Saturday, March 7

A new Bike, the smell of Spring and the Call of the road...

There’s a new bike in the garage! Dave has purchased a red 2009 BMW F650GS. Saturday, he’ll take delivery of this accessorized dual(ish) sport two-wheeler. In addition to the new farkles he’s ordered for it, he’s don new Gerbings for cold weather motoring. Looks like Queenie will find a new home with the help of Johnny at Motoworks Chicago. Lucky is her new owner whomever that might be. If s/he has half as much fun as I’ve had on her and then Dave, they will wear a permanent smile. If I could, I would keep Queenie, but it’s not about what I want, it’s about what I need. I don’t need two bikes. Period.

Last week, Dave rode Queenie, his longest and probably last long ride on her, to Savoy, IL where he test rode the F650GS. That’s all it took for him to sign his John Henry. He arrived home exhausted form battling a strong headwind the whole way down and darkness on less than idea roads for the return trip. He clocked more than 230 miles and despite his exhaustion, he sounded quite elated that his winter of researching bikes is now over. Too bad he wasn’t able to get the bike at Chicago BMW but they didn’t have a red one in stock. Mike Abt put a call out for other dealers to send him one before his expected shipment (a “couple of months) came in. In the meantime, Dave found one on his own at Twin City BMW in Savoy, where they sell not only motorcycles but BMW automobiles too.

We are also the proud owners of The Spot—thanks, Dave. I think this is his way of keeping track of me. Now, to me, this should eliminates the need for phone calls every night and each day, right?

The date has been set: On April 9th I shall fly to VA and retrieve Jesse O. To make sure the trip can go off as planned, I’ve finally invested in heated clothing as one can never expect the weather to cooperate. I’m up a s Tour Master Synergy jacket and pants. I had to buy a BMW adapter to make it a plug and go. “Why didn’t you get Gerbings?” My simple answer is, personal choice after doing my own independent research. I also invested in some heavier gloves that are nicely lined and absent of a thick palm area in order to allow the heated grips to heat up the hands. The outer areas of the gloves are nicely thick but not so much that it interfers with the controls.My solo trip schedule is coming along fine. This ride season will be different than others, where I only concerned myself with my own schedule. Now, I “must” include Dave on some rides. I’ve agreed to go on some day rides with him. I even agreed to do an occasion weekend ride. But I’m really trying to get across the importance of my need to do 95% of all my riding solo.

I have two advanced classes set up, one for the beginning of the ride season and one near the end. I always look forward to the SRTT classes offered by Ride Chicago. This year, I have a friend who lives in Canada who might becoming just to take the class. I hope that he can make it—that would be too cool—and I’d take the class again even if I’ve already taken it.

I also have another forum pal coming to Chicago. He’s coming from England so he won’t be bringing his bike. I’m looking forward to being an ambassador from my city. I used to give tours for my alma mater (the University of Chicago) and although I’m terribly rusty, I’m looking forward to showing him places one would never see on any Chicago tour. He’s a blues fan so I’ve been checking out the best most non-touristy places.Life is good. My brother’s case continues and I have my moments of sheer anger and sadness then I remember my brother and I do what I can to enjoy the moment and then take each moment as it comes…

I can smell Spring and I can hear the road whisper my name.