I went through some personal stuff and found my self single and over forty with a lot of time on my hands and not much in the way of a social life. I was friendly with folks I worked with and not too unhappy with life but I got to thinking it was time to figure out what I really liked to do and who I liked to hang out with. After a bit of thought I realized that I liked the same things at forty something as I liked when I was five - a bald head, cowboy boots, and motorcycles. The bald head and cowboy boots took my co-workers a minute to get used to and now it's time to go bike shopping.
I looked at cruisers but most of the guys I saw on cruisers seemed to be trying to project an image - I just want to ride. I had really liked the GPz and the Nighthawk S and wanted something along the same lines a sporty standard if you will. I also wanted something a bit off the mainstream. Long story short I found myself at Bogart's Motorsports looking for a Triumph Sprint RS. They didn't have one, but they did a have a Roulette Green Speed Triple. It was love at first sight and the bike was a leftover 2003 so the price was right.
Now I have to admit to a habit of doing lifestyle experiments and this seemed like a good opportunity. I sold my car on the theory that the least safe way to ride a motorcycle is 'infrequently.' Having only the bike ensured that I would ride enough to get and maintain my skill set and I resolved to go for a year with just the two wheeled transport.
By this time I'm bald, booted, and biked so I thought I would look for some folks to hang out with that might be interested in some of the same things as me. This had been a bit of an issue since coming to Alabama because it would be fine with me if both Alabama and Auburn could lose the Iron Bowl at the same time. I went online and found a website for the Floribamariders. The name seemed more than a little Redneck but I went to their monthly meeting, met some good folks and joined the club.
Here's an email I posted to the Floribamariders after my first abortive attempt at a group ride.
Dispatch from Squidville
So I am riding along having a great time enjoying the road and the pace - thinking to myself Hey this is great! I'm not even tempted to ride over my head but I am not getting left in the dust either.THEN! I am thinking - why is is that guys helmet going up and down? - Why is he in the grass? Why is Susan going like 20 mph slower than me and turning left?Can't run into her! Sure don't want to hit that Church sign. I think I'll just go between it and the big pile of dirt. Going too fast though S*** S*** S***. I am sliding on my face - that sure happened fast. Damn, I'll bet I broke my bike. How friggin' embarrassing!Anyway, on the long solitary ride home I had plenty of time to think about what happened and how to prevent it from happening again. First, I was watching the rider ahead of the rider in front of me so that I would know where the road was going - Gotta watch the road no matter what and choose your own path!!! When the two riders in front of me went in different directions Iowas CONFUSED. Bad state to be in on a bike. Second,if you do "Go Moto" it is a really bad idea to use the brakes hard - I am pretty sure from the marks in the grass and a re-playing of the event in my mind that I locked both wheels, got slammed to the ground and made my old bones sore. Plus I did break my bike though it remains ridable. Floribama Riders - Did a great job of making sure I was O.K. bungeeing the front of my bike back on and getting me on the right path home. Thank You!Damage to the bike - surprisingly little. Both front headlights and their mounting bracket are toast. The Triple-Trees are twisted (anyone know how to fix that cheap?) there are a couple of nicks in the tank and the face of the Tach is cracked. Plus I broke the Flyscreen.Damage to me - I feel like an idiot, I scraped my knee(armor might have been useful - I was wearing Blue-Jeans), I am pretty sore and that will probably be worse tomorrow. Not too bad considering.Ride Safe,Mike Coon
Thanks for reading - Mike