Ride

While clearing the backlog of emails from the blog, I got asked if I still ride my motorcycle. The answer is yes. I ride it pretty much every week back and forth to work. I haven’t been doing many long rides due to my continuing diplopia and I "still" haven’t fixed the cracked fin on the left side.1

You’ll remember I had the two eye surgeries to fix some ongoing issues over a year ago. All the structural issues were fixed and doing well. However, the right eye muscles never adjusted back to normal. The eye had adjusted for so long the muscles are now out of alignment. Luckily, it only affects my vision at up-right and direct-up angles. However, these are the very angles used while riding a sport bike. hehehe I see well enough I can drive day to day commutes and short rides just fine. However, I’m not sure how well I’d do on longer rides. I do exercises to try and bring the eyes in line but if I do to many or I strain against the double vision too much the eyes actually get fatigued and the diplopia increases until I let my eyes rest. I’m planning to go back this year for the extra (and hopefully last) surgery.

This last surgery should be interesting. Basically, they numb you up but you are still awake. They go in, snip the muscle loose from the base, and put a suture on it. They adjust the suture as you describe improvements to your vision. When it reaches normal (or almost normal) vision, they tie it off and let it heal. Bam! The caveat is if the adjustment is too severe I may not go back to a full 100%. That is ok with me. I just need a modular improvement. The latter being why I put it off this long. I was hoping over time my eyes would adjust on their own. Sadly, they haven’t.

So to answer your question (Tony), yes I still ride just not as often. I do kinda miss it. Especially on sunny warm days.

  1. It isn’t that expensive but I just have other priorities []

101

DMV 101 that is. After a few random yet repeated issues with people not knowing basic traffic laws I’d thought I’d offer up a PSA. hehehe

No, you do not get to block an intersection because you couldn’t bear the idea of waiting on a light. You can’t legally pull into an intersection unless you can pull all the way thru it, including the crosswalks. The reasons why you got ‘trapped’ are irrelevant. If you get tagged by a red-light camera, it is a non-moving violation. If you get tagged by a cop, it is a moving violation and goes on your license.1

No, you can’t pull into the opposite lane of traffic to go around a double parked vehicle while other cars are coming. You do not have the ‘right-of-way’ simply because you pulled into the opposite lane before the other car got close enough. If anything were to happen you are at fault.

No, you can’t text and drive no matter how slowly your car is moving.

No, you shouldn’t bicycle and text either. When you fly over your handlebars after hitting the MUNI tracks, you have no one to blame but yourself.

And lastly, No you can’t legally park in the MUNI bus stop and then be surprised you got a $250 ticket.

Now you know.

🙂

  1. or it can []

Safe

I got into a 4181 with a friend of a friend the other day on FB. It got rather disagreeable and he ended up blocking me. Not the point of my rant though.

He is a motorcycle rider like myself. He posted a pic of him and another friend of his riding their bikes on a sunny day wearing absolutely no protective gear. No helmets, not padding, nadda. I posted a half-joking comment asking where his gear was. My comment was, “Hmmm, this pic must be staged cause I don’t see your gear.” I added an lol and smiley face to emphasize I was teasing. He then proceeds to blow up my messages with all the reasons I’m an a**hole for even hinting he should be wearing gear.

Granted none of his excuses were remotely valid but he was right in that it is his choice. But I don’t think my polite nudge was rude or offensive. If he is stupid enough to ride w/o any gear, so be it. The part the struck me is how vociferous he was in his attack on me for suggesting he was being irresponsible. As if I somehow impugned his integrity. Whatevs. I was politely trying to encourage you to be more responsible. Shame on me right?

As for my interjection, I look at this way. If you ‘friend’ me on any social medium, you are inviting my feedback and comments. While I am respectful, I will often give you an honest opinion, even if it isn’t the one you want to hear.

  1. verbal altercation []

Spring

Spring time has hit SF. The trees and flowers are blooming like crazy. And while we still get fog, it’s nice to shake off the funk of winter. The days are longer and even on chilly days we’ve been getting a lot sunshine.

Warmer days also means more motorcycle rides! I didn’t get to ride much last summer. This year I’m in a better position and able to focus on fun activities like riding my bike.

I feel a bit out of practice as my only rides these last few months have been back and forth to work and an occasional ride over to the beach. I’m itching to get out on the windy open roads and let my beast purr a bit.

Rev

It’s always nice when I can educate other drivers about motorcycle riders. Even if it starts out pissy.

