Saturday, December 2

Thursday, November 30, 2006—The Season’s End

I tucked Queenie away at Motorworks Chicago to begin the winter hibernation. Prior to taking her in, I took a mini-ride. The city was preparing for its first winter storm to hit late Thursday night. By the time I reached the shop, a light freezing drizzle had started. The temperature was around 36 degrees. I rode comfortably—even the fingertips stayed warm this time. I inserted the little air-activated hand heat warming packs inside the glove—worked exceedingly well!

Arrived at the shop and watched my bike logged in. Milan said I could come and visit her anytime. Hung around for a little and talked to the shop guys. Discussed all the upgrades/add-ons that will be done over the winter. Looks like I’ll be able to take a few private lessons maintenance classes over the winter. This is fab news. One gap in my solo riding that hovers over each long ride, is my concern that the bike will encounter a break down in a place where MoTow can’t reach me. Some of the areas in the UP of MI were remote enough that my cell phone had little or no reception. In such situations, I need to be able to get the bike back on the road on my own. Thus, I’m looking forward to expanding my woefully limited maintenance skills.

Friday’s storm did not disappoint! The lightening and thundering woke me in the wee hours. I dismissed the sounds and flashing sky as just a bad rainstorm. When I finally left bed and peeked out the window, it was snowing—horizontally blowing, fat flakes and heavy. Turned on the weather report; before 6 a.m. most of the major highways were experiencing heavy delays, spinouts, and blizzard conditions. American Airlines and United had cut their flights by 100% and 50% respectively until the afternoon. The wind, well, we have lake effect and it showed its strength. The winds were reported to be around 40 mph but the gusts were at least 45 mph and the waves were furiously whipping off the lake. From the window it all looked beautiful, but some northern suburbs already had over 8 inches of snow and with schools closing left and right, the kids were going to have fun over their long snowy weekend.

Glad I heeded the weather warnings and took the bike in Thursday. I'll try not to complain too much about the season ending. It has been a long—good—riding season. Gal-pal and I stayed upright and safe. What more can I ask?