Fuel

Hey Kids,

3500 was the number I believe I heard. 3500 cyclists. That’s how many riders were to participate in today’s event.

Every year, riders chosen by qualification and lotto converge onto the small town of Lewiston, Utah. Each is there to ride their choice of multiple courses ranging from 27 miles to 100 miles.

There is no race, no trophy, or even a way to judge their performance against any other. They do it just for the fun of it. Some dress up in fun costumes, others are as professional as an Olympic athlete. Actually the only thing they share is that they are all women.PART_1496529003754

I also participated, but not as a rider. Obviously. But instead I volunteered as course marshal. I rode along with the many riders who chose to ride the 100 mile course. I followed along, I blocked traffic, checked on riders pulled off to the side, and played cheerleader- minus the pom-poms. There are worse things than spending all day on my motorcycle, being a watchdog over 3500 women, and enjoying the backroads of the Cache County farm country.

And although I volunteered for this duty to show support for my wife and daughter who were part of the 3500 riders and expected nothing in return- I accepted the $20 of gas money offered.

Gas money is gas money, you know.

 

Post 3-154

Doing Alright

Hey Kids,

Am I lucky?

I rode a motorcycle to work.

I have a job. It pays.

I ate breakfast this morning and Take-and-Bake Pizza for dinner.

I have a place to call home. It has a roof that doesn’t leak and an oven that works.

I own a phone and a laptop and a TV. More computer fighting power than what put a man on the moon.

It’s raining tonight- another kick to the dead horse called the drought (a good thing in this case).shapeimage_3

My bed awaits. It has covers and a sleeping wife and cat who love me.

Am I lucky? I don’t know, but you’d be hard pressed to conclude I have it rough.

I’m doing alright.

 

Post 3-108

Come Monday

Hey Kids,

Looks like the motorcycle commuting will end at 3 days.

Rain moved in and it’ll be changing to snow tonight. The storms will pass but the cold and snow left behind may not allow riding conditions come Monday.bus stop

I’ll ride in any temp (at least the ones around here), but when there’s ice on the road, the bike has to remain parked.

It’s was so time saving to have the motorcycle this past week. No waiting for buses, no stopping every block, and no set timetable. I felt like a real person again.

Come Monday, I’ll be back to a bus drone.

It’s OK. The earth will keep spinning around the sun and get to leaning back towards the sun (for us northern people anyways) and the snow will all die. The heat and sane riding season will return.

I’m finding as I get older, I enjoy the cold less and less.

 

Post 338

Chilly AM’s

Hey Kids,1711529046_1cb1673cd1

The snow has receded back to the mountains but it left its cold behind. The mornings are the coldest and tomorrow, we’re expecting possibly down into the 20’s.

It’s funny. Leaving in the morning on the bike, it has been in the mid to upper 30’s and I think, “Damn this is cold!”

Yet come January and the middle of winter and I see a 35° day in the forecast. I’ll be thinking, “Heat wave!”

NaNoWriMo: 18,691/50,000

Day 261

Bike Therapy

Hey Kids,

Work has sucked.

The day job anyway.

What to do?

Get on my bike and ride.

Instead of the normal 10 mile ride from the school to the home, I decided to turn right where I usually go straight.

The slight turn ultimately lead me out of town and up a canyon and up into the mountains.

Over the first summit and reverse following the path the original Mormon pioneers followed into the Salt lake Valley, I looked out across the first lake. Being Wednesday, no one was enjoying the lake that I could see.

View from Big Mountain

View from Big Mountain

I took the next turn and continued up higher until I reached the summit of Big Mountain at 7400ft.

I didn’t stop. I cruised the downhill side of the mountain range until it passed yet another reservoir and flattened into farmlands and a winding road strolling from one field to the next.

A quick jaunt down an interstate and another highway brought me back out of the mountains and into the populated North Davis County part of the Great Salt Lake valley.

A few more miles south and I found myself at home. A nearly 100 mile commute.

I burnt some fuel that warmed the planet .000000000000001°, but with that sacrifice I found peace in the sound of my own wheels. I watched the pines parade past. I watch the blue sky darken and threaten rain, but restrained.

I saw some deer that stayed well away from the road and I mooed at a cow and meowed at a cat that watched me roll by.

Most of all, I thought. Not of work, but of people, of projects, and my place in this thing called life. Not in a deep way, but in a soothing, relaxing, take-it-easy way.

It was also a good road test for the newly repaired bike.

The Suzuki received its official clean bill of health. And so did I.

 

Day 191

A Modern Miracle of Recovery and Repentance

Hey Kids,

A tremendous weight has been lifted from my shoulders.

Can I get a Hallelujah?

I have sinned and I have repented. And more than repented, I have been redeemed.

