Thursday, October 8, 2015

New Things

Last Thursday I dropped the scooter off at the shop for its annual inspection.  I was going to be away for the weekend and wouldn't miss the down time without it so it seemed fine that they said they'd get to it on Monday.  On Friday they called, though, to tell me that I needed a new front tire and to give me a price quote on a broken piece of plastic that I wanted to have replaced if it wouldn't be too costly.  They said it takes about three days for things to come in, so I did figure that I wouldn't get the bike back from the shop till later this week.

I got the call to pick it up this morning while I was out on my daily walk, and I was thrilled.  Not only was it done, but the price wasn't TOO bad either.  No wonder I looked so happy after I went down to get it and then rode around to nowhere in particular for about an hour.

The plastic piece that had been broken hung around my neck like an embarrassing albatross because I knew (and only I knew, but nevertheless was chagrined by it), that it had broken when I dropped the bike after locking my front wheel by grabbing the brake way too hard because I was coming down an exit ramp much too fast.  It was the housing for the starter switch and I had it patched together with electrical and duct tapes.  The crack had happened a few years ago, but it continued to get worse over time and it had gotten to the point where the starter switch was either hanging by its wires out of the housing, or getting pushed too far back into the housing when I fired up the engine.  The new piece is just beautiful to me.  It's SO smooth and sleek looking!

The new front tire fills me with glee as well with its thickness and deep treads. 

And it probably served me quite well this afternoon when I slipped into an alleyway after seeing that the street I was on had been milled and I was coming up on the ground up area.  The alley seemed to be made of dirt, dust, and gravel and I typically freak out when I end up on a surface like that.  I figured that the look on my face was one of terror as I navigated over the grit didn't look too pretty had anyone seen me, but I managed to get to the other end, praying the whole time that I'd stay upright and maintain some semblance of dignity.

And that pretty new red inspection sticker is so shiny compared to last year's green one that had gotten dingy looking after a whole year of exposure to the cruel elements (like air, wind, and a little rain now and then.)

Sometimes it's the little things that make all the difference!

(I AM smiling.)

Thursday, October 1, 2015

I Was Right

Funny how when I'm right about things, they're often not good things.  Without checking any weather forecasts I predicted yesterday that my days of riding in a tee shirt and shorts were coming to an end soon, and I awoke this morning to temperatures in the low 50s.  Today's riding ensemble was totally different from yesterday's.

Not only was I sporting the "glow in the dark" jacket, but under it was a long sleeved flannel shirt on top of the usual tee.  The leather gloves were out too!

There was nowhere that I needed to go except to take my daily walk, and I sure wasn't ready to have to take the car.  I won't walk in my own neighborhood; I don't consider it safe any more so I usually scoot to a nicer place somewhere a little farther out.

I calculated the distance from one end of a local strip mall to the other and determined it to be just the right length so off I rode to give it a whirl.  In walking as much as I have since I got out of the hospital last week I'm still sore in places I forgot I had, but I can feel the muscles getting back in shape in other places so the walking is getting a little faster and easier.

I ended up at the farmer's market downtown for what will surely be one of the last of the season to get some fresh zucchinis.  A fat woodchuck and his family destroyed with impunity my zuke crop before it even got past the leaf growing stage and I didn't get a single one from the garden this year.  Of course I couldn't resist the opportunity to get a pic of me grinning next to the "Sweet Lush Cupcakery" truck.  Nope.  No cupcakes for me.

So it was chilly, but I braved the "freezing" 50s and got out there anyway for some fun riding.  No scootering till next week now.  After dinner I dropped the bike off at the shop for its annual inspection.  Here's hoping I won't be getting a call to inform me that I need new tires or anything costly and that I'll be back in the saddle post haste.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Beginnings and Endings

Although some days it doesn't seem like it because at times I tend to type all around some idea without ever making my thoughts coalesce so that they flow pleasingly and logically to make a definite discernible point, I often spend quite a bit of time in thinking about what I might write here before starting to crank anything out.  Today's post began with the simple notion that today might have been the last day on which I'll take to the scooter in shorts and a tee shirt.  The more I thought about it, though, it's really about the passing of another season, the changes that always sneak up on me as summer segues into early Fall, the thoughts of the impending season to follow during which my time off the scooter will be measured in weeks rather than days or hours.  But, with more thought I turned up the notion that much of what I write here seems to be about beginnings or endings because the in-betweens are just kind of marking time toward the start or finish of something.

I'm fairly certain that that conclusion came only after I saw this picture that I took this afternoon in anticipation of this post.  There I was atop a hill where one can look down upon a nearby neighborhood like the Grinch surveying his domain from the top of Mt. Crumpet, and as I ran into place in time for the timer on the camera to do its thing I didn't give any conscious thought about smiling or otherwise "arranging" my face for the picture. 

My face rarely "lies" in a photo, and even when it does those well versed in seeing through my facial expressions can't be fooled.  I trotted over to the scooter as the timer counted down and then the shutter snapped to reveal precisely what I seemed to be feeling at the moment.  My face doesn't show thoughts about putting away the tee shirts and shorts.  Its glumness reflects that whole mess of putting away the summer and getting ready, as if one really can get ready, for the in-betweens of winter that won't be far off.

Today was an ending - one of the things that gets written about.  No doubt, unless I croak (as my Daddy said for too many years before he finally did nearly three years ago) before April or May I'll be waiting for that fresh beginning of a new riding season.  Oh, I'll probably get many good rides in before I park the BV under the deck with a sigh of resignation and hook up the trickle charger, but not without the "gearing up" that cooler weather requires.  I'll sorely miss just putting on a pair of shoes and sailing out the door to hop onto my trusty steed clad in the tee shirt and shorts that I sport almost every minute from June through sometime in September every year.

And just in case my misery wasn't apparent enough in the first picture, I just had to shoot another by the colorful gazebo that's been in my pictures many times in the course of writing this blog as a featured prop to herald the coming of a summer or putting it away.  Nope.  I don't look happy.

Even the scooter itself seems to be looking longingly for next summer to get here.  Can you blame it?