Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Today's sky report

Today's morning sky was filled with sun and anticipation. The second in a series of Blog 'n Brews is tonight and who can wait?

Besides the second Blog n' Brew, today is also the 14th annual Ride to Work day ( The idea behind this effort is to promote motorcycling as more than just sport. If motorcycling was used more often as a form of basic transportation, there would be less crowding on the highways, in the parking lots and so forth. Even though the Ride to Work non-profit is based out of Minnesota, I have to believe that this cause might a bigger deal in California or Florida where you can be assured of more days of sun and warmth than in NH. Although, let's not forget that NH has one of the highest (if not the highest) number of motorcycle registrations per capita.

Much like my first day on EZ Pass (see post below), I expected everything to be different on Ride to Work day. Instead of 50 cars to every motorcycle, it would be the other way around. As I mounted my bike for the ride and headed down my small road, I expected to be joining up with other motorcyclist as I got on to larger and larger arteries. We would ride as a pack, kind of like the road into Weir's Beach during NH's motorcycle week. As I reached the corner at the end of my road, all I saw were cars and trucks. Merging on to Rt 101, I was surrounded by cages (cars). Where were my biking buddies? Did they not know it was Ride to Work day? Do none of them have jobs to ride to? After about 5 miles, I saw one bike going the other way. I gave him a nod and a wave, which were not reciprocated - almost as if he didn't understand our solidarity in our work transportation. For the whole 45 minute trip, I may have seen 7 or 8 motorcycles - less than I see on a normal day. What gives? How are we going to change the world if people don't care? Could it be that everyone drove today so they could listen to NPR reports on the Bush's new Supreme Court nominee? They're missing a lot of fresh air…

Realistically, in NH motorcycles should be seen as a hobby or a sport and not as a form of transportation. I have ridden a lot of miles in all kinds of weather, and unless you live 10 or less miles from work, you are going to get wet, cold, baked, burnt or bruised. I generally ride with a full riding suit, which helps deal with changing weather conditions, but even so, there will always be rides where you will uncomfortable. Still, I remember as a boy, trying to justify the purchase of a bike to my mother by saying I could use it instead of a car. I didn't get the bike.

As a footnote to my EZ Pass Rage post, the system seems to be sorting itself out. They have moved the EZ pass lanes to the middle, leaving two lanes to the left for tokens (I'm not sure why they didn't figure this out earlier). Still, as I was approaching the lane this morning, a car was in front of me without a transponder. The man rolled into the booth, nothing changed or flashed and he drove on. Now that's a discount.

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