Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Snuck in another ride on Burgertime today

When I got out of work today, it was sunny and 52°F. I had only one thing on the mind. I got home and got Burgertime out and put at least 50 miles on him. I was freezing by the time I got home, it was only 47°F at that time.

Now, they're talking about snow again tomorrow night, as well as Thursday & Friday. Crapola.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

A Nice Break from Chicago Winter

I had a factory trip out in Carlsbad, CA to do some testing on a commercial door operator. I managed to finish the testing in one day, so I got to spend the other day visiting with my sister & brother-in-law in LA.
After much deliberation, I decided to go ahead and rent a new Kawasaki KLR650. I've had my eye on these ever since they came out. It seems like a perfect bike for potholed roads and a guy with a heavy wrist. (see previous post on it)

Look at those photos for a minute: See how tall the thing is?! That means long-travel suspension, which soaks up the bumps. The hand guards protect one's hands from the wind, even though the bike has those goofy wide handlebars. (remember, I'm used to the FJR) Another cool thing about it being so tall is that there is a TON of legroom. I had a ride on the FJR today, and it was quite cramped by comparison.
Onto the ride. Boy was it ever nice to have sunny weather that never seems to get colder than 60°F.

At the cycle shop, I also picked up a little map by MadMaps called "Get Outta Town Los Angeles", and picked the longest ride on it. 250+ miles in the mountains and "National Forests". (National Forests is in quotes, because they don't really have forests there. They're all dried up shrubs.)

Anyway, the ride was beautiful. Here are a couple more shots:
I tell you what, it was damned hard to get off the plane at O'Hare the next day to cloudy and 30°F. I was coming up with ways in my head the whole way home of how we might move there.
Today, we had a "warm" day. It was 47°F when I got home from work. "Good enough!" says I. I pulled the blanked off the FJR, dusted off the sawdust, checked the tire pressure, bundled up, and went for an hour-long ride. It was fun, but the bike never seems to wake up. It is so damned fast & competent, but so hard to stay under 70 mph. Not that I'm complaining, I just really liked that KLR, and I'm getting funny ideas.
The garage only has room for two bikes, and I think Burgertime is here to stay. I thought the FJR was here to stay too, but I'm not so sure any more. The KLR is better suited to our (crappy) roads, and is less likely to be radared at triple digit speeds with me aboard. Just thinking.
Kate says I need to keep the FJR at least one more year, so we can have a bunch of good rides on it. She is confident a KLR wouldn't be as good two-up. (she's probably right too)
Oh well, thanks for reading this rant.