Monday, March 31, 2014

Lunch Walk

Yes, I rode to work today.

And . . .

I went for a walk at lunch.

Heaven knows I wasn't the only one out walking.

Lots of folks were out.

And, so were the workers.

It looked to me like these workers had exposed an old railway track.

And, of course, there were cakes.

  • 49F/9C and mostly cloudy for the ride Downtown.
  • 68F/20C, cloudy and breezy for the homeride.

Friday, March 28, 2014


Yes, I rode to work today.

And . . .

It was a gray day. It was pretty much gray all day long. I'm told the sun made an appearance briefly mid-afternoon. I didn't see it. People could have been pulling my leg, but I suspect they were telling the truth. It was dry, a good thing. It didn't warm up as much as expected, not such a good thing.

It might have been gray, but it certainly continues to act like Spring which is most definitely fine by me.

  • 41F/5C and overcast for the ride Downtown.
  • 50F/10C and overcast for the home ride.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Big Little News

Yes, I rode to work today.

And . . .

There were showers in the area this morning, but hardly a raindrop fell on my head. The storms forecast for the afternoon are taking their time arriving and aren't expected until later tonight . . . if at all.

I only saw two other scooters on the road today and only one cyclist. I'm suspecting the prospect of possible thunderstorms may have kept them in.

The big little news is . . .

A couple of the crocuses Heather planted last Fall decided to make an appearance today. She was most pleased.

  • 48F/9C and overcast for the ride Downtown.
  • 58F/14C and overcast for the home ride.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Soon ...

Yes, I rode to work today.

And . . .

Soon we may have tulips.

Scattered thunderstorms, showers, and warmer temperatures are in the forecasts for tonight and tomorrow.

It appears we are having a Spring moment.

  • 26F/-3C with a few clouds for the ride Downtown.
  • 53F/12C and mostly cloudy for the home ride.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A Dusting

Yes, I rode to work today.

And . . .

We did get a dusting of snow.

The cars and rooftops were all white.

The streets I was on were fine. Apparently out in the County some of the bridges and overpasses were slick. There were a number of accidents. I heard about them at work, yet everyone I talked to who commuted in found the streets and roads to be just fine. I sometimes wonder if people here don't take "slippery when wet" seriously. Ice is a fickle thing and I'm not accusing anyone who was in an accident this morning of being heedless, I'm just sayin' ....

  • 31F/-1C with a few clouds for the ride Downtown.
  • 39F/4C  for the homeride with lots of blue sky, but with enough clouds to give it character.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Red In The Morning.

Yes, I rode to work today.

And . . .

Don't they say, "Red in the morning, sailors take warning"?

There was no big squall, but I did ride home during a light snow shower. The streets were fine. Fine, except for the short bit I found myself behind the liquid de-icer truck. The sign on the back of the truck said, "Stay Back 50 Feet." Believe me I was farther back than that!

I was surprised to see them treating the streets. It looks from the forecasts there isn't going to be much happening here. All the action is north and west of us tonight; and south and east of us tomorrow.

Riding when it's snowing does increase the number of stares and waves I get even when the temperatures are well above freezing.

The only place there was even a touch of slushy acclumulation was on my windscreen.

  • 28F/-2C and a lot of clouds for the ride Downtown.
  • 37F/3C with light snow for the home ride.

Friday, March 21, 2014

More Cakes

No, I didn't ride to work today.

But . . .

I did ride.

I took my supervisor's advice and took an Annual Leave Day. I made it a point of doing those things with a track record of clearing my head. Riding is on the top of the list. Inline skating is also on the list. I did both. I started the day with a 14mi/23km skate. I swear I was skating into the wind both ways. It was a really good workout.

Then I went in search of more Cakes.

This one was easy to find. It is only a couple of blocks from where I live.

I thought this one would be easy to find too. It is in Carondelet Park one of my favorite riding destination for Billie. The list I printed out said it was near the Boat House. I looked all around the Boat House and couldn't find it. I was giving up and putting my helmet back on when I looked up and there it was.

Yes, it was close, but it was on the opposite side of the street. I've not gone back to look at the list to see if it actually said it was across from the Boat House and I misread it. I'd rather feel indignant than mistaken.

