Gracious, what do we see over here?
Who knows, but I'll tell you what I see: speed, power, freedom, and joy, served up in a cute little 250cc package.
So yes, yea, behold, Operation Dalles was a success: we did not let the setbacks set us back. Huge and enduring thanks to robertcalvin for driving me down and riding the bike almost all the way back from Portland in the rain and dark; I owe him big-time. Someday soon, I will be comfortable doing shit like that, but this time I was so glad to cede the job to a more experienced rider. (If we had this to do over again, believe that we would re-work the timing, because god-damn.)
The bike purrs like a kitten and handles like a dream, and driving on the freeway is not nearly as intimidating as I thought it would be. When we left the dealership, Robert rode it about 45 miles on I-84, then I rode it along this cool curvy "Historical Highway" segment off on the side that passed through Multnomah Falls. And then I just cruised down that onramp and kept on accelerating. And I thought, "Huh. This is absolutely within my capabilities. I am not the least bit scared." She sure could use a windshield, though, so I'll be talking to the Oly Honda dealer about that.
Also, riding Yelm Highway in the rain and dark is surprisingly lovely. I'll want some more weatherproof gloves before I do it again, but I do want to do it again. (Hi-diddle-dee-dee, goddamn, the pirate's life for me!)
In conclusion: Vote 2009: The Year With the Motorcycle!
Oh, and while I'm doing the photographic thing, here's this riding jacket I bought the other day at Paulson's:
Both it and my helmet are silver, about which I don't feel anything in particular; it's not really my color, but I guess I don't look bad in it. What I do feel strongly about is that they're both very functional and very cheap. The helmet was only $80 or so and it fits perfectly; the jacket was about $110 and is almost totally windproof and has honest-to-god armor on the elbows, forearms, and shoulders, plus a pad for the kidney area. Armor generally costs... well, more, and let us go into no further detail. Anyway, I got to road-test the jacket today, and it feels NICE.