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My Motorcycle Blog: Memorable Rides
by Donald Ray Burger
Attorney at Law

* November, 2006 blog * * October, 2006 blog * * September, 2006 blog * * August, 2006 blog * * July, 2006 blog * * June, 2006 blog * * May, 2006 blog * * April, 2006 blog * * March, 2006 blog * * February, 2006 blog * * January, 2006 blog * * December, 2005 blog * * November, 2005 blog * * October, 2005 blog * * September, 2005 blog * * August, 2005 blog * * July, 2005 blog * * June, 2005 blog * * May, 2005 blog *

The Ten Thousand Mile Run on My Harley

April 14, 2008:
Today is my birthday. A couple of weeks ago, I realized that, with a little planning, I could rig it so I hit mile ten thousand on my Harley on my birthday. Seemed like an appropriate goal. It required me to log around twenty miles every day for the two weeks, plus a little extra on the weekends. Fortunately, the weather cooperated, and we hand no rain-out days. Saturday morning saw me 140 miles from my goal, and right on schedule. Unfortunately, spring is gardening season, and I had to devote most of the weekend to getting ready for aa rose tour of the house on the 19th. It always seems that there are more projects in the garden than time, and this weekend was no exception. Saturday, I got in a quick sixty mile run around five. I then went to a neighbor's house to help her hive her bees.

Sunday dawned chilly, and with many garden tasks yet to be accomplished. I got in another sixty mile run around six in the afternoon, then continued gardening until after dark. By Monday morning I was sore everywhere. And the morning temperature was 46 degrees.

I had hardly expected forties for this run. Ah, April in Houston. At least there were no spring showers! Anyway, I had to make a quick decision on gearing up. I had not worn any cool weather gear on my Sunday afternoon ride, and I had been cold the whole time. Today, I decided to fully suit up. I put on long johns, my PolarTec Windblock turtleneck and a dickie. I decided against wearing glove liners. I just needed twenty miles to meet my goal, and I hate the bulk the liners add. Plus, they don't seem to provide that much warmth.

On Sunday, I had added air to both tires, knowing they were predicting cool temperatures for Monday morning. And, sure enough, when I checked the tire pressure before the ride, both tires were down about a pound. I did not add air, figuring that the decrease was due to the atmospheric temperature, and the tires would be spot on when they warmed up to road temperatures.

Once I got started, I was surprised to note that I was not really that cold. Even my hands were okay. I had gassed the bike up on Sunday, so all I had to concern myself with was traffic (which was fairly light) and the odometer. I didn't want to miss the big rollover.

With only twenty miles needed, I just ran my normal workday run. It was this route that had provided the vast majority of the miles I have on the Harley, and it seemed a fitting honor to make the ten thousand mile run the same route that had provided such riding pleasure.

I warmed up, entered I-10 heading west, and took the West Loop north. I then traveled down the North Loop to Highway 59, where I turned south, back to I-10. The mileage was right on schedule. I took the Height/Yale exit, and rode to Harvard Street, where I turned north. The odometer read 9999.

I stopped and took a picture of the odometer. Where I parked, the blacktop was fairly slanted. I was moving my body around to deal with the light reflection in the glass of the odometer, and I put my right foot on the peg to raise my body for a better camera angle. I felt the bike start to tip to the right, due to the slant of the street. Yikes. I quickly got off the peg and shifted my weight hard to the left. That stopped the tilt, and I didn't even drop the camera. It would have been ironic to drop the bike one mile short of ten thousand!

I continued on down Harvard a block or so, and noted that the bike turned mile ten thousand at Fifth Street. I pulled over again to take more pictures of the odometer. I made sure I was on level ground this time. After a head nod to the crossing guard I see every morning, I continued on home. When I pulled into the driveway, the odometer still read ten thousand. I took some more pictures, then went inside to celebrate. It feels good to have reached this goal, and in less than nine months from getting the bike. With spring gardening almost behind me, and warmer weather on the way, I hope to log more miles soon.

And, as a sort of post script to the day, I finished listening to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance on the way home from work today. The unabridged book on tape is eleven cassettes long. I had first listened to it in September of 2005. For some reason, I decided a few weeks ago to listen to it again. I really enjoyed the book, and urge everyone to give it a try. It was only fitting and proper that I finished it on my birthday and on the day of my ten thousandth mile run. See you on the road. And don't forget to think.

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For the November, 2006, blog entries, click here.

For the October, 2006, blog entries, click here.

For the September, 2006, blog entries, click here.

For the August, 2006, blog entries, click here.

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For the July, 2006, blog entries, click here.

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For the June, 2006, blog entries, click here.

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For the May, 2006, blog entries, click here.

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For the April, 2006, blog entries, click here.

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For the March, 2006, blog entries, click here.

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For the February, 2006, blog entries, click here.

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For the January, 2006, blog entries, click here.

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For the December, 2005, blog entries, click here.

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For the November, 2005, blog entries, click here.

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For the October, 2005, blog entries, click here.

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For the September, 2005, blog entries, click here.

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For the August, 2005, blog entries, click here.

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For the July, 2005, blog entries, click here.

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For the June, 2005, blog entries, click here.

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For the May, 2005, blog entries, click here.

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*Note to Law Enforcement:

All statements of speeds on various streets are simple estimates, and solely for novelity purposes. Actual speeds vary, but are always lower. I'm sure that legal speed limits are never exceeded, anything in this blog to the contrary nowithstanding.

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