My next stop was in the Bevo Mill neighborhood. It is a very interesting area. You can read about it by clicking here. I couldn't figure out a way to get Billie in the photo. She's parked back around the corner.

The next Cake was in Tower Grove Park. This is a grand old Park and is near the Botanical Gardens.

I had to get a photo of the Cake in front of Luvy Duvy's.

And a great Cake it was.

I know not everyone likes cake so I found a couple of other options while I was riding.

How about some ice cream? This is an ice cream shop called the Filling Station. It hasn't been open long.

Truthfully, I find the wiener a little disturbing.

Or, maybe you prefer a hotdog?

I took Billie home, but there was more riding to be done.

After Mike replaced the solenoid it was the Red Fox's turn.

Yes, he is in short sleeves. Today's high was 77F/25C
It was night ride time.

I have come to the conclusion I didn't get the naming right on the Kymco. From now on she will be known as Kit the Red Fox. Kit ran flawlessly on our 60+mi/95+km jaunt. A wonderful beginning.

Thursday, March 20, 2014


Yes, I rode to work today.

And . . .

The temptation is to think the Kymco is possessed. Last night I was on cloud nine. I had a new battery. The bike was riding fine. I was looking forward to riding it to work today and taking my time on the ride home. Everything went according to plan until I pushed the start button. It turned over immediately, the engine started right up, but the starter just kept cranking away. I turned off the key. The engine stopped running, but the starter just kept going and going and going. After two trips back upstairs to get the right tool, I finally got the battery disconnected. The cranking was pretty anemic by the time I got the battery out. I wasn't sure how much the noise stopping was my doing or the battery going dead.

If I could have figured out how to call in sick I think I would have. It had taken lots of cognitive energy to figure out taking out the battery. I was pretty confused. All I knew to do was push the Kymco back in the garage and take off on the Symba. Of course, since I leave insanely early for work I was at my desk a good twenty minutes early. After I took off my gear I went I and did my best to explain to my boss what had happened. He told me I could leave if I needed to. I told him when I got to a place where I was able to make a choice I would let him know.

By four o'clock it was pretty obvious I was going to make it through the whole day. I was even decently productive. I left work with the okay to take tomorrow off and I probably will. We left it this way. If I'm not there I'm taking the day off. I can, also, go in late. We'll see how I'm feeling tomorrow. Often the day after an extremely cognitive challenging day brings bone weary fatigue and cognitive fragility. We'll see.

After work, Mike T. came over and diagnosed the problem. Some of you probably already have it figured out. The solenoid failed. Mike says its the first time he'd had one fail in the "on" position instead the "off" position like the Symba's did recently. I know it sure would have been much quieter and a lot less stressful if it had been a "normal" failure. I suspect the neighbors would have liked it much better, too.

Mike is 95% sure he has a new solenoid at the shop. I'll give him a call tomorrow. He's at the shop alone, but is willing to come back out to my place after he closes the shop and stick the new solenoid in if he has it. If he doesn't have it, it will be next week.

Mike still assures me the bike is not bewitched or a lemon. He tells me solenoid failure is a common malady and probably not tied to the other issues I've had. I'm really trying to believe him.

How am I doing? I'm still experiencing some aphasia when speaking. As usual it doesn't seem to effect my writing, but I guess you are a better judge of that than I. If it is just me and the cat I'm experiencing myself as 100%, but I struggled to get the words out when I was with Mike. I suspect I will struggle some when Heather gets home.

Overall I must say it was a very successful day. There was a time not so long ago I would have been rendered completely helpless by the events of the day. Instead, I took a battery out of a scooter, worked eight hours, met with Mike, and wrote a blog. Yay!

  • 37F/3C with a few clouds for the ride Downtown.
  • 69F/21C and a wee bit cloudy for the home ride.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

I Think It Is Time

Yes, I rode to work today.

And . . .

I rode to work yesterday, too. It was just too full of a day and I ran out of time to make a post.

Both days were "breezy". The canyon effect Downtown was particularly challenging yesterday. Today not so much. Billie stayed upright both days.

After work I came home and started up Isabelle, my Kymco. I rode her over to Mike's. We put in a new battery and checked over the electrical system. We all were pretty sure it was the battery and everything we found today seemed to confirm that hypothesis.  We also looked at how we might add a larger windscreen. There seems to be windscreen people and not windscreen people. I've come to the conclusion I am a windscreen people. The one problem with Kymco's People 250S is finding after market stuff for them. There's stuff for the People 200, but not for Isabelle.

