Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Saddleback Mountains. Orange County, CA

I've been settling into the routine of riding to work rather than driving. I'll say this. Even in So Cal, it is pretty brrr at 5AM in the saddle. Some of that is early morning acclimation, but it does more to rouse me than a hot shower or that first cup of joe. Reminds me of surfing in Northern California at dawn. The feel of cold swell smacking you in your sleepworn face gets your attention. And keeps it. I've got a good route down that only tacks on 5-10 minutes from my commute in the truck. And if there weren't two intersections with 3 minute waits for a left turn arrow, the ridetime would be about the same as the drivetime.
The ride home is a little longer, due the afternoon traffic that just isn't there at 5AM, but it's rewarding. I met another rider with a similar commute to mine, taking the same parkway home. Mike rides a Yamaha with 125cc. I don't know if it is a Vino or some other model, but it moves at a good clip. We traded lead positions at each light and chatted a bit waiting for signals. I'm sure I'll run into him regularly, and that's pretty cool.

Parked behind a Lance 'Venice' at Home Depot in Mission Viejo, CA

Another cool thing...it cost ten bucks a day to park my truck in the garage at work, so I was having to park it across the street in a spot with limited space. The Vespa gets locked up in the parking garage to a rail, free of charge. You have to love that.
So, the point of all of this, I guess, is that there are more incentives to riding than an initial cost/benefit analysis reveals. Gas savings and easier parking are measurable, but the intangibles can have just as much value.


Steve Williams said...

One of the things I like best about riding is the smack of cold air in the morning. It's why I look forward to falling temperatures in fall. I feel most alive at those moments --- riding, standing outside in the wind, walking on the beach...

Steve Williams
Scooter in the Sticks

bobskoot said...

not that we don't want more summer heat but cooler temps are better when you have to wear all that protective gear, especially in stop and go traffic. sure would like to trade places with you in sunny CA when November comes, actually November may already be here judging by the poor weather and rain we have had during the past week.