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Saturday, March 31, 2007

Four-Glove Weather

ViragoAs I said earlier, Daughter Dearest now has her “real” driver’s license, and got Cousin Splat’s parking permit in return for taking him to school too (Big V took the keys). With The Boy out of school, I now (for the first time since the kids started school) am no longer responsible for getting the kids on the bus or dropping them off myself. Thus, I can a) sleep a little bit later; b) ride the motorcycle to work.

Besides making the commute a bit more enjoyable, there are a couple of other advantages to biking it: even as large a bike as a Virago 1100 gets 42 MPG without too much trouble, while I have to work to get 40 MPG out of the Civic. Then there are a couple of right turns where I have enough room to squeeze between a car wanting to go straight and the curb.

But one thing you have to do is get ready to ride. You can’t just jump on, start it, and go: without a shiny glass & metal cage around you, you have to wrap yourself in safety equipment — helmet, jacket, gloves, and decent boots at a minimum. I keep saying this is the year I’m going to get a riding suit, although I’ve lost nearly 20 pounds in the last year so it’s probably best that I put it off thus far. The wind chill on a bike with no windshield is amazing — even when it’s 80°F outside, you’re happy to be wearing that jacket once you get above 40MPH or so.

This time of year is what I call “four-glove weather.” In the mornings, it’s around 50°F or so, and you want the heavy gloves. (The alternative is not being able to type for an hour after you get to work.) On the way home, it’s 75°F and just the right temperature for well-ventilated summer gloves. A sweater is good, too; I can wear it in the morning and bungee it to the back rack in the afternoon.

The laptop rides in a courier bag. I let the shoulder strap out just enough to let the bag touch the seat; that helps keep it from moving around. The wind turbulence (and the weight) keeps it against my back pretty well.

So this is how I save gas and have fun at the same time.


  1. Hi FARfetched.

    I envy you on having a motorcycle. I always wanted one, but never could afford it. It's been 40 years since I had a motor scooter and I can remember enjoying all the riding I did on it. Maybe one day.

    Hope you and the Fetches are doing fine.

  2. Hey FM, it's great to see you amble back over this way! Yeah, we're doing fine — I'm about to fall into bed & Mrs. Fetched is already there. Daughter Dearest is in Florida & The Boy is camping. Quiet!

    The way I see it, a bike is a dang site cheaper than a car, even after you spring for safety equipment. There are some sweet scooters out there these days; Vespa's back in the US, and Honda & Suzuki both have freeway-capable models.

  3. I used to have my motorcycle license. Was very easy to get about on it too ... been a long time since I've ridden though :-)

  4. Except during the winter, right O? ;-)

    Planet Georgia's riding season can be almost year-round if the winter is mild enough. I've found that the bike isn't too happy when colder than 27F, which is pretty much my own limit (even with layers under a snowmobile suit) too.

  5. Yep ... then it's the snowmobile ... ;~)


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