Monday, February 28, 2011

The Deprivation Diet
All The Gear All The Time
It's a good thing my bike is a babe magnet.
I climbed on the scale last week, and I think I saw that I had gained about four pounds during the past too many weeks of winter inactivity. I say “think,” because I wasn’t wearing my glasses and had to squat down to see the numbers on the scale. Riepe tells me that squatting down when standing on a scale adds pounds. Then again, he tells me that being in the same galaxy as a scale adds pounds.
Usually, during the cold months, I get exercise by splitting logs. It’s a macho, Paul Bunyan thing with me. I do it by swinging a heavy maul over my head and directing it home on weathered, “starred” logs.  Even on the coldest day I can work up a sweat in a few minutes and come away smelling like Babe, Bunyan’s Blue Ox.
This year the wet, cold, and ice started early and continued without let up. The pile of icy crap at the top of my driveway reached about seven feet early in the season. After two days of rain and a few of days of 40-degree weather and a few more of hitting close to 50, it now tops out at about four feet, and it’s ugly, dirty, snow, sticks, leaves, and yard junk.

My Inaccessible Wood Pile

My wood pile had been covered by snow and ice for weeks and until yesterday there was at least a foot of snow in the woods surrounding the wood pile. After yesterday’s 60-degree surprise, the foot of snow is now six inches of mud. Today the rains have returned, so there will be no wood splitting for a while.
This has also been a tough winter for motorcycle riding in my area. The roads have been covered with salt, gravel, ice, snow, and stupid, reckless people who drive while talking or texting on their cell phones.  Better weather can wash away salt and other natural crud, but distracted driving is probably here to stay.
House-bound by Mother Nature, most of my riding buddies have turned to other diversions, such as political commentary.  I’m amazed at how otherwise normal bikers (that’s the epitome of non sequitur) can morph into Reactionary Republicans, Demonic Democrats, Licentious Liberals, Piss Ant Progressives, or Tea Party Twits. There may even be some Cuddly Commies in the mix.
Personally, I’m pissed at all politicians. Yesterday I paid more than $3.50 a gallon to fill the tank on my motorcycle. I bought a loaf of French bread for $2.99, and I passed on the T-bone that was $6.99 a pound. I’m convinced that The White House and both houses of Congress have spent decades abdicating their responsibility. They have let us down to the point where both Rachel Maddow Liberals and Rush Limbaugh Conservatives share in the inflationary pain and initiative thwarting regulation.  Some Liberal is going to try to tell me that Conservatives share less in the pain because they have more assets, and some Conservative is going to allege that Liberals are all sucking up freebees at the trough. That’s bull shit!
Passion can be a good thing. Many I know are passionate about motorcycle riding or about spouses, kids, significant others, pets, goats, horses, other farm animals, or gerbils. I’m not convinced that some of the passion I see in political posturing today is healthy. I see a lot of vitriol and anger on TV, but I don’t see even a hint of it among my biker buddies. This brings me to an obvious suggestion – get out and ride. It will clear your head and your sinuses. The smells of Amish barnyards can have a healing effect. Stop listening to the bull shit on TV. Get out and smell some of the real stuff.
Ron Ye (Photo from previous ride when we stopped for lunch)
Ron Ye is a great riding buddy. He rides with confidence, knows lots of back roads, and always has a big smile on his face and an obvious positive attitude.  He’s even nice to Riepe.  Ron sent me an email last Sunday morning and mentioned that he was repairing the front brakes on his motorcycle and might be up for a ride if he finished the job.  He said he wanted to test his work.  I wrote back telling him that I was finishing up some honey-dos, but I would love to get out in the 60-degree weather with him as long as he wasn’t riding behind me with “iffy” home-handyman-repaired brakes.
Riepe would not be joining us today, as he was practicing standing on a scale without squatting.
Like many in the motorcycle community, Ron is involved with experimental drugs - only Ron’s involvement is legitimate. He works for a major drug company.  It was my intention to pump him for some useful information about keeping my weight down.  My family physician suggested that I eat less and exercise more; it seems that Washington, DC, is designing a similar plan for all Americans based on high fuel and food prices.
Ron and I met at the Wawa gas station across from Wegman’s, in Downingtown, at exactly 1:00pm. We decided to head out toward Gap, PA, on main roads, because we were concerned that the rain last week may not have cleared the road crap on less travelled paths. Also, Ron wanted to make sure that his brake repair work was solid.
The route was simple Route 30 to Route 113 North to the Route 30 Bypass and West to Gap.  The weather was perfect.  It was clear, cool, the sun was shining, and there was no wind.  Surprisingly, there was no congested traffic on the roads. There were cars on the bypass, but they were moving at a good clip. This being my first day out in about two months, I wanted to demonstrate some caution, and Ron needed to get used to his new found braking power. I think we kept our speed to within 20 or 30 miles of the limit. We even let one dufus in a minivan pass us.
As we pulled up to the traffic light at the end of the bypass, Ron said, “The brakes are working fine. Where do you want to go?”
“You lead, I’ll follow,” I said. “I still don’t want you behind me with your homemade brakes.”
So off we went down Route 30. We passed the Gap Diner where the food was acceptable 20 years ago, we blew past the diner that Gerry Cavanaugh said he and his buddy Buzz used to ride to. It was closed the last time we rode there, and today it was a pile of rubble. We rode past the Amish Smorgasbord places and tourist bus stops, several diners, a couple of ice cream places, and even blew by Jennie’s Diner, where they serve Riepe-ass sized pancakes and mouth-watering, artery-clogging pork products.
We turned South on Route 896 and passed a couple of other good, touristy Amish eating places. The weather continued to cooperate with bright sunshine, and there were lots of Amish horse-drawn wagons and horses and mules and cows in the fields. The smells and the changes in temperature as we moved from sun to shade and back into the sun were delightful.