The other day, I’m coming home from work. I pull up to a car at the light. And as I normally do, I rev my engine as I pass to let the cars know I’m coming. One lady didn’t understand this I guess. She happened to be next to me at the next light and decided to roll down her window and attempt to tell me off.

Lady: Why do you guys always do that? It’s so rude. Why do you have to roar your engine and be so disruptive!
Me: *After flicking open my helmet and smiling* Ma’am, we aren’t trying to be rude, we’re actually trying to be courteous and let you know we’re next to your vehicle. That way you don’t suddenly turn into us and run us over with a vehicle that is usually 4-6 times our size and weight.
Lady: *bewildered look and half open mouth attempting to formulate a new thought after abruptly having to discard the last intended one*
Lady: *more pause*
Lady: Oh. I didn’t know that. I always wondered why so many of you people [yes she really said you people] do that. Now it makes perfect sense. Thank you.

The ironic part of this whole things is at the very next intersection she turned right and almost ran over a cyclist!

I normally wouldn’t bring it up but having explained it to a buddy and another random car driver less than 2 months ago, I felt it was worthy of a PSA. If you live in a state like Cali, where lane-sharing is legal (or not) that motorcycle driver revving his engine next to you isn’t being a dick, he is trying not to get run over, have you pull into him, or open your car door unexpectedly and hit him. Yes some riders are total lane hogs and/or dicks but that doesn’t make us all bad.

And as many of us moto riders are fond to saying to each other when parting, ‘keep the shiny side up!

Fatality

I got into an argument the other day with a fellow rider about helmet safety. He doesn’t ride in our group but we see each other around and online. Anyway, he was bitching and moaning about getting a ticket for riding his bike w/no helmet. I was sort of shocked.

He tried to argue there wasn’t any real difference in riding w/o a helmet. It boggles my mind that anyone in this day and age would even argue that not wearing a helmet is a good idea. Naturally, the biggest blowhards always rant about ‘big government interfering with my rights, blah blah blah.’  Bullshit!  When you actually press someone it usually comes out that they don’t like wearing helmets for one of two reasons, style or comfort. True to my theory, he finally admitted he didn’t like wearing a helmet because it didn’t “look cool.”  And my reply, “well, if you think looking cool is more important than saving your skull then you’re a prime candidate for natural selection.”  We agreed to disagree at that point. lol  Virtually every agency I checked showed that wearing a helmet decreases the fatality factor by 35-38%  That’s pretty damn significant! 

I grew up riding dirt bikes and three-wheelers. Back then, I never wore a helmet because no one told me and I was too young to really think about it. Looking back on it, I’m lucky I didn’t end up dead or a quadriplegic. We used to do some crazy shit , jumping blocks, donuts, wheelies, jumping over gullies, etc. lol Of course, as an adult, I do know better.

Sadly, some states still only recommend helmets vs requiring them. In my old stopping grounds of Texas, a law requiring helmet use was actually repealed!1  California law requires a helmet for any 2-wheeled vehicle 50cc’s and above.

On a side note, I learned an interesting statistic while researching the stats for my little rant today. Almost half of fatal motorcycle accidents involve alcohol! I couldn’t imagine driving my bike while intoxicated. One, my balance is screwed up enough just walking much less driving a 400+ lb piece of machinery that requires me to execute balance maneuvers as a matter of course. Two, I’ve been the victim of a drunk driver and I’d never forgive myself if I injured (or worse, killed) someone because of my drinking and driving.

The moral of my little rant? Don’t be an idiot. If you ride, ride safely. That includes wearing PPE (personal protective equipment).

  1. I’m not surprised. []

Werk

I’ve been neglecting the blog again. *shame shame*

Anyway, I’ve lost most of the holiday/accident fat weight I gained from October to February. I have about 10 pounds to go before I’m back to my normal threshold. I’m not pushing it hard as I simply don’t mind but it feels good to be looking svelte again. hehehe

I’m not quite back to my old max weights yet in the gym but getting closer. The shoulder is doing good and no latent pain.1  I’m taking the opportunity to expand my workouts. I worked out with Apple guy one day a while back and did legs. I don’t do leg weights often as I walk a lot. I wasn’t nearly as bad or weak as I expected. I couldn’t keep up with him but I did pretty well considering. Of course, my damn legs were so sore over the next 3 days I could bare walk. I almost fell down the stairs at work several times. lolol

Speaking of, I love my little workout app on the Android. Its called Workout Coach and does an excellent job of helping track my progress. Its not overly robust with pre-installed exercises but that’s a small price to pay for usability. It hasn’t been updated in a long time though. I’m ‘scurred’ the app owner has abandoned it. I’d gladly donate to keep him working on it.

