Tuesday, December 24, 2013

More Cafe

Today I played around with the motorcycle a little bit. This was the clapped out seat cover that was on the bike. 

Heather got a replacement for me from the UK. I've never done any sort of upholstering so I didn't know what I was getting into. It's not easy. But I'm happy with how it turned out. My new mirrors also showed up so I got those installed too.

Been a While

As honored as I am to work at my new job, it is the busiest I have ever been as an educator. Because of this, it has been so long since I have fished. I didn't fish at all during the fall spawn. I went out once right before school started and got into it with a shitty guide. I went out with my friend Scott several months ago I think but I was so tired I don't even know that I casted at all. I know I wanted to nap. I'm just too damn busy to fish during the week and on the weekends, I'm just too tired. So now that I have a few weeks off, I decided to get out. Yesterday was a beautiful day but it was still a tad cold. I have lived here for 9 years now and I fished a section of the South Platte that I have never fished before. Right away I spotted some big fish. I worked some for about an hour and finally got a Rainbow that was pushing 20" hooked but it didn't last long. I blame it on rust. I started walking. I didn't cast at all for probably another hour and a half. I just walked. I finally ended up back where I started and went to work on another small group of fish. It wasn't long before I hooked this fish. This is one of the prettiest Rainbows I've caught in years. What a great day. 

Sunday, December 22, 2013

I just realized...

My longer commute each day has given me plenty of time to ponder life. One of the things that I have come to terms with is that…I am getting older. Next month I will be 41. Life is different these days. Don't get me wrong. This is not me whining and moaning about my poor life. Far from it. I am loving where I am in life right now. I work at an amazing school where I am pushed/challenged to better myself each day. I have a cool house that I should be able to build a bigger deck on to this spring (everybody wants a bigger deck). A wonderful wife. Two great dogs. And a bitchin motorcycle (this has been a killer experience because I have always wondered if I had the skills to do this kind of thing much like my father did but without all the cursing and wrench throwing). However, sometimes, I do look in the mirror in the morning and wonder, "Why is this area not as taught as it used to be? "What's up with all the gray in my beard? Why does my face look like an old catchers mitt? And why the fuck does this (any one of several muscles/joints) hurt so much this morning?" I guess it's all part of the process.

Last week I almost got into two wrecks on the highway and it was completely because of me. I turned on my blinker, looked, and went ahead and switched lanes only to hear horns. I looked in the rear view mirror and saw nothing but headlights flashing and middle fingers flying. What is one to do in this situation while traveling at 65ish mile per hour? I put up my hand to say sorry but then got the flailing arms from one driver. Accurate and truthful vehicle to vehicle communication is rarely possible in circumstances such as this. It wasn't long before the driver pulled along side of me. I mouthed, "Sorry." but he obviously interpreted it as something negative about his mother and ensued with his own barrage of insults and gestures. I tried to convey to him through a myriad of motions that I do not read leaps and what you are doing is not American Sign Language. This seemed to upset him further still. I pointed at the back of my neck and mouthed, "THIS AREA DOESN'T WORK LIKE IT USED TO! LIMITED RANGE OF MOTION!" Clearly, he received, "KISS MY ASS!" Then I thought, "Self…let's just motion for him to pull over so we can clear the air." Then I realized that this probably wasn't a good idea either. I finally just went on my way. Words like Shingles, rash, bad disc, big ass bunion, gray hair, and gas don't transfer well from car to car while on a major highway.

Not being able to cycle much really blows but I'm learning to cope with it. I do hate it a little when people on Facebook post pictures from their rides and have considered un-friending some folks but then that would leave me with like 3 people to stay in touch with. Yesterday I noticed that a friend posted some photos from when he rode Tour Divide. I would still love to do that ride but it's just not a possibility any longer. At least not on a bicycle. I'm hoping that I am able to ride the cafe racer without a lot of pain. If that's the case then maybe one day I can get a motorcycle that would be good for that type of ride. Now instead of a long bicycle ride, I think about whether or not I could do longer moto rides like up the Dalton Highway in Alaska all the way to the ocean? Or continue to utilize two wheels to see all the amazing stuff we have here in Colorado like alpine passes and old mining ruins? That's what I'm hoping.

In the end though, I wouldn't trade any of the things that I have if it meant that I could do one more big ride on a bicycle. A wise man I knew once said, "Everything happens for a reason." I never used to believe that much but as I get older I know that things in my life are precisely how they are supposed to be. Thanks for checking in. Happy Holidays to you all.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Snow Days in the Garage

I have had snow days the last 2 days. They haven't really been for snow but for the really cold temps. This morning it was -18. Despite the fact that my Shingles are still kicking my ass, I decided to venture owt in the garage for a bit yesterday and a bit more today in between naps. I spent most of the time working on the tank. Yesterday I had sanded to 600 grit. This morning I put more filler on some spots that I just wasn't happy with and then started sanding over again from 120. I'm back up to 400 and, wouldn't you know it, I found some more spots that I'm not thrilled with. I'm done though. I gotta stop at some point. That point is now. This tank will never look custom because I'm not a professional. I am, however, very happy considering this is the first time I have ever done any body work. In hindsight, this was probably not the best thing to start trying body work on. The knee dents are really a critical piece of the bike and they just have to look the same. 

The other job I started on today was the rear fender. The stock one was just too long and I didn't like the look. Don't even get me started on that gigantic tail light. I took the fender off and decided to chop off about 4" from it. Here it is after it was bobbed and I re-drilled the 2 mounting holes on the side. I still need to drill new mounting holes for it under the seat but I'm going to have to come up with some spacers to put between the fender and frame (about 1/2"). The first attempt didn't work out so I'll give it another go tomorrow. 

Then I started playing with the license plate location. This is where I want to mount it. You can't tell from this picture but I've bent the plate to match the curve of the rear hub. I'll use aluminum to come up with a mount that gets the plate mounted in the spot I want and then take that bracket to work and fab up something out of steel. I plan on making a small hood at the top of the bracket where I'll mount an LED so it shines down on the plate to keep Johnny Law happy. I'll run the wire to the swing arm and then up into the electronics so it'll be hidden. A new seat cover is on the way from the UK as we speak.