Archive for the ‘moto’ Category

It pays to be a good driver

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

I had to run to the DMV today because the guy at AAA didn’t seem to be able to help me — he told me I owed 2 years worth of registration fees on my Ninja! I told him he was crazy! Well the DMV told me the same thing and so I just paid them and filed for an address change for my license and registered vehicles. BTW, Santa Ana DMV was amazingly fast. The California DMV website lists the wait times for various local DMV offices and the wait time listed for non-appointment drop in visitors at the Santa Ana DMV (23 minutes) was spot on. I was impressed.

Last week when I was driving up to San Francisco, I got pulled over for speeding at 90mph. The speed limit on I-5 is 70 so I wasn’t going crazy fast, but I was driving faster than I normally do. Even though I’ve got that shit hot car, I usually drive about 80, maybe 85mph up to and down from San Francisco. Don’t ask me why I was doing 90. It didn’t feel any different than 80 and it was early in the morning and traffic was light, the sun was up by the time I got pulled over (at 8am) and I was about halfway to my destination and feeling really happy. So 90…maybe that was just a sign of contented happiness on my part.

I am a good citizen. I don’t do anything illegal and I hardly ever get pulled over. So somehow that makes me extremely anxious about cops. They literally make me sweat and shake. When I got pulled over, I had to really focus to keep my hands steady as I handed him the requisite paperwork because I’m not only terrified of cops, but I’m terrified they’ll know I’m terrified because that has got to be a sure sign of guilt about something.

But I acted calmly and handed him my paperwork. He took it to his car and I waited for about 10 minutes for him to look up various things about my person. And when he came back, he gave me a present! Look, your driving record is totally clean so I’m just going to give you a warning about your speed and give you this fixit ticket for your change of address on your driver’s license. I was shocked! Then he smiled and said, my brother-in-law has one of these cars. I know how they can get away from you sometimes. I thanked him profusely, called him sir, and wished him an excellent day.

People seem to love these cars. Anyone who knows anything about cars gets really excited about my car. I randomly met a guy who produced shows for the Speed network and he gets to play with all sorts of cars — even he loved my car. And he loved that a girl was driving that car. It made me puff up my feathers and preen myself a bit, I was so flattered when he said that. And people who know people who have STis seem to love them too. It’s such an odd thing to own something that other random people love as much as I love.

But back to that cop. I was surprised at his the kindness of his gift. I was really, really excited — he saved me hundreds of dollars, and saved me a whole day of traffic school. I think people should always pay forward acts of kindness. I remembered this when I got to the toll booth at the Bay Bridge and paid for the random person behind me. But I guess I should have paid for the next 100 people behind me. I still owe for that cop’s kindness.

Itching to ride

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

I got my bike back from the shop today and was so excited about taking it for a little ride, but I couldn’t buy a helmet off the rack. They just don’t stock them in my size! Plus I forgot that the registration sticker on it is from 2006 and even though it’s legally registered, I seemed to have misplaced my 2010 sticker.

Since I’m in Southern California, I couldn’t go to one of the gear places I know of up north to buy my helmet. I picked up my bike at Mission Motorsports in Irvine, but didn’t get a chance to look at helmets while I was there because the tow truck driver was waiting for me (no helmet, no ride). So when I got home I checked on Yelp for a place to get gear near my place. Not a whole lot of options turns out. Which I find weird because in San Francisco alone, I can think of at least 2-3 places I can go to for gear, plus the Cycle Gear and Road Rider stores in San Jose. So based on reviews, I picked OTD Orange County Motorsports to buy my helmet, but the guy there (who was very helpful) said they had almost nothing in stock because they were waiting on new inventory. And nothing at all in my size. I thought my head was big, but apparently that’s just wishful thinking cause I wear an XS.

I asked the guy at OC Motorsports where else I could go for helmets and he could only come up with Mission Motorsports (and he told me they got the new helmet models in before he did) so I went back there. I was really impressed with the girly helmets they have available now. And was turned onto Scorpion EXO which is a relatively new brand I’d never heard of before, but they make lots of nice looking women’s gear including both pretty and badass girly helmets (very reasonably priced compared to a Shoei or an Arai).

Brooklyn at the Mission Motorsports was really helpful and I ended up with another Shoei helmet: the somewhat new RF 1100 (Sylvan TC-9). Seems to have gotten lots of good reviews so I can’t wait to get it. I like that it’s light in color, but not solid white like my old one. I wanted something with a little more style and flare this time — something sexier like this:

They didn’t have it in the size or color I wanted/needed so I had to special order it. Hope to get it by Friday so I can go for a ride. All I want to do is go for a little ride. Just a little ride, mommy, please!

Ready to ride!

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

It was a gorgeous day in Southern California today and I had ants in my pants. I think I just wanted to be out enjoying the sun and do some people watching. I was running around in the car today itching badly to go for a joy ride down PCH, but I didn’t. The new car gets bad gas mileage and I have green guilt. Besides, that’s not what I really wanted to do. What I really wanted was to get out on a motorcycle and cruise PCH and to feel the wind rush over me.

My little EX250 has been sitting here in my mother’s garage for three to four years. I think it’s time to ride her again. Today I washed and waxed her — just because she’s been sitting around unloved and unused doesn’t mean she should go to the dealership looking like anything less than the gorgeous princess she is. She is so clean and smooth now. I’ve been petting her freshly waxed gas tank.

Next week when I come back, she’ll be all tuned up and I’ll have my gear and her current registration stickers and she’ll be ready for the open road again. I cannot wait! She and I are going to tear up PCH together.

