Thursday, February 5, 2009

Grande Venti

All this ice and snow is getting to me. I feel a building resentment towards Winter, cold, salt, sand. Couple that with the shenanigans at work, the layoffs, the economy, the uncertainty of the future of my company and you get the idea. Is anything ever going to be the same again? I need an outlet for these emotions.

Jerry was "kind enough" to call me from Daytona Beach on Saturday. He said he needed a temperature check (of NH), while he sitting at some beach-side crab shack getting his feed on.

I'm in need some two-wheeled therapy. I need a warm breeze to blow up under my visor carrying the faint smell of honeysuckle and salt sea air. I need to smell oil & gasoline, mixed with sweat, leather and rubber.

Ha! I just reminded myself of a product I saw years ago, for racing fans. It's a candle shaped like a tire and, when lit, it gave off the smell of burning rubber. Now, if that isn't a gift that can only be appreciated in a "man cave" then I don't know what is.

Lately, my Twitter addiction has introduced me to a lot of people from all over the world. I met Mr. Ken, who is stranded in Sturgis, SD for the winter and using Twitter to keep from going cabin crazy. I met a bunch of people in Australia who are enjoying their summer but use Twitter to connect to the "rest of the world". One told me that they felt isolated and Twitter helps them feel more connected with folks around the globe.

The Twitter community is growing exponentially and I will try to "tweet" prior to some of our longer rides to see if I can meet up with some of these folks in person. If you want to join in the conversation, go to You can find me there as joerocket.

Spring is making an effort to arrive today. Temps are expected to hit 50 degrees and some of the snow and ice will melt off. We need a week of this weather to get our melt on. I've been hesitant to use any sand on the driveway this year so I hope that the temps and some salt will remove the compacted ice.

If you dated a gal named Summer, do you suppose you'd use the phase, "Summer's coming" much? Well, Spring is on the way, Punxsutawney Phil be damned. It may take a while but before we know it, we'll be bitching about the fact that we're out riding and the DPW STILL hasn't swept the roads yet. At least up here, this doesn't occur until around Mother's Day or so.

These past few months of sitting around, hunkered down due to weather and economic necessity are a drag. At least I can afford a tank of gas this year and clear the cobwebs out now and then. I'm going to try to do more camping this year and may even learn to like it. I learned an old campers trick about the secret of sleeping on the hard ground. It's called Benadryl and whiskey. That combination assures a good night's sleep every time!

I made a comment online recently that seemed to resonate with other bikers I've met. Something along the lines of "Winter is when that we plan all those great rides we promise ourselves we'll take, given time". Life is very short. I don't want to have regrets down the road. I want to be a very old biker with a million miles under my belt someday.

Winter is tough on the roads up here. The roads will be crap for a while but I'll settle for being bounced out of my seat until the frost heaves have subsided or have been repaired. That's the trade-off we make for great mountain roads, uncluttered highways, clean air and water.

It's time to pull out the calendar, start marking off some vacation time, plugging in a few long trips and filling in around them with our usual local rides. Yep, I'm gonna do that this year. In fact, I'm off to Yahoo right now to post an online ride calendar that all of my fellow club riders can add to.

You all have a great day today, Sunday. Maybe I'll get my leathers out and see if they've shrunk over the winter months...heh-heh!

A low, slow wave,

Joe Rocket