Or at least my motorcycle has.

My dear C50, He who died, has been raised again.

He who had good health taken away, has had it given back.

The Good Book

The Good Book

The Suzuki and the owner induced error has been resolved.

The Throttle Position Sensor- justified.

The blemish of the FI light on the dash no more.

A new battery has been blessed and restored the power. As if granted from on high, the starter now starts.

The 2007 Suzuki Boulevard C50 has been restored thanks to the good book and further revelations bestowed by the great Internet.

I, its tormenter, have been severely shamed and admonished to go and sin no more.

At least until the next time I decide to tinker.

Amen.

 

(What am I talking about? https://mikemjensen.com/2015/08/16/i-still-want-to-blame-the-bike/ )

Day 187

Love at Next Sight

Hey Kids,

I fell in love today.

My new love?

Huntsville, Utah.4th-of-july-at-texas

In the midst of a Hell’s Hot Saturday, we decided to hop on the bike and head up into the middle of the mountains to the little town in the middle of a lake (on a peninsula). And in the middle of this town is a restaurant that sells pieces of heaven called Texas Barbeque (speaking of Hell’s Hot) in the middle of tall shade trees, large lawns, and historic buildings.

IMG_20150627_132229We sat outside under the tall shade trees, systematically trying every part of our Texas Sampler. The heat of the day disappeared with the cool breezes weaving their way to our table. We thought it couldn’t get any better. Then,

The store next store sells shakes. Need I really explain anything beyond that?

Huntsville is my new favorite place.

Again.

I’ve been before. But every time I go there, it’s like I fall in love all over again.

And I’m sure I will again.

 

Day 124

Smile

Hey Kids,

On the way home, I skim along the edges and cut across the mouth of one of the seven canyons of the Salt Lake Valley, City Creek Canyon.

It’s a one way road for motorized vehicles. The other half of the road is reserved for walkers, joggers and pedal bikers. It’s a nice stretch of road to unwind from the day.

The other day and for no reason for which I can recall, I felt a smile form on my face. It just popped out of nowhere. The joy ride took over I guess. But it was a BIG smile.

Riding in the opposite direction, a lady pedaled her bicycle. Our eyes met and she erupted in a smile as wide as mine. I’m sure she wondered what had me so happy but I imagine the novelty of seeing someone so apparently happy forced the equal reaction from her.

I, of course, laughed next and had that thought in my head the rest of the way home and couldn’t help but smile and laugh.962d9fde452736de6fd1da532a301ba2

It made my day.

Maybe I just need to smile more. Smile more freely. Smile like a monkey with a new banana.

And maybe I just did.

 

Day 102

Light It Up

Hey Kids,

It’s said that lightning doesn’t strike twice. I’m not really concerned with that. I’m really more concern with the first time.

Last night riding home, it seemed that all was well. The skies were a bit gray but not bad. I could see all the way across the valley so it wasn’t raining anywhere close.

Instead of rushing home like I should have, I stopped at the store and did some shopping for dinner. I took my time. Made some good purchases including a killer deal on some pork chops. Yum!

When I exited the store, the weather had changed dramatically. The sky had darkened to a black and the rain had begun to fall. No, more like tumble. In buckets, mind you. It’s ok I can take wet. I packed the saddle bags with my groceries and headed off for the short 8 mile ride home. It turned out to be a long 8 miles.

I took the route that wraps through a residential area, past the mouth of a canyon along a forested road, past the Utah State Capitol Building, and thru the Industrial section of North Salt Lake City. My home lies in just the next town, just inside of city limits. There really isn’t any cover to dodge under along this route.

The Lightening began as soon as I venture out of the store’s parking lot.

At first it was still a ways out. I was able to count a few counts before the thunder. That changed. By the time I got to the capitol, the delay had vanished and the crack of the thunder would nearly shake me off the bike. The flash became like spotlights and I thought it only a matter of time before one hit me. I guess it was good to be a moving target.

Similar storm, next day; and watching it from the inside.

Similar storm, next day; and watching it from the inside.

I don’t have a death wish and had I thought of a really good place to stop, I might have, But I had another thought run through my head. If I got struck by lightning, it would be immediate and I wouldn’t know it happened. I would either be gone for good or wake up in a hospital some time later. If it wanted me, it would have me. It was just complete random; there was nothing I could do to stop or alter it. Riding in a serpentine would only leave me on the road longer.

I rode through and stopped thinking about it and enjoyed the ride, as miserable as it was. And I lived to tell about it.

If you’re in a lightning storm it’s probably best to stop. But if you don’t- you made your decision, accept it.

Harsh? Maybe. But it’s my harsh and I’m sticking to it.

Don’t ever ride scared.

On a bike or through Life.

There’s not a whole lot of difference.

 

Day 85