Weather

The weather here has finally broken and what we consider fall has arrived here in The Sunshine State.

With the cooler weather the opportunity for riding has increased and I have been making the most of it. Even to the point that I have been taking the bike to commute to work.

Leaving early in the morning as I do 6:30a.m. was at first a bit daunting to say the least. I choose a route that is all along side roads and has little traffic.
The first morning was almost surreal. I was the only vehicle on the road. Now the first time I rode to work I was on the early shift so I had to leave the house no later then 5:30a.m.
When I drive the car I take main roads and even at that time there are a good number of people out on the road.

Not seeing other traffic was a very interesting thing to see.

The route I took takes me along the coast and at one point runs right along the water. When I came to that point I slowed down as I was in awe of what I saw. The morning was clear and calm, the water along the Intercoastal was like glass. Clearwater Beach was lit up like a Christmas tree with all the lights from the hotels and condo’s.

The reflection along the water was amazing. Breathtaking!

Now during the day there is a fair amount of traffic along this road along with foot traffic with people walking and jogging along the water.
At that hour of the day there was none of that which gave me the freedom to slow down and soak it all in.

When I bought my bike I had it checked out by a mechanic to make sure it was alright and didn’t need anything.
The day I went to pick it up he told me there was one thing wrong with the bike.

I held my breath momentarily and then he said “It needs to be ridden”

Well I’ve been doing that and enjoying every minute of it.

Matter of fact from spending so much time on the bike as I have of late has had me thinking of what to look for in my next bike.

A Reprieve

I have been granted a reprieve so to speak. It will be three weeks ago this coming Tuesday since I have had my first epidural.

The pain has diminished considerably; matter of fact it is about 60% gone.
In between it all I have been having more pain free time and only short moments of minimal pain.

On the 21st of this month I have a follow up with the doctor and the second injection will be scheduled.
It has been 10 months now since this back pain has become a part of my life and it is wonderful to finally feel some relief.
At the time I didn’t realize the fog I have been looking through and that has lifted.
Now I find myself wanting to catch up with many of the things I had put to the side while this has been going on.

Since it has been so long that I have been inactive I decided to take a Tai Chi class to help stretch and loosen my muscles.
I went to the first class this morning and I thoroughly enjoyed it
The person teaching the class is a wonderful teacher, willing to go as slow or as fast as everyone needs to in order to pick up on the moves.
I know I will be sore tomorrow as I was using some muscles that hadn’t been put to use in a while, that kind of hurting is a good kind.

The weather has begun to break here with the humidity level dropping considerably.
I’ve been waiting for this as I have been looking forward to making some longer rides now that I am used to being on the bike.
Even today I left early, right at sunrise, rode for a bit, stopped for breakfast, and went to Tai Chi class.

Afterwords I went to a park and walked around a bit taking some pictures.
I’ll be posting some of them here as time goes by but you can also see a daily picture that I post here: http://youthfulelixir.wordpress.com/

It feels good to be on the way to being whole again.!

Riding and Pictures

I’ve always loved taking pictures, usually I always have a camera in my pocket, in the car, or even in my lunch bag going to work. When I started riding my bike I would carry my Pentax point n shoot with me always ready to take a picture.

Recently I had a opportunity to upgrade myself to a Canon DSLR camera. I didn’t hesitate not for the deal I got it for. The camera is a Canon EOS Rebel T3 with a EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens wide angle lens and a EF-S 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 IS Telephoto Zoom Lens. Years ago I had a Pentax K100 SLR which I loved and used for many years, but then with life it drifted away and the digital point and shoots came along. With riding and taking pictures I got the bug for a better camera and my wish was answered.

I still had the camera bag from when I had the old Pentax and everything fit nicely in there, even the filters I had for the Pentax lenses fit the new lenses. Now there was one problem, the camera bag wouldn’t fit in my saddle bag, it was just to big and bulky. So I was still left with how to carry the camera with me on my bike.

The search began, it took me a while but finally I found something that looked like it was going to work out perfectly.

My answer came in the form of the Case Logic SLRC-205 SLR Camera Sling.

It has been an answer to all my needs for carrying my camera with me when riding my bike. The camera fits in the main bag with the telephoto lens mounted on it and a side pocket for a second lens. There are numerous other little pockets for carrying spare batteries, memory cards, and other small items. The best part of this is the bag wears as a sling so I can have it strapped across my back while riding. Even with the camera in it the weight is negligible. The bag had a strap that goes around the waist to snug the bag to you so it doesn’t move around.

The other nice part about the bag is that it is compact enough to fit in my saddle bag with the camera in it if need be.

 

Case Logic SLRC-205 SLR Camera Sling (Black)

 

With the cool weather hopefully coming soon and the pasing of the summer storms I’m looking forward to some longer rides now that I am getting used to my bike and taking some photo’s.

Cruising

Last year, about 14 months ago; I decided to get me motorcycle endorsement and I signed up for the class.

Having passed the class but not having a bike I bided my time and saved my pennies. 3 weeks ago I bought my first bike.
A Honda Rebel, a nice small bike with classic cruiser styling. The bike is a 2006 with very low mileage, engine roll bar, and saddle bags.
The best part is it fit right in my budget with a little left over.

Really I’ve wanted a bike since I was in my late teens early 20’s.

 It was at that time I came across a book called Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. The book actually has very little to actually do with the mechanics of a motorcycle.
What the book IS about is how a motorcycle brought a father closer to his son; based on a motorcycle trip he and his young son Chris took from Minneapolis to San Francisco.
It also talks about taking the time to see things; how with a motorcycle you’re not confined to a box. It is about quality and not quantity that has become such a part of life still today.
You have the ability to really see things and not just see them but experience them. It is about seeing the details, the finer things. More than that it was also about self discovery.

 It was at that time in my life that I had some access to a dirt bike. I rode when I could here and there and I loved it.
At that time it never came about that I was able to get a bike of my own and from there it was pushed to the back of my mind and for quite a while actually forgotten.

 It was a couple of years ago just after I got my Kindle that I picked up a book by Neil Peart the drummer for Rush.
The name of the book: Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road; It is about how within the span of one year he lost his daughter to a car accident and his wife to cancer.
To say he was devastated would be putting it mildly. In the course of his grieving he decided to take a motorcycle trip. He started in Canada and ended in Mexico.

 After reading this book the desire for a bike once again returned and this time I wasn’t going to say no to it.

Yesterday I took the bike out for my first real ride, after neighborhood riding the first few times to get the feel of it. There is a road that runs along the coast; still very unpopulated and very little traffic.
The road twists and turns through pine forests, coastal creeks, salt flats, and a bird sanctuary. I’ve driven that road a hundred times since I’ve lived her, but never have I experienced it the way I did yesterday.
It was a cool morning and not a cloud in the sky, the wind in my face as I rode made me feel alive, the colors of the trees and grass so vibrant.

I logged 30 miles on that ride and I am already looking forward to the next.

Will I ever make the kind of journey Robert Persig or Neil Peart did? More than likely not; I don’t have the kind of resources to travel like that but it sure would be an adventure if I could.

Will I manage to do it in my own sweet way? You bet your bottom dollar.