Saturday, April 6, 2013

This is a two-part Blog today, so don't turn that dial too soon….

Part One

Okay, this is a test…

Well, more like a get ready for the long ride down to Nashville, TN in June, kind of a, "don't you think you should take a few practice long rides first?" kind of test.

So, tomorrow I will be taking a

250-mile (a bit over 402 km) ride through rural Maine.

My plan is to ride for 2-hours at a time - which is just about fuel-time riding at normal cruising speed, stop and stretch a bit, walk around, drink something, eat something, and then

Zooom out, and hit the road….

Now, I could head out and ride the State Roads, and be a total mental wreck after the first 30-some-odd miles, but rather, I'm going the circuitous route ("Serpentine, Serpentine Sheldon" for those fortunate enough to have seen the film), wandering through as many small out-of-the-way places as I can.

And so, for those interested in this mad pursuit, here, in three segments is my route for tomorrow….

First Segment of the "Let's see if I can really do this" trip.

Second Segment of the "Let's see if I can really do this" trip.

Third Segment of the "Let's see if I can really do this" trip.

Part Two

An Apology to all my millions of loyal readers (all seventeen of you), for not posting, nor following other's posts.  I'm on a large project (self-inflicted) and it is consuming all aspects of life.  To get an idea of what's occurring, I invite you to look at my Facebook page…

Scooter For Fun

There you will see an essay I wrote which has received much comment.  For those who have neither a Facebook page, nor an inclination to go there, let me bore you with a replica here….

I’m Not Marlon Brando: Why Do I Need A Jacket?
It’s true that most of us are not a Marlon Brando, or a Sasha Mullins, but the jacket worn in the movie The Wild One, still has its merits: Protection.  Of course, one of the standard arguments made when the subject of protection pops its head up, revolves around the supposed differences between the two bikes, with the standard statement being: “After all, I’m riding a scooter, not a motorcycle.”  Fair enough.  Let’s take a look at three differences often proffered between a scooter and a motorcycle:
  The scooter doesn’t weigh as much and can be maneuvered better.  Well, there are weight differences between machines, but maneuverability depends more on speed and skill rather than weight.  Then too, some of the larger cc scooters are pretty hefty machines, weighing right up there with some bikes;
  Scooters travel at a much slower speed.  Not true.  For any given highway condition, scooters and motorcycles travel at about the same speed – with some caveats:
                                       On Interstates there may be a slight speed differential in favor of the bike, but on average everyone travels at the posted limit plus or minus 5-mph.
                                       On state highways there may be up to a 10 mph differential.  Some of the smaller cc scooters, like a 75 or a 110, can’t make the 55 mph limit, and may be buzzing along at 40-45 mph.  Other than these differences, folks sightseeing down a country lane on a motorcycle will be clocked pretty close to the 35-some-odd miles per hour that scooter riders will be clocked as they sightsee down that lane.
                                       Motorcycles are inherently more dangerous than scooters.  Other than some mechanical differences – very minor ones, differences in “dangerousness” largely don’t exist.  The point here being that practically anything that can go wrong while riding a motorcycle, can also occur while riding a scooter:
                                                         Sand on the road?  A slide, slip and fall.
                                                         Raining on an oil-slick road? Stopping safely in a straight line – an iffy possibility.
                                                         Hard left curve on a heavy right-cambered road?  That contact patch is all that’s keeping either machine on the road.
                                       While similar examples can be mentioned ad infinitum, one statement can roll it all together, clarify and bring to pinpoint clarity:
If you hit the ground at 30, or 40 miles per hour,
the ground doesn’t care if you fell from a scooter, or a motorcycle,
it chews you up just the same.
From that viewpoint, the heavy leather motorcycle jacket, capable of resisting the road’s rough abrasive surface as well as absorbing some impact shock, makes great sense.  Of course, today, “Space Age” fabrics are being produced, that are lighter than leather, come fitted with “protection” – cups of material that form-fit your elbows, shoulders and spine, as well as with many reflective areas, so that you are not only protected in case of a spill, but are highly visible as you ride, both day and night.
       So, the final answer to your question is one word: Protection.
         Protection from the potential ills of the road.  And while it not so important as to What you wear, what is important is that you wear a jacket capable of taking the abuse of a spill, thus protecting you from harm.

So, the questions are, Do you agree, disagree, or don't give a rat's, er, care about the subject.  Whichever way you lean, I'd like to hear it, so either post it here or on the Facebook page.  And, for all, my apologies once again for not posting with my usual frequency.

1 comment:

  1. I bet you are out on the open road about now. Hopefully scooting along in the spring sunshine.

    In my humble opinion I would ride a scooter without full gear. In a college town we see many people in dresses or shorts, t-shirts and flip flops riding them. And when I hear the response - "it is just a scooter". I think to myself road rash is still road rash and the asphalt doesn't get any softer just because you are on a scooter.

    Put me down for the "protection" side of the equation.