A year and a half ago I wrote about riding the motorcycle all winter instead of putting it away. A few weeks ago when I mentioned riding someone made the comment that it was probably time to get the bike out for the year. Given how mild the winter has been I was a bit puzzled: who wouldn’t be riding all winter long with this kind of weather? Who was stupid enough to have put the bike away?
Strangely, now that it’s spring I haven’t been on the bike much at all. I rode all through December and January, but then in February I had three straight weeks of business travel (France, Florida, Ireland), then upon returning C. and I had to start packing as we had to move house. Then after the move we’ve been unpacking and settling in, and I would feel guilty about going out and having fun for a day while there’s work to do at home.
A couple of weekends ago I took the BMW to the dealer for an oil change and new tire. I’m planning a long ride next month (more on that in a bit) and the rear tire was pretty well used up. After a short wait for the repair I rode the bike home in the rain, carefully, as new tires need a hundred miles or so of wear to get scuffed up and have full traction.
The next Sunday morning I headed out early to meet up for a ride with a club that I sometimes ride with. Just a few blocks from home, making a right hand turn from a stop light I slid and went down; the rear wheel had gone out from under me. I had forgotten that I had no traction on a new tire on a cold morning. Fortunately there was no traffic or I would have hit a car as I slid across a couple lanes of traffic. I tore my jacket and pants a bit, and the brake lever and foot peg were broken off. I got the bike back up, stood in the center of the road for a minute to collect my thoughts and some broken bits, then rode the disabled bikes the few blocks home.
The repairs won’t be difficult, but will cost several dollars. I had to glue some cracked body work, and have to replace the brake lever and the plate that the foot peg attaches to. BMW parts are not the cheapest, but at least the factory keeps parts for old bikes in stock. I’ll pick them up today and get them installed, and should be able to get out on the bike this weekend if the weather cooperates.
I’m anxious to get on the road again, not having ridden for a few months, because I have a big ride planned for May, and I don’t want to start a ride of this length without having put a few miles on my butt. Just as for any other long-duration activity one needs to build up some endurance.
My daughter graduates from law school in Wisconsin in four weeks, and rather than fly out I thought I’d ride the motorcycle. Since that would put me almost half way across the country I thought that I’d take a couple of weeks and turn this into a cross country ride and get to the Pacific Ocean, something I haven’t done on the motorcycle yet. I’ll go across the Dakotas, Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, then down into Northern California then across Nevada into Utah, a short stop to visit family, then home from there. As an added bonus, I can pick up the last few states that I haven’t ridden in; by the time I get home I will have ridden in all 48 lower states. My last long ride was a few years ago, so I’m really looking forward to this one. I need a vacation, and even though I can’t really afford it C. is urging me to go.