Thursday, May 31, 2012

Bone Dry

Yes, I rode to work today.

And, I was bone dry both ways.

It did rain, a little.

I wasn't the only one fooled. This is where the Hamburger Man is usually set up. Not today. I suspect if he knew we were only going to get a little over fourteen hundredths of an inch (.35cm) of rain he'd been there.

I see this scooter locked to this pole often, but only when the weather is fair. The rider must not have been fooled. I rode into work expecting rain, but the only moisture I experienced was under my rain gear. I can't say the forecasters were wrong. It did rain. And, they were definitely correct about it being cooler.
  • 65F/18C and overcast for my ride to work.
  • 59F/15C and overcast for my ride home.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

90% Chance

Yes, I rode to work today.


It rained a little.

But, not much.

And, it didn't rain at all Downtown. It was a case of widely scattered showers.

By home-ride we were back to resort weather.

The National Weather Service is forecasting a 90% chance of rain and much cooler temperatures for tomorrow. We'll see. 
  • 67F/19C and a little rain shower for the ride to work.
  • 81F/27C and a few clouds for the ride home.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

He Sees Me Riding

Yes, I rode to work today.


I went in late.

When I walked over to the cafe to get my morning bagel the sky looked like rain and there was even an occasional sprinkle. Alas, later, by the time I left the dentist the sun was shinning and the sky had cleared.. Rain wasn't in the forecast, but conditions this morning had gotten my hopes up.

Instead of rain we had another rider's paradise sort of day. We need rain. The National Weather Service is suggesting an 80% chance of rain Thursday. Time will tell.

During the home-ride I saw Pee Wee. I've written about Pee Wee in Twists and Leanings and you can click here to read my first post about him. He was sitting on his front porch. It seems lately whenever he's been out, I've been on a short leash and couldn't stop. Tonight I could stop. Pee Wee still isn't riding. I don't think I've mentioned he lost a riding friend a while back. His friend ran into the side of a UPS truck. Died on the spot. It has caused him to reconsider many things. He's dropped out of the motorcycle club he belonged to and is just letting things settle for a while.

Pee Wee is a tinkerer. I think he likes to work on his bike at least as much, perhaps more than he likes to ride it. He has plans. I'll not give them away. Hopefully, photos will follow. He says he thinks he'll be back on the road come autumn. We'll see.

He says he sees me riding all over. It pleases him. Seeing me out riding seems to be important to him right now. That certainly works for me. My being out and about riding is very important to me.

He knows I'm watching and waiting.
  • 79F/26C and a little bit cloudy for the ride to work.
  • 88F/31C and a few clouds for the ride home.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Poorly Tuned

Yes, I rode to work today.


There are many wonderful things about riding to work each morning.

Being stuck behind a poorly tuned oil burning construction truck is not one of them.

Nor, is getting caught in the traffic chaos caused by a water main break.


there is something about the discovery of turquoise on a seldom taken street that seems to balance things out.
  • 77F/25C with what the National Weather Service called partly cloudy, but I thought subdued a better description, for the ride to work.
  • 91F/33C with clouds and sun for the ride home.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Getting Monotonous

Yes, I rode to work today.

The weather is getting monotonous. Today the only change from the last few days was some wind gusts up to 35kts during ride home time. This made for an exciting moment or two. The forecasters are predicting near record high temperatures for the Memorial Day weekend. The low humidity will be good for us humans, but will continue to suck the moisture out of the crops. There is no rain in the forecast for the next ten days. They can be wrong. I hope so. But, until it rains I will enjoy the ride.

  • 68F/ with a few clouds for the ride to work.
  • 90F/ with lots of sunshine and windy for the ride home.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Flash Drought

Yes, I rode to work today.

The headline in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch read: Missouri Farmers Battling 'Flash Drought' (Click here if you like to read the article) It seems all the things which have made the last couple of weeks a riders paradise--the above normal temperatures, low humidity, and an abundance of sunshine--are the very things sucking the moisture right out of the plants. We need rain. And, there is none on the horizon.

It isn't this desperate, yet. But, with the mild winter and early spring, it certainly seemed like an interesting summer might await us. Now this possibility seems even more likely.

Yes, we need rain and when it comes it will give me a chance to see how well my new Klim Covert GTX Gore-Tex sock liners work.

