Wednesday, October 31, 2012

It Was Pretty Scary Looking

Yes, I rode to work today.

As I rode to work this morning the moon was in the eastern sky. When I got to the parking area it was hanging over the skywalk running from the Justice Center (read: Jail) to the Courthouse.

I thought I might be able to get down low and manage a photo of the moon over the bikes. Alas, I couldn't find an angle I was happy with. After I finished crawling around on my knees I noticed one of the guys who rides quite regularly standing outside one of the secured doorways. Still on my knees, I pointed up toward the moon and said, "I was trying to get a shot of the moon with the bikes I wouldn't want you to think I was worshiping my bike."

He responded, "And, would there be something wrong with that?"

Since it's Halloween, I'll leave you with a photo I posted earlier on Facebook. My cousin's wife said it was pretty scary looking.

  • 36F/2C with clear skies for the ride to work.
  • 56F/13C with a few clouds for the home ride.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The End of the Alley

Yes, I rode to work today.

Billie's clutch is still not right. I suspect it is getting tired. It's probably ready for new plates. It has seen a lot of shifts over the 19,000 plus miles. I'm confident there are more shifts in this clutch, but I'm taking it a little easier than I once did.

One of the things I like about the Symba is the places I can go with it. Tonight I rode into the sunset.

I took to the alleys to see if I could get even a better view.

It surprises me when I feel an internal bristle when someone calls my Symba a moped. Why should I take offense? I love its smallness. I appreciate how easy it is to walk into places between cars or dumpsters. I can even sneak onto a sidewalk for a short burst if I really need to.

Tonight I jigged and jagged through an alley or two, went a few yards the wrong way on a one way street, and this is what was waiting for me at the end of the alley.
  • 35F/2C and mostly cloudy for the ride to work.
  • 57F/14C with some clouds in the west for the home ride.

Monday, October 29, 2012


Yes, I rode to work today.

0700 CDT
The time changed everywhere else in the world. For a short time my "smart" phone tried to convince me it had changed here as well, but by 9am yesterday he had come to its senses. Of course, if the time had changed I would have gotten a reprieve from riding into the sun.

It was a bit brisk this morning, but didn't hit the freezing mark. The forecasters are saying this is going to be the coldest morning of the week. It is going to be clear here all week. My daughter lives in the Norfolk area. I will be glad when it is all clear there and when all the East Coast is out of harms way.
  • 34F/1C and clear for the ride to work.
  • 54F/12C with a few clouds for the home ride.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Definitely A Jacket Day

Yes, I rode to work today.

The morning temperatures were a little different from yesterday. The windchill was near the freezing mark. Of course, as I walked up the Courthouse steps I got the traditional question: "Aren't you cold?" I'm amazed at how often this question is asked by people who aren't dressed for the weather and look like they're freezing. I want to say, "No I'm not and if you were wearing a decent coat neither would you be!" But, instead I say, "No, I've got good gear."

Unlike yesterday when shirtsleeves were the norm, today was definitely a jacket day.

Of course, a hoodie and a poncho works well, too.

I am grateful for a full week of work with no days off, no funerals, or no trips. I was ready for a good old boring, run of the mill, and totally generic week.

Ride safe and, insha'Allah, I'll be back next Monday.
  • 40F/4C and overcast for the ride to work.
  • 50F/10C with lots of sunshine for the home ride.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Midwestern Weather At Its Best

Yes, I rode to work today.

An alley near Florist Row.
This morning the outside temperature was warmer than we normally keep our apartment during the colder months of the year. And, there wasn't a cloud in the sky which meant no dramatic sunrise.

By lunchtime it was 80F/27C and folks were walking around in shirtsleeves enjoying the summer like temperatures.

But, the afternoon brought a change. By the time I left work the temperature had plummeted.

With the arrival of the cold front came the very real possibility I would be riding home in the rain.

Heather sent me a message. It was raining hard in Clayton. I put on the rain gear and headed out. Wouldn't you know this would be the only night this week I wasn't going straight home. Billie needed some adjustment to her clutch and she needed fuel.

It was a windy ride with gusts up to 28 knots. The leaves were on the move. I rode through many a "leaf devil". I guess that's what one could call those little leaf filled cyclones I encountered on my way to Mike's.

