Friday, December 28, 2012


Yes I rode to work today.

But, first I took my Yaris in to be serviced.

I've joked about getting a bumper sticker made saying: My Other Scooter is a Yaris. It was simply a routine maintenance trip and didn't take long. Even though I'd scheduled it a couple of weeks ago I couldn't get a real early time. I'd been upset, but know with an unsettled weather situation I was grateful for the late appointment time.

I'd hope the weather would clarify while I was doing this chore and it did...sort of. It became clear we were right on the edge of whatever was going to happen. Happily the freezing drizzle was replaced with just plain drizzle and the worse case scenario was the possibility of scattered snow showers. With the ground still right at freezing, the air temperatures above freezing, and all the roads I'd be riding treated with chemicals to melt any ice, I figured I was good to go.

When I got to work the other year around rider was there. I was curious about his leaving his helmet locked to the bike. With drizzle probable I guess he was banking on getting out before it rolled in.

When it became time for me to leave it had already started to snow.

The Deputy's bike was gone. I hope he got out before the snow began. If not he got one very wet and cold head. There was nothing scattered about the snow. It was steady and it was wet.

Still the temperature was above freezing and as I prepared to leave the parking area none of the snow was sticking to the ground.

I had a great ride home. While I was in the midst of the falling snow the road conditions were no worse than a light summer rain. By the time I got home the snow was beginning to stick on elevated surfaces, on the cars, on the trees, and on the bushes.

It was really trying to look like Winter, but those of us who know Winter weren't least, not yet.
  • 35F/2C and overcast for my ride to work around noon.
  • 34F/1C with snow for the home ride.

Thursday, December 27, 2012


Yes, I rode to work today.

And, it was a grayish winter feeling day. Still no snow. There is a chance for freezing drizzle tomorrow. I'm taking my car in to be serviced in the morning and going into work late, by then the weather should have clarified itself.  I made this appointment a couple of weeks ago not having a clue what the weather was going to be, but well aware of how slow things tend to be at the Courts between Christmas and New Years. Now, it appears this random action may result in another ride day.

It seems it is slow elsewhere beside the Courts. On my ride in this morning there was hardly any traffic, no joggers, or even people out walking their dogs. The bus stops were empty. It was almost eerie.
  • 28F/-2C and overcast for the ride to work.
  • 33F/1C and mostly cloudy for the home ride.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A Bonus Riding Day

Yes, I rode to work today.

I was suppose to wake up to snow this morning. Obviously it didn't happen. The snow stayed to the east and south of us. I was so not planning on riding today, I needed to leave out early so I could put gasoline in Billie. After I got gas, I made it back to the cafe for a little Heather time and to take the first day of the work week photo. I suppose it would have been simpler if I had taken the new scooter. It had a full tank and was ready to go, but I do I love having the kickstart backup even on days like today when it wasn't really all that cold.

Yes, today was definitely a bonus riding day. I'm grateful for it, but we really could have used the snow.
  • 30F/-1C and overcast for the ride to work.
  • 30F/-1C and overcast for the home ride.

Friday, December 21, 2012


Yes, I rode to work today.

The winds had lessen to what the National Weather Service called "Breezy". I thought I might get my first rideof the year in the "teens", but it stayed warmer than predicted. However, the nice "cool" breeze seemed to curtail the number of joggers I saw this morning. Of course, with it being the Holiday Season, perhaps it was simply they were running on another schedule.

You all be safe and unless life laughs at my plans I will be back next Wednesday.
  • 24F/-4C (windchill of 9F/-13C) fair and breezy for the ride to work.
  • 32F/0C, clear and relatively calm for the home ride.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

An Ill Wind

Yes, I rode to work today.

Snow was in the forecast but I was much more concerned about the wind.

It was 56F/13C when I left the cafe. I knew the temperature was going to drop rapidly as the day went on.

As often happens when fronts move rapidly into the area the sky was putting on quite the show.

The clouds were moving, churning, and showing every shade of gray imaginable. There were even patches of blue.

By lunchtime it had turned into a rather unpleasant day.

A co-worker told me it was sleeting outside. It wasn't sleeting, it was raining slush. The temperatures were still well above freezing. It wasn't dangerous. It was just ugly. And, the wind was picking up.

One of the reasons I travel the route I do is the protection from the wind the buildings provide. I am particularly protected from those occasionally vicious west winds like were being forecast for today. The Wind Advisory was particularly warning traffic moving north and south. And, while the gusts were going to be over 40kts, I knew I would be shielded. Ironically, I was most worried about Billie, my Symba, being blown over in the parking area. Billie has always done quite well in the wind, but when my leaning her into the wind and my 200lbs/90kg is missing from her saddle she has proven vulnerable to tipping over. And, I was right to be worried.

Around noontime, I got a call from another co-worker telling me she'd blown over. He picked her up and told me she didn't look in too bad of shape. I went over and checked her out. She started up, and other than the headlight casing being dented and needing to reposition a mirror and a handguard she seemed no worse for wear. Still, it seemed like it might be a good idea to see about leaving early. I have plenty of vacation time and with my Supervisors approval I shut down at 1350CST.

