Brian Ho (brianho) wrote,
Brian Ho

saving the ride at a time

This morning I finally used my motorcycle for the purpose I intended when I purchased it--commuting to work.

How about a little back story:
Flashback to the summer of 2008.  Gas was skyrocketing up to the $4/gal. range.  Heath suggested I consider a motorcycle as they can get 50-70 mpg.  That being 2x or more than what my car gets certainly sounded appealing.

Heath had a friend that was selling a Kawasaki Ninja 250 that had just been sitting around for several years, so I went ahead and got it.  So yeah, I actually purchased a motorcycle to be practical and efficient. :P

However, at that point, I had never so much as even sat on a motorcycle--nevermind actually ridden one.  Heath encouraged me to take the ABATE safety course and I wholeheartedly agreed.  The classes run all summer but unfortunately book up really fast in the spring.  I was already too late to get into one.  I could have tried to walk in and take the spot of a no-show sometime, but I just didn't want to do that.  So, the bike just sat.

In 2009, I was able to sign up for an ABATE class.  I got a date in July.  I learned a lot and quite enjoyed the class.  However, with all the other stuff going on last year, I never got around to getting plates, insurance, or my motorcycle endorsement.

That brings me to this year.  In the late-ish summer I finally got all the paperwork ready to go and Heath got it running for me.  I decided to take it down to the gas station to put some more gas in it, but it just quit running at a stop light about 2 miles from my house.  That ended up being a long walk home. :P  It's a small motorcycle, but pushing it for 2 miles is no fun.

Heath was stumped, so he took it to a shop for me.  They were kind of backlogged, so it took them a few weeks to get to it.  I finally got it back last month and thus began me actually mentioning the few times that I have.  I've really only ridden it 2-3 times since then.  I was a bit apprehensive at first, but the stuff I learned in the class a year ago has been coming back to me.

This morning I finally had the confidence to try riding to work.  It's a fairly long ride at about 25 miles each way.  Also, it's the most traffic I've seen while riding.  But everything went pretty well and I made it to work safely.  It wasn't too stressful and was actually kind of fun.  I'll break down the pros and cons.

50+ mpg! (I'll do the math when I fill up later today)
fresh air
scenic (even though it's a familiar route I've taken many times, it's quite different on a bike)
I can feel responsibly green and like kind of a badass at the same time! :P

no NPR
It was kind of chilly this morning. I probably could have used a scarf and maybe an extra set of gloves under my riding gloves.
I think I need some anti-fog wipes for my mirrors and the face shield on my helmet.
HELMET HEAD! (fixed easily enough)

Thanks to Heath for expanding my horizons.  I probably won't get too many more opportunities to ride this year, but I'm glad to have this option available and look forward to utilizing it more in the future.

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