Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Hello Sunshine...

A week ago Monday was the first day of Summer and it greeted us with a nice warm, sunny welcome after an unseasonably cool, wet Spring. It has been beautiful and dry since, as if Ma Nature just set down the watering can. The past two weeks have been quite summer like, but we're Oregonians and we're still a little "sun shy". We just aren't quite sure if summer is really here or not so when the sun appears we question just how long it will stay out this time and expect every cloud that crests Mary's Peak to the West to ruin our picnic.

The blog has suffered lately along with yard maintenance, bike cleaning and physical fitness and now it's a race to catch up on everything in the yard that was too wet and muddy to do in the spring. We've been busy pulling weeds, planting plants we bought earlier in the year on one of the rare, dry Spring days we had. I've been transplanting other plants that have grown out of control with all the rain and no longer fit the location where I originally planted them. The first five cubic yards of bark mulch has been spread. The lawn continually needs to be mowed and plants watered, it is hard to believe that just 9 short days ago we thought the rain would never end. Now we're standing at the end of a hose every evening hoping all our hard work doesn't dry up and go to waste. I'm not complaining, I am loving this weather, but this time next year when I look back at this post I can be grateful Spring 2011 is much warmer and drier than 2010.

So that takes care of the yard maintenance, check, which in turn covers physical activity, check. Two birds, one stone. But, now the bike hasn't been washed since it stopped raining. Maybe I could park the bike in the shrub bed and wash it at the same time I am watering the plants.

I have to wash the bike soon, with Juneuary nearly over the next event on the calender is Independence Days Ride In. A friend set up this event last year with great success, enough to make it an annual event. We all park our bikes down by the river at the park and check out all the bikes, recruit new forum members, meet new people and make even more friends. Everyone had a great time last year and I am looking forward to it this year.

We have gotten some riding in and Trobairitz has been making great strides in her riding ability. We rode up to Alsea Falls and back one day, a single lane twisty road she thought she'd never ride on her own. Another day we rode down to Eugene to the Triumph shop and then through town for lunch. She was a little nervous but she handled it very well, the ride back is the video in my last post. She also stepped up to the plate and rode to work on Ride To Work Day. She'll ride her own bike to the bike show Saturday, it won't be too much longer before we have both bikes packed up to ride across the county.

I've been watching the grass grow along my route to and from work, it is getting tall and all the allergy sufferers are suffering. One field in particular caught my attention:

This is pollen, this is not caused by a tractor in the field, nor a truck driving down a dusty gravel lane. This is pollen.

Photobucket Click for Video

Linn County is the Grass Seed Capital of the World, which puts food on my table and fuel in my tank, but if you suffer from allergies you might not want to visit this time of year. The farmers are waiting for the fields to dry out so they can get their equipment out there without getting stuck. Relief is on the way folks, they should be cutting and harvesting the Annual Rye and Tall Fescue this weekend, the Perennial will be late this year. Keep your allergy medicine close by, it's not over yet.

Enjoy the Holiday weekend, play safe.


Sunday, June 6, 2010

Where did it go?

Trobairitz and I took the first week of June off from work, turning a three day holiday weekend and a short 4 day work week into a 9 day vacation. Make that a staycation, for some reason I wasn't up for packing up the car or bike and spending hours on the road. Instead I had thoughts of spending those hours in the yard replacing plants that hadn't survived the winter deep freeze, tidying up the shrub beds, laying a stone patio and finally getting a garden area started. We would also be able to get a few rides in on the bikes and get Trobairitz some miles under her belt. I had a few errands I wanted to get in too as it is difficult to get away from my work mid-week. We booked the time off weeks in advance and were excited to finally get all of our chores done.

Well, it finally stopped raining yesterday, day 8 of our 9 day staycation. Needless to say, nary a plant was planted, barely a weed was pulled, the lawn didn't get mowed, it has been too wet to even think about digging an area for the patio but we did get a ride in yesterday.

When you live in Oregon it is much too easy to complain about the weather, I try my hardest to stay positive and reflect on the nicer of the days we've had lately, but they have been very few and far between. Bobskoot doesn't call his blog 'Wet Coast Scootin' for nothing.

My last post I was dodging rain showers at the Oregon Vintage Motorcycle Show and Swap Meet and since then I took Wednesday, May 26th off to dodge rain showers at the OSU Motorcycle Visibility Day.

I thoroughly enjoy taking this day off from work to park my bike on campus and talk motorcycles. It was a great turnout despite the less than desirable weather and what better time to promote motorcycle visibility than a rainy day. Although it did have some of us ducking for cover.

The weather did improve and the sun made an appearance that afternoon however, the rain didn't stay away for very long, putting a damper on the Memorial Day weekend. We did manage to get a ride in on Sunday, barely.

We met up with the gang Sunday morning to ride south of Eugene along Wolf Creek Road, a road I've been wanting to explore for sometime. I generally keep a pretty close watch on my tires and I knew my front tire was pretty worn so I had ordered a new one. It's no secret that I am a bit of a procrastinator and I had put off mounting the tire for one more ride, I had the week off and plenty of time to change it then, or so I thought. After arriving to meet the group I noticed an odd dimple in the front tire, no nail head but just a dimple.

I poked and prodded around a bit to find it was the cords showing through. It looked like bright neon green bubble gum inside the tire, no hole, no puncture just what I assumed was the cords.

"Sorry guys, I have to sit this one out". "I have a new tire in the garage, maybe I can get swapped out and meet you in Creswell". This unfortunately would put us past Wolf Creek Rd. and the one part of the ride I really wanted to do. The last tires I changed were on the Ninja and they whooped my butt so I was afraid this would be the same. I hadn't given up hope and now know a cruiser tire swaps a lot easier than a sportbike tire. My lovely assistant and I had the tire off and the new one mounted, balanced and back on the bike in less than an hour. Double check, triple check, yep, I called Rick and had them wait for us in Noti, just north of Wolf Creek and hustled to catch up to the group. I have never scrubbed in a tire so quickly before, it isn't the cornering that does it, get on the gas and pull hard on the brakes, by the time I met the group I was confident the tire was sufficiently scrubbed. The rest of the day I was confidently scraping pipes in the corners and having a blast.

Memorial day was wet so we ran up to Salem for lunch and wandered around the local sports shops checking out camping gear. There is rumor of a blogger's convention and I am thinking about checking out Sport Bike Northwest this year. Yes, my America qualifies as a sport bike.

The rest of our staycation was pretty uneventful, the rain has a way to demotivate a person. I did use the time to install heated grips on Trobairitz's bike and get her out on a couple of rides. It is a pleasure to watch how quickly she progresses once the weather improves and we get out for a ride. I risked dropping the new camera for an impromptu video.


Come on summer...