Getting paid to ride

I work in Gresham, Oregon but we have a satellite office in Lacey, Washington. I needed to install a new server in that office so I used the opportunity to ride there on my 2007 Suzuki V-Strom 650 yesterday. I left home at 7 AM and got there shortly after 9 AM. It was a chilly ride, never getting over 40 degrees until late morning. Other than some chilly toes and finger tips, my Aerostich Darien jacket and Firstgear Kathmandu pants did a great job keeping me warm.

The V-Strom ran perfectly, too. It has a neutral seating position and good coverage with the Givi after-market windscreen (and Madstad windshield bracket) and both combined to make it a comfortable ride.

By the time I got back home at 5:30 PM I had ridden 284 miles round trip. That’s easy to do on a ‘Strom.

Outside help

No writer is an island. You can’t edit your own work. These are just some of the sayings that highlight the fact that writers need outside help in their effort to write and publish their works.

For Ohlen’s Arrow, I have engaged the professional services of an illustrator to design the book’s cover and the world map inside, and an editor for the text contained within. Up to this point my outside help has entailed the reviews of nearly a dozen volunteer beta readers.

Writing a book is an exciting process, and frankly, I’m glad I don’t have to do it alone.

Trip Itching

No, I’m not talking about frustrating skin conditions when traveling long distances on a motorcycle. I’m talking about itchy feet, the desire to travel that occurs in the late winter months. I’ve spent a lot of time indoors and haven’t taken any overnight or multi-day rides since the Fall and I’m feeling a little stir-crazy.

I have some trip ideas for the upcoming riding season — scratch that. Let’s call it trip season, since I ride all year long. One includes a jaunt up into southern British Columbia, another involves a fair bit of off-road adventure riding on the V-Strom. Yet another idea is to take the same route of last June’s 5,000 mile ride to Colorado, but in reverse order. Every given road you encounter provides two experiences, and it’s a good idea to ride it in both directions to experience each.

My V-Strom has 53,000 miles on it and I’ve got some major preventative maintenance scheduled in the coming weeks. The bike has been rock solid reliable and preventative maintenance is the key to making it so. I’m also just a few miles shy of 3,000 on my GSX-R750, and I’m gearing up for some overnight trips on that as well. So far it’s only been used for local day rides.

Although the plans haven’t firmed up yet, 2013 looks to be a high mileage, high smiles trip year.