Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Of Buzzards and Old Bikes

I hit a buzzard today, or maybe the buzzard hit me! Stupid Bird!! Apparently Mr. buzzard has partaken of too much road kill and couldn't attain enough lift when he decided to spring up out of the grass. He glanced off the top of my helmet, then not satisfied, circled back across the road trying to take Ron out too. Stupid bird!

The following conversation took place across the chatterbox:

K: I just hit a bird!

R: Did you just hit that bird??

R: I wish I had my camera!!

According to Ron,  there was one little ninja rider and one big bird with really big flapping wings all meshed into one. Not to be out done, one little tweety bird had to scoot across my path, and I had to slow for a vulture having a meal in the road before finally pulling into my driveway. Gee, I'm glad the deer decided to stay home! I'm not sure but I suppose this means I have to replace the helmet? Does a buzzard skittering across the top of my helmet constitute a hit? I dunno, but anyway, no ninjas were harmed in the making of this exciting ride.

Now for the fun stuff!
We spent a little time over at the Oregon Vintage Motorcycle show at Benton County Fairgrounds in the pouring rain. Noah should have been there with his vintage ark. Today all pictures are courtesy of Ron K. We visited the official show and the "unofficial parking lot show". Both were very good. Wonderful collection of bikes, and most looked as though they were daily riders, not some specialty show piece that never sees the road. I think that makes them all the better.
There were little ones 
Little bit bigger ones.
Green ones:
Itty, bitty red ones:
The closest we could come to finding our old Kawasaki was this one:
Here's our first bike: 76(?) Kawasaki 400. Photo taken in 1985. I've posted it before.
This one is nice:
I'm liking these cafe racers(?) more and more.
I saw a black one being ridden out of the parking lot that was spectacular.
One to pack the pup along: I love the style of this sidecar.
This was a pretty awesome showing of bikes and bike related goodies. We hadn't heard of this show/meet before this year. We'll be back next year, hopefully the rain will not. Cheers!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Newbie Ride 2010

Last Saturday's ride was a first for me. Ron and I joined tbolt's newbie ride. This was my first time riding with a group or with anyone other than Ron. Before the ride Stacy went over the general instructions for the ride. Then some of the ride leaders shared tips and advice for us newbies that would be helpful on the ride. I wish I could give credit where due, but with all that was going on, I didn't catch too many names. Everyone was very supportive and made this a positive and fun event.
I've been fearful of group riding on motorcycles. From bicycling with a club and riding pacelines I know how fast things can go to pot. And that's just on a bicycle at a measly 15 mph. Bump the speed up to highway speeds, and I was sure destruction would be eminent.  We split into several groups based on speed and experience. We didn't ride in tight formation, but kept a nice cushion of space between riders  leaving plenty of room to maneuver, especially in the corners. So while it was a group ride, we were spread out enough to ride our own ride, adjusting speed and line as suited for the situation. The route was excellent. A nice selection of great scenery, fun and challenging corners, long, smooth roads, and a couple spots with a few bumps to dance over. Lunch and coffee in Monmouth. What more could a rider ask for?
I appreciated having a chance to watch other riders going down the road, and especially seeing them pick their line through the corners. I rarely have the chance to observe other riders. Ron rides behind me when we're together, or if he goes ahead of me, it's to play and I'm not going to keep him in view when he's playing. Having a chance to watch others ride is invaluable.
Awesome ride! Thanks tbolt, Troubadour and Trobairitz, and all the others who gave up their fast pace for a day to ride along with us newbies! More information and photos can be found here.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Cheadle Lake Panorama

Blogger makes this image kind of tiny. My co-worker created a great panorama from the May motorcycle rally in Salem a week or so ago. It turned out pretty amazing, so he and I have been inspired to go make more panoramic photos. After a short walk at Cheadle Lake, as an after thought I fired off a series of shots and stitched them together in photoshop. I should say photoshop stitched, I just sat and watched the process.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A little bit of my commute this week

I beat the rain...lots of rain...a Noah's ark kind of rain. It was a really nice ride home. Bad weather was the farthest thing from my mind. It's a little strange, because it was actually spitting rain, but I didn't give it a second thought. I stopped for gas, then headed towards home. I'm safe and warm in the house, and Sam is snuggled in the garage, when the rain comes, in spades...or buckets. Lots of buckets.
 Notice too, that Sam is not facing out. This marks the week I start backing her out on my own. We also park in "our" parking spot at work. The one I have to back into, rather than flipping a U and parking on the opposite side. Nothing wrong with either spot. It's just that the one spot is my spot. It's where we belong. Sam looks good there.

