Friday, September 30, 2011

Last Commute of the Year?

The leaves have pretty much all fallen off of the trees and the mornings are getting colder. Today may be my last commuting day as it is now dark & cold when I normally leave and I'll be out of town next week. Last Sunday, we had our first "hard frost" and the puddles in the driveway were solid ice. I didn't commute for a couple of days this week due the threat of rain and sub-freezing temperatures and every day, the morning cold and clouds had vanished into a wonderful afternoon. This picture was taken on one of my walks home after riding the bus in.

The ride in this morning felt wonderful as the temperature was a balmy 30°F so I took the scenic route through Goldstream Valley. What I didn't think about was that you can't really see any scenery as it's dark (weird riding in the dark) and in some of the low areas, there was a bit of fog. I must admit that it is really nice having that huge windshield and faring on the RT. No need for heated anything which is fortunate given the anemic charging system. This is one of the few times I've ever ridden the bike without it's cases on and I think it actually looks a bit odd. The cases sort of balance out the large faring. I took the only "motorcycle parking only" spot left as they are only reserved during the summer. A Harley rider pulled into the spot next to me with her truck and commented that it was great to see someone still out riding. (She normally rides her Sportster in to work during the summer rain or shine)

For the last couple of weeks, I have been focusing again on getting in some more exercise. A handfull of BMW riders have been meeting for coffee in the morning at a local coffee house and twice this week, I had reason to be on lower campus. It was a good opportunity to go for a walk down from my office on West Ridge and meet them. One of the riders is retiring from the university today and is leaving the state tomorrow morning. He had started the email list of local BMW riders so I offered to take it over and convert it to a Google Group. That took all of 5 minutes including sending out all of the invitations. This coffee house walk is usually good for 4 to 5 miles depending on the route.

My exercise goal is to try and get back to roughly ten miles per day again. The university has a wonderful set of walking and ski trails practically across the street from my office and it's almost foolish for me not to take advantage of them. This shot is taken from the north end of the T-Field located on the ski trails. It is almost a mile around and the ski team has conveniently marked the loop with distance markers every 200m for some sort of training exercise. I frequently see moose and fox back here which is kind of cool since I'm only a short way from my office. The fenced in area is part of some research project, the triangular cone is a radar reflector (used for spatial calibration of radar images) and in the distance, you can see the Geophysical Institute with the large satellite dish on top. We have a Technology Day coming up and I volunteered to help with the geocaching. It is another good excuse to go out and walk around campus. Yesterday, I checked the caches and it was another nice 5 mile walk. Up until February, 2010, I was doing pretty good until I tried some different medication that just killed my knees. It's taken a long time to recover from those two weeks. I don't know why a medication to control blood sugar would affect the fluid in your knees but it did. I can once again easily walk 10-15 miles without much effort and I'm planning on doing the Equinox Marathon again next year.


  1. Going on the last commute or ride of the year is always a bit saddening, but it's the payment we make to have amazing seasonal riding.

    Here in Utah we probably have another 3 weeks of comfortable riding, and then a few clear days during the winter that I'll try to ride.

    Take care! Good luck with your exerciser goals!


  2. Winter is definitely on the way.

    Kudos to you for getting into walking again, and your goal of 10 miles per day. Last spring and winter we walked 3-4 miles every evening but for some reason when the nice weather hit we haven't been. Must need to wait for the rain to get back outside.

    Love the picture of the leaves on the ground. Nice composition.

  3. 10 miles is a lot of walking. Good for you Richard. I am gearing up for the rainy winter season. I am hoping we don't get any snow this year because I will be ableo scoot to work. Summer doesnt last very long and winter seems to last too long. Hope you get at least another ride in.

  4. Richard, I believe this is the winter that perhaps finding and mating a sidecar to that RT could finally happen. It'll greatly extend your riding season as you know.

    I am actually looking forward to the first snow of the season here in Denver, see how Yoshie handles.


    Redleg's Rides

    Colorado Motorcycle Travel Examiner

  5. Jared:
    Thank you for the encouragement towards my exercise goals. Last year, I was able to ride well into October but I'm out of town this coming week so, for me, this is probably my last week for riding.

    I find that motorcycling is, at times, in conflict with exercising as there seems to be too little time in a day. If I need to run to the store I tend to take the bike instead of walking.

    One of these days I would like to be able to run. Then I can complete 10 miles in less time. Thank you for the encouragement and, yes, I hope to be able to get in at least one more ride in this year.

    I hope you are correct. Someone in town mentioned that they knew someone who has a car in their shed. He was going to ask her if she was willing to part with it.

  6. Darkness? 30F? Frost? Not ideal riding conditions. It is always sad when riding season is over. But you seem to be able to keep yourself otherwise occupied during the long stretch of Northern winter. Good for you targeting that marathon again.

  7. Richard:
    A "balmy" 30 degrees???? My admiration for you knows no bounds! Funny you should mention your cases - my old K100RS looked far better with its side panniers on.

    My knees are pretty stuffed but I'm currently chicken about visiting the doc. Would currently hate to miss riding after a procedure to fix them!