Friday, November 30, 2012

Dare I Say It

Yes, I rode to work today.

It's Friday. And, on top of that the day got off to a mighty beautiful start..
With the sun in the south south east...

And, the moon in the west.

Today the temperatures continued to rise. There is only a slight chance of rain over the weekend. One of the forecasters for the National Weather Service commented, "Drought begets drought." We are dry, too dry. Heather and I hope to hike tomorrow. I preach and preside on Sunday, but there may be a ride in the afternoon. There's nothing that can be done about this warm dry weather except enjoy it, all  the while hoping for rain...or, dare I say it, snow.
  • 44F/7C , fair and calm for the ride to work.
  • 64F/18C with some clouds, but still calm for the home ride.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Another Woman, Another Elevator

Yes, I rode to work today.

The day was clear and calm.

We are in the midst of a warming trend. There is talk of temperatures in the 70'sF/20'sC this weekend. 

As I was leaving work tonight a woman got on the elevator with me. She looked me up and down, "You getting ready to ride that motorcycle off into the sunset aren't you?" and we laughed. My Grandma believed in things happening in threes. This is the third day in a row I've had an interaction with a woman in an elevator connected to riding. I wonder if this makes the set.

Of course, with it getting dark early we meant riding off into the sunset figuratively, but on my way out I was surprised to catch a glimpse of the sun setting the western sky on fire.

By the time I was on the road the sun was gone...

I wasn't really that close to the car. I was using a little zoom.
and other lights ruled the night.

I was having dinner this evening with my daughter-in-law and rode Isabelle, my Kymco People 250S instead of Billie, my Symba. I realized when I got to work I was wearing my backpack as I have to when I ride Billie. I forgot I could have used the magical hook and saved my back. I didn't make the same mistake on the ride home.
  • 37F/3C clear and calm for the ride to work.
  • 56F/13C with some clouds for the ride that eventually led home.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Different Woman, Same Elevator

Yes, I rode to work today.

And, today a different woman, but on the same elevator asked me, "Did you ride your motorcycle today?" I was standing next to her in full gear with my helmet in my hand. I wanted to say, "No, I rode the bus. I dress like this because it's a great conversation starter." But, I didn't. This isn't the first time I've been in this scenario. And, one time a Deputy Sheriff asked me the same question when I was all geared up. The Deputy was working security. It sort of made me question my safety a little. I suppose what is going on is the making of an observation. Still it seems odd. Am I the only one who gets this question?

Also, it warmed up today. How much did it warm up?

It warmed up enough for Hamburger Guy to be back on his corner.
  • 29F/-2C with a few clouds and hardly a breeze for the ride to work.
  • 47F/8C and a couple of clouds for the home ride.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

It Was Chilly

Yes, I rode to work today.

It was a chilly morning.

Some would even say it was cold. The woman riding the elevator with me asked, ""Don't you get cold riding that thing?" She was wearing a light weight jacket designed more to look good than be warm. "Only if I dress like a fool," was my reply.

Later I shared this story with a friend. She commented, "I knew I was a grown up when I bought a warm coat and boots. There comes a time when the desire for comfort supersedes the desire to be fashionable." If this be true, I'm not sure some people ever grow up.

But, how cold was it?

Well, it was cold enough for the Hamburger Guy to stay home.
  • 23F/-5C with a few clouds and absolutely no wind for the ride to work.
  • 36F/2C and cloudy, but the moon was plenty visible for the home ride.

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Murdoch Madness Begins

Yes, I rode to work today.

And, this is what greeted me as I pushed Billie, my Symba, out of the garage this morning.

0635 CST
This will be my view from now until after Christmas. We didn't know about Murdoch Street's yearly transformation into Candy Cane Lane until after we came to the neighborhood. It is quite the thing. You can learn more about it by clicking here. I must say, for Heather and me it is mostly a royal PITA. Oh well, into each life some suffering must fall and may this be our biggest problem.

0700 CST
By the time I left the Cafe it had brightened up to a lighter shade of gray. There is a possibility of flurries tonight, but it is a very slight chance. And, if it does spit out some snowflakes the ground is way too warm for any of it to stick.
  • 36F/2C and mostly cloudy for the ride to work.
  • 42F/6C and overcast for the home ride.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Yes, I rode to work today.

And, the ride to work was a foggy one.

The fog wasn't the really dense fog I grew up with in Michigan, but it was dense enough. That said, I still saw many drivers without their lights on. Here usually the fog is centered around the rivers with occasional patches here and there, but not today. Today the fog was widespread and heavy.

As I was getting ready to leave the cafe another patron told me to be careful. I told him I would, but added even when it is crystal clear I assume no one can see me. I purposely left a little earlier to give myself time to enjoy the ride in.

