work today.

It was very windy this morning.

The Symba does surprisingly well in the wind. I think part of the reason is the windshield is clipped to the handlebars and not a stationary part of the fairing. The result is when the wind hits the windshield, the windshield moves the handlebars into the wind. It is sort of a natural counter-steer. That said, high winds aren't my favorite riding condition. Today the wind was gusting up to 30mph when I rode Downtown.

I took this photo as I was walking from one courthouse to the other at about 0830CST. Notice the flag. It always seems windier Downtown, but it was plenty windy everywhere this morning.

By ride home time the wind had let up quite a bit.

I worked all day in the Civil Courthouse and took this photo as I returned to the Carnahan Courthouse at about 1650CST. See the flag a top the Old Courthouse? Much less windy than in the AM.
The forecasters are saying the temperatures will near freezing tonight. It is time.
  • 49F/9C while mostly cloudy and windy for the ride into work.
  • 49F/9C with a few clouds for the ride home.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Had My Rain Gear On

Yes, I rode to work today.

Rode to work on wet pavement and rode home on wet pavement, but didn't ride in any rain. I had my rain gear on for both rides but the rain drops missed me. I guess you could say my rain gear worked just fine.

On rainy days I usually wait to take my helmet off until I'm in the building, but since it hadn't rained on me all the way in I took my helmet off in the parking area. I bet you can guess what happened. Yep, it started raining. Oh well, I didn't melt.
  • 62F/17C and overcast for the ride to work.
  • 60F/16C and overcast for the ride home.

Monday, November 7, 2011

With Daylight Saving Time Ending . . .

Yes, I rode to work today.

With Daylight Saving Time ending my commute now begins in the light.
And, today it began in the rain.
The rain was quite steady until mid-morning.
At lunchtime the rain had pretty much finished for the day.

While walking during my lunch hour I noticed this car. I always thought this style Jaguar was attractive. There was even a time I fancied I might want to own one. I must say those times are past, and I'm very glad this particular one isn't mine.
When I came out after work it was dark.

If I have to commute in the dark my preference is to do so in the morning. Folk stagger their times of going to work in the morning, but in the evening it seems everyone leaves at the same time. Traffic is definitely heavier in the evening and it seems to me people are just a little more in a hurry to get home than they are in the morning.
  • 57F/14C and light rain for the ride into work.
  • 64F/17C and overcast for the ride home.

Friday, November 4, 2011

It Was Dreary Yesterday

Yes, I rode to work today.

It was as nice of a day weather wise today as it was dreary yesterday.

The Fall colors can still be seen here and there, but many of the leaves have fallen.

It's Friday. Hope you have a wonderful weekend.

  • 44F/ and overcast for the ride to work this morning. Heated grips are great.
  • 57F/ and a few clouds for the ride home.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

We're Members of the Same Club

Yes, I rode to work today.

The forecasters predicted steady rain during the morning ride time. Instead, there was a very light mist. My gear wasn't even wet when I got to work.

The forecasters said it would clear up in the afternoon. Guess what?

I rode home in the rain.
I learned something about a co-worker today. From the way he moves and carries himself I've suspected he he had been in a significant accident sometime in his life, but didn't know the details. Recently he and I have been working together on a special project. He just happened to mentioned the only thing he missed about being in the hospital was the massages and the nurses stretching him. This gave me an opportunity to find out about his accident. It was a motorcycle accident. He was racing his brother in the woods and hit a tree. He had to be revived at the scene and was in a coma for months. He had thirty-six broken bones total. He drives, but can't ride a motorcycle anymore, but he has an ATV that he loves to ride.

It continues to amaze our supervisor that he and I, both head injury survivors, are two of the best workers in the Circuit. Both he and I agree part of it is both of us are grateful to be able to work and don't take it for granted. While on Holiday I saw a bumper sticker that read: "I believe in Life before death." Having one's life change completely can be crushing or it can make one more grateful for every moment one has. I'm grateful it didn't crush me. I'm grateful to know my co-worker's story. I guess you could say we're members of the same club.

Home where it is nice and dry.

  • 52F/11C with light mist for the ride to work.
  • 47F/8C and light rain for the ride home.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Cute Isn't It?

Yes, I rode to work today.

Goldilocks and I are back from our long weekend. And while we were away Billie, my Symba, went trick or treating. She got one treat for sure and maybe one trick.

The mirrors on the Symba have always been functional, but more than half the lens has been taken up by a nice view of my arms. Frankly, I already knew they were there. I asked Mike at Maplewood Scooter Company if he could get me something to extent the mirrors out some. He used some old wrenches to fashion a custom extension. When I picked up the bike he warned me he wasn't certain his solution was the answer. It does get me out of the rear view, but there is a lot of shaking going on. After riding today I've not decided if this farkle is a trick or a treat. But, the other farkle is definitely a treat.

Hot Grips! Yep, after riding the last two winters without heated grips I have succumbed. I purposely wore lighter gloves this morning and ran the grips. I likey.

With the temperatures expected to top 70F today I wasn't surprised to see lots of bikes out and about.

This beauty was parked on the sidewalk by the Civil Courthouse. I would be concerned about getting a ticket if I did such a thing, but this rider doesn't seem concerned. This isn't the first time I've seen it parked in this spot.
This little beast could park anywhere, but the rider parked on the street. 
And of course, the motorcycle parking area was full.

I got a phone call at work today. This is very unusual. I seldom get calls at work. Truthfully, I seldom get phone calls period and I ain't complaining. It was a Deputy Sheriff. He'd gotten my name from the facility manager. It seems the Deputy bought a Vespa last Friday and rode it to work today for the first time. He planned to park it in the parking area. He had his parking sticker on it and thought he'd be all set. Then he ran into a problem. With all the bikes in the lot he couldn't figure out a way to chain his scoot up to one of the posts. Being a resourceful young man he did manage to figure something out, but wanted to make sure what he did was okay with me since he was using part of my solution to the same problem.

First he backed his Vespa in next to my Symba.
And, then . . . . . cute isn't it?
  • 50F/10C and clear for the ride to work.
  • 72F/22C and a few clouds for the ride home.