So anyways. Well, I'd like to introduce a New Feature of my humble web abode here. Peter suggested that I do an online bibliography of motorcycle books I've read, which I thought was just a wonderful idea. So here it is. Right now it's just a list, with links to White Horse Press, but I'll start writing little reviews of each of the books, too. I was originally going to link to Amazon's pages for each book, but decided to go with White Horse instead (not that I'm benefiting either way), since WH is a motorcycle-stuff only publishing company, and I thought I'd do my part to support the community. So, please, if you're thinking of buying any of the books listed in my bookshelf, do go check out White Horse. :)
No, no one paid me to say that. Really!
the assassins are getting more clever.
So, I only nearly got hit twice today, and neither happened on Central Expressway (home of all that is evil). Therefore, I think I will have to re-think my personal philosophy, and perhaps begin to refer to Central merely as "home of a whole lot that is evil," or even "home of most that is evil." Kim reprimanded me again today, chiding me that Central Expressway is not evil, *Palo Alto* is evil, and therefore it is only a portion of Central that is, in fact, home to the devil. I would like to agree with Kim on this, as Central east of Mary Avenue is certainly not privy to the Prince of Darkness, and much of Palo Alto which is not Central certainly is.
If you've driven in Palo Alto, you know what I'm talking about. If not, nevermind, and don't worry, I'm done talking about it now.
So, yeah, the first near-hit was on northbound Lawrence today as I was going from my allergy shot to work. Out of all three nearly-empty lanes, the Winnebago needed to be in that far-left lane, oh yes it did. And it really didn't need to go faster than 35mph (speed limit is 50mph). So I passed it on the right, going into the center lane. Just as I'd passed it, Soccer Mom in the Huge Minivan really needed to move from the right-hand lane to the center lane, and she sure didn't need to use a turn signal nor check her mirrors, no she sure didn't. So, I swerved back over in front of the Winnebago, laying on my horn the whole time. She actually stuck her head out of the side window and looked around until she saw me (well, until where she saw where the horn had come from; she sure the hell didn't expect to see a motorcycle there). So, foo on you, Soccer Mom. That's what those side mirrors are for, and why they made your head able to rotate on your neck.
The second near-hit was on east-or-south-or-whatever-bound El Camino Real while ditching work to go pay Foothill College for the privilege of playing with their orchestra. I'm going around 40mph (the speed limit is either 35mph or 40mph), and out of the corner of my eye, I see an oncoming red sports car pull into a lefthand turn lane which crosses El Camino (no stop light or stop sign for us). Then, as I'm approaching, I realize that said sports car is not in fact stopping, and is heading right for me. I give a nice example of maximum braking, and illustrate to myself that perhaps I need to work on it a titch more; the rear wheel locked and skidded for just a fraction of a second. But apparently hearing my squealing brakes made Young Stud With Silly Goatee In Sports Car realize that I existed, and he came to a nice slow stop in the middle of crossing El Camino, and gave me a look that clearly said, "I am way too cool and young and phat to act like I just nearly hit you. Look at my white tank top and gold chain and goatee and sunglasses on my neck. Look at my arm casually draped out the window. La la la. I am so phat. Word." I stuck my tongue out at him, which is not terribly effective when wearing a full-face helmet, and carried on. So, foo on you, Young Stud With Silly Goatee In Sports Car. You looked like a Backstreet Boy reject with that stupid tank top and gold chain anyway.
So, I've been checking out stats on the Triumph ST, and especially after my encounter with Silly Yuppie Man, I became nervous that perhaps it really was too big and bulky. I had just happily convinced myself that I really didn't need a new bike, and I really didn't need to spend all my money, when a web search revealed an evil secret. The ST (and its sports-bike compatriot, the RS) evolved from a common parent in the late '90s: the Triumph Sprint 900. Here. Go see. Yum. It's got a 6.6 gallon tank and a seat height of only 31.5" (the Nighthawk's is 30.9"). And a used Sprint is a full $7000 cheaper than a new ST or RS. *sigh*
I did, however, in my quest to make tall bikes attainable, find a neat little product which helps with the vast seat-to-handlebar distance problem. There are two main brands, HeliBars and Gen Mar. Both brands lift the handlebars up about an inch or so (I think it's dependant on the type of bike), and the HeliBars also bring them an inch or so (again, dependant) back towards the rider. Sounds great to me; the thought of riding any distance while laying flat on the gas tank isn't really appealling.
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