I guess you could say I'm hoping for wet conditions and for dry feet.
  • 61F/16C, dry and plenty of moisture sucking sunshine for the ride to work.
  • 84F/29C with only 30% humidity and lots of sunshine for the ride home.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

I'm Pretending

Yes, I rode to work today.

I gave the Symba a bath over the weekend. I do this twice a year. Once in the Fall before I spray her down with ACF-50 rust inhibitor. And, once in the spring when I remove the ACF-50 and the yards of dirt and grime it has collected. Soon she'll be dirty again, but it will be the type of dirt the rain can handle. The winter dirt and grime needs soap, warm water, and lots of elbow grease.

Tonight when I went by Sandrina's there was a large group sitting outside. As I rode by they were really checking me out. I suspect the stares were all about me riding a 101cc bike in full gear on a warm May day. But just for today I'm pretending it was because Billie, my Symba just looks so damn good!
  • 58F/14C and a few clouds for the ride to work.
  • 77F/25C and a few more clouds for the ride home.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Wisdom Possessed Us

Yes, I rode to work today.

It seemed today was scooter day.

And, it was a day when pleasant coincidences were waiting for me.

This woman was waiting for someone. And, the photo was waiting for me to take it.

After work I was riding south on Brannon Ave. As I approached the intersection with Fyler I saw two north bound Vespa riders waiting at the four-way stop. Even though the "Vespa-teers" had the right of way they motioned the car coming from the east to go on through. I thought this a tiny bit odd until I saw the yellow scooter of Chinese origin approaching from the east. The rider was a young woman. When she came to a stop we all looked at each other and laughed. We had three corners covered--almost a full house. Wisdom possessed us. None of us tried to make a big deal of the coincidence, to try and make something out of the moment. Of course, the guys on the Vespas still had the right of way and went straight, I turned right. The young woman followed me for a few blocks before making a left turn on Hampton.  It was all over quickly. I suspect the memory will linger and bring a smile to my face nearly every time I come to the corner of Brannon and Fyler. I really glad we didn't ruin it.
  • 59F/15C and a little cloudy for the ride to work.
  • 73F/23C and lots of sunshine for the ride home.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Good Taste

Yes, I rode to work today.

The weather continues to be wonderful....

Lots of blue sky and sunshine.

The real city gardens are beginning to appear.

I suspect the squirrel and rabbit problems are greatly diminished in this garden.

I like this.

And, while not my cup of tea.....

I still admire the lines, the movement, and the flow of this bike. I think the rider was getting lunch from the hamburger man. This proves he or she has good taste.
  • 62F/17C with nothing but blue sky for the ride to work.
  • 87F/31C and mighty fine for the ride home.

Thursday, May 17, 2012


Yes, I rode to work today.

I'm loving this weather. Apparently others are as well. I saw lots of scooters and motorcycles on my ride home. Someone on another blog commented about many scooter riders seeming confused about the wave. I don't know if that is true, but I do know one scooter rider I waved at this evening certainly looked like he was trying to figure out who the hell I was. Oh well.
  • 54F/12C and nothing but blue sky for the ride to work.
  • 79F/26C with clouds, but plenty of sunshine for the ride home.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Times Have Not Been Kind

Yes, I rode to work today.

One of the things I love about commuting on my Symba is the way it puts me in the neighborhoods I ride through. It does this in a way different than I've ever experienced in a car. I've met people along my usual route. Many others wave to me as I pass. The regular bus driver and I exchange little toots on our horns when I pass. And, I watch the buildings and houses, the empty lots and the for sale signs, the school kids on the corners and the people walking their dogs.

St. Louis is filled with amazing beautiful old buildings and homes. While the times have not been kind to many of these there is still a majesty to many, and even most of the ones in decay have a certain alluring character 

Not long ago I noticed a foundation going in on one of the empty lots I pass by frequently. I wondered what might be going in the space. I watched and waited, but what came surprised me.

Chris Naffzinger is local blogger. His blog St. Louis Patina was recently named the top architectural blog in the City by the River Front Times. I'm a regular reader of his blog. I was curious what he would make of what I'd seen,  and sent him some photos I took. He used the photos in his Five Year Anniversary Post. You can click here to go to his post. The photos in the post are mine and he addresses them in the last paragraph.

I've said it before and I will say it again: Before I began riding to work St. Louis was where I lived, now it has become my hometown.
  • 66F/19C and a few clouds for the ride to work this morning.
  • 78F/26C and plenty of sunshine for the ride home.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Best Done Slow

Yes, I rode to work today.

