Stephen Thrasher, Comet Smasher

How's the Weather Down There?

Monday, October 16, 2006 by Stephen

There's some flooding. I still rode my bike to work. I'm all stocked up on the raingear, with a cycling rainsuit from Rain Shield, neoprene overboots, a red showercap thing that goes over my helmet, and a plastic garbage bag to cover my bag. However, until it cools down from the mid-80s, my rainsuit still makes me sweat, despite its breathability. Additionally, when I have to dunk my feet up to above my ankles while peddling through an intersection, they get wet. When cars passed me in this giant puddle, they made wakes that pushed my bike around just a little bit. If you know me, you know that I enjoyed this.

The bayou in front of my apartment has risen a few feet and now looks like a full-blown river. The worst of the rain missed us to the north and west of us, and it looks like the bayou is carrying quite a bit of that run-off. The surprising thing is that people think this flooding is small potatoes. I should put together a hurricane kit.

This weekend I took the Motorcycle Safety Foundation
Basic RiderCourse, taking the Sunday test in the rain. I recommend the class. It was at San Jacinto College central campus. At one point I gave up on the class M license, but then I decided that I could take babysteps. The first step was easy—I went to the RMV in Boston, paid $30, and took a simple 20 question test. It took less than an hour, waiting included. After 14 right answers, the computer stops the test. I missed one out of 15—when do most motorcycle accidents happen a) 8pm-2am, b) 12am-5am c) daytime d) nighttime; it should have been obvious. They gave me my permit, allowing me to legally ride a motorcycle during the day without passengers. Nevermind that I had never been on a motorcycle. When I got back to Texas, I called San Jac's continuing education number and registered for the MSF class (they require registration two weeks in advance). They list the class in the life enrichment bulletin, and the listing was hard to find.

There's a question of whether Massachusetts will accept a Texas MSF course completion certificate in lieu of a road test. The MA motorcycle handbook implies that you have to pass the MSF class in MA as opposed to another state in order to be exempt from the road test, but I emailed the RMV, and one of their folks replied that it just had to be MSF certified. Setting up a road test in MA would be a pain because I would have to find a bike to borrow. Despite the license problem, I think I'll go ahead and buy a bike. I'm looking at the Kawasaki Ninja 250. Which color do you like? Coke or Diet Coke? I prefer to find a good used one, and I'll be looking around in two weeks.


At Oct 16, 2006, 9:56:00 PM, Anonymous rachel said...


At Oct 19, 2006, 11:44:00 PM, Blogger Jenny said...

I'm not sure I know what you mean by saying coke or diet coke.

At Oct 20, 2006, 6:33:00 PM, Blogger stephen said...

The red bike has silver flames, and the grey bike has red flames. A Coke can is red with silver stripes, and a Diet Coke can is silver with red stripes. Feel free to choose the blue bike. I don't really like black as a motorcycle color.

At Oct 31, 2006, 11:28:00 AM, Blogger shane said...

A cycling rainsuit is just what I need for commuting between our place and my office at VT. When it's sunny out, I often cycle and my commutes only 9 minutes door to door, compared to 20 minutes taking the bus or walking.

But when it rains, what am I to do?? This past weekend, I bought a North Face Gore-Tex jacket with hood. Along with my gore-tex pants, I should be able to cycle and stay dry, and look presentable at work.

Jessica wants a Gore-Tex jacket now--to simplify life instead of having a bunch of rarely used rainy/cold weather clothes.


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