I am pleased that in negotiations with The Spouse, he agreed that in order to build up endurance and restore my motorcycle riding skills, I can return to commuting to work on the Harley… under the following conditions:
1. No riding in the dark. That means changing my work hours. Instead of departing home at 0500 and arriving at the office at 0520 (I know, that’s an awfully long time)… I now leave at 0525 because this time of year, sunrise is quite close to that, so it is (more-or-less) daylight when I am on the road. Due to heavier traffic (and 22 operational traffic signals between home and the office), it now takes 30 minutes to get to work. I think I can manage that additional delay.
2. No riding when traffic signals are blinking. In the area where I live, traffic signals at non-major intersections are set to blink yellow and do not become fully operational (green-yellow-red) until 0530. And that was a big problem one year ago when I had my crash at 0515. A cage driver in front of me was confused when she saw two traffic signals a block apart. The distant signal is fully operational all the time, while the signal closer to her was blinking. She thought the yellow blinking signal was changing to red when she saw the distant signal change to red. So she slammed on her brakes. My front tire grazed her left rear bumper in my escape maneuver. Wham! Bang! Slide! Down I went. Slid some 300 feet (but came out of it without any abrasions.)
3. Always wear a ballistic nylon jacket. Honestly, it is for that very reason that I incurred no abrasions whatsoever while sliding 300 feet down a hill on a major highway after I was ejected off my Harley during my crash last year. I now swear by these jackets for safety reason. Yes, I have several leather jackets too, and they are protective. But I will wear them only during absolute full daylight in cool/cold weather. The bright, reflective ballistic nylon jackets that I own are a mid-weight, slightly heavier jacket, and a summer-weight highly ventilated jacket.
4. Always wear the rest of the gear while riding. This includes sturdy motorcycle boots, leathers for the legs, gloves, motorcycle-rated protective eyewear (not sunglasses), and DOT-listed helmet made within the last five years. For me, “ATGATT” (all the gear, all the time) is what I believe and what I do. Always. So this isn’t an issue for me at all.
So here I am today, headed to work:And here I was yesterday, headed to work (though hard to see me):Life is short: ride safely.