Saturday, June 30, 2007

Week 3 & 4, Adventures in Riding to Work

This is the weather that usually greets me. In the last two weeks I haven't even needed the liner in my Joe Rocket mesh jacket. I couldn't ask for nicer weather, but the road conditions are a completely different story.

The above sign is what seems to greet you on almost every turn. I can't tell you how many times I changed routes to get to work and mostly to get home. I found a nicer way to get to work after they closed a major bridge I needed to cross to get to work. They did me a favor with that one.

Here's a dreaded sign by most bikers. You can kind of see the difference on the road condition, which are both going in the same direction. The darker pavement is brand new and the lighter road right next to it is full of grooves, as they just recently scrapped up the old road. Driving on that is really weird, as most of you know. A couple of times I got caught in that for more then a mile and couldn't get out of it due to the very uneven pavement.

Trying to avoid road construction is like playing Russian Roulette, lol. Getting to work wasn't usually too bad. First thing in the morning the roads are quiet and the workers are just starting to show up to work. Roads are still open and not reduced to one lane, like they are later in the day.

Driving home is such a different story. I've really tried to find a way home that would avoid road construction, but the best I could do is find the path of least resistance, lol.

Here is a view of my drive to work in the morning. I drive toward the mountains and what wonderful views I have!!! Sadly, this last Friday was my last day of my summer school job. On a good note, I have the next six weeks off.

I did get called to do a job interview this Monday for a librarian job at one of the schools and I'm pretty excited about this. I subbed at this school quite a few times this last year and I really like the staff there. One advantage to working in the school system is I'm usually off when my youngest son is off and I will have summers off with him, unless I work for summer school. I have been a stay-at-home-mom for 18 years and I'm looking forward to a full-time job. With this job I will still be off before my son gets out of school. What more can I ask for?

To my dismay I will miss the official "Ride To Work" day. It's July 18th and summer school was only for the month of June, Augh!!! I would love to be able to ride to work in support of this day. At least I was able to ride to work the entire 4 weeks of my summer job, YEA!!! Everyone at work thought my purple V-Star is very cool. A few even envious that I got to ride a motorcycle to work.

During these last four weeks of work I have done quite a few rides on the weekends, but I would get home and be too tired to post about it. I have put on about 500 miles on my motorcycle during this last month. I will try to get caught up this next month. I do have another ride I'm doing with my husband tomorrow. We are doing the Pikes Peak Fallen Officers' Memorial Ride. The route is covering some of my favorite roads. We're glad to be able to support this, but sad for the reason of the ride. It's to honor two of our fallen police officers that were killed in the last year or so and it would be great to have another reason for this ride.

I will try not to let too much time pass between the next post. My summer is busy with activities and I get lazy in the lulls, lol.

Wishing you great summer adventures,

Biker Betty :)

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Week 2, Adventures in Riding to Work

I have now logged two full weeks of riding to work and loving it!! I have made the decision that as long it's not raining when I need to go to work, I ride. I have been caught in afternoon rains, but that is no big deal. I just don't want to get to work a drowned rat, lol. These two weeks have been fun and what experiences I have had.

This last Tuesday I have to label "Stink and Spit," LOL. On the way to work I took a turn and a horrible smell assulted my nose. I'm talking "diaper gone bad!?!" smell. Looking around I noticed new digging going on and figured it was that. A mile down the road I was still smelling it and wondering where in the world was that smell coming from. I was wondering if it got trapped in my helmet and opened wide the face shield. No dice - still the horrible smell.

Then I suspiciously eyed the truck in front of me with one of those nets on the back that roll down over the bed of the truck to keep debris from flying off. I decided it was time to take action. I couldn't roll up the window to get rid of it. Checking the left lane, all was clear and I decided it was time to pass that stinky bad boy!! Once I got passed it, the air was nice and clear again, thank goodness.

Then on my way home that same day I was at a stop light when all of a sudden this lady just slightly ahead of me in the right hand lane sticks her head out of her window and spit right in front of my bike!?!?! Ewwwww..... I was so glad there wasn't a wind or she would have most likely sprayed me.

These were two experiences I really could have done without, lol. So sometimes riding a bike gets you a little too close to natures smells and bodily functions.

I have only two weeks left of this job, but I have just applied for a full-time library position in one of the schools in the fall. Wish me luck.

Wishing you "nice" adventures in your part of the world,

Biker Betty :)

Saturday, June 09, 2007

What a motorcyclist wears on their feet can be as important as their helmet, jacket & gloves. Flip Flops, sandals and tennis shoes really shouldn't be worn when on a motorcycle. I wear a good, solid pair of motorcycle boots and that's why I chose these for ...
~ This Saturday's Theme of Shoes ~

Theme: Shoes ** Become a Photo Hunter ** View Blogroll

I had a pair of boots before these, but the tread was just about worn out. Then I went on the search for another pair of boots. I love the above boots. They are River Road motorcycle boots and they are very comfortable. When I bought them, I ended up getting a half-size too big. They didn't have my exact size. I'm glad I bought them a little big, though. Sport and motorcycle socks are pretty thick and with them my boots fit just right. With these boots, my feet stay dry even in a hard rain. They have the special soles that stick great to the ground. My feet feel very solid on the ground with these. I feel great confidence and security with these boots.

Here is one of the reasons I wear a good, solid pair of boots. One day, two years ago, I parked in front of a friend's house in the gutter. I had no problem parking, but when I went to leave the slope of the gutter caught me off guard and I tipped over when I lifted my left foot to get into gear. My right foot got caught between my 500 pound Yamaha V-Star 650 and the cement curb. My ankle smarted for days. I'd hate to think of what might had happened if I was wearing tennis shoes or sandals, like I have seen some lately.

