Thursday, April 23, 2009

Is Your Motorcycle a Toy?

Abstract GT
There are motorcycle owners who refer to their bikes as toys. In the vain of “He who dies with the most toys wins”. Not a philosophy I subscribe too; but you know the type. They collect toys, their bike(s) amongst them. It seems to me that these owners like to play dress up, with themselves and with their bikes. They decorate them with leather, chrome, studs, fancy paint and other accessories. They do likewise with themselves, buying themselves the “right” look, the ladies have pretty boots and exposed cleavage. No one will accuse this lot of being “serious” riders.
Hogback Mountain
Can one conclude that serious riders do not have motorcycles for toys? Not at all. Many owners buy themselves seriousness. They have the best bike, the best gears and maybe they even go on the best rides. I can’t really relate to them either. I often find them a bore to talk to, and they condescendingly explain to me why what they have is superior to what I have. Big eye roll to them.
Hogback Mt
My bikes are neither toys nor essentials. And that brings me to my topic today. I’ve decided to take the K12GT off the road this season. It is an expense that I can not justify as I hunker down for a period of MIA income. It’s already registered, so I’ll keep that. I don’t owe any money on it. I did learn that I can’t drop the insurance on it in quite the way I expected. I was able to reduce the bill by 1/3, I was hoping to drop it my 2/3, but the insurance companies did not want me messing with their bottom line. Taking it off the road will save me at least a grand, in the tires and maintenance that won’t be happening.
Cafe Lotus
I’m a little blue about this, but putting it into perspective, I’m not going too feel bad about having only one BMW on the road while other people are having their houses foreclosed on.
I am setting my sights at joining the ranks of the self employed. I am building my web, Photoshop and photography skills and putting together a business plan. I have spent to long getting paid well to do work I don’t particularly enjoy. So I’m bracing for the opposite, lower income, higher levels of happiness. Making such a move makes me very nervous. But I need to listen to my own advice – whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right. I have eaten bigger elephants than this.
Track Day
Lisa and I are flying (literally) off to St Louis. After the MOA Board Meeting, we’re heading downtown to spend the school vacation week. With camera in tow, and beautiful weather predicted, I know we’ll have a grand time. See you when we get back!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Thumbs up to Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield

I'm walking back from the mail box opening a letter from Anthem. It's a claim recap letter, you know the one that tells you what was charged and how much they covered?
And much to my delight, this is yet another claim recap indicating that I am covered for the service I received. Covered. How nice. By simply covering me for a check up, some lab work and an immunization shot for Lisa, Anthem has gained my applause and left me a very satisfied customer.

For 3 years I was "covered" by a policy at work. Covered meant I paid premiums every week and EVERY SINGLE claim recap said I was not covered. In three years, I doubt if I received $100 worth of benefit. Luckily I was forced to seek my own policy when the State of New Hampshire told the insurer they could no longer write such a rip off of a policy (probably not their exact words). Rather than going "cobra" with the same plan, I sought an individual (plus one) policy. I do not blame that other carrier for writing the lame policy, I blame the wholly owned subsidiary of the large privately owned investment company that I worked for for offering substandard coverage for its temporary work force.

Let me tell you, if you do not have preexisting conditions and you are on Cobra, you are probably being robbed blind! Individual policies can be affordable, the folks that profit from the administration of Cobra want you to think otherwise. Even the stimulus package supports the growth of Cobra by covering some of the bloated payments; while ignoring those of us that did our homework, called around and secured coverage on our own.

My helmet off to you Anthem, the Lumenos plan is just the product we need.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Spring is here and it is beautiful!

Found these signs of spring around the house today and just had to share them. Enjoy!

Signs of spring!

Signs of spring!

It's Here, It's Here, Spring is Here!

Signs of spring!


Monday, April 13, 2009

An Easter without Bunnies

Easter Day Ride
I don't find it important to be doing what everyone else is doing (how obvious is that?). Truth be told, I lean the other way, and prefer doing the opposite. When it comes to holidays it's nice that I have someone that is on the same page as I am.

With no kids at home, Kevin and I decided to pass on the egg hunt, in lieu of the wifi hunt. We set out to find the ADV MA Tag. Haven't played Tag-O-Rama yet? It involves a camera and a bike, how perfect for me!

We grabbed the tag in Lincoln, MA. If we'd had more time, we'd have stopped to photograph the dafodills that lined the street near the DeCordova Museum. Spring, it's so close.
Gropius House Lincoln MA

The key to grabbing tag is speed. Strategically I figured everyone else was home eating chocolate bunny ears. But you still want to post ASAP. We ran off to find some free wifi.

Hey look, here is some at the Best Western in Concord (MA)
Best Western has wireless

Type Kevin type...faster man, we don't want to get Bruced.
Type faster!

We got the tag, traveled down the road for a new picture and stopped to warm up. Despite the bright sun, we never saw 40.
Hmmm, traditional Easter Dinner for the motorcyclist.
Easter Dinner

And that is how I spent my Easter Sunday. 10 years to the day that I earned my MC endorsement. I hope you did something that you like with your day!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Remember Being a New Rider?

Good day for the pedal bike
I was noticing yesterday that there are a lot of similarities between being a new motorcyclist and new bicyclist. It was the spring on 1999 I earned my motorcycle endorsement and purchased my K75. I remember those first few weeks. I stayed close to home, familiarized myself with my bike, tried to learn to shift without thinking about it and didn't have all the nice coordinated gear that I saw on other riders. That is exactly how I felt riding my bicycle around town yesterday.

Bottoms Up
Of course the new motorcyclist doesn't have to worry about sucking wind, but many of the insecurities are the same. As a newbie, I really notice when I gain a lot of speed. I worry about braking properly and effectively. I hope nothing breaks because I don't have the right tools (let along knowledge) on how to fix anything. I know I must look like a noob, I am wearing ordinary sneakers, mismatched work-out clothes and helmet.

I just walked in from Florida and my leg is killing me
We all know a newbie on a motorcycle when we see one. They duck walk the bike in the parking lot, they are wearing work boots and old gloves. They might have a denim jacket on and an ill fitting helmet. I think I'll cut them a break...because I've been reminded what its like to be a noob.

Who shall we feed?

When I bought my pedal bike last year, I hoped to eventually ride to work. Well I don't work there any more, but I rode over anyway, and took some pictures. I felt a little pride in accomplishing my goal, a little late, but still a satisfying. I hope to keep it up, and eventually I'll open up my world and make it out to the next town! And in 4-5 years, who knows maybe I'll go further than I ever thought I would.