Billie was still upright when I got back to her. I'd aimed her into the wind instead of following the customary direction of parking. I suspect I should have done this when I got there in the morning. It wasn't like I was putting anybody else out.

Truthfully, the ride home wasn't all that unusual. Yes, it was raining slush, but my gear worked fine. I stayed dry and if anything I was a little on the toasty side. And, my CKX DOT approved snowmobile helmet didn't fog up even a little. Inside my gear it could have been Key West.

  • 56F/13C and mostly cloudy for the ride to work.
  • 34F/1C with raining slush and sustained winds of 29kts. gusting up to 42kts for the home ride.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

We'll See

Yes, I rode to work today.

Today it was back to being mostly gray. There was a dampness in the air which made it feel colder than it was. It was one of those days where even though the temperature was ten degrees Fahrenheit  warmer at lunchtime than during the morning ride time it felt colder.

I debated on whether to leave the base layer off for the ride home, but remembering the chill in the air at lunch I didn't. I should have left it off. I was a tad bit over warm on the home ride.

Tomorrow could be rather interesting. The National Weather Service Map has everything from Blizzard warnings to Tornado warnings with wind warnings and advisories as well. I don't think I've ever seen the map so colorful. There are eight different colors on it.

Will I be riding to work tomorrow? We'll see.
  • 34F/1C and overcast with haze for the ride to work.
  • 45F/7C with a light drizzle for the home ride.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Yes, I rode to work today.

And, it was a lovely day to ride. Yesterday was gray and dreary. Today was crisp and clear.

The Civil Courts Building.
Oh, how I would have liked to just keep riding this morning. I need a long lone ride. I need to find my silence after the events of last week. There are too many words in the air. Talk. Talk. Talk. I'm a listener. I can't hear over all the words.

Yes, I need to ride into the heart of the great sadness I'm feeling...and, I don't have a clue when I will be able to make that happen. There is work. There is the Christmas thing. There is my beloved daughter coming into town for a visit. There are trails Heather and I need to walk. I'm not complaining. All these things..they are blessings.

Still...I am off balance. heart is breaking.

Still...I need to be...

  • 35F/2C and clear for the ride to work.
  • 56F/13C with maybe a cloud or two for the home ride.

Monday, December 17, 2012

For A Change A December Sort Of Day

Yes, I rode to work today.

And, it's Monday.


Shortly after I left the Cafe it began to rain. It was chilly and dreary. For a change, it was very much like a December day. Before I left the condo I checked my usual weather sources. They all said the rains were over, but I decided to put on the rain gear just in case. I'm glad I did. I rode nearly all the way to work in a light rain.

When I walked from the parking area to the Courthouse I was greeted by something new. Over the weekend a new bike rack had been installed on the Market Street side of the Tucker Blvd entrance to the Civil Courts Building. I decided I'd wait until lunch to take a photo in hopes it would clear off.

It didn't clear off, but a bike had been added to the scene. Isn't grand when a plan comes together?
  • 40F/4C and a light rain for the ride to work.
  • 39F/4C and overcast for the home ride.


Friday, December 14, 2012

The World Is What It Is

Yes, I rode to work today.

And, it seemed like another warm December day.

The sky was clear and blue.

And, then I heard the news. There had been another school shooting here in the United States of America. Last I heard there were twenty-six dead, twenty of them young school children.

Things like this effect me. I don't know if they effect me more than others, but I know they effect me, effect me deeply.

My heart hurts.

Every time I think of the murdered children I think of mine own now grown children and my heart weeps for the loss of these young lives. I can imagine what it would be like to lose my child to this violence and I tremble.

Every time I think of the murdered children I can't help but think of the parents who will forever be broken, and my heart breaks.

Tonight on the ride home there were more horns honking then normal. Perhaps it was simply the "Holiday Cheer" manifesting itself in the ways it often does this time of year, but I'd like to think it was in response to an anxious need to get home as soon as possible, to get home and hug close loved ones suddenly not taken for granted.

It is a wondrous and gracious world...and, it is a dangerous world and cruelly unfair world. The world is what it is. Please, be safe. And, take nothing and no one for granted.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

I Did See A Snowflake

No, I didn't ride to work today.

Today I took the day off. The morning was spent visiting "Dr. Glum." I met Dr. Glum four years ago. I met him shortly after the dermatologist I had been referred to called me to give me the cheerful news, the biopsy on the mole came back positive for melanoma. Dr. Glum is a plastic surgeon. He removed the mole. It seems it was contained.

Today was the day of my now yearly visit to get checked over. He declared me void of anything remotely interesting mole wise and dismissed me for another year.

I did take Isabelle out and stretched her legs. It was another incredibly warm day. I saw folk walking around in shirts sleeves.

I did see a snowflake or I wouldn't have known it was December.

And, the lights I glimpsed while looking at the wishing well  near the end of my alley proclaimed it to be the Holly Jolly Season.

But, it certainly didn't feel like we were anywhere close to the winter solstice

Tomorrow, unless life laughs at my plans, I plan to ride to work.
  • Today there was abundant sunshine and a high temperature of 57F/14C

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Cognitive Clarity

Yes, I rode today.