Thanks to everyone for all the well wishes via twitter, FB, loopt, etc on being back in the gym and on the bike! Its definitely helping my moods.

  1. A very good thing! []

Return

I finally got another bike! As you can see from the pic, it looks very similar to my old one. In truth, it is the same year/make/model minus about 6,000 miles. It came with custom rims and a custom muffler. Apple guy found it online at a dealer in Santa Rosa.1  I might keep the rims as I like the color but the muffler is a huge annoyance. It makes the bike super loud and I hate that. I know for some that’s a bonus but not me. My ego2 are big enough, I don’t need something super loud and annoying to announce my presence to the world. lol

I’ve missed riding so much and am sooo happy to have a bike again! Getting around in SF isn’t much of a problem but I’ve missed being able to just hop on my bike and go for a ride. I’m been using co-workers for rides back and forth to work, Zip cars for errands, and MUNI for everything else. I don’t mind public transit, especially the underground tunnel, but you have to add 30/40 minutes to everything  you wanna do.

This coming Sunday will be 4 months to the day since the accident. To say I’m rusty is an understatement. lol I had to drive the bike home from Santa Rosa, which went fine but it was all freeway. I’m planning a short leisurely group ride this Sunday to help get me back into the sway of things. (Pardon the pun. lol)

  1. A good hour and half north of the city. []
  2. and other parts []

Oh Yeah!

Today was the first day since the accident I worked out w/o any discomfort! The bone has been healed up for awhile now but the surrounding tissue(s)1 have been taking their sweet ass time! Lol  I’ve actually been back in the gym, in a limited capacity, since the end of December. It’s been incredibly frustrating not being able to push myself like I’m accustomed to. But being a smart Moby, I have been taking it easy and gradually pushing myself w/o over doing it. So far, so good.

Not only did I not have any discomfort, I also did a full routine!2 My muscles have that nice tight “pump” that comes from a good workout too. Hehehe  So, now begins the arduous task of building myself back up to previous levels. I also need to continue working off the extra poundage I picked up from not working out over the holidays. (I blame the cookies!)

*

In related news, the search for a new bike continues. I encountered some unexpected delays in getting the loan on my old bike cleared. I should have it all sorted this week hopefully. I MISS having a bike something fierce. I could handle the daily work commutes on MUNI. Every time I see a motorcycle now I get a sad feeling. *sigh* Time to stop dawdling and get on the ball.  Spring is fast approaching and I gotsta have some wheels to go riding with da gang!

  1. ligament, tendons, muscle, nerves, etc []
  2. insert picture of me doing cartwheels here. Lol []

Progress II

I’m still on the mend. I’ve already regained about 90% of my range of motion. There is very little discomfort in most daily tasks. I’m pretty much back to normal except for a few areas. I obviously can’t work out yet. I go back to the doc on the 20th to see how the bone is healing. Odd angles of pressure still bother me but its more of an annoyance vs real problem. The biggest issue is I can’t sleep on that side yet. Not being able to sleep on my back or stomach, I get restless a lot at night sleeping on just one side trying to remain comfortable.1  I’ve resorted back to Ambien to get me thru the nights. It’s the only drug I’ve found so far that doesn’t leave me all groggy and lethargic in the mornings.

I can’t remember if I mentioned it but the bike was totaled. *sigh*  I’m gonna walk away w/about $3500 after the loan is paid off. Considering I financed the bike at $8k, that’s pretty good. I sent off the powr of attorney paperwork which is the last step in the process. That’s the good news. The bad news is my debt load has increased since I last purchased a bike and I’m worried I may not qualify for a low interest rate. I don’t have anything in the negative but carrying a high debt load does factor into the loan process. I’m hoping because its thru my credit union I will luck out. Keep your fingers crossed.

I’m gonna look for another 07-08 gixxr 750. I love the style and fit of the bike and I miss my beast something fierce. Worst case scenario, if I don’t get a good loan, I’ll work some massive overtime at work and just save up some cash to buy one outright. I’m not really looking to go that route as I’m not big on overtime these days.

My mood is up and down. I hate not being able to work out and with the erratic sleep, I’m cranky and irritable most days now. Another reason for the Ambien. The holiday is fast approaching and I can’t seem to find my xmas spirit. I’m sure it will hit me eventually but I wish it would hurry up already. lol Of course, I could always change my name to Scrooge McGrinch. lol

  1. Apple guy being in Texas at the moment isn’t helping. []