Too Long Since My Last Entry
March 1, 2006
Wow, it has been way too long since I got to write! Okay, I will admit that the reason I am really excited is because writing also means I have been riding. Since the second Sunday in January, the 8th, my 2003 Black Honda VTX 1800 has been sitting in the garage. However, it hasn't been sitting on its wheels. It has actually been up on the jack for most of that time. For that reason, most of this entry will be about the modifications I made.
For those of you who aren't in the know, for many of us in the motorcycle world, making modifications is almost as much fun as riding. This winter I had a long list that secretly, I hoped I wouldn't get to. Cold weather, rain and snow kept me at work, though. The first project was some upgrades to the CB Radio system. A cable needed to be modified, and I decided to also add an extra antenna, and replace the rubber duckie that comes with handheld units. I also added four way flashers, using a relay, so that the switch would be conveniently located on the dashboard of the bike. I am still in the midst of my LED Driving Lights, and my exhaust modification. Someday, I will work to include pictures in this thing, but I think I will wait until I am riding regular, and place worthy of photographs of more interesting things like scenery.
Now, to the ride. It was only going to be a nine mile trip. My regular work day commute. The weather man said 60 degrees, even though it would be under mostly cloudy skies, and a chance of rain, I decided I would brave it. Surprisingly, the 36 degree temperature in the morning was very comfortable to ride through. I had been able to beef up my winter riding gear, and the areas that still get cold, are tough, and probably fatty enough to take the chill for short rides. I wouldn't want to cross the state when it is just four degrees above freezing, but for today, I would have smile on my face for the whole ride.
I pulled on to East Washington Street, just west of where 465, Indianapolis highway loop around town, passes over. I headed west into downtown. Washington Street can be a different road depending on the day, and the time of year. Like US 40, it parallels Interstate 70 on it course through the Circle City. So some people, I believe, will take the interstate, get tired of the hustle, and then jump on this surface street. After a few days of the traffic lights, they are ready to go back to the freeway. There are also Metro Buses, and School Buses to contend. All in all, you just need to keep you head in the traffic, and expect everyone to try and run you over. Welcome to driving in the city.
After about seven miles, I make a turn north up Delaware Street. An entrance to the parking garage under the City/County Building is around this bend. I can get a gauge on the daily terrorism alert level by seeing if the entrance is blocked, opened, and how heavily patrolled it is. I normally have to stop at Market Street, and pause to get into the timing of the signals. City Market gives me a chance to do a clock check, and see if I am going to be late. There is an iron entrance to City Market, and it sports a clock at its pinnacle. Up Delaware is a casual cruise, as everyone is pacing themselves with the lights. After a mile, I turn onto tenth street. I can scan the skyline, there are a lot of cranes around town, which means progress. The city library is a abuzz, and an actual structure, after a long layoff when some sub-standard concrete was found in the underground parking garage.
I am on tenth street for only two blocks, a usually stop at Pennsylvania Street, and then on to wait at Meridian Street. I will turn north on Meridian Street, and go under Interstate 65 to 14th Street. I turn east, and always take the back way into the Indianapolis Public Broadcast Station, WFYI. Rounding the parking lot, I drag the floorboards across the pavement. One of the freelance employees sees me coming, as I cruise through the parking lot, and a take space for compact cars. Hey, I am so compact, that I don't even have four wheels!!
Work is work, an since this is not a work blog, I am not going to get into it. It's five o'clock, and time to head home. I start south on Penn, and then onto New York Street, right after the Indianapolis Star, the local newspaper's, Building. The thermometer on their building says 54, not near 60 as I was told. New York Street is one way, and that yields about half the traffic you have to worry about, and everyone is going the same direction. It jogs a few times, but is mainly a street east road out of town. New York Street Ends after about 5 miles, and turns into Pleasant Run Parkway. There will be sometime that I detail more of the road along Pleasant Run Creek, but I will fill you in where I am picking it up, at Emerson Avenue. Pleasant Run meanders as much as the Creek that runs along side. There are some challenging bends in the stretch of asphalt, and it makes a good road to have little fun, and practice riding techniques on familiar ground. At Arlington, I jog south to another leg of the parkway. This one runs along Pleasant Run Golf Course, and along a lot of the cottage style houses the give Irvington, a classic neighborhood in Indy, its charm. Kitley Avenue terminates this section of Pleasant Run, and I take it north, past more of the golf course, to tenth street. I follow tenth street east, across Shadeland Avenue, and onto Sadlier Drive. At tenth and Sadlier is Holy Spirit Catholic Church. In a few weeks, I will pass by here, and be able to witness a play or two of kickball. Someday, I will have to ride up, and take in a full game. It is only about a three-quarters of a mile trip south on Sadlier until I am home. I hope I can ride tomorrow, but we will have to see what the weather man says.