Friday, February 29, 2008

If I Could Get Out of My Driveway...

It's snowing right now and the forecast is calling for rain later today. But it IS Friday, the end of a tough week for me. My day job with computers calls for extended hours - I support users in 5 time zones - and while most weeks are quiet and routine, this one was kinda busy.

So I was please to see that this weekend the local weather geeks are calling for lots of sunshine and a high temp Sunday of 49 degrees. Time to ride! My problem at the moment is my driveway.

Our home is located in an older section of the city originally developed soon after WWI. The neighborhood is quaint and quiet, where everyone knows everyone else. The lots are small by any standard and separating most homes are modest driveways.

My driveway measure about 15 feet at its widest and only about 70 feet in length before you run into the garage. My problem is that the drive only sees about an hour of sunlight each day and though my front, postage stamp of a lawn is snow free, the drive is ice and snow covered.
The solution, of course, is found in a 50 lb. bag of ice melt, something I've been remiss in using this year. But if the streets are clear for riding, then by golly, a slick driveway is not going to stop my 2 wheels from turning a few revolutions on them. Strange what motivates me to clear my driveway. Maybe not...

Ride Safe.

Friday, February 22, 2008

The Best Picture - Ever

A sight I visit every so often is Open Road Journey. Com . They post riding routes from readers whose passion is realized when they're on a 2 lane road in the middle of nowhere. A lot of readers post photos of their rides (the journey, not the bike) and this months Best Pic is awesome!

If you follow the link above during the month of February, you'll see it. If the month has slipped by, here it is...

Now is that awesome, or what? The only credit I could find is the user's handle imprinted on the photo, so I can't tell who made it. But it's a great photo!

Winter Visits Again

Yesterday morning the temps hovered around 3 degrees but recovered to a balmy 23. Then, last night winter paid another visit with a couple of inches of snow topped of with freezing rain this morning. The cold, dreary days are not helping my attitude. When your commute (an hour each way) is spent in darkness and the sun fails to shine during the day, my outlook on life leans toward the bleak side.

In spite of the snow and freezing rain, the roads were mostly just wet though there were a lot of icy spots. One driver's day was ruined when they flipped their KIA on its top. They probably won't get to work on time. I made it in about an hour and 20 minutes.

I spoke with a friend last night who retrieved their Honda 250 Rebel from the local shop on Monday. The ride for them was only about 20 minutes in 22 degree weather but the sun was shining and that made it seem less cold, they said.

The length of my commute raises my minimum riding temperature to about 39 and even then I'm tempted to stop half way to work and grab a cup of joe. I am amazed at stories of other riders that travel in zub-freezing temps. They have to be using some type of heated apparel, gloves or a vest or both.

The temps were awesome on Sunday - nearly 60 something - but I spent the time visiting Mom in the hospital recovering from knee replacement surgery. Spring will be here soon, though not soon enough, and I'll be riding again.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

A Vespa Blogger

Several days ago, a reader of another blog I keep was kind enough to leave a comment about how often I find myself thinking about riding. This reader, Steve Williams, also keeps a blog about the passions in his life - riding and photography. Steve's blog has some really great work displayed: Color, B&W and toned photos developed and printed by his own hand. Plus, from-the-heart words giving insight to the author.

Years ago, I also held a passion for this type of photographic work, but my dark room hasn't seen any chemicals or photo paper for over 15 years. Snap shots is about all I take anymore. But, perhaps that will change in the months to come, though I doubt I'll ever have the patience to develop and print my own pics. That work is a lengthy and solitary task and often is done with too few accolades or acknowledgments.

Check out Steve's blog, Scooter in the Sticks

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Got My Fix

Today's forecast was for increasing clouds and a high temperature of about 45 degrees. Well the sun came out in the afternoon and it was gorgeous!!!

I looked at Teresa and asked if she was ready to go for a ride. Surprised, she looked at me and said, "I'll go if you go."
We rode for about an hour around the Newark and Granville area. The sun was deceptive and the cross winds ferocious but we rode, it was great fun, and I got my fix of riding for another week or so.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

A Day Trip to Burr Oak State Park

View Larger Map

This is the trip we plan on taking the first warm and dry weekend that comes along this spring. Our home is in Newark, so we'll take SR13 south through Somerset and New Lexington and Corning. This is old coal and oil country (ever heard of corning grade crude oil?) and the terrain is rolling hills with a mix of woods and farm land.

Near Glouster we'll turn northeast and stop in at Burr Oak State Park for lunch at the lodge. We spent a week at a cabin here a few years back and did nothing but unwind. The lodge has WiFi if you feel the need to go online but forget about cell coverage unless they've erected some new cell towers.

After lunch we'll travel northeast again on SR 78 towards Malta and McConnelsville. Then we'll travel SR 60 north to Zanesville and then Frazeysburg. We used to live in Frazeysburg back in the 80's so it'll be nice to see how that little burg has changed.

From Frazeysburg it's just a short 15 minute ride to home in Newark. Total mileage for this trip is about 115 miles. Drive time should be about 3 hours. If you include the stops for lunch and any sites we might find interesting along the way, we should be home after about 5 hours and that's probably about as long as we could tolerate on our bike.

If you know of any spots we should visit along the way, let us know.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Two Wheels in the Slow Lane

For as long as I remember, I longed for a motorcycle. I rode one summer 30 years ago and when my father sold his Goldwing 750 to someone else, I was crushed. So, I decided to rectify the situation this past fall and with my wife's blessing - encouragement even - I purchased a Boulevard C50T.

My wife and I were able to traverse the roads of Ohio - about 2000 miles - over the next several weeks before the weather turn too cold and nasty for 2 wheels. Those 2000 miles were only enough to tease me, because now I find myself dreaming and planning trips.

My wife, Teresa, has no desire to learn how to ride. She's content to be behind me on the pillion. But she loves the trips we took last fall almost as much as I love riding. So this spring we are determined to ride every chance we get. And we'll document those rides with words and pictures right here.

Ohio is a treasure trove of back roads, secondary highways and scenic byways. Little known, out-of-the-way, seldom traveled routes and destinations that are paradise for a rider. Stay tuned. When the weather warms up, you'll see more posts.