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Old 08-04-2011, 10:27 AM   #1
Alleycatdad OP
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Joined: Feb 2008
Location: True Norcal, not that Bay Area/Sacto Crap...
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Riding Wretched

All the talk about commuting on a 990 over in Orange Crush has me wanting to adjust my current ride
into work. In fact, work is slow, and I am jonesing for any ride at all, RIGHT NOW.

Now, you gotta understand something right up front. I don't have a commute in the sense that most
of you do. In fact, even if I did live in one of those big concrete jungles that inspire so many to
commute at all, the fact that I live a whole .6 miles from my work would probably mean that I'd
walk rather than deal with even that whole half-mile of cage-borne madness.

But I don't live in one of those places, and most mornings I see somewhere between two and five cars
on my way to work, so I ride. Since I go to work most days between 5:30 and 6:00am, extending the
commute is not attractive to me, as these are the DARK hours. Not dark as in no light, but DARK as
in the Forest Rats are out and I don't need one in my lap. Besides, my wife prefers me to take a
little time on the way home to get work out of my system, so I get a pass in the evenings...

But, I digress.
===
While Wretched waits patiently in the parking lot (Who?!? - see: Wretched Excess), my day is
DRAGGING. Don't know what's up, maybe folks didn't get their reminder calls, but they're sure
not showing up for their appointments. The ultrasound closet is quiet, but I'm stuck sitting here
in case the next one actually shows up.

Cue the crickets...



It's a beautiful day outside, or so I'm told:



About as warm as I like it, but not yet too hot.

My boots taunt me from the corner:



As my screen saver silently reminds me what else I could be doing...







As the second-hand of my el cheapo wall clock clacks its way through the day, reminding
me of just how slowly time is passing, I realize that it's gonna be the perfect evening to test
the second fan I installed last night, if I can just get out of here and go find some slower-going dirt.



Wretched has some new, awfully clean belly-bling as well that needs a scuff or two:



...so all I have to do is make it to 5:15.
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Old 08-04-2011, 11:16 AM   #2
Alleycatdad OP
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Location: True Norcal, not that Bay Area/Sacto Crap...
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Because I'm on call, I've gotta stay in a reasonable radius, time-wise, and I've gotta stay in
cell-phone range as well. This is a challenge, since I live on the western slopes of this:



and everything from here is either up, over, or both. There's OK cell coverage along I-5, but it
peters out pretty quickly as you begin to go anywhere interesting. Spots like this are pretty much
off-limits while on call.



The work day FINALLY ends, and, miracle of miracles, there's no late add-ons to extend the day.
In no time, my view goes from my dark little cubbyhole to this:



It's a traffic jam on Old McCloud Boulevard, quickly giving way, five minutes (I caught a red) from
work, to this:



NOW, the commute's starting to look up! If you're worried about missing cars with your panniers
during your drive home, best you just stop reading now.



Dropping over the shoulder of the mountain toward Signal Butte, I still have some cell signal; I'm
trying to be clever and stay on the fringes of the McCloud/Hwy 89 cell towers.



It looks like I'll be able to close the loop and still get reception, but the road has turned to
varying depths of dust.



I hate this stuff, particularly on the 990. Bull dust, fesh-fesh, baja silt, volcanic ash; call it
what you will, it's no fun to ride in, especially alone. I know that the best way to deal with it
is to ride it hard, but today I just can't quite get into the required mindset. It's hot and I just
don't want to crash, or pick the bike up, if I can help it. This is complicated by the fact that
the road got rutted while it was wet, so there's concrete-like ruts buried under 3-10 inches of this
stuff. Just need to wick it up and it'll be fine...



There's little wind and this stuff is so light it just hangs in the air forever. There are
advantages to riding alone.



...yes, that's my dust back there...

Finally, this:



Turns to this:



and I find my Mojo, picking the speed up and running home, back over the shoulder of the mountain.









Coming back around to the West and into the lowering sun.



Back to the big city...



...traffic light and all...



Oh yeah, commuting in traffic sucks.

Got some dirt on the new bling:



and, despite my best efforts to the contrary in the silt, completely failed to overheat the bike.
'Course, now it blows hot air on BOTH legs, but no overheating!

Left some silt on the side panels for the morning.



If you look at the left side of this, you'll see "Home" and "Work". Gotta love the commute loop,
eh?



Steve
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Wretched Exce$$ See ADVr's around the world-ADV spotwalla page
Riding Wretched Wretched Passes
Bad decisions make good stories.
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Old 08-04-2011, 01:10 PM   #3
TwoWheelExplorer
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I think you've figured out the best way to deal with an in-town commute.
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Old 08-04-2011, 01:12 PM   #4
Alleycatdad OP
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Location: True Norcal, not that Bay Area/Sacto Crap...
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patl View Post
I think you've figured out the best way to deal with an in-town commute.

Thanks. One of these days I'll get around to putting together some video of the "twisty" alternative...

Steve
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Wretched Exce$$ See ADVr's around the world-ADV spotwalla page
Riding Wretched Wretched Passes
Bad decisions make good stories.
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Old 08-05-2011, 09:03 AM   #5
Alleycatdad OP
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Location: True Norcal, not that Bay Area/Sacto Crap...
Oddometer: 1,377
I wasn't kidding about Bambi in the morning. Wanna lap dance?

This AM:


and the road to the top's finally open!





Finally, a pic of Wretched herself:



Love the morning light!

Steve
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When in doubt, PIN IT! It may not help, but it'll sure end the suspense...
Wretched Exce$$ See ADVr's around the world-ADV spotwalla page
Riding Wretched Wretched Passes
Bad decisions make good stories.
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Old 08-06-2011, 08:15 AM   #6
Bryn1203
Dances with spaniels
 
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Location: Denial - UK
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Nice
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Old 08-17-2011, 07:42 AM   #7
Alleycatdad OP
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Joined: Feb 2008
Location: True Norcal, not that Bay Area/Sacto Crap...
Oddometer: 1,377
Did the 4600 mile service so had to take the long way this morning...

I wasn't kidding about the forest rats; this one came sliding down a very tall embankment right in front of me; by the time I got stopped and he quit running, I was lucky to get even this unsharp shot:



and, of course, had to get a shot with the nearly-full moon:



It's getting dark earlier and earlier; cold mornings now, too. This has been the shortest summer I remember...

Steve
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When in doubt, PIN IT! It may not help, but it'll sure end the suspense...
Wretched Exce$$ See ADVr's around the world-ADV spotwalla page
Riding Wretched Wretched Passes
Bad decisions make good stories.
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Old 08-17-2011, 12:33 PM   #8
BERNERBUDDY
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Location: NorCal
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Thanx for the great shots. The scenery should put you in a good mood for work. BB
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