I made it to Mike's, got the clutch adjusted, went by the gas station, topped off Billie's tank, and still made it home before it rained.

Of course, the cherry on top of this day is the freeze watch in effect for tonight. Yep, this is Midwestern weather at its best.
  • 68F/20F and clear for the ride to work.
  • 60F/16C, overcast and breezy for the ride to Mike's
  • 49F/9C with a feel of rain in the air when I pulled into my alley.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

He Is Still Riding To Work

Yes, I rode to work today.

And, summer decided to pay a visit.

I saw lots of bikes out today. I can't say I was surprised.

Once again the day began with a stunning sunrise.

Deputy D's red Fly 150 scooter has been missing from the parking area for some time now. I'd seen him around the Courthouse, but hadn't a chance to ask what was up with that. Today I found out. He is still riding, but has been transferred over to the Civil Courts Building. The Deputies have a parking area available to them next to the Civil Courthouse and he has been parking there. I'm glad to know he is still riding riding to work.

Saw some interesting clouds on the home ride.

And, the moon was having trouble waiting its turn.

As I rode into the sunset, I noticed others leaving on a jet plane.

I was glad to be soon home.
  • 66F/19C with a few clouds for the ride to work.
  • 81F/27C and plenty clear enough for the home ride. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

100% Chance of Rain

Yes, I rode to work today.

The forecasters said there would be a 100% chance of rain for my morning commute.

But, once again I experienced only a few sprinkles and was treated to another beautiful sunrise.

My rain jacket did come in handy when I walked between the buildings.

And, at lunchtime.

It was a warm rain. It was the type of rain I used to love to play football. The temperature was cool enough to keep one fresh and the mud gave the advantage to a guy with great balance, good quickness, and not outstanding speed.

By afternoon the sky was blue and the sun was waiting for me to get off work.

Yep, the sun is getting closer to being in my eyes on the ride home.

Apparently all this rain has been good for more than mushrooms.

All sorts of things have sprung up out of the ground in front of this house.

I like the guy at the top of the steps.

Every year I see more Halloween decorations. This year I'm noticing a trend toward more scarecrow type figures in folk's yards. Of course, there are no scarecrows in this yard, but I've seen them in others. If an opportunity presents itself this weekend maybe Billie and I will go hunting. I hear in addition to these scarecrows there are spooky flamingos out and about.
  • 69F/21C with a few sprinkles for the ride to work. I wouldn't have needed rain gear.
  • 77F/25C and nothing but blue skies for the home ride.

Monday, October 22, 2012

A Rainy Monday

Yes, I rode to work today.

Since it is Monday we begin with Martha's Window:

0700 CDT
I have to admit with all the things going on over the past couple of weeks I am most grateful to be headed into a week looking to have five days of work and me being home every night. I am so ready for some humdrum.

A few sprinkles visited me while I rode to work, but the rain waited until I was sitting at my desk.

It was a rainy day in St. Louis.

I put the rain gear on for the ride home. But...

By the time I got home the blue skies had won out.
  • 68F/20C and mostly cloudy with a sprinkle or two for the ride to work.
  • 70F/21C and overcast but clearing for the home ride.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Overcast and Clear

I didn't ride to work today.

Today was Eldon's funeral

It was overcast
but it didn't rain

The trees put forth beauty
the clouds gloom
our hearts held both.

Sometimes it seems so obvious
Life's nature
is to be
overcast and clear.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

I Left Early

Yes, I rode to work today.

But, I left early.

Today is Heather's Grandfather's Wake. We will be spending the late afternoon and evening there.

  • 49F/9C with a few clouds in the sky for the ride to work.
  • 59F/15C with some clouds and breezy for the home ride at noon.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Beginning of a Short Week

Yes, I rode to work today.

Since this is the beginning of a short work week for me, I begin with Martha's Window.

7am Wednesday rather than Monday morning.
There were clouds on the horizon which often means a beauty of a sunrise.

Autumn means riding first into marvelous sunrises and then after the time change into wonderful sunsets.

By evening the rain had moved in.

The Autumn brings added dangers when it rains.

Wet leaves can be as slick as ice.