My R1100R at Strasburg  Station

We turned East on Route 741 and rode past Isaacs Restaurant and the Strasburg Train Station, two of Riepe’s favorite stopping places. Travel was beginning to slow down a bit, because of the many Amish horse-drawn wagons going our way and the cars full of Amish watchers gingerly passing them.  At one point just as we came to the crest of a hill, we had to slow because a minivan (I hate those things) was apparently afraid to pass the horse-drawn cart. It was then that I heard a loud squeal of brakes behind me. When I looked in my mirrors I saw a Ford Mustang right behind me that had obviously stopped abruptly to avoid knocking me off of my motorcycle. Next time I lead!
When we reached Route 41, we headed south toward Oxford. That’s a nice ride; much of it is through “horse country.”  Then we picked up Route 1 North, and in the interest of time we hopped on Route 202, took that to 322, where I headed north and Ron headed south.
By the time I pulled into the garage, I had covered about 100 miles of mostly Pennsylvania back roads at a comfortable pace in about two hours and without stopping for food, coffee, or to take pictures. The only stops were at traffic lights, so I missed the opportunity to discuss dieting with Ron. Come to think of it, not stopping to eat while on a motorcycle ride is a good first step. - Snipe eBay items... and win!
Snipe eBay items... and win!


  1. BMW-Dick, sounds like you had yourself a pretty good ride with Mr Ye, though that close call with the unseeing idiot in the Mustang reminded me of my worst fear when riding: Getting hit by some idiot while stopped at a light.

    I am quite paranoid about this, even though it's never happened...always leaving myself an out and never ceasing to check behind until the car that comes up comes to a complete stop, then I relax a bit; up until then though, I am ready to gun the throttle and shoot into the gap between the vehicles in front and to the side of me.

    Nice ride report, hopefully you'll get more opportunities to ride soon.


    Colorado Motorcycle Travel Examiner

    Redleg's Rides

  2. Sounds like a great start to the year!

  3. Dear Dick:

    It was nice to read how you and Ron got out for a run yesterday. I regret I am still grounded as my left hip is getting worse. I am starting to get concerned that I might not be riding at all this season... In which case. I will sell the K75. Nearly any kind of movement at all cause extreme pan in the left hip. I have started to do some simple stretches and other exercise to see if I can get a better range of motion. But the issue is still in doubt.

    Fondest regards,
    Jack • reep • Toad
    Twisted Roads

  4. Dick,

    You're lucky to have gotten those winter cobwebs out on a February day.
    Remind me to ask you to introduce me to your riding companion....not Ron, the with the legs that go all the way up...


  5. BMW-Dick:

    Imagine a food run without any food. I would have been salivating everytime I got near a restaurant. I too have been waiting for that miracle "Diet" pill so I hope you get a chance to corner Ron soon.

    Our fuel is over $4.80 /US gallon ($1.269/ltr) right now, and also our CDN $ is higher than the US $.

    so you should be happy to have such CHEAP gas. I feel so sorry for Jack, perhaps that was him in that mini-van

    Riding the Wet Coast

  6. Dick,

    Thanks for posting about a great ride we shared yesterday. I have been super stressed at work these days and the clean air, great weather and good company were just what the doctor ordered! (I don't do drugs!) As we didn't stop for coffee, I didn't get a chance to tell you I about crapped myself when I heard the tires screeching behind us! I was online today looking at additional lighting so that I can increase visibility to others around me. It is no guarantee, but doing something is better than nothing. BTW you just reinforced that I have to be more careful when I see you with your camera in your hand! Have a great week!


  7. Dom:
    Thank you for your kind comments.
    Distracted driving is the new norm. They're hooked to cell phones and in touch 24/7. I don't know what got the Mustang driver's attention, but after he jammed his brakes he hung way back from where I was. Maybe he crapped in his pants.
    Sunday was th perfect day for a ride. Both Ron and I relished in it and both of us wre sore as hell by the time we got home. It won't be longer before we're doing this regularly.

  8. Woody (Wayne):
    It was truly a great day and a great ride. Being old and out of shape has its downside. As soon as I got the bike in the garage I couldn't wait to take a nap. Hope we get more great weather again soon.

  9. Dear Jack:
    Seriously, the only thing that would have improved the day would have been to have you riding with us.....and maybe a couple of topless dancers.

  10. Dear MotoNomad:
    You can have her. I think she has a Beemer fetish. All she wants to do is snuggle with the bike.
    I'm hoping we get a few more days like this before the tourists invade our back roads.

  11. Dear Bob:
    Tonight the political pundits were hinting about $10 gasoline. If that happens it will kill commerce and mobility, and it could completely alter our way of life. It could also make scooters essential ;)

  12. Dear Ron:
    Thanks for making a good riding day a perfect riding day. We did have a very nice non-stop, two-hour ride through some very pretty country, and you picked an excellent path.
    As far as lighting is concerned, I have Moto Lites mounted on my front brakes to improve the ability of oncoming traffic to see me. They create a nice, bright triangle with the headlight. I have a Kisan Signal Minder that flashes my turn signals when I hit my brakes. It may have been why the guy in Mustag locked up his brakes. The Signal Minder also cancels the turn signals after ten seconds -- a "must have" for ancient, forgetful riders. Here's the link:
    Thanks again for getting me out of the house.

  13. Dear Dick,

    I just discovered your blog and had a good read. A nice place to trade barbs with Jack, or write a nice ride report such as this one !!


  14. hid lights for motorcycles dramatically improve driving visibility especially at night and in poor driving conditions such as rain, as they produce three hundred per cent more light than halogen bulbs.