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touch of painted curls
some updating, some writing 
24th-May-2004 03:42 am
I met jul3z, sunyata__, ayalanya, penghuin, wispfox, ladytabitha and Magic.

I took the scenic route across Massachusetts to get there, and scooted back on the freeway. The route that goes nearly under my apartment goes all the way to Belmont. (I love the way they just keep going.) The whole trip was about 11 hours. I was kinda spacy at ladytabitha's, but I was happy to meet people, even briefly! :)

the title of the bike
I'm naming my bike Witchy, based on chryssaliss's comment, some little-known tendences, and, well... I can use the extra magic. No relation to torn_soul. We covered about 350 miles today. Twined through the Berkshires, hit some sunny weather and views. Raced along the edge of a thunderstorm at 75mph under lit clouds hiding behind dark ones, fading into dusk. We got about 50mpg, making the whole trip something like $15, including a pike toll and $2+/gallon. She's a cheap date. (Heh. It bothers me vaguely that all my vehicles seem to end up being nonmale in conversation, but they do, nonetheless.)

Witchy is fairly comfortable and abusable. My ass was on fire after the first four hours, despite the comfy seat, but it wasn't so bad coming back. I have to stop more frequently than driving, anyway. Six gears is quite a few to play with, and more playing is required with this bike. My (as yet nameless and) late FZR1000 could not be redlined in any gear without exceeding state speed limits; Witchy can. I'm not really expecting to keep this bike very long, but it's fun. (I'm looking toward something like a Suzuki Dual-Purpose model, or maybe Kawasaki's (Sport) Tourer. The latter is probably a bit heavier than I'd like, and the former is too new to have a used market. Maybe I'll find something in between. Maybe I'll get tired of it. In the meantime, I've got a disposable one (Sorry, Witchy), and I should get some better gear, if anything.)

a note on gas money and motorbikes
It occurred to me the other day that people (heh, like me) sometimes point at bikes and their 50mpg as a way to save money on gas. But my friend, as he bought a bike the other day, pointed out that even with his [relatively cheap] used bike, he'd have to drive about 55 thousand miles just to make up the cost of the bike in gas savings. Now, he wasn't taking into account resale, but he also wasn't taking into account gear (minimal/cheapskate is something like: $50-200 helmet, $50-200 boots, $50-100 pants, $100-300 jacket, $20-50 gloves, total ~$300-850). Repair and maintenance costs are also much higher than the average car's. I've spent about $160 on gear (I'm known for using skates which don't exactly have a full set of wheels (ad yet, oddly, my current skates are in good condition)), but I also trashed $2400 worth of bike+repairs already, so I'm not exactly ahead. (That's more than I've spent on cars in their lifetime, right there.) Anyway, the point is simple: Yes, bikes are good for the environment. However, it's very unlikely they will personally save you money. It's possible, but unlikely. Chances are much better in climates and situations where a bike can be purchased instead of a car and compeltely fill the need. Since bikes don't carry more than two adults and couple bags, and they don't ride in nasty weather, they usually fill more supplemental roles. The safety concerns also suggest that there should be some strong desire to ride a motorcycle other than saving money. (i.e. I need a sexy black beast between my legs and we want to go fast, right now, thankyouverymuchtakemeplease.) Mmhmm. :)

culture outside the box
There's a custom among bikers to wave to each other in passing, and it is upheld (oh god, the pun). It's a little gesture, but I was thinking about that wave today. It's a world where strangers say hello in passing. They say, "Can you feel that air?" "Yeah, me too." Mostly I hear, "Holy shit, we're still alive." They talk to each other, on the road and off. The bikes and their owners thrive away from the freeways, away from the cities. Take the high road, the curvy one, and you'll find them there. Two lanes, undivided, nestled in the forest. They're lost on the freeway; where the scenery and the road are as monotonous as possible, and the cars start looking a little like zombies.

It's fuckin' pouring out. It's the middle of the night, and I've still got the hum, the vibration in my body. A tuning fork made of muscle and bone, steel and rubber. Then you drive a car and feels slow, safe, and easy. You know you've got your illusions, but a tightrope's not the ground, either. It's one more thing you've done, and the body remembers. One day you're talking, and a phrase slips past your lips. And you slide back to the first time, and the long road between. You realize you've got thirty ways to say one thing, without thinking. All the images, the people, the memories, music, art and movement, the decisions, the experience. It's all there, collected, indexed by seven kinds of magic and keys like the puzzles from childhood. You don't forget, and you don't lose it. You just keep piling it on, layers and overpaints, grafts, splices, a collection the monster would be proud of, dreaming up one more night.
24th-May-2004 08:31 am (UTC)
Your posting about your new bike is making me want to get on mine; hopefully it's sufficient inspiration as the lameness factor is exceedingly hard to overcome :)
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