Wednesday, April 15, 2015

First commute of the 2015 season

Commuting got off to a late start this year.

I've been working on the bikes, not riding them.

All that changed this morning.  The weather is nice enough that the defective heated grip couldn't keep me off the road.  The Vespa was the only riding choice I could make.  I worked on the Shadow until about ten past ten last night and managed to complete the horn circuit, and re-install the neck covers and gas tank.  There's still a horn bracket to fashion and the horn to install, then the saddles, rack and sissy bar to install.  I want to change the exhaust too.  Once all that is done, it's still not a great commuting choice for lack of adequate storage.  In time, in time, the Shadow will commute, I promise.

The first commute of the year is more like flying a plane than driving a car.  I had a checklist as long as my arm:
  • Check and adjust the tire pressure
  • Gather all the gear
    • Helmet
    • Jacket
    • Down liner
    • Boots
    • Gauntlets
    • Neck protector (buff)
    • Earplugs
    • Sun glasses
  • Install the GPS and power supply
  • Install the power supply for the iPhone
  • Adjust the Termoscud lap apron
  • Stow the odds and ends on the bike
    • Briefcase
    • Sunglass case
    • Multi-tool
    • Lunch
Riding all comes back pretty quickly.  I am so much more focused and alert as a rider than a driver.

In spite of it all, there were things that I missed:
  • The power supply for the Garmin was out of sorts so the GPS came on, went off, came on, went off, beeping loudly each time, and eventually, and mercifully, died.
  • I forgot to charge the Sena.  Ten minutes into the commute she announced "Battery level is low... Goodbye"
  • My right mirror was just off a tad because the mirror stem was mis-aligned.
With those features out-of-whack the commute was just a tad unsettling, particularly the mirror issue.  I re-adjusted it when I got to the office.  I plugged the GPS and the Sena into a portable power supply for the day.  Those little irritants will be gone in a few hours, and be banished for the season.

And just because not everything that should screw up does screw up, the right grip limped along and kept my hand comfortable all the way to work.  Ha!

The commute was glorious.  It didn't even bother me that when I got to my usual spot in the garage, I found a Ducati Monster had parked across the designated moto spots, selfishly taking up as much of the three spots as a Ducati Monster can.  Fortunately, there's always room for one more Italian.  I was tempted to roll the Monster back a foot or two, but didn't.  We Vespa riders are adaptable, and courteous to a fault.

18 comments:

  1. Wait- you commute with a GPS? Commuting is the definition of knowing where you are going, no? I love commuting because it's all about the ride not the destination and knowing everything about the road frees my brain.

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    1. It's more for speed than direction during the commute. There are speed traps all over, some unforgiving speed cams too.

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  2. Like Michael said, still need to GPS to find your way to work. Memory not what it used to be?

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    1. The other consideration is that Montreal is a very big place and occasionally I need to get somewhere I've never been before and I don't have the luxury of getting unlost.

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  3. Ok, those two guys already bashed you with regards to using a GPS to get to work. But, hey, maybe it's a psychological issue and all you really want is riding anywhere but to work...? ;-)

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    1. Very funny! I like more information than less, and speedometers are not reliable. I want to go as fast as I can without risking fines and demerits. On the autoroute it varies from 70 kmh (ridiculous) to 100 kmh, but the police are known to tolerate up to 120 kmh in a 100 zone. So I manage my speed at about 118 kmh. So the accurate measurement is quite important, hence the GPS. I leave the display in the mode where it displays the speed in great big numbers and hides the map.

      Siri can provide directions very well, but she doesn't report on speed.

      Finally, the thought that with the GPS I might veer off and go anywhere is tantalizing, and one more good excuse to have a GPS handy, Thanks Sonja.

      Delete
  4. Lawyer by day, moto-mechanic by night. Have you found your new calling?

    Just tell those two the GPS gives you live traffic reports, yeah, that's it.

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    1. ... You can get traffic reports on a GPS????

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  5. Nice that you could get back out on the bike. I get around those pesky first ride of the season issues by riding all year around ;)

    Yes, I'm lucky with our weather really not getting too out of control. I did have the heated grips on this morning...

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    1. What Andrew said.

      I'm still waiting for last years riding season to end...

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    2. A 'rounder' in paradise, who could have imagined ;)

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    3. Now a 'rounder' in the friggin' frigid far north of the the continent that already has 'north' in its name, who's gonna believe that????

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  6. Wait....bikes have something that tell you how fast your going?

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    1. Oh Rob, you need to get an Italian bike. The have speedometers now. Not accurate speedometers though.

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  7. Couldn't find a way to block that Monster in?

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    1. He was there this morning, successfully blocking 2 of 3 spaces. I parked in the rightmost spot.

      Thought of leaving a note hinting that the lines suggest the orientation expected... But didn't.

      Next up, I'll get in early, and park across the spots to return the favour.

      Delete
  8. Congrats on your commute! Feels great does't it?
    Quite the list...but good to do. Glad you remembered lunch. ;)

    When I picked up my GTS I thought I'd prepared well...as I was driving down, had to pack everything instead of wearing it....laid out the gear, shoes, etc, etc....and managed to forget earplugs and boots (walked right past them...grr). Nothing to stop a ride tho...

    Hope its a great ...and safe season.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Dave getting back into the swing of riding does take quite a bit of preparation. It will be weeks before it all becomes second nature again.

      I'm curious to see how you feel about the GTS. At first it felt like such a big step up.

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