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)
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
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.