Thursday, September 16, 2010

When the Rain Falls

It's raining now, and I'm looking for a sun break to take the bike out for a zip around the valley. The weatherman says next week -- when I'm working and sleeping during the day -- will be sunny and warm, but until then, nothing but rain.

The bike is in the garage and this is what I have to look forward to all winter. So I checked a bunch of books out of the Library: Proficient Motorcycling and Riding In the Zone as well as How to Restore Your Motorcycle. More on each of these titles later.

This last has some great ideas about the first steps. I need to get a shop manual so I can see how things come apart and how they go back together. I'm bidding on one on eBay right now and already bought a sales brochure. Still deciding on whether to keep the Vetter faring or to take it off to reduce the weight. The wiring harness is a mess and I'll redo it this winter with some heat shrink -- wiring at least is something I'm comfortable with.

Our helmets came from the internet earlier this week -- early enough that I managed to get a ride in. Both helmets are DOT and very cool. Mine felt a little large at first but I'm getting used to it -- and during a ride around the valley it felt secure and unobtrusive. I got the flip up kind so I could put it on without taking off my glasses and that works great. I picked it up - brand new -- for $30 at an eBay store. Sizing was tricky, we tried a bunch on in a cycle shop but the sizing is so different between brands that measuring our heads was a much better way to get a good fit.

As for my first zing around the valley, it was fun. I did parking lot practice at the Rosburg School and gained a lot of confidence on the bike. Looking forward to taking it down to the fire hall on Autumn evenings and giving Amy her first ride.

I've also got a line on a Motorcycle Safety Course in October which I'll register for this week. Taking a motorcycle safety course reduces your insurance (which is only going to be $65 a year) and counts as your endorsement test. Plus, I'm sure I'll learn a lot which is the most important thing. I'm determined to use all the accumulated science and knowledge to be a safe rider.

That's really the thing that weighs heavy on me. The idea of endangering myself now that I have a wife and children has really been the only barrier preventing me from getting back into motorcycles all these years. So now I've resolved to do it right and to be the safest motorcyclist on the road.

That won't eliminate all risk, but what is life without risk?