Ride Around a Lake

Michigan, that is.

Now that I am newly retired, I thought I should take a long-overdue long-distance ride. There were some roads in Wisconsin I read about that “rivaled the Tail of the Dragon” out east. I could visit a good friend in Chicago. I’d never been through either piece of Michigan. I saw a TV show once about Copper Harbor on the U.P. that I could scout for a couples retreat weekend. There you go! The bones of a ride were setup. Southeast out of Minneapolis and go counterclockwise around Lake Michigan. Leave on a Monday, bring a tent and sleeping bag as backup, and see how long it takes.

It didn’t go exactly as envisioned, and I learned lot.

Lessons learned:

  • I don’t like long-distance motorcycle riding
  • Whoever compared WI roads to the ones in the Appalachian Mountains, has never actually ridden both
  • Don’t ride a motorcycle around the sidewalks of a music camp while they’re in session
  • I have only a few friends, but they’re really good
  • A worse home-life makes your road-life better — The inverse is also true

Let me explain. [Read more…]

Retired

Well, as far as I can tell, I retired. I did it. I was just tired before. Now I’m re-tired, which I found out means “really tired.” We met with the financial advisor and although we’ll need to be frugal (which should be fine — it is “Budget” Rider after all) I can stop chasing the almighty buck.

As funny as it sounds, I owe a lot to my last boss for making the working conditions untenable. I honestly thought I needed to work until the last possible breath to keep up with demand but my displeasure with my job gave me motivation to check out the feasibility of retiring.

I was surprised when I did the simple math of my Social Security benefits. If I retired now as opposed to later, the total amounts I’d collect by waiting eight more years don’t benefit me until I turn 81. So, I’d make more after I’m 81, but what am I going to do with some more money when I’m 81?!? I hope I’m in great shape then, but I think I better do stuff now while I still can. There are already lots of things I can’t do now that I could only ten years ago and odds are that list will just keep getting smaller.

I’m keeping my software certifications active and I can always go back to work if I have to but it’s time to really work on figuring out what’s most important and why and spend the time I have left on those things.

I’ve got a whole bucket full of bucket-list items to attend to. How about some riding? šŸ™‚

It’s Later Than You Think

I went for a ride with my brothers.

My job situation changed.

I’ll let you know about both of those events in upcoming posts.

I realized it’s about time for me to rearrange how I’m spending the time I have left. There’s nothing dramatic or obviously life-shortening that has been discovered. It’s just that when you do a little math, there are too few riding seasons left. There are too few hours in the shop. There are too few campfires and twisty roads and scenic views.

Ride more.

Live more.

It’s later than you think.

My Job Sucks…

… all my time and energy from the rest of my life currently. I just realized it’s been over two months since I posted last. Jeez! Where to start?

First, I should explain that I’ve made the decision not to pursue racing this season. It sounded really fun and not too expensive but the aforementioned time and energy was in short supply. In order for it to be manageable I’d need a different method of making a living. I’ll revisit the subject again in January 2020.

Second, my brothers and I have a ride planned for the week after next. I installed a new battery and got new Michelin Road 5 Trail tires on the GS. Additionally, I’ve put together a bike-specific tool kit and got the saddlebags some new weatherstripping. I’ll trailer the bike from MN to GA, meet up the bros and take five spring days to ride together up through and around the Blue Ridge Mountains. We’ll try to fit in a side-trip to the Barber Motorsports museum. I’ll trailer home after and resume normal life.

The next post should be relatively soon after the ride unless work gets outta control again.

You would have thought that seeing Office Space as many times as I have would start emboldening me to speak up. So, if I decide to kick over a cubicle and speak up I’ll probably be given a lot more time to write about motorcycling.

Stay tuned.

My “Free” Snowblower – A Lesson in False Economy

My Free Snowblower

* Note: Although this article is about a snowblower, it could just as easily have been about a motorcycle. It is a precautionary tale to illustrate that sometimes ever “free” can be too expensive.

I was making coffee one summer morning when, through the kitchen window, I noticed the neighbor across the street wheeling her old snowblower to the curb with a “Free” sign on it.

Without hesitation or the burden of any forethought I walked over, took the sign under my arm, and wheeled the beast across the street to my garage where I evaluated my new acquisition. I put some gas in, started it, and it ran OK, but it was loud. Cool! This is great. Iā€™m so proud of myself. It just needs a muffler. [Read more…]