October 22nd, 2010

second ride to work

I rode my motorcycle to work again today.  I picked up some thermal underwear last night that kept me reasonably comfortable during the chilly morning ride.  I also took my scarf advice from earlier in the week and that helped quite a bit as well.  I wouldn't say I was warm so much as not too cold.  The only parts of me that still got too cold were my hands.  I put on some stretch gloves underneath my riding gloves, but my hands--especially fingertips--were still pretty cold.  But at least they hurt as opposed to going numb, so they couldn't have been that bad. :P

I'm getting a lot more comfortable and confident and am able/willing to accelerate more quickly and go a little faster.  The downside to that is that I only got a paltry 52 mpg today. :P  I think I filled it up a bit more than last time though, so it might have been a little higher than that.  Also, some of my shifts weren't too smooth and I revved the engine up more than necessary.  At any rate, I think I can probably find a good balance between performance and fuel economy as I get some more experience.  Regardless, even 50 mpg is doing a whole lot better than my car.

Here's some notes/experiences/learning from today's ride:

- 65 mph is really damn fast
- My bike only weighs about 300 lbs. Loaded with me and full tank of gas, it's probably on about 500 lbs. That's not enough to trigger traffic sensors. This is somewhat problematic at "left turn on arrow only" intersections.
-  I had to hit the brakes a little hard and I locked up my back wheel. It fishtailed a bit. I didn't panic and was able to control it. At least I didn't lock up the front wheel.
- Motorcycles are good conversation starters. I was asked to show mine by two people at work today and had a decently long conversation about bikes with one of them. More of "the club", I guess.
- There aren't too many other riders out this late in the season, but the ones that are still give "the wave." Cool.