Wednesday, December 20, 2006

You Meet the Nicest People on Two Wheels...

The last week or two have just been fun experiences commuting (never heard someone in a cage say that!) My evening commute takes me thru an area that gets pretty congested, and people begin to drive with a bit less caution. The other evening I was in the right hand lane and the left hand lane was completely stopped. Along my route another bike had come in behind me, and we were riding in riding (staggered) formation. Suddenly, one of the cars in the left lane decided he wanted to switch lanes as I was beside him. He made a sudden weave into my lane and I made a quick swerve into the turn lane next to me and back in front of the car. I quickly looked in the mirror to see if my newly aquirred commute partner had gotten stopped without issue. What I saw was suprising, he had gunned the throttle and went around the car as well. He came along side me to air his displeasure with the cage driver. It was a nice to hear someone with my viewpoint on what just happened and that could understand what regularly occurs.

A few days ago, around the same place, I heard the melody of a V-twin pulling along side of me as I sat in traffic. I turned to see a Harley Road King that had to be the exact same color as my Sporty, and the fella had that thing shining to the nines (even had a helmet that matched). We had some nice chit-chat while we waited for traffic to move and as we inched along for a few blocks.

You just don't meet folks in traffic much when your creeping along in a cage, but you meet some of the nicest folks when you're on two wheels.

Friday, December 15, 2006

The Joys of Commuting

Last night on my way home from work my commute was a little bit more exciting than normal. If you've ever commuted on a motorcycle in the Greater Atlanta Metro area, you have probably come to accept that someone is going to swerve over into your lane and force you to make a "survival maneuver" at least once a day. My experience has not changed that presumption. But last night was different. I'm riding on a controlled access major highway (what they call roads with overpasses and on/offramps). Traffic is moderately heavy but the left hand lane is running around 75 mph. I'm behind a mini-van (as the billboard says, there are NO cool minivans). Suddenly I see something round and white come out of the rear side window of the van and bounce in the roadway. Golfball? I don't know. Then another one comes out the window and bounces. I'm concentrating on not getting hit by whatever it is and avoiding running over it. Can you imagine running over a golfball at 75 mph? Then a third one come out and I manage to change lanes and pass the van.

A few miles later, we have left the controlled access section of the highway and are headed towards the first stoplight and my turn off. Suddenly, a woman changes lanes right over towards me. Usually, you swerve towards the white line at the shoulder of the road, hit your brights and your horn and they realize they should have looked and stop coming over, but not this time. She came all the way into my lane and I was forced on the last 6 inches of asphalt at the edge of the road. I managed to get past her without dropping the bike and into the turn lane. I look over at her and I can see her mouth is moving, but my lip reading skills are somewhat deficient. Maybe she was saying "I'm sorry I didn't see you or hear your uncapped exhaust"...*shrug*

So I'm thinking ok, two in 8 or 9 miles, nice. As I'm waiting for the turn signal at the stop light, I notice the mini-van is behind me turning as well. It even turned into my neighborhood. So, I decided to pay a neighborly visit and dicuss the golfballs(??). The young couple in the van (she was driving, he was riding shotgun) seemed suprised when I told them I hadn't appreciated having things thrown out the rear side windows at me on the highway. At first the lady said the kids rear windows were closed. The father opened the side door and asked who was throwing things out the window. The lady walked around the passenger side (where the items were launching) and said "Oh! This window IS OPEN!" and she quickly appologized. I'm guessing someone got dressed down by mom and dad. I appreciated their handling of the situation and drove home.

Those of you commuting on bikes, watch out for the swervers and the minivans tossing golfballs.

Those of you driving cages (cars, minivans, trucks) look before you change lanes, hang up the cellphone and pay attention to your driving, and use your signals.

Be Safe out there!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Merry Chrismas from the Family

No one can put me in the Christmas spirit better than Robert Earl Keen. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Trunk Monkey

I mentioned the Trunk Monkey while talking to some friends this weekend and got a few blank stares, so... Here is today's moment of Zin!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Carpe Diem

"Carpe Diem" - sieze the day

what goes thru your mind when you hear that phrase? We get so caught up in what we are facing in life that we lose sight of the big picture. Financial struggles, career crossroads, illness, etc easily distracts us and we tend to put life on hold and focus on the current problem at hand. How much quality time in life have we wasted worrying, fretting, or stewing over the current problems facing us?

Several years ago my grandfather was battling cancer and was losing the fight. He made a mental list of the things he wanted to accomplish, things he wanted to see, etc before he died. One of the things he told me during that period was "live like there is no tomorrow."

Consider what relationships are valuable to you and make sure those people know how you feel about them. Despite whatever you are facing at the moment, consider what you could do today that would help you sieze the day.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Gentle Reminders

I struggle with being so busy that at times I forget to stop and smell the roses. On my way home in August, I had an opportunity to remember how great God is and how wonderful His creation is. Here's a poor quality picture from my cellphone. I encourage you to pause and appreciate the beauty of the earth around us and recognize God's fingerprints on it.