roadrunnertwice: Vesta Tilley, Victorian drag king (Hagrid--Two Wheels Good)

my Honda Rebel, in garage

Gracious, what do we see over here?

me, and handlebars

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 [livejournal.com profile] 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:

jacket on chair

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.

roadrunnertwice: Vesta Tilley, Victorian drag king (Hagrid--Two Wheels Good)
Black Honda Rebel

MINE.



That's right: I put down a deposit on a bike.

This bike.

It's a 2007 Honda Rebel, gently (to the tune of 1300 miles) used. Will cost me $2500, which is the best price I've seen all year on a Rebel from this decade.* The only hitch is that she's down in The Dalles, Oregon, but I talked to [livejournal.com profile] robertcalvin tonight and I think we've got that covered.

I'm doin' this, people—I'm gonna have wheels and a motor again, and for the first time ever, they'll be entirely mine. 2009 is looking GOOD.

(And now I get to start thinking about names. For now, I'm leaning toward Leslie or Lucca; anyone got any suggestions?)


_____
* Never mind the blue book: it's a seller's market these days, and everyone seems to know it. This price is more in tune with what a Rebel was going for two years ago, which is what I'd been hoping to pay when I started looking. (Shopping is hard, let's do math!)
roadrunnertwice: Vesta Tilley, Victorian drag king (Hagrid--Two Wheels Good)

I tried to go motorcycle shopping today, but it didn't really work. The west side Honda dealership had only one smaller used bike, and it was a bit bigger and more expensive than I was hoping for. So now I need to:

  • Call other dealerships,
  • check out Craigslist,
  • and keep checking back to see if the west side gets anything in.

Oh well, I guess I didn't really expect it to be that easy.

Anyway, I totally took the one bike they had out for a test drive (first time I've ever done that!) along with my spiff new helmet. It was a 1998 Shadow, 600cc, and I was actually quite taken with it. Black with teal accents, which was much more charming than it ought to have been, and the ride felt pretty wonderful. I kept it pretty close to the shop, but it felt like it would be a better freeway bike than, say, the Rebel I did my exam on. The fuel economy was only 50 MPG or so, and I'm still not sure how I feel about that. Like I said, I was hoping to do some shopping, and I couldn't really measure it against anything.

So, on to Phase 2.

roadrunnertwice: Vesta Tilley, Victorian drag king (Hail Eris!!@1)
CDL ___ END  3  RES ___


Damn straight I went and got my new license. Well, the tagboard temp copy; the plastic one has to come in the mail.

Which also means I finally have my real signature on my license. I renewed online last time, so both my picture and signature were vintage 2002, and I haven't the ability or desire to draw that sig anymore. Mind, neither version is at all legible, but I consider the new one to be much more pleasant-looking.
roadrunnertwice: Vesta Tilley, Victorian drag king (Rocket Scientist)
And then they taught me how to ride a motorcycle. I still need to work on riding one well, as well as on actually having one to ride, but the barriers at this point are solely practical—the legal and ethical ones have been managed.

In related news, motorcycles are incredibly fun!
roadrunnertwice: Vesta Tilley, Victorian drag king (Ass increases with the square of T-ball.)
So the motorcycle safety classes have two ways to pay: a subsidized one ($125, holders of WA drivers licenses only, much harder to find an opening in the classes), and an unsubsidized one ($225, no residency restrictions, much easier to score a chair). I was signed up for a subsidized class at the end of October.

Today, I called to try and snag a much earlier subsidized opening I'd seen on their web app, but no dice -- someone had gotten there within the last hour and snagged it first. So I paid them another hundred bucks to get in on Labor Day Weekend.

$100 to move a limiter on my plans up by two months. I'm still thinking over that, and it still sounds like a fairly good deal. What have you paid lately to buy more time?
roadrunnertwice: Vesta Tilley, Victorian drag king (John Bauer - Tyr and Fenrir)
Huh.

...I did it. I signed up for the novice rider motorcycle class.

Never mind that I'm hoping to move south before my class happens; I'll start watching for openings to move my date forward, and if I've already moved, I can either cancel for refund or just ship back north for a few days and get it done. No problem! No, I do not currently own a motorcycle. Also not a problem.

So this is what forward motion feels like. I'd almost forgotten.

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