I had one of my "bad brain" days. I was very grateful for the riding times. Often my rides to and from work seem the most sane times of my day. Today they were also the times of greatest cognitive clarity.
  • 26F/-3C and clear for the ride to work.
  • 42F/6C and clear when I finally wandered home.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Back On The Horizon

Yes, I rode to work today.

The clouds cleared out just as the forecasters said they would. This meant...

the sun was back on the horizon. That's the not so good news. But, the really good news is the sun has moved enough to the south to be pretty much a non factor on my ride in. Until I began commuting on the scoots I never noticed how far toward the south the sun gets in the eastern sky this time of year. Today I not only noticed but appreciated it very much.

  • 22F/-6C and clear for the ride to work.
  • 39F/4C and still fair for the home ride.

Monday, December 10, 2012

It Wasn't Because...

Yes, I rode to work today.

This was a steady day. The temperature was pretty much steady all day. And, the sky was pretty much the same all day, too. It got brighter and then it began dimming until it turned into nighttime. Later the clouds are supposed to clear out and the temperature drop.

I stretched out the ride home a bit. I'm not sure why. It wasn't because it was such a beautiful night. I guess it just felt good to be riding and I didn't want it to stop. Of course, knowing Heather was working late probably contributed. You know, sometimes it is just about having the opportunity.

With the Symba it is never about distance. I haven't a clue how much farther the ride took me, but I do know my normal thirty minute ride turned into a little over an hour. Life is definitely good.
  • 27F/-3C and overcast for the ride to work.
  • 31F/-1C and dark for the home ride.

Friday, December 7, 2012

It Never Materialized

Yes, I rode to work today.

Again, I didn't have a problem with the sun being in my eyes. It was cloudy.

And, it was foggy Downtown. There was talk of rain. It never materialized.

Early in the work day I had an encounter with the Deputy who wears the chrome half helmet and rides a 49cc Kymco. I asked him how his day was going. "Well, to give you an idea of how pathetic my life is the morning commute is the highpoint of my day." Hmm, I don't think my life is pathetic and my morning commute is always one of the highlights of my day. I decided it was probably best to just keep this to myself and nod knowingly.
  • 49F/9C and overcast for my ride to ride.
  • 50F/10C and I'm assuming still overcast for my home ride.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Little Things

Yes, I rode today.

I managed to leave a little earlier this morning. This took care of the sun in the eyes problem. But, for every solution there is a problem. In this case I missed the kids waving at me while they wait at the bus stops.

Little things make up my commutes. Leave a little early and the neighborhoods aren't the same. The rhythms are different.

Today was a different day altogether. I left work early. Heather was going to the eye doctor. I took a few hours vacation time and played chauver for her "nothing but pupils" self.

This had me leaving Downtown at lunchtime.

I had wondered what had happen to him. The saxophone player I used to see when I walked to lunch had gone missing awhile ago. Stuff changes and I hadn't given it much thought. As I passed by the new pizza place/sports bar there he was. Apparently, this is a better corner.

Yes, it is the little things which make my commute special.
  • 38F/3C with a few clouds for the ride to work
  • 50F/10C and overcast around noontime for the home ride.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A Perfect Solution

Yes, I rode to work today.

And, the sun is back in my eyes. It had moved below the sight line before the time change, and then after the time change it was suddenly back above the sight line.

Now, the time again has come for the sun to blind me.

A few nice rainy mornings like yesterday would be a perfect solution to the problem.
  • 34F/1C and clear for the ride to work.
  • 48F/9C and cloudy for the home ride.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Still, It Was A Morale Boost

Yes, I rode to work today.

And, I rode in the rain.

And, yes, I rode Isabelle. Why? After work I had somewhere to be. It was a somewhere challenging for Billie. Before Isabelle I probably would have drove to work. Instead, I got to ride in the rain. Yay!

Alas, it wasn't very much rain.

It was less than an half of inch.

Actually, it was barely more than half of a half of inch. Still, it was a morale boost.
  • 55F/13C with a light rain for the ride to work.
  • 45F/7C and clear by the time I made it home.

Monday, December 3, 2012

A Shiny Slippery Headache

Yes, I rode to work today.

And, it was a warm weather gear sort of day.

It was 63F/17C when I left the cafe and headed to work, but the dew point was 58F/14C which means lots of condensation was on the windows of cars and more importantly for me...

on the streets.

It has been ages since it rained which means oil residue has been building up on the streets just waiting to become a shiny slippery headache for those of us on two wheels. The first time I laid a scooter down was in conditions not much different from this morning. This was definitely an easy does it morning.

We didn't set a record today. It only got up to 74F/23C which was two degrees short of the record, but 27 degrees Fahrenheit above "normal".

The forecasters are saying cooler temperatures are on the way with an 80% chance of rain tonight. We've heard this before. I will believe it when I see it. I would be quite happy to ride to work in the rain.
  • 63F/17C with a few clouds for the ride to work.
  • 70F/21C and cloudy for the home ride.