I see four Salem motorcops this morning - eye candy!...sigh.  As if I'm not nervous enough riding when other riders are around, I have two of Salem's finest sitting across the intersection from me, waiting for the light. I really want to grab the camera and take their picture, but I think they might frown on that since I'm in the middle of five lanes of traffic. I'm "en pointe" in a low spot in the left turn lane, trying to stay upright, and hoping I trigger the signal. I know I have to ride off without dropping the bike, killing the motor, or horror of horrors, lifting the front wheel off the ground, something I can't do, but would manage to do just because I have an audience across the intersection. I attempt to maintain the persona of a saintly, little, law-abiding citizen. No need to scrutinize further,  no need to follow. Chubby, little, middle aged women can generally appear angelic and get away with most things. But I'm not sure that works when riding a garish, lime green ninja. As Kermit would say: It ain't easy being green...
After I make my turn I spot two more motor cops up ahead riding side by side. I love the BMW Police bikes. I like them more every time I see them. It's especially nice that they are in front of me, and not behind me. This is how it should be. I turn off toward work, and they continue on their way. No tickets today. What am I saying...I never get tickets, just a verbal warning now and then. It's good to be angelic :)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Which came first the Goose or the Egg?

Our daughter came down from the big city for Mother's day. She hadn't seen Cheadle Lake yet, so off we went packing along the little dog and the big camera. The day before Ron and I spotted a family of Geese; mom, dad and 6 little Goslings. These were the ones I posted for mother's day. I hoped to get a few more pictures. We didn't see the family, but while hiking I had to sneeze (darn allergies), and when I did I startled a goose that flew off to the lake. We went closer to see what was up and found this:
We continued our hike hoping that the goose would come back, and sure enough upon our return back down the trail she (or maybe he) was on the nest. This time she wasn't leaving! She called in her mate who came rushing over, and they both stood near the nest hissing at us. I didn't know geese could hiss! I know they can charge, and they have a mean beak. These two held their ground but did nothing more.
I think there are more geese at the lake this year. It seems like there is more goose pooh to step over. It's fun to see the babies. There was also a duck and ducklings out for a swim. Before we left we finally spotted the other goose family with the goslings. I think there are seven or eight goslings actually.
Time to get the kayaks down from the rafters and go for a paddle on the lake.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

For all the Moms
Happy Mother's Day!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Ninja gets her name

I've been playing with a name for the Ninja for a couple of weeks now, and it's rather pathetic but I resorted to looking up baby names on the internet.  I think I found the one that feels right.  First off, the Ninja has very pretty eyes. Exotic eyes that call for an exotic name. Not pole dancer exotic mind you, but exotic like tropical islands and mysterious places. She can be also be something of a flirt. She's always winking as she goes down the road. Anyway, her new name is Samirah.
She goes by her nickname,  Sam. I suppose it's also fitting that all my bikes, the motorized ones anyway,  have "S" sound names. The Vulcan was Sophie, The Suzuki was Celeste, so Samirah is in keeping with the "S" name theme. Even more pathetic - having theme names. I was amused at our neighbors who had J names...Jennifer, Jason, Jayna...even the parents had J names, and their siblings, and their sibling's spouses...ridiculous. Somehow I have been assimilated into the theme-name collective, but I'm getting off topic. 

Samirah has a couple of meanings. In Arabic it means "entertaining companion". Well, that seems right. She is a companion on my rides, waiting for me after work to sooth away the workday, and she is always entertaining. In Sanskrit the meaning is "gust of wind/a cool gentle breeze on a hot summer day". I had in mind the cool breeze I get when riding on a summer day. After riding her a few weeks, I think something akin to hurricane force gales screaming just outside my helmet might be more accurate. 

The name definitions are from Wikipedia, therefor I'm assured they are accurate and true. What's more reliable than Wikipedia! 

Sunshine and 70 coming up this weekend. Get out there for a ride!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Spring Flowers in McDonald Forest

We took the mountain bikes to McDonald Forest a couple weeks ago, and I never processed the photos. The day was more about riding than photography, but I wanted a few shots of any spring flowers I happened to find. I guess I'm lucky to have any photos at all, as I didn't pack an extra battery, so of course, that means the battery I did have decided it needed recharging.  It lasted the day fortunately. The flowers were also uncooperative by blooming either in the windy spots or just out of reach. Only the Iris were nice enough to grow right beside the trail.

The view from Davies Road
F/4.5 • 1/250 • ISO-200

Fawn Lily - I thought we called them Lamb's tongue, but perhaps I'm confusing them with another flower.
F/4 • 1/125 • ISO-160
F/4 • 1/125 • ISO-80
Cronemiller lake
F/4 • 1/100 • ISO-80
Oregon Iris conveniently growing beside the trail
F/3.5 • 1/30 • ISO-80
Another view from Davies Road.
We started at Peavy Arboretum north of Corvallis and took road #500 toward Cronemiller Lake. We stayed on 500 up to the intersection with Davies/Nettleton roads. I like to take Davies Rd. to the saddle on Sulpher Springs Road, then return by way of Nettleton Road, but you can reverse the loop if preferred. Before heading back to Peavy Arboretum, we visited Cronemiller lake and took Calloway trail back to the parking area. I'm happy to report that no walkers/hikers passed us on the uphill this time :)