I may have mentioned once or twice here that I ride a motorcycle. I have some experience riding on the street but very little in the dirt. I may also have mentioned once or many times that I’ve recently purchased a new ginormous motorcycle that’s in the “adventure bike” category. That means it’s perfectly capable of going both on and off road. I’m somewhat intimidated by it which makes me a very timid rider in the dirt, unsure of my abilities to stay upright. Many of my little stories are about conquering my fears and pushing the boundaries of my comfort zone. This story is about the power of the mind.
The new ginormous motorcycle has more electronics than the space shuttle and enough buttons to rival a modern airliner. So many buttons in fact, they had to make an on-line simulator to practice with. I’ve only figured out about half of them so far since it takes the majority of my limited brain cells just to stay upright. I don’t need to make things more complicated by fiddling with buttons and switches. Anyway, I was reading some on-line forums about the bike and stumbled upon a thread about something called the “G-switch”. Folks were raving about what a difference it made in the dirt for traction.
If you haven’t ridden a motorcycle in the dirt, traction is where my fear comes from. Riding around a corner and feeling your rear (or front) wheel start sliding is a very unnatural feeling and causes my stomach to pucker up. So naturally anything that improves traction is going to make my life better. I quickly opened up the manual and then the on-line simulator and figured out how to turn the G-switch on and off. Time to jump on the bike and go find some dirt!
I rode up to a high mountain lake on slippery, loose gravel and dirt roads. With the G-switch engaged it was like I was riding on rails. My tires were glued to the dirt and I rode at 2x my normal speed. What an amazing difference! With the G-switch on it was like I was a different rider. Why hadn’t I discovered this earlier?
Once at home, enjoying an adult beverage after my ride, the engineer in me decided to figure what what the G-switch actually does. What engineering marvel did those designers create when they crafted that magic switch? It took quite a bit of research to find the actual specs. And it turns out… it has nothing to do with traction really. It changes how the clutch works.
How in the world did I ride so well then? It’s amazing what the brain is capable of. I know there’s plenty of cute fables out there describing the power of belief, but I never thought I’d experience it. I was sure the G-switch was doing something to help me and therefore I relaxed, trusted the bike, and rode better than I thought I could. I have to laugh at myself. It will be interesting to see what happens on my next ride. Will I revert to being cautious since I know there’s no magic G-switch helping me? At the same time I now know I’m capable of riding more confidently than I have been. My guess is somewhere in the middle. Regardless, the lesson learned is that we’re all far more capable than we give ourselves credit for. But you’ll never know if you don’t try.
- “Where theory is put into practice”. I’ve been babbling about adventure, seeing the sights, and exploring for a while. Now, I’m putting my money where my mouth is. I have acquired the dream adventure motorcycle. I travel next week to pick it up. I am giddy like a little schoolgirl. But I’m also nervous. On my current bike I’ve done short day trips and one overnight, but no real travel. Actually getting on the bike and heading off into the sunset with only a vague itinerary is a little scary. Am I going to like putting long miles in? Will I really make the effort to stop at all the little roadside attractions? Will I take pictures like I said I would? Will I actually talk to people (or even scarier, take street photos of people)? Do I want to eat alone in cafes? Will I make an effort to explore in the evenings or just sit in my motel room? Despite my online bravado, all these things are way out of my comfort zone. They make my stomach tingle a little bit. But I am over the moon excited to push myself and overcome fears. The timing works out perfectly. It’s still winter in my part of the world, so I have a few months to get used to the bike before spring and real travel can happen. Mrs Troutdog test rode Harleys yesterday, so hopefully it won’t be too long before she’s ready to join me from time to time as well. I’m super proud of her to overcome the fear of simply riding a motorcycle. It’s an exciting new chapter!
- Speaking of snow, this video is a pretty funny representation of someone from the south traveling to cold weather. I’ve got friends who recently moved from LA to our mountain environment. Remember the Jimmy Kimmel segments of people in LA when it dropped to 60 degrees? That was them. Now they barely throw on a light jacket when it’s in the teens.
- It’s hard to fathom the lunacy of this. “researchers believe that a fleet of specially-designed aircraft could spray sulfate particles into the lower stratosphere to cool down our planet and offset the effects of climate change”. It’s being partially funded by Bill Gates. Nope, can’t imagine any unintended consequences with this plan. Literally not a single prediction or climate model in the last 30 years has been accurate or come to fruition. The global warming cult is now back in full swing, backed by the full funding of the new administration. Every basic tenet of science is being ignored, all while demonizing anyone who disagrees as a flat earth denier.