Today the St. Louis Baseball team, the Cardinals, played an afternoon game. It was against their arch rival the Chicago Cubs. It was a big crowd. The game was letting out near ride home time. Traffic was heavy. There was lots of stop and go. Fortunately, I didn't have any reason to hurry. I'm finding life works best when I don't need be in a hurry, when I can accept time passing on its own terms.  When my attention is in the here and now even traffic can be where I want to be. Of course, it seems every ride has its ebb and flow. I can't say the time I spent behind a late model oil burning Dodge Avenger at three different stoplights was a spiritual experience. On the other hand, riding by Sweetie Pies Kitchen is always best done slow. I wouldn't be surprised if one could gain weight by simply inhaling the smells at the corner of Manchester Ave. and Tower Grove.
  • 59F/15C and a few clouds, but lots of sunshine for the ride to work.
  • 82F/28C and plenty of sunshine for the ride home.

Monday, May 14, 2012

It Didn't Happen

Yes, I rode to work today.

"Sort of a waste of this good weather, isn't it?" he said. I knew what he was talking about. The weather here of late has been the kind of weather you travel somewhere else to experience. Sitting inside the Courthouse all day, while I wouldn't call it a waste, doesn't seem to be the best use of this priceless weather spell we'll been experiencing. I am so grateful for being able to ride to and from work on days and weeks like these. My commute time is certainly not wasted.

On a forum I frequent I often hear, "If there isn't pictures it didn't happen." I don't have pictures but I did see a white Volkswagen Beetle today. It wasn't one of the new ones, nor was it one of the older ones. What made it unique was the red painted on stitching along the hood line. It made it look like a baseball. When I reached for my camera, I discovered I'd zipped up my jacket withthe camera inside. Oh well, there will always be a few that get away.
  • 56F/13C and plenty of sunshine for the ride to work.
  • 79F/26C and still plenty of sunshine for the ride home.

Friday, May 11, 2012

A Few Degrees

Yes, I rode to work today.

And, what a difference a few degrees makes in how much company Billie, my Symba, has in the parking area.

60F/16C and a few clouds for the ride to work this morning.
74F/23C and a few more clouds for the ride home.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

One Very Dirty Girl

Yes, I rode to work today.

The weather continues to be simply amazing.

I'm grateful to have Citygarden to visit during my lunchtime. I enjoy watching the kids and whole families enjoying the sprinklers.

And, what's not to like about blue sky and fluffy clouds? This is the Federal Courthouse.

I noticed after work I really need to get the winter grime cleaned off Billie. She is one very dirty girl right now.
  • 56F/13C and a few clouds for the ride to work this morning.
  • 73F/23C and lots of sunshine for the ride home.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Most Likely

Yes, I rode to work today.

At the gasoline filling station tonight I witnessed a small drama. In the lane next to me. A woman had finished filling her car, had paid, and returned to her car. A minivan apparently thinking she was ready to leave pulled in behind her to await her imminent departure. From my vantage point I could see she was fumbling with something, possibly her purse. Possibly she was looking for her keys, I couldn't tell.

The man in the minivan seemed to be getting perturbed. She continued to do whatever she was doing. Finally, the guy in the minivan honked his horn at her. Did I mention there were other pumps at other islands available? The woman seemed to become even more flustered. I thought to myself, "That didn't seem to be helpful." Finally, the woman accomplished whatever it was she was doing, started her car and drove off. I found what the driver of the minivan did next rather interesting. Instead of pulling past the pump where the woman had been to the next available pump, he stopped at the first pump. He now was blocking the way to the other pump. He managed to set up the same possibility he'd been so upset over moments before. Why? Perhaps he was OCD and had to use that particular pump, but I suspect not. More likely, it was a type of target fixation. He got so worked up over her being at that pump he just had to have that pump. But the most likely reason? He was just a prick.
  • 56F/13C and as clear as a bell for the ride to work.
  • 69F/21C with big fluffy clouds and plenty of sunshine for the ride home.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Good Hearted Abuse

No, I didn't ride to work today.

Today was a State Holiday here in Missouri. Today was Harry S. Truman's Birthday and all State Offices were closed.  Truman was the 33rd President of the United States and was born and raised here in Missouri. Of course, nothing else was closed. Every year since I began working for the State, Truman's Birthday has become a day my friends give me much good hearted abuse.

