My life, a work in progress.
Failure to provide proof of financial responsibility, when required, will result in the following civil penalties imposed by the Registrar of Motor Vehicles:
That sounds serious. Which is what my wife was thinking this morning when she asked if I’d gotten the bike insured yet (I hadn’t, out of laziness). So I drove the van to work today.
You would think I’d be terrified to be out on the road at all driving an uninsured vehicle. I have no explanation for why I rode to work the last 4 days. Looking back on it, that was really stupid. Stupid stupid.
There are a several things on my TODO list that I’ve been ignoring recently. I don’t have an explanation for that as well. Perhaps I’m just weak from the pounding I took last weekend at the volleyball camp, and it carried over into a kind of mental “don’t care” attitude. I know I have that state of mind, but I can’t pinpoint why.
Even this morning, I’m having trouble getting motivated to think through code problems, despite a good breakfast and coffee. I feel pretty lethargic physically and mentally.
I wish there was more to do at work. I’m stuck working on intermittent bugs, with no real project work ahead. Two major opportunities have disappeared within the last 2-3 weeks, which otherwise would have kept me busy through the summer and possibly into fall. Now, I don’t even know what I’ll be doing in the next month. I’m sure this affects my attitude.
So I’m a bit down today.
Today is the second day I’ve ridden prepared and anticipating a soaking during my daily commute. And it’s the second day of overcast or simply sunny skies while I was on the bike. I’ll just bet that if I left rain gear at home, it would pour.
Not that I’m complaining, mind. I don’t mind riding in either condition; I just love riding period. And the beauty of it is, I’m 131 miles into the 2-gallon tank. :-) At 31 miles per day commute, that’s almost a week’s worth of driving for one fillup. 65.5 mpg is fantastic, and the primary reason we bought the bike.
I figure, comparing the Kia at 20mpg and the Rebel at 70mpg, 30mi total daily commute, $3.50/gal fuel cost, and riding 9 months of the year, I save about $731 in fuel cost. So the bike itself is paid back in a bit under 3 years, and including all the gear, about 3.5 years. Gotta subtract insurance – $99/year from Geico – and potentially extra usage of the Kia, but for sure in 4 years it’s clear and we’re saving $731 per year after that, even more if the price of gas goes up. (wanna take bets?)
Carrying stuff is my second major concern. the guy I bought the bike from threw in a set of saddlebags for nothing; they’re cheap backed leather, and even though I tightened up the yoke, they still hang toward the wheels. I’d need to get a set of brackets. Or make ’em – they run around $40-60 online for just a couple stainless pieces, which is ridiculous.
I bungee’d an igloo cooler to the pillion instead of trying to strap down my gym bag; looked quite a bit neater. I’ve seen a larger luggage box that replaces the pillion cushion that’s big enough to store a helmet, I just don’t recall the manuf/name. It’s in the rebel250 forum somewhere. Anyhow, my igloo works for small stuff; I have a bigger one, but I’d need to relocate the brake light for it to sit level. Alternatively, I could get a luggage rack.
I like the one shown in this thread, and was fascinated to read about the low-temp aluminum brazing he fabricated it with. Turns out there are several kinds (alumiweld, HTS-2000, Durafix, etc), and someone said that Harbor Freight has some small packs; I’m going to stop by a local surplus store on the way home and check. My local hardware store might even have the stuff. Some aluminum stock, and I’m on my way! This seems like a very *doable* project.
Once built and mounted, I can use the larger cooler, which would fit lunch, books, maybe laptop, rain gear, jacket, etc. and easily bungee or velcro in place. Maybe I can get a local guy to bend me a couple stainless saddlebag brackets, and I’m all set for just about anything, rain or shine.
I – who have never owned or ridden one – bought a motorcycle today.
The wife and I have been having an ongoing discussion about finances and vehicles, and one of the options that arose was getting a commuter bike (inexpensive to purchase, great gas mileage, would allow family the van each day). I’d researched bikes a number of years ago and determined that I could get a reasonable one for $2-2.5K, but at the time there was no money for that. Now, however, there was.
I began hunting online again, and found the Honda 250 Rebel. A smallish one, but universally liked as a great starter bike. It’s commonly found in MSF basic courses, and pretty widely available. I zeroed in on Rebels, and found a 2003 for $2000 about an hour away in the sticks. A quick decision to look with the option to buy (we’d already been thinking positively about the motorcycle option), and I hit the road after work to see it.
Good looking except for a gas tank dent, small amount of rust, and an older front tire, it *looked* like what I wanted. The owner ran it through the gears for me (I didn’t even have a permit at the time), threw in a wind screen and side bags, and I gave him what he asked for it. Not sure whether I was just trusting – he was a software guy as well – or naive. But we loaded it on the truck and I hauled it home.
Now I need to take a test to get my permit, and sign up for a MSF course. I should be excited, but it’s still kind of surreal. I never really thought I’d purchase one, especially on such short notice. But it’s a lovely-looking bike, and I’m more than anxious to learn how to ride it.
While the purchase price was pretty reasonable, I’ve started to look at motorcycle gear, which is *anything but* reasonable. I realize that I’m going to need a helmet, gloves, jacket, rain gear, etc. which could easily add another grand. Think I’ll start with the minimum, and add as we can afford it. Hoping to get 60+ mpg, so that’ll help a bit in saving gas money.