- Continuing with the unintended consequences theme, president Biden ordered all construction on the border wall stopped. There is now a section in New Mexico that is a mile short of connecting with an existing wall. Workers dropped their tools, shut down their equipment, and walked away. So now we just created a funnel – the only opening for 90 miles that will drop people right onto a local ranchers property. What could possibly go wrong? Government at it’s finest.
- My fall from sports fandom is complete. I just realized the Super Bowl is tomorrow. Doesn’t matter because I have to work, but I wasn’t going to watch it anyway. Probably for the first time ever, I honestly couldn’t even tell you who was playing. Haven’t watched a single game or tuned into ESPN once. The last 4-5 years I’ve pretty much dropped all pro sports. It just seems to more and more of a waste of time. And the big ones, baseball, football, basketball, seem to be dominated by whinny millionaires. It’s hard to relate. Throw in several years of non stop pandering to “social justice” causes, and I’m out. Why do actors and athletes feel the need to ram their politics down your throat? I’m watching you for your acting or sport, not your personal views. Sigh. Anyway, this is from someone who at one time was in multiple concurrent fantasy leagues and watched SportsCenter nightly. I honestly don’t miss it. Ok, I will admit to missing the Super Bowl commercials.
Song of the day: Booker T. and MG’s (1967) GREEN ONIONS
Cool things, random thoughts, advice, and independent thinking from someone who’s been around the sun a few times.
- Let me see if I’ve got this right. Four years of non-stop obstructing, harassment, bias, calling half the country racist, xenophobic, white supremacists. Tearing up state of the union speeches for political theater. Literally calling for your supporters to get in the face of the opposition at gasoline stations, restaurants, and shopping at department stores. How many videos have you seen of leftist/Antifa/BLM crowds chanting and screaming in the face of people in restaurants just trying to eat a meal? (none if you only watch CNN) And NOW you’re the party of unity and healing? A man, who’s stated mentor was an actual racist and member of the KKK, said that he decided to run when he saw the president support white supremacy. Seriously?
Look, I could care less you supported. Personally I think 90% of both parties are twatwaffles who care only about power and enriching their inner circles. But if you can’t at least admit there’s hypocrisy, media bias, and big tech influence… then you, my friend, are seriously part of the problem. A problem that can only be fixed by becoming a contrarian. Make an effort to expose yourself to many different opinions, not just the ones you agree with. Soon, you’ll realize that most of the steaming turds that run the media (which includes social media) and politics have only one purpose – to separate you from your hard earned quan. I implore you – please don’t be naive enough to believe these folks actually care about you. As the saying goes, if you aren’t paying for something you consume – then YOU are the product being sold.
- In my never ending attempts at being creative, I’ve been really trying to learn how to make little videos for the YouTubes. It’s working out about as well as my blogging and photography have gone. But, I enjoy learning new things so it’s all good.
- Just know that if I see you driving alone in your car and wearing a mask, I will laugh at you. Not to go down the mask rabbit hole, but just to illustrate for you that in the real world there is no “scientific consensus” about mask wearing… I’ve been observing the comings and goings of the various doctors at my hospital. Surgeons, neurologists, hospitalists, residents, there is no conformity on mask wearing. Some wander around with a paper procedure mask dangling from one ear. Others wear an N95, covered by a procedure mask and a face shield on top of that. These are folks who are smarter and more immersed in science than most of us and there clearly is no universal agreement on “the science”.
- Ok, ok, just one more point and I’ll stop. Please find me a graph of any country, state, county, or city that shows the ‘rona case count dropping significantly after a mask mandate. I’ll wait.
- Today was our first snow. I’m looking forward to forgetting politics and focusing on winter sports. I don’t care many times I see it – the first snow of the year and we run around like little kids. Every damn time.
- Mrs Troutdog informed me that I’m buying a new motorcycle and gear. My bike (and gear) are from 2005. Can’t say I don’t get the most use possible out of my stuff. The problem is that I’m so overwhelmed by indecision that it’s now winter. I have five more months to consume every YouTube bike review and further paralyze myself. I expect to make a decision sometime around 2023.
- If the news, media, politics, or the ‘rona are getting you down, do the following. Step 1: Open a beer, pour a glass of wine, or pop some champagne. Step 2: Scroll through images of Quokka’s.
You’ll feel better, I promise.
Song of the day: Katy Perry – California Gurls ft. Snoop Dogg