While I was there a man came in. He asked me, "Is that your 250S?." I said it was. And Mike said to him, "You sold it to him." Turns out he is the owner of Scooterworld. Mike had arranged the deal, picked the scooter up in Kansas City, Overland actually, and delivered it to me here. My brain is playing with me and I can't remember his name. I think it may be because his name is Mike, too. Even if I can't remember his name we had a great chat and he loved what I'd done to "personalize" Isabelle. He especially liked the hand guards. He liked them so much he took a photo of them. Now both he and Mike are on the hunt to find a windscreen to my liking. Stay tuned.

The weather is supposed to be incredibly nice tomorrow and I may just ride Isabelle to work. It has been a long time since I've trusted the Red Fox would start after sitting outside all day. I think it is time.

  • 50F/10C and partly cloudy for the ride Downtown.
  • 50F/10C with some haze and clouds for the home ride.

Monday, March 17, 2014

You Think?

Yes, I rode to work today.

And . . .

We are definitely on the Springtime in St. Louis roller coaster.

Saturday Heather and I were hiking in our shirtsleeves. Yesterday we had sleet. Today? Today begins another warm-up.

The sun has moved far enough to the north to be out of my eyes in the morning.

A little more about the wind and Billie, my Symba. I always put her on the center-stand when I park her in the morning.

I looked at the thingys they have for the bikes and once I figured out how they worked I discovered ...

... she doesn't fit.

I think she'll be okay as long as I park her in the little nook between the stairs and the wall.

Seems pretty much out of the wind.

You think?

It's supposed to be "breezy" the next couple of days. We'll see how it goes.

  • 21F/-6C and clear for the ride Downtown.
  • 49F/9C and cloudy for the home ride.

Friday, March 14, 2014

No Real Harm

Yes, I rode to work today.

And . . .

The day started off with a gorgeous sunrise.

There didn't seem to be much of a breeze when I rode in, but later the wind came up. I hadn't parked Billie in her little nook and I guess that was a mistake. It appears she blew over again. The maintenance guy who used to keep an eye on her has retired. I'm going on the evidence of her not quite being where I parked her, dirt on the left Hippohand, and all the contents of the top box being all to one side when it wasn't in the morning. The left mirror was out of adjustment, but not as bad as I'd of thought it would be. Oh well, whatever happened I think I will just make it a practice to park her in the nook everyday.

There appears no real harm was done, and it was great weather for the ride home. I'll take that.

  • 48F/9C and cloudy for the ride in.
  • 68F/20C with fewer clouds and some wind gusts for the home ride.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

A Good Day

Yes, I rode to work today.

And . . .

The temperatures this morning had me wondering where the warm went. But, by afternoon it was back.

On the way home I took my first Cake photo. This year marks the 250th Birthday of St.Louis. One of things going on is the Cakeway to the West. There are going to be 250 of these cakes located around the City. This is the only one that has showed up on my usual commute. Stay tuned there is a good possibility you will be seeing more cakes as the weeks go on.

I been complaining about the time change all week, but tonight I did something I couldn't have done a week ago.

I had my first after work land paddle of the year. I paddled for 40 minutes and there was still a little daylight left.

It was a good day.

  • 29F/2C with a few clouds for the ride to work.
  • 64F/18C and fair for the home ride.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Not So Windy

Yes, I rode to work today.

And . . .

It was windy, but not so windy. I didn't face any 50 mph gust. Officially the highest gusts during my ride times was a little over 30 mph.

I missed the heaviest of the rain as well. I rode Downtown in a steady, but light rain. A couple of times I thought I saw a snowflake hit the windshield. I'm 99% sure I didn't imagine it.

Just in case the wind did increase, I parked Billie where she would have some protection.

With the extra light in the evening, I decided to putz around a neighborhood or two rather than come straight home.

I spied these two on a street I've been on many times. I'd never seen them before. I don't think they are new. I think it just hasn't been my time to notice them until today. It's wonderful how many discoveries are waiting for me. It's why I keep returning to the same neighborhoods over and over again. It isn't so much that I'm looking for something new as it is my coming to really see what is already there.

