Friday, April 11, 2014

First commute of 2014

On Monday, April 7, 2014 at 07h34, I rolled out of the garage, headed to the office, marking the start of the 2014 scooter commuting season.

The long slow route was the way I chose to go.  I stuck to the surface streets getting used to riding once more.  I needed to get out of my too complacent car-driving habits and back into my vigilant riding routine.

From the late fall to the early spring there is plenty of time for winter to erase things that not so long ago were automatic.

Getting back into the scooter commuting routine involves reviving the rituals that were second nature, but that manage to elude me a little at the start of the season.  Like remembering not to forget to cancel the turn indicators, remembering to put the earplugs in before I put the helmet on, checking to make sure the side stand really is up, and the list goes on.

Then there's the scooter that needs to shake its bugs out too.  Like the check engine light that came on once or twice during the first day's commute, or the left windshield mount that shook itself loose over a rough section of St-Patrick street.   I tried to fix that at lunch time but the pressure mount seems to have fallen apart, shedding a critical part inside the headset.  I ended up jury-rigging a temporary solution with a ROK pack strap.

I've now got three commutes under my belt and that old familiar feeling, the joy of riding, the focus, the nimble swooping way the bike takes turns and corners, the swift acceleration that leaves a yawning gap between me and the car behind me on the expressway, is all flooding back.  This is why I ride.

PS for Richard:

Here is what's left of winter in our back yard.


RichardM said...

Congrats on getting out on your scooter again. Has all of the snow gone away by now or are there still scattered piles hanging around?

SonjaM said...

Good for you. Scootering to and from work puts something special in every day. It makes the ride home even nicer ;-)

David Masse said...

Richard, we still have snow, but we've had double digit positive temps so it's now melting reasonably well.

I will post a PS with a photo of our yeard from a second story window.

David Masse said...

Sonja, it really does make a for a nice commuting experience.

Unknown said...


I've only ridden to work twice this season. I don't mind the commute in the morning, but I dislike the heavy traffic in the evening.

I like being on the "open road"

anyway, take it easy and don't take the freeway until you feel ready

A weekend photographer or Riding the Wet Coast

SonjaM said...

Bob, where I live and work right now, there is nothing else but the open road... traffic is almost nonexistent. Hardly to believe I am saying this about Germany where traffic jam was invented.

David Masse said...

I think that motor scooters are really the best choice for urban commuting on powered two wheelers. They're suitably nimble and able to squeeze through congestion. Plus the automatic transmission makes slow speed travel in congested areas much easier and less tiring than having to continuously feather the clutch to crawl along. In tight spaces a little rear brake makes ultra slow speed maneuvering a snap as well.

Even on the freeway when the traffic bogs down there is joy in my commute. Especially with my favorite music streaming into my helmet through the Sena.

Steve Williams said...


The return to riding after a long winter is just pure magic. Even for someone like me who does some riding in the cold it is just a different beast when the riding season cracks open.

Ride safe and have fun!

Coop a.k.a. Coopdway said...

I'm not a commuter but appreciate that of which you speak regarding 'ramping back into it'. Those first few miles will be almost heavenly; the comfort and confidence will return quickly.

Be safe and enjoy your "to" and "from" rides!

David Masse said...

Steve, you are absolutely right. I really think it's something that non-riders can't fathom.

I know that it came as a real revelation to me when I started. There is no way I anticipated just how much fun it turned out to be. More pure joy or magic than fun to be honest.

David Masse said...

Doug, you're right. In fact I took the freeway home. The old habits do return. By the end of the week I was congratulating myself for actually remembering to turn off the indicators.

The copyright in all text and photographs, except as noted, belongs to David Masse.