I ride by this restaurant every morning. I really like the bike rack and its name makes me smile. Usually, I don't have time to take a photo of it, but today was different kind of day.

This is Hawthorne Street in Compton Heights, a street I normally wouldn't take the time to wander down in the morning.

This is near Lafayette Park.

As I got closer to Downtown the fog continued to get heavier.

I never thought I'd miss fog like this, but I have to admit riding in it today triggered some very fond memories.
  • 44F/7C with fog for the ride to work.
  • 60F/16C and still a little hazy for the home ride.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


Yes, I rode to work today.

I'm convinced seeing and avoiding hazardous situations before they develop is the single most important skill one can develop to insure ones safety. 

Seeing is about paying attention to what's important, and it is about expanding ones awareness of ones surroundings. I practice seeing not only when I'm riding, but when I'm walking. Since I work Downtown I can even practice what I call "Commentary Walking" without collecting too many stares. Commentary Walking is akin to Commentary Driving, which is basically talking to yourself as you drive or ride, describing what's going on and what might happen (click here for a video example). I have found it a wonderful tool for improving my situational awareness. When I practice this technique while walking I talk aloud describing in detail what I am seeing and constantly seeking to see even more.

Today as I walked down a very familiar street I was practicing Commentary Walking. I was surprised by the sight of what I suspect is a sculpture in a window recess.

It sits on the other side of a parking lot, still it really is quite obvious. I've walked by it hundreds of times, yet until today I've overlooked it. This failure of perception was a powerful reminder of just how easy I can be overlooked when I'm riding. And, of how important it is for me to remain alert, vigilant, and observant.

Please, be watchful; be safe.
  • 44F/7C and partly cloudy for the ride to work.
  • 56F/13C with a few clouds for the home ride.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Translucent, But Not Mysterious

Yes, I rode to work today.

It's Monday.

It was a cloudy day, but not overcast; translucent, but not mysterious.

It didn't get as warm as predicted, but as I have an acquaintance living in Alaska I certainly will not complain.
  • 43F/ and cloudy for the ride to work.
  • 57F/ and cloudy for the home ride.

Friday, November 16, 2012

I've Adjusted

Yes, I rode to work today.

I don't think about how long it takes me to gear up as I get ready to leave work. It is just something I do. However, it is a item of interest to some on my co-workers. "It must take you 10 minutes to put on all that stuff, " a co-worker said to me tonight as we were walking out of the Courthouse. And, she may be about right. I will admit I certainly don't hurry. I used to make an effort to make gearing up as "painless" as possible. There were times I fantasized about a Roadcrafter suit with its step-in, zip-up, and go convenience. And, while I experience sticker shock whenever I look at it, Heaven knows, Ive probably spent more on my arsenal of gear. But, truth be told, I've come to value the time it takes me to suit up. It provides a transition. It allows me to change gears, become mindful of the ride ahead, and leave work behind.

And, it is feeling right to ride home in the dark. It is always a bit of a shock when the time changes. It takes a couple of weeks for my internal clock to sync and the sudden loss of the sun to feel "normal".  I've adjusted.
  • 31F/-1C with abundant sunshine for the ride to work.
  • 50F/11C with the moon in the lead for the home ride.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Others Not So Lucky

Yes, I rode to work today.

One of the things I like about riding to work is it cuts down dramatically the number of days I have to scrape frost off a windshield. This occurred to me this morning as I passed others not so lucky.
  • 32F/0C and cloudy for the ride to work.
  • 51F/11C and not so cloudy for the home ride.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Yes, I rode to work today.

The day started out overcast, but the sunrise and the forecasters promised clearing.

And, by lunchtime the clouds had mostly left.

The sprinklers in Citygarden have been replaced with white globes. I had the place pretty much to myself. It wasn't Alaska cold or Northern Wisconsin cold, but apparently it was too cold for St. Louisans to daudle outside.

Actually, in the sun, it may have been warmer outside than in my work area.
  • 35F/2C and mostly cloudy for the ride to work
  • 43F/6C with a few clouds for the home ride.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

No Snow, But It Did Turn Cooler

Yes, I rode to work today.

And, the sun has moved farther south in the sky.

0700 CST
We didn't see any snow here over the weekend, but it did turn cooler.

Billie has her new tires. Her ride and handling is noticeably improved.

I found out some of my co-workers thought I was off last week. Why? Because Billie wasn't in her normal place in the parking area.  It wasn't just my co-workers that were thrown off. I got some interesting looks from the people who have come to wave to me as I ride by. When I waved they looked confused. At first they didn't recognize the guy riding the lady in red. By Friday most had figured it out, but I don't think I imagined the waves being a little more enthusiastic today. I think Billie being back may have returned a little bit of normal to some people's lives. I know it did to mine.
  • 29F/-2C with nothing but blue sky for the ride to work.
  • 42F/6C with a few clouds for the home ride.

