Thursday, September 26, 2013

Rising Sun

Yes, I rode to work today.

And . . .

Today the clouds were not so kind.

There was lots of sun in my eyes.

I won't be facing this tomorrow or Monday. My Dad is coming in for a visit. His driving down from Michigan. I'm taking a long weekend. It will be good to see him and I know he'll be pleased to see me, but truthfully, I'm not the draw. He's coming in to see his great-granddaughter.

And, who can blame him?

  • 63F/17C and clear for the ride to work.
  • 84F/29C with a few clouds for the home ride.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


Yes, I rode to work today.

And . . .

Once again the clouds let in the sunshine, but kept the sun out of my eyes.

It was hazy with a little fog hugging the ground in the parks, especially Tower Grove Park. I didn't get a picture. You'll have to take my word for it. These conditions, also, made for a much less blinding ride to work than yesterday, and yesterday was much less blinding than Monday.

Today, also, was a much better day at work.

The evening was topped off in two very special ways.

First, I saw a dragon in the sky while riding home. Can you see it?

Second, I spent some time with some dear folks in my friend Will's Sukkah. You can click here for more information about what a Sukkah is and the Jewish Holiday of Sukkot.

It was another wonderful soulful riding day.

  • 66F/19C with a little fog and some merciful clouds for the ride to work.
  • 82F/28C with dragons in the sky for the ride over to Will's.
  • 78F/26C and I'm told it was partly cloudy for the home ride, but I can't say for sure. It was dark

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Riding, Remembering, and Refreshing My Soul

Yes, I rode to work today.

And . . .

The clouds kept the morning sun from blinding me quite so much.

It was a very intense day at work and to unwind I took a long way home. This took me by Roosevelt High School. There was a football game going on.

Even after all these years and closing in on my mid-sixties I still miss playing this sport. As an adult my "contact" needs got met by taking up lacrosse. Lacrosse is the most wonderful sport. I loved it, but I suspect growing up with football is what put it in my bones.

The sky on the ride home didn't look that much different than it did in the morning. It was a great evening for riding, remembering, and refreshing my soul.

  • 57F/14C and some clouds for the ride to work.
  • 82F/28C and some more clouds for the home ride.

Monday, September 23, 2013


Yes, I rode to work today.

And . . .

There was no rain in sight.

0710 CDT
During our period of overcast and cloudy days the Sun has not been standing still.

It tis' the season of blinding light. It would be nice to have a North/South commute, but I don't. There are times I must ride into the sun either coming or going. I still feel I'd rather be the one with glare then be the one riding out of the glare. Somehow I feel I have more control this way. Heaven knows folks seem to have enough trouble seeing riders during ideal conditions, putting the sun behind my back doesn't seem like a good idea.

Although the motorcycle parking area at the Courthouse has places to lock down a bicycle, there are seldom any there. Those who commute most often keep their cycles inside, and those who are "guests" usually use the racks in front of the buildings. However, today there was a bicycle near where I usually park Miss Billie.

I noticed something that at first looked like gum on the valve stem, but as you can see it is clearly a pig. Nice.

  • 55F/13C and a very few clouds for the ride to work.
  • 77F/25C and excruciatingly clear for the ride home.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Another Lesson

Yes, I rode today.

And . . .

I missed the rain again.

Most everyone who rides knows one of the most dangerous times to ride is just as it is beginning to rain. Another time is in the morning after a rain when the wet streets have had time to create new oil slicks. This is time that seems to get me. The front brake on Billie is really touchy. I have a bad habit of grabbing the front brake. These two things are not a good combination. This means I need to take care to use lots of  rear brake when I run into the conditions like I mentioned above - conditions like this morning. 

Today I had a mindless moment and locked up the front brake as I hit an oil slick. Reality let me know with the swiftness of a Sensei lashing his student across the arms with his bokken the folly of my being lost in my thoughts and out of my mind. Down I went. Fortunately I don't rely only on my riding abilities to keep me safe. I, also, choose routes where getting run over if I go down is very unlikely and I wear full gear. Once again I came away from my lesson only embarrassed and feeling foolish. 

One of the main reasons I ride is to practice mindfulness. On the ride home I was much more alert and aware of my surroundings. I received the lesson with gratitude and nothing but a slightly bruised left hip. Billie seems to be no worse for her riders folly.