I did ride some today. And, I looked at bikes. I came to the conclusion I want Honda PCX250. Of course, the problem is Honda doesn't make a PCX250. I loved sitting on the PCX125. It fit me like a glove. Oh well, I will test ride a PCX150 when they become available, but I think 150cc's is a little small for what I have in mind. I'm thinking I also may test ride a CBR250R. I liked it, too, and heaven knows it would take me anywhere I want to go.

Monday, May 7, 2012


Yes, I rode to work today.

I was the only bike in the parking area today. It rained quite steadily for my ride into work.

It was a dreary day. It was the perfect sort of day for another photo of the Serra's Sculpture.

It rained for the ride home, too.

  • 67F/19Cand light rain for the ride to work.
  • 68F/20C and light rain for the ride home.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Perhaps I Imagined It

Yes, I rode to work today.

During the ride to work it got very dark. The forecast was not predicting rain. Still it seemed prudent to stop and put on my rain jacket. None of the riders I passed were wearing rain gear. Perhaps I imagined it, but they looked really nervous and seemed to be preoccupied with the dark ominous cloud rising in the north west.

It did sprinkle some on the ride in, but the rain pretty much held off in our area until after drive time. There were a couple flashes of lightning with near simultaneous claps of thunder. That was exciting. I'm guessing north and east of us some folk got wet.

The ride home was totally drama free--a good way to begin the weekend.

  • 68F/20C with some thunder and light rain for the ride to work.
  • 85F/29C and cloudy for the ride home.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Odd Is As Odd Does

Yes, I rode to work today.

It has been a long day. I had a meeting after work, which meant a nice long ride after work and then home after the meeting. That was good, but it is late. I am tired.

After work a co-worker rode with me. I didn't know he was going to. He just was there. He rides a Harley. It was kind of creepy looking in the mirrors and seeing him behind me. I'll admit the movie Duel did come to mind.

Eventually he pulled up next to me. I looked at him. He spoke. "I usually take the highway, but I could do this route," he said, "It's not half bad. Easy." Then he said, "The lights green." I'd been looking at him and didn't notice. I took off in the lead again.

At the next light he pulled up next to me again. "My tires are bigger than yours." The light changed and this time he took the lead.

At the next light he pulled into the left turn lane. I was next to him in the lane going straight. I was behind a car. He was behind a 49cc scooter. "He has little bike, too," he said, "Is it bigger than yours."

"No," I replied, "His is a 50cc and mine is a 100cc."

"I don't know what mine is," he said, "But, I know how much it weighs."

With that, the light changed and we parted ways.

Hmm, odd is as odd does.

  • 71F/22C and lots of sun for the ride to work.
  • 84F/29C and abundant sunshine when I left work.
  • 76F/24C with lots of moonshine in the sky when I finally got home.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


Yes, I rode to work today.

It was a much dryer ride to work this morning. Yesterday's rain was gone and summer appeared again. The temperature made it up to 90F/32C.  I rode to work in my mesh jacket and home in my mesh jacket, even though home didn't happen until much later than usual. There was a memorial service marking the first anniversary of the passing of a friend. It was at 7:00 in the evening, which meant I needed to ride directly there from work. This added another 25mi to my evening riding. If your guessing I wasn't upset about the additional miles, you'd be right.

It was near 8:30pm when I walked up the path to collect Billie and head home. It was still plenty warm. It was the first night ride filled with bugs.
  • 73F/23C with a few clouds for the ride to work.
  • 89F/32C with even fewer clouds for the ride to Neve Shalom.
  • 83F/28C with the moon watching over me on my ride home.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Today I rode to work.

Today it rained.

It rained all during my ride to work and during my walk from the parking area into the Courthouse.

It rained very hard. There was thunder and there was lightning, but mostly there was just rain. And, thankfully, there was very little wind.

I was reminded of two things today. First of all, I have a bad habit of grabbing the front brake. This isn't a good idea in the best of times and a horrible idea when it is raining. Secondly, when it is raining hard enough and you ride in it long enough you are going to get wet. I didn't get wet today, but I did get damp.

By lunchtime the robins were hunting worms.

And, the sun and the clouds were making nice to me.
  • 64F/18C with thunderstorms and torrential rains for the ride to work this morning.
  • 83F/28C with clouds, but plenty of sunshine for the ride home.