Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Time for goals, decisions, plans.

Looking of opportunities. Setting goals.

Evening rides 
5:00 – 9:00 when sun is out until 8 or so. Head out from work. Stop for dinner. 4 hours on the bike is a real win. Maybe I should see how far I can get in two hours, north, south, east, and west. Now there's  a goal! Get out, unwind. Explore. Decompress. Reset and be ready for the weekend. Take “me time” so I’m ready for all the “not me time”.

Limited weekend excursions.

Time with Dad, Russ, Todd. Time alone/ away to reflect, get perspective, regroup. Opportunity to explore. Need to do some planning for the spring ride, the group is itching to go new places, and see new things. Also, a weekend ride to the kettles is doable and works well with schedules.

Just a great way to start the day. Stay connected to the outside world/ seasons/ elements/ weather. Practice. Practice. Practice. Keep my skills sharp/ head in the game. I think it’s more dangerous to be an occasional rider, always fighting through the rust, never improving.

Parking lot drills. Find a lot, get to work.
Training, MSF refresher/ expert. Dakota Tech classes.
Get out and do this.

Test runs.
Fix, make adjustments and do some testing. With the new FI bike I should have less of this but, it has been a big part of my riding. Like trying to figure out my fuel issue that only happens on hot days w/ steady throttle and a ¼ tank. Had to put in the wrenching hours and test miles for that one! (It’s hard to be me)

Buying and selling. Urgh.
Almost as bad as a mechanical issue that you can’t pin down. I just don’t enjoy the transition. I prefer to know a bike really well and focus on the other aspects of riding, like road strategy and planning adventures. I’ll be doing some selling in the spring. Hopefully it will be quick and I can move on.

Physical health
Bicycle commuting and hitting the gym. I sit at a desk most days and it's just not a healthy thing to do. One of the biggest factors in my mental and physical health is setting aside some time to put in some real physical effort several times a week. It just changes you outlook on the world. Cary over goal form last winter: cycle to work 2x per week. (Yes, I said winter.)

Just a quick brainstorm of possibilities, goals maybe. The core of my goals are to stay sharp on the bike and to stay (get really) fit off the bike. To be present and prepared.

- Ride North

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Finding direction

It's time to reassess and refocus. What do I need? What do I want out of motorcycling? We've transitioned  form an infant/ toddler household to something considerably easier, or maybe I'm just enjoying this stage of parenting more.

The family circus act has changed and my motorcycling needs have changed with it. I'm not necessarily free to roam the planet on 2 wheels, but I do have considerably more opportunities to spend days in the saddle. Opportunities I don't always take.

Back when the kid was really little I was tied to the homestead. I kept my head in the game by undertaking some shop projects in the garage, a 1978 Yamaha and a 1996 Triumph. I learned a lot about working on old bikes but I also learned that I get too emotionally involved in the process. Something difficult becomes frustrating, failures can become battles. That's not something I need to drag back into the house with me. Although I did find some Zen and Art along the way. Maturity? Maybe but, it's a process you need to be open to.

"If you're going to sit, sit. If you're going to stand, stand. But never wobble." - a Zen saying

Are the stakes too high now? The kid needs a dad, and I need to be there for him as he grows. Mrs. North need Mr. North and I need her. The weight of this has never felt heaver, the stakes are the same but served with a deeper appreciation.

What am I getting from motorcycling? Challenge and triumph. Questions and answers. Transportation.

Whenever I'm gone on the bike I develop a better appreciation for being back. I think that's the core of why I do it. To better love and understand what it means to be home with my family and routines. And that has real value. It's something I don't bring into my relationships otherwise. (I'm a miserable grump when I get trapped into a routine for too long.)

As a Geezer with a Grudge once wrote, "If you're not asking yourself these questions, you have no business on a motorcycle." (or something to that affect)

"If you are going to ride, ride. But never wobble." - Mark Richardson

- Ride North

Richardson, M. (2008). Zen and now: On the trail of Robert Pirsig and Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.