Archive for the 'Motorcycle' Category

Mar 31 2011

First “no touch” ride today

Published by under Motorcycle

Today marks the first time I was able to ride the 40 miles from my apartment in Sugar Land to my parking garage at HP without having to put my foot down. There were a couple of “creeping” moments, but I never actually stopped. Go me.

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Mar 21 2008

Some Days You Just Know That God Is Looking Out For You

Published by under Motorcycle,News,School

Thursday was a very stressful day. The kind of day that by the time it was over I felt that I’d been strained through a chain-link fence and served over ice. So many things could have gone wrong that it would have been Calvinesque:

One of those days

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Jan 02 2008

Month of Writing – Day 2

Published by under Motorcycle,Writing

It would seem to come up with a topic on a daily basis is much more work than I anticipated. Even though I promised myself to “think” about a topic during the day and to what I would say, I nevertheless was too distracted by actual work and family to casually compose today.

So what should I write about, here at the end of the day and deadline nigh? How about just some randomness about what happened today.

My wife goes out of town tomorrow to attend a belly dancing class, which was her Christmas present this year. Accordingly, I will be taking our three kids to school and picking them up afterwards, which cuts my workday to the hours of 8:30 and 2:30. Being in software development, this should not pose a problem, since my work gets done regardless of the actual time my ass is in the seat, as it were.

Last night we had the first hard freeze (between 4- and 8-hours of below freezing temperature) of the season, with another tonight. Since I ride a motorcycle to work, I cannot ride when it is below freezing because of possible ice in strange places (you might be surprised how many keep their lawn sprinklers on year-round.) So I stayed home until about 9am this morning when the temperature crawled up to about 40 degrees, and surprise-surprise my cycle would not start. I had this same problem last February when the battery just couldn’t cut it.

Texas is very hard on batteries – usually because of the high summer temperatures. A 60-month battery usually lasts only 24 – 36 on the outside. So I changed out my motorcycle battery and it seemed to work fine – although it took a couple of tries. Now that it’s turned real cold it doesn’t seem that this “new” battery can put out enough amps to crank such a cold engine. Deja vu all over again. One problem with my bike is that you cannot “jump start” it without removing the battery. I have an emergency jump battery that I keep in our family car, and once I got the battery out and the poles disconnected and the jump battery connected to the poles, the bike fired up just fine.

After examining the battery, one of the cells was low, so I took it inside and filled it with distilled water. I then put the battery back in and the cycle still would not start. So I jump started it again and let the cycle run for about ten minutes to get it nice and warm. It started reluctantly once I got it all put back together, proving that the rested battery was able to create hydrochorlic acid out of the distilled water, and would need further charging in order to be fully usable. I rode off into the cold for about a mile to the gas station.

After filling up, it took a couple of turns for the cycle to start, and I rode the remaining nine miles to my office. I resolved that I should come down every couple of hours to turn the engine over, but then I reasoned that perhaps that would not be a good idea. The amps that the battery was storing up would be discharged, and would take more than a couple of minutes to refurbish, so unless I was willing to sit on the bike in the parking garage for ten minutes or so to charge the battery back up, I should just watch the temperature and if it didn’t dip too far below 50 then I was probably okay. That happened about three in the afternoon, and I went down and cranked her right up without much trouble. About three hours later the temperature was 40 degrees and it started up again, and I rode home.

As mentioned above, I’m playing Mr. Mom for the next two days so I will not be riding my bike until next Monday, and will be out of town from Friday to Monday, so I had better plan on just jumping my bike come Monday. I need to “invent” some pole extenders that I can attach to my battery that extend outside the battery compartment that I can clamp the jumper cables to without having to remove the battery. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

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