On Saturday afternoon, Lope and I went up to Asheville, NC (actually Waynesville, which is a surprisingly picturesque little Hamlet outside Asheville), and picked up my new ride -- a 2004 Suzuki V-Strom.
And yeah, Michele, that bob job was pretty tempting, and my knees did get all wobbly when I saw the extra photos the seller emailed me, but then I thought about the lack of a rear suspension and how punishing that might be, especially on the long ride back from its home in Raleigh, and, well, I wussed out.
Ultimately I went with the V-Strom -- affectionately known as the "Wee-Strom" (!) since it's the smaller of two similar models -- because I wanted something more practical than my last bike (which was exactly like that second one down, just one model year off; it *did* suit me nicely), with some wind protection and a little more power, but still able to venture off-road when the mood strikes.
Lope's skeptical about its off-road abilities, but we'll see.
Man, though: how about that ride home? Crisp (mid-50s), clear (-ish) and an amazingly effective way to familiarize yourself with a bike. Three hours in the saddle after six months off... I was a little rusty.
I'm also, I have concluded, pretty overstimulated. What with the computer in front of me all day and projects all night, with music-packed commutes in between, it's like my brain forgot how to rest. The first leg of my journey was the longest hour I've spent in a long time, with nothing to concentrate on but the road ahead. No music, no conversation (not with other people, at least), not even any twists or turns in the path. Just a slab of interstate, a setting sun and a freezing wind. My thoughts raced in circles, bouncing off each other, falling down and twitching, repeating themselves.
Eventually, I did stop going stir-crazy in my helmet, (there was a fine lunar eclipse that night, which we got to watch for almost an hour) and by the time we passed Spartanburg it had become almost meditative. I was surprised it took so long, though.
Anyone else noticing difficulty clearing your head lately? Do you think I'm right to blame all my self-inflicted busyness? Think it'll improve some as I get to take more frequent motorcycle rides?
I sure hope so.