Ah, the Midwest. A beautiful sunrise, a gray cloudy day, and a nice thunderstorm to ride home in. Life is good.
  • 61F/16C with enough clouds to make a beautiful sunrise for the ride to work.
  • 67F/19C with light rain turning into a downpour for the home ride.

Monday, October 15, 2012


I didn't ride to work today
Still on vacation.

back in St. Louis
after a quick trip to St. Louis.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Columbus Day

Yes, I rode today....

but not to work. Today was Columbus Day. If I had ridden to work it would have been cool enough for the winter helmet to come out. Yesterday when I rode over to St. Peters to see my granddaughter not only was it cold enough for the winter helmet, but I broke out the FogEvader as well.

My grandpa, what a big nose you have!
However, today before I could ride I needed to take Heather to House of India for lunch. You may recall this is my penance for having one of "those" holidays when Heather has to work and I don't.

After lunch, Isabelle and I headed to Illinois to visit with Heathers Grandparents. By then, the FogEvader could stay home.

It was good to see him home. He's been bouncing back and forth between hospitals and rehab centers for a very long time.

And, it was the Kymco's first time in Illinois.

Tomorrow I begin a few days vacation. Hopefully, I'll be back to riding to work by the middle of next week. Until then, be safe.

Friday, October 5, 2012


Yes, I rode to work today.

And, it rained.

It rained pretty much all day.

I rode to work in the rain and...

I rode home in the rain.
  • 49F/9C with a light rain for the ride to work.
  • 46F/8C with intermittent showers for the home ride.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Today Was Even Nicer

Yes, I rode to work today.

I thought yesterday's weather was a nice. Today was even nicer.

There were enough clouds in the morning to make for a nice sunrise.

This evening I came home a longer way. I wandered over past Mike T's place. As I was waiting for a light to turn a Metro bus pulled up next to me. I heard a little beep from its horn. I looked over and there was the woman driver I used to exchange waves and toots with during my morning commute. She slid open her window and yelled to me, "I got a new route." The light changed and that was that. It really is a small world, especially when you ride a small motorcycle with a green hi-vis flag.
  • 63F/17C with some clouds for the ride to work.
  • 79F/26C and few more clouds, but still plenty of sunshine for the home ride.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Nearly Perfect

Yes, I rode to work today.

And, it was nearly a perfect day to ride. It was cloudy enough in the morning to keep the sun from my eyes. During my ride home I watched clouds moving in from the southwest.

But they held no rain. I'm hearing there is a cold front coming. It will still be mild tomorrow, but likely much cooler Friday.
  • 61F/16C and mostly cloudy for the ride to work.
  • 75F/24C with clouds on the horizon for the home ride.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Certainly Not Cold

Yes, I rode to work today.

And, today was the first day it felt like Autumn to me.

When I mention to people I am from Michigan the Fall colors are often mentioned. And, I understand why people bring them up, but that is not the Michigan I come from.

I come from an area of Michigan where there are but a few shade trees around the farmhouses. Once upon a time it was all wetlands and forest, but that was before my time.First came logging and then the swamps were drained creating one of the richest farm areas in the world. Of the trees that do remain, many are maples. They try their best to put on a show. Alas, they are more like candles than the blaze of color to our west and north.

I come from the Saginaw Valley. It is farmland. It is flat. Come autumn, it is a wondrous world of grays and browns with the occasional green of fields of winter wheat. Autumn in Mid-Michigan is about sugar beets piled high in holding areas awaiting processing. It is about fields emptied of soy and edible beans. And, it is about the has a damp chill about it.

This morning it was 50F/10C, certainly not cold, yet there was a damp chill in the air. It wasn't much to speak of, just a hint, but enough to remind me of home. Yes, today was the first day it felt like Autumn to me.
  • 50F/10C and overcast for the ride to work.
  • 69F/21C and mostly cloudy for the home ride.

Monday, October 1, 2012

1977 Puch

Yes, I rode to work today.

And, here's the first photo of the week.

0700 CDT
One of the people called to jury duty this week rode this to the Courthouse.

I chatted with her briefly. She told me it was a 1977 Puch. It is all stock. Even the rear end was original equipment. She says since it has come into her life it has become her main vehicle. I can understand that.
  • 56F/13C and overcast for the ride to work.
  • 65F/18C and mostly cloudy for the home ride.