January 11, 2001

i'm so easily amused.
I love these dates. 010101. 011001. 011101. heh.

yes. well.
Sorry I haven't written in a while; I know you all missed me. I haven't done a whole lot of riding, because the rain finally started here. Peter and I spent the weekend snowboarding at Kirkwood, so no riding happened then, and then it's basically been pouring rain ever since. Oh well. Rain here means snow in Tahoe, and that's never a bad thing. Besides, if it keeps raining, I might be motivated to take the Nighthawk over to Peter's garage and finally do all that steering stem maintenance already. I'm sort of half waiting on that until I haul my lazy butt over to Home Depot and buy a cinder block to prop the bike up on, though. I'll make Kim drag me over there one of these days, because we all know how much Kim hates Home Depot, too. :) I'm doing the Home Depot thing in this last-ditch effort to dissuade myself from spending $80 on a nice aluminum wheeled stand. Feh.

speaking of spending money.
I just bought a nice Dowco Protector bike cover off of ebay for $40 (which somehow managed to get 10 bucks tacked on for shipping from Texas, but, whatever, still cheaper than retail). So I'm sure at least Ann will be happy to hear that. It's a nice cover, too; it has aluminized panels on the sides so that I can put it on over the hot pipes without burning holes in it, like I did with my old cover. Oops. Consumerism: so good.

speaking of consumerism.
OK, I've been keeping a secret. I was waiting until I was a little further along in the process to spill it, but since I've already told my "real world" friends, I might as well start documenting the process here.

I'm buying a new bike. The Suzuki SV650S.

Yup, it's true. I haven't gotten very far in the process yet (through no fault of my own! I swear it!), but the ball's definitely started rolling. I sent out faxes to 14 mostly-local Suzuki dealers last week, asking for their out-the-door (OTD) prices on the SVS. The manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) is $6199, but most dealers will sell bikes for a little less. There's also tax and licensing: tax is the sales tax on the bike (which I'm expecting to be a lot), and licensing is the amount that it costs the dealer to register the bike with the DMV. They take care of all that so that you can ride it legally off the lot. So, the OTD price is the MSRP, minus any dealer discount, plus tax, plus licensing. I haven't heard back from any of the dealers yet, which I find to be extremely odd, but I gave a deadline of tomorrow, so I'll wait to see if I've gotten any responses by then. If not, I'll prioritize the dealers by distance and positive/negative reviews I've heard, and start calling them on Monday. I was hoping not to have to call, since I'm not interested in playing stupid dealership games with anyone, but I'm hoping that bike dealerships will be marginally easier to deal with than car dealerships. I'll keep y'all posted.

The other part to this whole thing is getting a loan. I sure don't have $7000 burning a hole in my pocket, so I figured that getting a (relatively) small loan as my first loan ever would be a good idea. That way I'm only getting confused over an amount that I can pay back pretty quickly. After talking to some friends who've gotten car loans recently, I decided on a local credit union. I tried to fill out their online "become a new member!" application tonight, but I'm confused by some of the jargon, so I think I'll just give them a call tomorrow and explain what I'm looking for, and I'm sure the representative will be able to tell me what kind of account I want.

I've been asked by a couple of my friends why I'm buying a new bike. The most obvious reason is because I want to! ;) I've really liked the SVS for a long time (I should point out that this is just the first time I mentioned the SVS here. Peter and Kim would tell you that it's been longer than that since I've had my eye on it. ;) ), and I keep hearing nothing but rave reviews on it. There are also practical reasons for wanting a new bike. Peter and I are starting to actually plan on going to Yosemite this summer, and possibly to Las Vegas sometime after that. I've never been to Las Vegas before (unless you count the airport, which I don't), and we thought it'd be a ton of fun to ride there. I wouldn't want to ride the 2.7-gallon-before-reserve, air-cooled-engine Nighthawk across the Mojave desert. Frankly, I wouldn't even want to ride a standard on a freeway for more than 100 miles. I know people have done it; I know it's not impossible. I guess I just figure that I'm lucky enough to be able to be in a position to buy the SVS, so I might as well go for it.

Yes, I'll still definitely be keeping the Nighthawk. It'll probably be my commuter bike for a while, and will definitely be my tinker bike. I'm frankly looking forward to ripping it apart and putting it back together again. :)

So, that's the craziness in my neck of the woods. I'll keep y'all posted as to how the purchase is going.

speaking of the nighthawk.
I bought it exactly one year ago today. I've almost doubled the mileage that was on it -- which is less impressive than it sounds since I bought it at only 3200 miles, but it still impressive when you consider that I didn't really ride it anywhere until july or whatever. So, 3000+ miles in 6 months. I suppose that isn't too horrible, for my first 6 months of actual riding.

It seems like a lot longer than 6 months. I can't imagine driving my car everywhere I need to go anymore (well, except for when it's raining). I can't imagine not lugging a helmet everywhere I go. I can't imagine not riding. I can't imagine not having a wish list of 10 bazillion bike-related things that I really need to spend all my money on right now. I can't imagine going somewhere after showering and not having my hair be all flat and frizzy and stupid looking for the rest of the day. It's no fun to sing out loud in my car anymore. The thought of planning a road trip on 4 wheels is horrendous. I can't remember not knowing what a ratchet wrench was. There must have been a time in the not-so-distant past when I didn't know the difference between a 2-stroke and 4-stroke engine. I don't remember how I wasted time at work before there were hundreds of personal bike websites out there to peruse.

Without the Nighthawk, I wouldn't have some of my favorite memories of Peter. I might not be as good of friends with Kim. I would have never gotten an email from Ann that started off with "I think we have some mutual friends....". I would have never met Vicky, or Bren, or any of the SBLers. I wouldn't be writing this.

Happy anniversary, my little "blupoof" bike. :)

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