Saturday, January 23, 2010

Mini Thaw

It was only a few evenings ago when I visited the scooter under the deck. I thought it might be lonely out there in the dark and cold. I hadn't heard its voice in many weeks - not even a clearing of its throat to let me know it was still alive out there. I was already in my "long winter's cap" and other assorted things that I call pajamas though they're just sweats and flannels, but I came back into the house, got the key, unplugged the trickle charger and fired it up the BV. It roared to life and I let out the breath I hadn't realized I was holding till I felt it whooshing through my teeth. All was well! There wasn't much to photograph of the moment, so I snapped a shot of the illuminated headlight.

I let the engine idle for a while, revved it a few times, and then shut it all down to reattach the charger. I didn't think I'd get to ride for quite some time yet. There was still a bit of ice in the alley that separates the backyard from the street and the temperatures had been more or less around freezing and below since Christmas. To my delight, as I watched the forecasts this past week, there was some promise of highs in the low and mid 40s. I didn't let my hopes get too high, but in the back of my mind there dwelt the hope of possibly getting a ride in sometime soon. I got up this morning and it was still terribly cold. After my shower I jumped into the car and ran a few errands. (Okay, I got dressed, first, but you know what I mean!) It was while sitting in a sunbeam at a red light that it dawned on me that it was getting warmer as the sun moved higher in the sky. I raced home, intent on going riding for a while.

It had been way too long! In part I'd forgotten just how free I feel when I'm on that bike. I believe this was the longest I'd gone without a single ride since I started scootering in the spring of '07, and the longer I went without mounting the BV the less I felt like doing it using the early darkness and the spirit sapping cold as easy excuses for not even wanting to ride. When I got the scooter onto the street and opened up the throttle it all came back to me in a flash. I was on my way! I was going nowhere in particular and loving every turn of the wheels!

I had to get a photo or two to put here and to keep in the directory of scooter pictures which I use as a pictorial diary of when I did what. (I try to keep the date and time on my digital cameras exact so I can document my times and places accurately.) I took this shot in the back of a parking lot in a small municipality across the river. For as big as my mouth is, I surprise myself when I tend to look for back alleys and out of the way places to take pictures of myself rather than to set up a tripod in full view of traffic so as to encourage passersby to think, "Hey! Look at the dork on the scooter taking pictures of himself!"

On January 15th McDonalds' free Wifi went on tap and I was there to help inaugurate it at one of the Somerset locations!

Photo by Susan

Today's ride was my first chance to take the iPod Touch on the scooter! I visited some of the local McDonalds to see if their free Wifi was up and running. It is!

I'd called the local franchise owner a few days before McD's started serving it up free because I'd been hearing since the week after Christmas that the free Wifi was going to start being served up in "mid January" which was as specific a date as I could find anywhere online. I was delighted when she told me that it would be going live on the 15th when I'd be out of town because my opportunity to give it a whirl would conveniently coincide with my travel plans. The only disappointing news she gave me was that the large McDonalds near the Wyoming Vally Mall won't have it. I wonder if it's because they fear that too many of the mall rats would do nothing but gobble up the bandwidth but too little of the McFood with a huge Sonic right across the street.

I hope McD's started a revolution and that other places are going to feel enough of a pinch in their sales so that they'll bring out the fee free wireless as well. I wrote to the head of P.R. at Sheetz to encourage them to jump on the bandwagon, assuring them that I'm going to buy gas and food on the road nearer to McDonalds' locations because of the free Wifi. And I will!

I don't know when I'll get out on the scooter again. Temperatures are supposed to stay warm through Monday, but tomorrow I'll be visiting college daughter and it's supposed to rain through the start of the work week. After that, we'll be back in the 30s, but warmer, longer days are coming and I can't wait!


Chuck Pefley said...

Free wi-fi is a blessing when traveling. Glad to see McDees has added this to their menu.

bobskoot said...


McDonalds in Canada have had FREE WiFI for a while now. Starbucks have always had it but only for customers and with supplied Password. You just have to purchase a $5. gift card to get access. A lot of hotels used to be password protected, but more are giving free access.

happy to see you riding and smiling

bobskoot: wet coast scootin

Lance said...

Free wifi is fantastic. I think in the Seattle area many McD's still charge $2.99 for (I think)three hours. I hope this trend continues. Thanks for posting, and here's to getting more winter rides in!

Joe said...

Irondad posted the following, but somebody's big, fat finger on the tiny iPod link must have pressed the wrong link...

Yee, freakin', haw! Who let the dawgs out?

You remind me of when I would let our dog outside. He'd run like crazy around the yard like it was just too good to believe.

What's the grin all about? :)