By the way, I wonder how much gas gets "used" waiting in drive-thru's. Oh my, the monkey brain never stops.

  • 70F/21C with a very fine mist for the ride to work.
  • 70F/21C and overcast for the home ride.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

It Did Sprinkle

Yes, I rode to work today.

And . . .

It didn't rain.

But, it did sprinkle on me during my ride to work.

I didn't see any turkeys. Well, there was this one driver who might qualify as a turkey, but I don't think he really counts. He got all bent out of shape because I didn't stop for a non-existent stop sign. In the neighborhood where I live most intersections are four way stops, but not all of them. He was sure the intersection he was waiting at was a four way stop. It wasn't. He laid on the horn as I went through. I suspect I'm glad I couldn't hear what he was saying. I saw his lips moving and it didn't look like he was singing along with the radio.

  • 75F/24C and mostly cloudy with a few raindrops for the ride to work.
  • 92F/33C and pretty much cloudy, except for a couple of patches of sun for the ride home.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Wild Turkey

Yes, I rode to work today.

And . . .

Once again I missed the rains.

It stopped raining just as I was riding over to the cafe for breakfast. It was barely a drizzle. I hardly got wet.

It rained again late in the afternoon, but stopped just as I was getting off work. It has been uncanny how I've missed the rain this summer. I ain't complaining and I suspect eventually I will experience a time when it only rains during my commute time. I have known such times. Until then, I will just be grateful and dry.

Speaking of grateful, I continue to be astonished by the things I discover on the route I take to work nearly everyday. Today on the ride home I saw this.

Yep, that's a wild turkey. At first I thought there was only one.

But, then I saw another.

A woman came out of the house on the corner. She saw me taking the photo. I flipped up the front of my modular helmet and pointed while saying, "Turkeys." She just shrugged and said, "Yeah, they walk across my backyard nearly every afternoon." She may not have been surprised but I was. I certainly didn't expect to see wild turkeys in a neighborhood of old brick Italianate style houses fairly close in to Downtown. Yes, I continue to be surprised by the delights and treasures my little chunk of the world offers up to me.

  • 68F/20C with some light fog for the ride to work.
  • 79F/26C and cloud covered for the home ride.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

That Would Be Enough

Yes, I rode to work today.

And . . .

It was a mostly gray dreary day. There was some rain mid-morning, not much, but enough to make a few puddles.

When I walked out of the Courthouse after work I noticed a fragrance. It was similar to the scent that fills the air after a nice rain, but it was not quite the same. My Grandpa used to say, "It smells like rain's on the way." I didn't know what he meant, but a sense memory was planted in those moments. Now, I've come to remember, and I believe the awakening of this memory is a direct result of my daily commute on my scooters.

I think anyone who is a serious rider becomes a meteorologist of sorts. When you spend much time exposed to the elements you begin to pay much more attention to them. Grandpa was a farmer, first with horses and later with tractors, but not the kind of tractors with air conditioned and heated cabs. He weathered the weather season in and season out. Now, I'm riding and weathering the weather season in and season out. One of the payoffs is I've come to notice when, "It smells like rain's on the way." There are lots of reasons I ride, but if learning what rain on the horizon smells like was the only one, for me, that would be enough.

  • 60F/ and mostly overcast for the ride to work.
  • 72F/ with light on again, off again rain during the ride home.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Years Piled Up.

Yes, I rode to work today.

And . . .

It was overcast.

0710 CDT
It wasn't so very cold, but a damp was in the air. I found myself switching on the heated grips. Funny, it won't be long and these temperatures will feel rather warm. The body does adapt to the temperatures . . .well, at least this body does.

There isn't much left standing of the old warehouse. Looking at the old timbers stacked up nearly took my breath. I wonder how many years are piled up in this moment. Soon it will all be gone.

  • 61F/16C and overcast for the ride to work.
  • 73F/23C with lots of clouds, but plenty of sunshine peeking through for the ride home.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Air Conditioner Is Off

Yes, I rode to work today.

And . . .

Everything went very well yesterday with the AT&T people. I keep hearing horror stories about other people's dealings with AT&T, Heather being one, but this has not been my experience.

Next will be a different computer. Mine is still working, but I'm running XP and the beast is nearly eight years old. It is time. Heather just bought a new laptop. She is having fun with it. I don't know what direction I'll go yet.

