Four days…or less?

If the guys at the dealership do what they’re supposed to, my bike will be ready for pickup tomorrow. Theoretically, I can pick it up after work. I already mapped out a route that will get me home without ever having to go on the freeway, which I am restricted from doing with my learner’s permit.

Man, I’d love to do that!

I don’t think I will, though, even though the temptation is very powerful.

Not having been on a bike in 20 years, except a brief stint on a trike a month ago, it just wouldn’t be prudent to try and drive home during rush hour, even on surface streets.

But, now that I know how to get there, I don’t have to wait until Monday either. My MSF course starts the day after tomorrow, and finishes early Sunday afternoon. By that time, I will have spent about 11 hours on a bike–albeit a little 250cc ricer–practicing crash avoidance, maneuvering and steering exercises all weekend. It’ll all be fresh in my mind.

Sunday afternoon is perfect for me, then. There won’t be much surface street traffic on the weekend, and I’ll get the bike a day earlier than planned. So, Monday morning, I can take the bike over to the DMV, present my MSF card, and get my real motorcycle license, without having to drag Chris away from her job on Monday morning.

Since I’m taking Monday through Wednesday off next week, that’ll also give me three days of riding to get more used to the bike. If I feel good, it’s off to work straight up the 395 on Thursday!

A couple of blocks away from my house, they’re building a new subdivision. There aren’t any houses yet in one portion of it, but all the new paved roads have been put in. Hopefully, that means I’ll have a good portion of totally empty streets to practice in for a while. I can practice a lot of figure-eights, turning, and braking without any of that distracting traffic to worry about.

Sure, maybe I’m being a bit overcautious, but when it comes to motorcycles, overconfidence is a killer.

So, It looks like I’ll be riding in practice in three days, and riding my very own Harley, for real, in four.

Technical Arcana

Put me in front of a computer, and I can make it sing. It’s what I do for a living. people pay me to create web sites, develop software, and do web site hosting. When I talk about Cascading Style Sheets, dynamic IP adddresses, or the ADO.NET object model, I can watch the eyes of my non-technical clients actually glaze over while I watch.

For instance, I’ll say something like, “The first file is the blogroll.ascx control. This control implements the code from the Dotblog.Controls.Blogroll.vb file, which, in the case of this example, pulls some text out of a database and formats it. The vb file is then compiled into a DLL named Dotblog.Controls.Blogroll.dll. This DLL is then placed in the bin folder of the web site. Finally there is the default.aspx page, which displays the control.”

They look at me with great interest as I start saying that, but by the time I reach the end, I can tell that they’re thinking, “You know, maybe I should buy the kids a puppy…”

Well, as it happens, that’s how I am with mechanical stuff. The last time I personally changed the oil in a car, for example, was, I believe, in 1984.

So, when I go to the Harley Davidson Forums and read stuff like, “I just got a big performance boost by doing a stage 1, rejet, and throwing on some Screaming Eagle II’s on my sporty!” my thoughts are usually something like, “I wonder if Fry’s has a good price on an external hard drive for my laptop…”

Don’t get me wrong. I desperately want to do do a Stage 1, rejet, and install Screaming Eagle II’s. It sounds wonderful. It’s just that I don’t have a clue what any of that stuff is.