I also have to tell you. The extra cost of sport or motorcycle socks is well worth it. They do a great job of wicking away the sweat. I've tried the Harley socks, REI skiing socks and another brand for skiing and they all work great. I use them even in the heat of the summer. My feet get too sweaty (ewwww!) with regular socks.

Wishing you happy feet,

Biker Betty :)

Monday, June 04, 2007

Hit and Run Motorcycle Crash

Talk about an unusual motorcycle story. I was reading my local newspaper, when I stumbled upon this story title:

"A hit-and-run suspect in a motorcycle crash...."

Naturally, I'm thinking someone hit a motorcycle and caused a crash - WRONG.

Here's the story out of The Gazette in the Metro section:

Report: Hit-and-run suspect swam away

GRAND JUNCTION - A hit and-run suspect in a motorcycle crash that broke a 16-yearold boy’s leg was captured after apparently trying to swim away on the Colorado River, The Daily Sentinel reported.

The man eluded police for about three hours Saturday night before swimming to shore, naked, bloody and screaming, the newspaper reported.

About 5 p.m. Saturday, a man on a motorcycle was accused of rear-ending two teens on a bicycle.

So here's my question: "How did the man end up naked?!?" Weird story.

Be safe out there,

Biker Betty :)

Love Those Rearview Mirrors

For the month of June I work in summer school. It's only a four week program and I'm riding my motorcycle to work. It's amazing that one way is only 13 miles, yet the commute thru the city takes 1/2 hour. The only positive thing is I'm having a blast doing it, usaully.

Today I had an incident where I had to decide that the truck was much bigger then me and I immediately braked, as I didn't want to be his hood ornament. As I'm traversing the city to get to my destination, it's time to turn right onto the next street change. I'm coming up to the intersection, look in my rearview mirrors to check traffic behind me (nobody close to worry about), turn on my right turn signal and prepare to move right into a short turn lane. As I'm about to move, I check my right rearview mirror and there's this white truck roaring down and trying to cut me off. It was real obvious the speed he was doing and you could hear the roar of his engine. My first thought is "A## &!%#" and that he's much bigger then me. I immediately swing left, brake (I could brake, as the light was red and I was real close to that intersection), and swing my head in disgust. Needless to say, I was very surprised when he made an abrupt stop and then signaled me to go in front of him. I would have liked to wave thanks (even though he tried to run me down and changed his mind), but my hands were too busy with the clutch and brake.

This last Friday was my first day on the job and my rearview mirrors once again served me well on the drive home. I don't know what it is in my city about changing lanes, but I have seen it often even in my car. Someone signals they are changing lanes, there is an opening, and then suddenly the car behind speeds up to cut you off. I see someone needing to change lanes and I back off and leave them room. Well, on the way home Friday I wanted to change lanes into the (once again) right lane. I look for a nice opening, see it, turn on right turn signal, check mirror (all clear) and move. By the time I had moved into the lane I wanted, some stupid car tried to cut me off. This time I didn't realize it till after I had moved and saw the bumper right on my tail. That car had been way back there just moments before!!

Then she backs way off. I mean "waaayyy off." I don't know why she even sped up, other then she just wanted to cut someone off from changing lanes. Further down the road I'm happy when I see she's more then a quarter of a mile behind me. Till..... you guessed it - I needed to change lanes. It was time to get into the right turn lane and take the most fun curve in the city. I go from one major blvd to another blvd on one of those huge highway turn lanes. I love the lean and the angle of this turn. It's more fun then a carnival ride, lol. I look in my rearview mirror and she's a ways back, so I'm thinking "No Problemo." Wrong!$%&! I turn on my turn signal, check my mirror and move left. In the meantime this girl (young teen) has some problem with this and speeds up and rides my butt ALL THE WAY TO THE NEXT BLVD. I WAS PISSED!! Nothing I could do about it, but watch myself and try to keep some distance. As soon as I'm on the next road she backs off (hmpf!!). So I'm wondering what is her problem, but like I've said this is a problem in our city.

I rely heavily on my rearview mirros, as I know you do. I alway make one last check before changing lanes and that has served me well a few times. I have done many miles in my city with no problems and suddenly in a week....?

Keep safe on those roads and have fun this summer,

Biker Betty :)

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Saturday Photo Hunt - Art

~ This Saturday's Theme is Art ~

Theme: Art ** Become a Photo Hunter ** View Blogroll

The above photo is of a turf maze in the village of Hilton in Huntingdonshire, England. We were very happy to live in this village for three years. Our neighbors/friends in this village were so nice. I didn't want to leave when it was time to head back to the states. The United States Air Force had assigned my husband to RAF Alconbury and this village was about 15 minutes from there.

The village of Hilton is very proud of this maze, as it's only one of barely eight left in the country. This maze was cut in the ground by William Sparrow (age 19 yrs at the time) in 1660. I would say he truly is an artist.

The village has maintained it since then, wow!!! My eldest son was just 4 years old when we moved here and we would walk this maze from start to the center and back again. It's one continuous path weaving to the center. We would have so much fun doing this.

I enjoy making miniature quilts and the above photo is my creation of the maze using hexigons that measure 1/2" in size. I drew it out on paper first, just to make sure it would work. Aside from it being in a hexagon shape, and not round, the turns in the path turned out right where they needed to be. My quilt measures 18 1/2" from side to side and took about 1, 684 hexagons. It was completely hand made (10-12 stitches per each hexagon side) using the english paper piecing method. Needless to say, I was very happy with the outcome.

This last March, when my husband and I flew to Las Vegas for a friend's Air Force retirement ceremony, I found this wonderful art on the walls of our airport here in town. They were made by kids in our local schools and I think they did an awesome job!!! The above photo and the two below were all done by kids. Well Done!!!