07 February 2009

Call me Ishmael

I’m still here.

January has been an exercise in trying to remain occupied with various tasks around the house. Tasks that take my mind off of the inevitable fact that it is still winter, as a result, this is one of the first times that I’ve approached my computer since my last post.

There have been changes that Charlie and I have made to my KLR, changes that I’ll post in the future. Most of my time for the past month, my two wheeled activities have involved planning things that I would like to do this year on the bike.

Here are some of the things that I have been scheming.

1. Never been to Moab, I’d like to say that I have.........we’ll see.
2.More camping this year, considering that I didn’t do any last year.
I live at the doorstep of the Rocky Mountains, it shouldn’t be that hard. Anywhere from Priest lake to the Seven devils will do just fine.
3.After writing my previous post, I think that a trip back to the Jefferson valley and a very special time in my childhood is in order. I feel that I will fail to describe in words what is like there, pictures are in order.
4.Aftermarket pipe, possibly. Nothing too loud though.

I’ve been stealing away on the occasional weekend ride here and there. The weather has been too dramatic to brave commuting to work just yet. Weekend rides help, but honestly, they are not enough. I’m getting moody.

The other night, I was reading some Herman Melville before bed, I read this passage that I felt accurately reflected my mood, I’d like to share it here; perhaps it’ll strike a chord with you as well.

Call me Ishmael. Some years ago-never mind how long precisely-having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world. It is a way I have of driving off the spleen and regulating the circulation. Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul, whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street and methodically knocking people’s hats off, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can.

Lines from Moby Dick.

I think that pretty much sums it up for me............hold onto your hats when you see me approaching; you’ve been warned.

The other evening, on my commute home, I noticed a lone bare spot in a wheat field that was predominately covered with snow, in that spot, was a patch of green. The first evidence of the approach of spring! The next morning on my return to work, I searched for this small patch of early wheat, but found it covered with a dusting of snow that had fallen over night. That’s alright, I can’t see it, but I know it's there.

Riding season 2009 is getting near. I can almost taste it!

For those of you who have been able to cast off from the depressing “Shores of winter” and return to the sea, Ride Well, I envy you.

As for me, my ship is just about ready to raise her sails once again!



fasthair said...

Mr. Earl or is it Ishmael? I've been lucky on the last couple of weekends and been able to get out and hoist my sails. I thought of you as I passed ol' barns with snow covered drives. I hoped you were able to get out and enjoy a ride this winter season. It's nice to hear that you have. But just like you my rides have been way too short to really scratch the itch more then just a little bit. Here's to more green pastures and lots of camping this year my friend. I hope we both get to enjoy a lot of it this year.


Anonymous said...

Earl this is a fantastic blog entry - You've said it better than most of us could, but I believe you stated the way many bikers feel during the winter months.
Hang in there my friend.

Doug C said...

The temps in Ohio reached close to 50ºF on Saturday. About 15 or 20 degrees well into the temperate riding range. But my street and several others are still cover with ice. I suspect we'll need a few more days like that before we'll be rid of it all.

Aye captain. It's time to fill me sails with some salty air.

Baron's Life said...

Too powerful...You can call me Ishmael too for I have nothing to do till summer or at least spring gets here

bobskoot said...

I was Ishmael last Saturday. Went for a ride but had to watch out for ice in the shadows and lots of Sand and salt, had to try out my heated Gloves. Just went we thought Winter was over, it's coming back this week. some snow forecast for tomorrow.

We were in Moab a couple of years ago. Went to Arches NP, Canyonlands, then looped around to Capital Reef, Bryce and Zion and of course also the Grand Canyon through Monument valley. only stayed a couple of days, but next time will take the Pink Jeep Ride. You're gonna love it. some pix here:

bobskoot: wet coast scootin

irondad said...

I've been riding all Winter. I'm so ashamed! Actually, I rode up to Kirkland today. That was a little hairy with the new snow.

At least you have an excuse to be cranky. I'm out to sea and my pleasant disposition is still out to lunch, for some reason. I think it's the fact that I haven't had a break from mixing it up with stupid people on the road.

Two wheeled freedom is literally right around the corner for you, now. Hang in there just a bit longer.

Earl Thomas said...

Fasthair; Call me selfish, but I find that I am never really satisfied unless I can enjoy the luxury of riding everyday. Something as basic as the daily commute can do wonders for my mood.

Sarch; I know that I am not alone up here and I am positive that I will be on the road much sooner than some of my fellow riders. I think that it's safe to say that I can begin holding my breathe now without the fear of turning purple and passing out before spring comes.

Doug C.; It can be frustrating when the weather is beautiful but you can't get the bike from the garage to the clear roads to enjoy it.

There was a snapping point in early January where I started the bike just to make sure that everything was working as it should. Once the engine was running there was nothing that was going to stop me from riding it. The ground clearance on a KLR is a wonderful thing when navigating the snow drifts to the road!

Baron's life; You folks up in Canada and the harsher winter climates have my full respect. I don't know how you do it.

Bobskoot; Arches NP is one of the main reasons I want to visit the Moab area. I work with a guy who rode his Harley all through that area a few years ago and he said that it was definitely worth the trip.

Irondad; I have a feeling that as soon as the freezing fog begins to disappear and the roads melt, I'll be out with a some consistency. The cold doesn't bother me with my riding gear, the early morning ice caused by the snow melting over the roadway during the daytime is another thing. Like I told Sarch, I feel that it is safe to hold my breathe now!

Ride Well


fasthair said...

Earl: You are not selfish in the least. For I too am in a better mood and much nicer to be around when I can ride everyday. As you say, even the ride to work can do wonders for my mental health. However a few days during the long cold winter goes a long way in ridding some of the winter times blues.


Lance said...

Earl, very nice post. I too have seen glimpses of spring on the west side of the state, although sometimes I feel they are more teases than promises. I wish you safe journeys as you set sail!