Friday, November 9, 2012

24 Hours

Yes, I rode to work today.

Yesterday I mentioned Maggie's warning about ice and frozen leaves. Today?

Today the temperature made it all the way up to 72F/22C and people were back out enjoying Citygarden. My son tells me he even got a mosquito bite. Quite a change in 24 hours.

On another note. I have a pet peeve. It really steams me when someone parks over the wheelchair access into the crosswalk.

I was very disappointed to find this police car parked in just such a way. Argh!

Once again it is Friday. I'm off Monday. Veteran's Day is actually Sunday, but it is observed on Monday. I hope to ride over to Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery. I've been doing this every year since I've been riding. I got the idea from Dom Chang over at Redleg's Ride. Thanks Dom.

Be safe and insha'Allah I will be riding to work next Tuesday.
  • 49F/9C and clear for the ride to work.
  • 69F/21C and clear for the home ride.

Thursday, November 8, 2012


Yes, I rode to work today.

My friend Maggie, another year round rider here in St. Louis, put out this warning this morning: Scooter folks commuting in from the burbs... watch the ice slick spots as well as iced leaves on roads!!

It is getting to be that season.

The City holds its heat. It didn't get below the freezing mark in the City. There was fog hovering in Tower Grove Park as I went by. It was a clear morning. After a few overcast days it was good to see the sun.

Coming home I noticed Carol in her studio. I stopped and took a photo. I always find it comforting on these dark nights to see a light on in her studio. It is a double bonus to see her working.

You can check out her work at her blog: Paintings. It is wonderful.
  • 33F/1C and clear skies for the ride to work.
  • 55F/13C and still clear for the home ride.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The New Girl In Town

Yes, I rode to work today.

But, there was no early morning ride to work. My day began at the dentist. Then I delivered Billie to Mike's to get a new set of Michelin Gazelles put on. The Gazelles I'm replacing managed to go over 12,000miles.

It had looked threatening all morning, but it barely sprinkled. By the time I rode Isabelle, my Kymco People 250S, to work there were patches of  blue sky.

This was my first time riding Isabelle to work.

Since I was in a bit of a hurry to get to work I didn't take a photo of Isabelle to commemorate her first commute until after quitting time.

And, while Billie will have her new "shoes" by tomorrow there are some logistic issues which may keep me from getting her back until Saturday. Until Billie's return, Isabelle will be The New Girl In Town.
  • 48F/9C with a little blue sky for the ride to work.
  • 47F/8C, dark, and dry for the home ride.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Another Rainy Day

Yes, I rode to work today.

It rained off and on all day. I rode to work dry and rode home in a light mist.

After work I came home and traded Billie for Isabelle. I needed to vote and then run some errands. I was going to be on streets better suited to Isabelle.

Tomorrow the plan is for Billie to get new tires. She will spend the day with Mike. This means it could be Isabelle's first commute to work.
  • 42F/6C and mostly cloudy for the ride to work.
  • 47F/8C with a light drizzle for the home ride.

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Sky Wept

Yes, I rode to work today.

With the time change 0700hr looked brighter even with the rain.

0700 CST
It didn't rain hard on the way to work, but it was steady all the way in.

It didn't rain so much as weep.

Today the sky wept over St. Louis. Yes, nearly the whole day it wept. There are always days like this in the Autumn. On days like this I wonder if the atmosphere of this place is grieving the life of the summer past, letting go, and gentling toward what is to come.

By late afternoon the weeping was no more than a mist. It was just enough to spot my face shield. The pavement was mostly dry. And... was dark.

Tonight marked the beginning of the riding home in the dark season.
  • 43F/6C with a light rain for the ride to work.
  • 43F/6C with a fine mist for the home ride.

Friday, November 2, 2012

A Surprise

Yes, I rode to work today.

Another day, another sunrise...

Another day, another surprise...

I don't know why this scene presented itself to me. It would have been easy to overlook, but I didn't. And, why did it stir my emotions so? I don't know, a surprise followed by a small mystery.

Be safe and, Insha'Allah, I will be riding to work again come Monday.
  • 40F/4C with a few clouds for the ride to work.
  • 55F/13C and rather cloudy for the home ride.

Thursday, November 1, 2012


Yes, I rode to work today.

I know sometimes I complain about riding into the sun when commuting, but there are rewards to struggling through those terrifying moments of near complete blindness when the sun is low to the horizon. Today I was rewarded on both ends of the day.

In the morning...

 And, in the evening...

There were lots of bikes in the parking area this morning.

Yes, it was warmer today. And, for those of you keeping score: That's three Harleys, a Kawasaki, and the beautiful Billie, my Symba.

Nine hours later, Billie was the only one left.
  • 39F/4C with some clouds for the ride to work.
  • 61F/16C and mostly cloudy for the home ride.