Thursday, December 3, 2009

If you see a chance, take it ....

To paraphrase the Steve Winwood song, if you see a chance to ride in December in 60-plus-degree weather - take it! In addition to the balmy weather, I had another perfect 'excuse' to ride - the monthly meeting of the Romans 8 Riders was this evening.

I saw about a half-dozen motorcycles drive down my street today, and I was itching to hit the road during the day, when it topped out at 66 degrees, according to weather. But, I chose to do the responsible thing, and spent the daylight hours roofing an overhang on my landlord's property. By the time I was losing daylight, I only had a few courses of shingles left to nail. The meeting didn't start until 8 p.m., but most people arrive at 7 and eat dinner and fellowship at the restaurant. I was determined to finish the roofing job, since I only had a little more to go, and didn't want to have to drag out the tools and ladder a second time. It took me wearing a headlamp while I was on the roof, but I got the job done.

I didn't finish the roof in time to join my fellow Romans 8 Riders for dinner, but at least I would make it to the business meeting. It was still about 58 degrees at 7 p.m. when I began the 25-mile ride from my apartment to the restaurant. The trip is mostly highway, and I was thankful that my fingers didn't turn white and numb, like they do when it's below 50 degrees.

As I pulled my bike up to the restaurant, I saw about a half-dozen other people had also rode their bikes to the meeting, where dates for fund-raising dinners, a Christmas party, a fellowship and a visit to the VA hospital were announced. We also received a handout listing the dates of major CMA events for next year's riding season.

The ride home was a bit cooler, but still warm for December. I rode part of the way with Duke and Cameron, the only other guys who live in South County.

Besides being able to ride without numb fingers, I had another bonus - some of my bike's top-end speed came back tonight. A few months ago, I first noticed that my bike would go no faster than 65 mph on the highway (previously, I have had it up to 90-95 mph no problem). I haven't figured out why my bike lost some top-end power (a new fuel filter and spark plugs didn't help), but tonight, I got it up to 80 mph. The only thing I did recently was add some fuel stabilizer/conditioner to my gas tank on the last fill-up. Maybe the carbs need a good cleaning ... a good winter project.

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