Today was another Monday/Friday for me. I'm off tomorrow getting ready for the long haul of Yom Kippur Services. The Holiday doesn't start until Sundown, but even with there being no cooking, still I've learned it is best to just take the day off and get ready.

A cool front has arrived. The windows are open and the air conditioner is off. Yay! Tomorrow promises to be a great weather day. I'm thinking part of my Yom Kippur preparation just may need to be a nice early morning ride.

  • 75F/24C and overcast for the ride to work.
  • 86F/30C with some clouds for the home ride.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Pretty Warm

Yes, I rode to work today.

And . . .

It wasn't as humid as yesterday. When I said, "It's pretty warm outside," on coming in from my afternoon walk/break, my co-workers told me I was wrong. In their opinion it was "Damn hot." After last summer's record temperatures nothing this year has felt "hot". Truthfully, as long as the humidity remains reasonable anything under triple-digits Fahrenheit doesn't seem all that bad to me anymore. Do I get hot? Yes, but what's so bad about that? I sweat a lot, but I stay hydrated. Oh, and is there a better feeling than starting up after a stoplight and feeling the wind come through the vents evaporating the moisture from the heat of the moment? In my book it is one of the most wonderful sensations in the world.

Tomorrow I'm getting my internet service upgraded. I'm taking the whole day off and expect to be frustrated. The last time I had a technician come out I knew more about computers than he did which is scary. I became flustered, which means I turned pretty stupid. Hell, I don't even know what my account password is anymore. That's the bad. The good is in over seven years of having AT&T I've only had one problem which wasn't them, it turned out to be my hardware. And, the guy who didn't seem to know anything managed to figure it out. So, there you go.

If things have been so good, why am I tempting fate? It seems broadband is being phased out. Fiber Optic progress. We'll see. I just know it seems most beginnings are difficult.

  • 79F/26C with a few clouds for the ride to work.
  • 97F/36C and plenty of sunshine for the ride home.

Monday, September 9, 2013


Yes, I rode to work today.

And . . .

It was a humid hazy start to the day.

Which makes for colorful fuzzy sunrises.

It got pretty warm as the day progressed, but fortunately the humidity lessen and the ride home was not much more uncomfortable than the ride in. Tomorrow we're to expect more of the same.

The paving is over on Arsenal St. and Billie is once more my ride of choice. It was good to be riding her again. I know part of my delight was being back in the neighborhoods I've come to love. While I was riding Isabelle to work I was taking other routes and this too was good, but for me it seems I like being back "home" and in my routines best.

  • 78F/26C with 76% humidity hanging in the air for the ride to work.
  • 97F/36C with plenty of sun for the ride home.

Friday, September 6, 2013

My Second Friday of the Week

Yes, I rode to work today.

And . . .

A couple of days away can make a huge difference in the demise of  an old building.

It appears the wrecking crew has reached the "Knock it down and haul it away" stage of the demolition. I reached the stage where I'm ready  for it to be over.

For years I rode by this building and befriended it. I will miss it, but as often happens with a old friend with a terminal illness I've reached a point where the only mercy left to hope for is a quick end to the suffering.

The motorcycle parking area is overflowing. The weather is nearly perfect for riding. We are dry but I hear few saying we need rain.

I survived my Monday which ended at noon. I enjoyed my second Friday of the week all afternoon long.

  • 70F/31C and sunny for my ride to work.
  • 88F/31C and sunny for my home ride.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The "F" Word Today

Yes, I rode to work today.

And . . .

It was almost chilly for the ride in.

The sun keeps creeping lower. The time change will eventually fix that, but only temporarily. People at work were using the "F" word today: Fall.

It warmed up nicely as everyone expected it to, still there was something about the timing, Labor Day being yesterday, and  the chill in the morning air that made our fall toward Autumn suddenly very real.

Today was a Monday on a Tuesday, but it was also my Friday. I'm taking the next couple of days off  to celebrate the New Year with my Jewish friends. The plan is to make lots of music; listen to wonderful stories and great teachings; to celebrate that wonder still lurks in many a heart and dwells firmly in the great web of Life; and, of course, eat very very well.

Possibly due to an over developed sense of duty, I'm headed back to work Friday for one day. Ironically, this short week is going to have two Mondays/Fridays and I'm good with that.

  • 61F/16C with a few clouds for the ride to work.
  • 82F/28C and almost partly cloudy for the ride home.