Friday, October 28, 2011

Play Date With Max

Last Saturday Troubadour was auditing his second Team Oregon Basic Rider Training Class, which meant I needed to find something to do. It was about 54˚F outside so I decided to ride to Saturday Morning Coffee.

I stopped downtown to fill the bike with petrol, mail a Netflix movie, and arrived just as one other rider was getting there. I ordered my usual: a grande decaf vanilla soy latte. Some days you get a little leaf design in the foam but Saturday was not one of them.

It would be pretty neat if one day they surprised me with this design in the foam.

(Stock photo from the internet)

Everyone was done visiting and started heading out. It was trying to sprinkle a little, but I thought I'd go for a short solo ride despite the dark clouds.

I headed towards home but instead of stopping, kept right on riding out towards Bellfountain and Alpine. It is a route I know and I wasn't sure what the weather was going to do. I wanted to be on the look out for some fall colors so I kept an easy pace.

I made it to Alpine before long and stopped for a snack since it was noon. I had a little Jerquee and water and then took a few pics. The backdrop wasn't so great but it is our usual stopping place.

The yellow jackets were harassing me and climbing in my helmet so I dug this little fella out to block their way.

It seemed to do the trick. Must be the menacing look on his face.

(I thought his yellow matched the school bus in the background)

The weather wasn't getting any better and my feet were chilly so I decided to head the 20 miles home.

About half way there the sun was trying to shine and I found some nice fall colors at the end of someone's driveway.

A little further down the road the sun burst through the clouds. After the yellow of the leaves on the trees I had to stop by this field for some pictures of green.

When I got back on the bike a look in the mirror showed me the clouds I'd outrun. It also showed me a dirty mirror.

Before putting the camera away I turned it on myself.

Upon reflection I'd say it was odd for me to be riding with no other riders around. The 50 miles I went on Saturday was the longest solo ride I've ever done and that wasn't even that far.

I will definitely go out solo again when Troubadour is busy, but my biggest problem is I have no idea where to ride. I like to have a destination in mind and I am hesitant to explore unknown roads when by myself.

Not very adventurous, I know. It will be fun to learn.

- Au Revoir

"By all means use sometimes to be alone. Salute thyself; see what thy soul doth wear." ~ George Herbert



  1. Trobairitz:

    I am in the same position as you but the difference is I have ridden on most of the roads. We don't have many up here due to the contours of the mountains and hills so I find that I don't like duplication to places I have already been.

    so what I do is to use these outings to take photos. I decided where I want to take pictures of then make that a destination. Then it is not about duplicating my rides, but rather try to bring home great images or video, then the ride becomes secondary to your main purpose. Then, when it snows you have stuff to edit on your computer. Right now I am trying to work on a video project and just film the "clips" now, for processing later

    Riding the Wet Coast

  2. oh my, the lttle yella fella must have scared even the clouds away, eh? Nice capture of the fall.
    Like Bob I have been on most of the roads, repeatedly, and some get too boring to repeat but like he said, with some motives in mind the road is merely the path to get there. Having said that, I crave more options of driving around... it's getting a bit boring out here.

  3. I will venture down unknown roads, but only when it's light out. I prefer riding with Motorcyle Man, it's good to have a wingman incase of trouble though. Like the little yellow dude. What is it about waspy things liking the helmet so much? Every time I stop they swarm. Crazy.

    Is Troubadour auditing classes this weekend?

  4. Trobairitz:
    That's a really cool, thoughtful post on several levels! The part which interested me most was the solo vs. group riding aspect. Whilst I enjoy both, I find on solo rides that I'm more reflective, thinking about "stuff", taking in the countryside and so on. On group rides (with people I trust), the pleasure mainly comes from the actual riding - the whole group riding with precision and so on.

    Do I detect similar thoughts from you or have I got the wrong end of the stick?

  5. We don't have very many roads around here but I, fortunately, don't really mind. The one's I haven't explored are mostly unpaved. I think it is great that you went out and explored but the photos and text suggests that you prefer to explore with others....

    I think you may need a new bike as it clashes with the camera ;-)

  6. @Bobskoot - that is a good idea to have a plan for photos then take off to get them. Thanks for the tip.

    @Sonja - it is hard when the untravelled roads get further away. That is what weekend trips in the summer are for. This time of year we don't travel too far away from home on the bikes.

    @Dar - I think I didn't want to travel unknown roads by myself as it was a safety issue. Maybe being a woman alone on back roads with crazy hunters out there. A self preservation thing I guess. Troubadour didn't audit this weekend but the weather has not been kind for riding.

    @Geoff - I think on the solo ride I was going a slower pace and thinking of technique and looking around at the scenery, whereas on a group ride or with Troubadour I am more worried about keeping up and not being left behind. The pace is more brisk. Not a fan of huge group rides never have been so I don't go on too many. I enjoy rides with hubby the most and after that a small group of 3-4 riders. I think riding solo I miss sharing things with hubby. No one to laugh with but myself. Maybe I am just not used to riding solo and my feeling will change as I ride more by myself. We'll see.

    @Richard - I don't so much like to explore with others rather, I think I missed hubby being with me. I am sure I'll get more adventurous as I get more solo miles on the bike.

  7. I love to solo ride, but I have the same problem - where to go. I often find myself following the same old roads. Agree, there are some roads I won't explore by myself, or certain parking situations I won't attempt without someone else around.

    The photo of Max with the green field in the back ground is great. That green sure makes Max pop! Lovin' those fall colors!

  8. The bike is beautiful with the fall colors! If I was close by, I'd ride with you!! Sometimes it's not easy riding solo! So many decisions!!

  9. Thanks for stopping by Eve. Some of the fall colors have gotten more spectacular around here but I've not had time to get out for any pictures.

    And I agree, so many decisions when riding solo. I am used to letting hubby lead. It feels weird to take charge.

  10. @ Bluekat - Funny how it is hard to think of where to ride sometimes. If Max pops against the green does that mean that Sam looks hidden amongst the fields?

  11. Now that just sounds like a great time. :) So...why do you carry that adorable little stuffed guy around?

    I just noticed the tank protector on Max. Do you like that one? I was looking at that for the GS. Have currently decided on some clear overlay as I just couldn't reconcile the plastic designs to my tank.

    Congrats on the solo riding. In the future, pick a state park or historic site to work towards. You don't have to stay on untraveled roads, and can avoid the large roads. Keep an in between where you know there will be cars in case anything happens.

    Or pick something from Roadside America. Always something interesting there. hehe

  12. @BeemerGirl - I don't always carry Mr. Happy around. He fell off the shelf that morning as I was grabbing my riding gloves. Not only did he fall off the shelf but all the way out the door of the walk in closet. So I said, "me thinks he wants to come forthwith today." And brought him. Troubadour bought the hand puppet for me from Aerostich when they were having a sale. Every once in a while I take him along and take a picture of him and he fits so well in my helmet hanging there.

    The tank protector works fine - does it's job. It looks clear in person but is actually a match for the blue on the tank. Found it on clearance at Cycle Gear for under $10 and couldn't resist. The plastic overlay is nice and I think you'll like it. I think that is what was on the Tiger when Troubadour bought it. Only it came with the overlay not just on the tank but fenders, fairing and saddlebags too.

    Good idea on the State Park as a destination. And thanks for the link too.