Our killer truck

Tuesday, March 21st, 2006

This’ll be the first non-grief entry since my mother died. I’m hoping there will be more of these after this one.

I was driving a new truck down Skyline Blvd, and I came less than a foot away from hitting a deer. I saw it on the other side of the road and started to slow down not really sure if it was going to bolt or not and if so in which direction. So I’m slowing down and the deer’s sort of going in one direction, then another, then it bolts in front of me. I brake with all my might (the trucked performed excellently), and stopped the car just in time for the deer to run in front of it, practically brushing it’s fur against the grille.

Now, relieved and impressed that I didn’t kill the deer and the truck handled so well, I immediately hit and kill a raccoon. I didn’t see it fast enough to even begin to react. You can’t imagine my horror. I wanted to turn back – I know I probably didn’t want to see it, but I was afraid it might still be alive and need help…I know, stupid. The truck is now known as the death mobile.

New bike!

Friday, November 11th, 2005

speaking of new apartments, i got a new bike, too! it’s a beauty. gsf400. i don’t have pictures yet, but i’ll show her to you real soon. it was the bike i originally wanted for my first bike, but i couldn’t find a decent one to buy when i was finally ready to do it. i love je oola, but i couldn’t pass up this bike either. 1991 bandit with just over 7000 miles and no damage, never dropped at speed. a cute little high revver just like the ninja. and it’s comfier, too, for someone of my stature.

of course, first thing i do just after i’ve handed over my cash and signed all the paperwork is drop the poor thing as i’m trying to take off to take her home. I was a little horrified (my new bike!) and embarassed (since they were both standing there watching me — nerve racking), but i dropped it so slow that the tank didn’t suffer any damage at all. i broke the ball off the end of the clutch lever (that’s two I have to replace now), and scuffed up some bits, but those are easily replaced bits. denting the gas tank is far harder to recover from :)

Log, log, log

Thursday, October 6th, 2005

i rode right into a log the other night. we decided to go for a night ride down skyline blvd. but i was freezing my ass off not too long into the ride, so i was hunched over hugging my gas tank and watching the road and next thing i know, there’s a stinking log in front of me. i whacked it with my tire and drove on my merry way. the bike was fine and hitting the log didn’t even startle me.

tonight as i was riding home, the back end got all squirrelly on me — squirming around as i was braking — and it didn’t even phase me. which is probably a good thing. it’s got to be better to stay calm and under-react then freak out and over-react, right?

i was walking towards the elevator this morning and a co-worker said i had a nice bike. yeah, i heard it was a good beginner’s bike. Oh, you’re a beginner? yup. Tell me more. And I did — I told him where to take his MSF class and about the bay area riders’ forum.

i love my bike. and i’ve ridden it all summer, but it still happens to be early enough in my riding career that every single time i ride, i love it more and more. riding to work, i zip along the freeway and wish it would never end. and i used to hate the freeway. i used to take surface streets when i could. which i think was good for me and good practice, but now i just want to tear down the freeway and not have to stop. i still ride carefully. i don’t go too fast. my bike can do 80 comfortably, but i haven’t pushed it past that. and let me tell you, the ninja ex250 is an awesome bike. i love it and think it was a more than suitable choice as my first bike. i just need to find warmer gear now that summer is slipping away…

New car

Friday, February 11th, 2005

I bought my first car, a used Audi TT. I’ve been driving that Escort for 10 years — anything would’ve been a step up and I was thinking of getting another little affordable hatchback, but we’ve got a Subaru already, so I got myself a fun little car instead. The only complaints I have about it are 1) backing out is a little bit of work since rearward visibility is partially limited due to the placement and shape of the C-pillars, and 2) it’s too easy to shift into 4th gear when I’m trying to shift into 6th. I’ve only done it a couple of times and now that I know about it, I pull the shift knob to the right and down when I shift from 5th gear instead of straight down. Other than that, she’s quiet and smooth and handles beautifully. And she’s easy on the eyes to boot.

I also start a new job in a little over a week after President’s Day. I’ll be leaving my group and joining another, but I will finally be a full time employee again. I’m very excited about the change though I’ll miss the hell out of working with Ed and probably spend less quality time with him than I already do. But he’s got exciting things coming up for him, too.

My first bike!

Wednesday, August 25th, 2004

I have a bike! I’ve been looking for a couple of weeks now. I was going to buy a friend’s 400 Bandit, but that guy turned out to be a psycho and I got myself out of that. Then I looked at a beautiful, red Ninja 250 this weekend and that girl turned out to be a lying, greedy little thing so I didn’t get that one either (she posted an ad for $2100 for a 2001 Ninja — very reasonable — and then told me she had someone offer her $400 more for it than she’d posted in the ad. Who the hell would do that? And it had a weird dent she lied about, a gunky chain and jerked when it started — last two things pointed out to me by Ed, my motorcycle buying consultant :)

But the one I ended up buying tonight is practically brand new. A 2001 Kawasaki green Ninja 250. Ed took a couple of pictures, but they’re dark. The pictures John sent me are nicer. The seller and his wife were so incredibly nice and friendly. The transaction went so smoothly and professionally. And he’s taken amazing care of the bike — it literally looks brand new: no scratches, less than 1300 miles, broken in gently, oil changed a couple of times, everything is clean and spotless. I was a little jaded after that experience with the woman who wanted to start a bidding war this weekend, but gosh this was nice and easy.

I zipped around the parking lot at Google when we got it back. I haven’t ridden a motorcycle since I took my safety course. Ed says that was four years ago, but I think it might only be three. But anyway, a little coaching and I was doing circles in the lot. Tomorrow I’ll get her insured. Awww…I LOVE my new bike!