It is not often that I ride to work because I don't particularly want to think about the traffic, the lights, the cars coming from the right and left, the school buses and I don't really have to worry about the weather either. Today my car is in the shop for new tires and brakes, so I took the bike to work. I have not ridden in about a week and half either.
First experience was starting up the FJR and hearing its purr. No coughing, no sputtering, just a nice constant purr. The first smile.
Pulling out of the driveway where I live can be a real challenge. First are the cars that park close to our entrance so they block the view of on coming cars. Second is the traffic. Most of the time there is enough of it, that you need to be cautious. This morning no car parked on our side of the street blocking any views, no traffic. I simply was able to pull out of the driveway and hit the road. The second smile.
Right turn onto Hartford Ave and I find myself accelerating and having to back off of the throttle. I am sure I was doing 50 in a most certainly a 35 and most probably a 25. The temperature is 63 and should be a bit cold, but it seems much warmer than than indicated. First stop sign no traffic and ease on thru the intersection. Hit the first traffic where RT 16 meets Hartford Ave. There is quite a bit and the line forms for getting thru the stop sign. For some reason it doesn't matter this morning. I have alot of patience and not in hurry to get any place.
Next foray is thru Bellingham making my way to I-495. A bit of traffic as usual, but no texters, sextexters, cell phoners, eye makeupers, combers that I see. Just people like me on the way to work and paying attention to the task at hand. No drama.
Right turn signal on, enter the entrance ramp to I495. One car in front of me, that is going slower than I want, but still making steady progress. We merge onto 495, my eyes looking forward, not looking to blast out into the second lane yet, after all I would have to look back and the car could all of a sudden brake. Eyes forward, we are comfortably merged and traveling the slow lane. I see my opening, in second gear, crank the throttle, 4, 5 , 6k 7k on the tach, slip into 3rd and move to the fast lane. Glance down and we are moving along at 90. There is nothing like the unbridaled power of a FJR. Smile number three for the morning.
Look down at the on board thermometer, its hoverng around 68. Almost perfect temperature for riding. Running in and out of lite fog, sun breaching the clouds and then covered back up, blurs of yellows, reds, auburns on the trees, fall is definitely in the air. Throttle back to a comfortable 70. Exits fly by, the road is smooth, traffic light and well dispersed. I start thinking of Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania. What a great day this would be to simply ride the road to somewhere and no where.
Pass I95 South then North, next exit is about 2 miles away and mine to take. Exit right, twist the throttle, shift to 4th. I could have downshifted without the clutch. Another blip and we are into 3rd. The exit is mine and mine alone. Shift my weight slightly to the right, drop my right elbow, push with the left hand and the bike falls right over into the decreasing turn. Throttle steady, engine purring, eyes looking thru the turn, no debris, no sand, just a smooth exit ramp. The ramp becomes a road and that road is straight marking the ride is almost over, well at least the good part. Smile number four.
As I pull into Subway for my Black Forest Ham, Egg and Cheese sandwich, I say to myself I really should ride to work more often. I am sure I had a smile on my face.