Also, today was my first really good brain day since the time change. I'm grateful.

  • 36F/2C with light rain for the ride in.
  • 45F/7C and mostly cloudy for the home ride.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Too Nice

Yes, I rode to work today.

And . . .

A Deputy Sheriff asked me this morning if I rode. I told him, "Of course, I rode. It's beautiful out there."

"I know it's beautiful out there," he said, "That's why I asked. I thought maybe it was too nice of a day for you to ride."

Tomorrow they are forecasting a much different day. We may even have a dusting of snow. The big issue is going to be the wind. We may see gusts up to 50mph.

Sadly, the Spring motorcycle fatalities are beginning to happen. There was one yesterday and two today. It seems to happen every year. Is it riders being rusty? Is is drivers not being used to seeing bikes on the road? It is probably a combination of both. Whatever the reason, I don't like it.

  • 55F/13C and a few clouds for the ride Downtown.
  • 79F/26C and clouds gathering in the West for the home ride.

Monday, March 10, 2014

It Was Dark

Yes, I rode to work today.

And . . .

It was dark.

The time changes are perilous times for me. Leo, the cat, likes this one better than the one in the Fall. He is happy to get his evening feeding earlier. He doesn't think much of the Fall back concept.

In addition to the time change we had a significant change in the temperatures. Today's high was to reach close to 80F/27C. This meant a slight scramble to find this piece of gear and that piece of gear, pieces I haven't used for a couple of months. Part of my functioning in the world since my head injury is moving to the rhythm of patterned routines. Today was not a routine day.

And to make a long story short, today was a very bad "brain" day for me. Everything felt wrong. I was very much out of phase.

Hadn't seen this bike since last November.

Vulcan Rider and I had company today. Yep, the Harleys came out to play.

I struggled through the morning, but by 2 PM I'd had all the good time I could take. I left work early. Sometimes I think I should just plan to take a couple of days off at the changing of the times. But, I suspect it would just put off the adjustment. It's about the routines embedded in my body not just about the clock. The first ride to work after the time change would still be the first ride after the time change whether it happens on Monday or Wednesday. This is only the second time in the eight years I've worked at the Courts I've had to step away during the days after the time change. Both times it has been in the Spring.

The ride home helped. Riding always helps. When I got home I went right to bed. I didn't sleep I just let my brain's world settle for a couple of hours.

Tomorrow I'll show up again. Showing up is what I do. Showing up and waiting for a new normal, a new patterned routine to settle in. The adjustment will occur. And it won't be according to CDST or CST, but to IOT, It's Own Time. I hope it will be sooner rather than later.

  • 47F/8C and some clouds for the ride Downtown.
  • 77F/25C and still a little cloudy for the early ride home.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Navy Blue Suits

Yes, I rode to work today.

And . . .

I now know what the best dressed cyclists in St. Louis wear...

Navy blue suits.

I watched him unlock this bike from the railing on entry ramp. Oh, how I was hoping he'd mount and ride off. Alas, he simply walked off with it.

Definitely felt like Spring today. Still, I'm buying in ... not yet.

  • 33F/1C and a wee bit hazy for the ride in.
  • 58F/14C and mostly cloudy for the home ride.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Blink. Blink. Blink.

Yes, I rode to work today!

And . . .

By the afternoon people were embracing the much changed temperatures.

Tomorrow is supposed to be even warmer. Maybe Martha was correct in her comment to yesterday's post. Maybe we have turned the corner.

There is one annoying thing I notice happens when I've been off the bike for a few days. I keep forgetting to switch off the turn signal. I really hate it when I come to a stop sign, look down, and see my blinker has been going since the last turn I made.

  • 25F/-4F and cloudy with some haze for the ride in.
  • 47F/8C with a few clouds for the home ride.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


Nope, I didn't ride to work today.

But . . .

Vulcan Rider did.

I'm thinking he doesn't live on a street like mine.

The roads were clear and dry once out of my neighborhood.

The only hazard was the sun in the eyes.

On the way home the sun wasn't such a problem.

Truthfully, it was magical.

Between the sunshine and a high temperature in the low 40F's my street looked much different when I got home.


  • 25F/-4C with some clouds in the morning.
  • 40F/4C and fairly cloudy in the evening.