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A sunny (eventually) Saturday

October 7, 2006

Saturday morning was overcast, and slightly chilly. I’m thinking, go to Cafe Racer for coffee, and take the route with the uphill stops. Gotta deal with it sometime, and the sooner the better.

I see one of my neighbors is getting ready to leave the garage, so I get my gear on quickly and fire the bike up. Yes, I kick it. I’m able to follow her up the ramp and out the door, which saves the irritation of having to get off the bike, walk over to the door and hit the “open” button. I’m out, and no traffic is coming on Nickerson Street, so I can just get going.

This manual transmission stuff gets easier by the minute. I realize I can go up through the gears without even a cursory glance at the numbers, and I don’t overshoot any gears, either. Crossing the grate on the Fremont bridge always makes me a tiny bit nervous, but the PX 150’s Michelin S83 tires don’t seem to want to nibble.

The light at 35th and Fremont turns red just as I get off the bridge. This is one of the uphill stops. Not much, but like Broad Street and Western Avenue, enough to embarrass the heck out of you if you screw up.

Pulling to a stop (with the footbrake!), I find holding the bike with my leg no trouble at all. Okay, a nice smooth start in first gear, good shift to second. No problem!

The next uphill stop, on Stone Way, is a bit steeper. Again, I find I can hold the bike with my leg, but the launch is not as graceful… I was in second gear, not first. I stall the engine. Arrghh!

Remember, I tell myself, you’ve had the bike less than 48 hours. A clean 4-3-2 downshift at 45th and Stone Way (with footbrake) means I move through the intersection without having to stop. Uh-Huh! The rest of the trip is uneventful. Cafe Racer has really good breakfast sandwiches, BTW. Favicon

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One Comment
  1. Joni permalink
    October 8, 2006 10:10 am

    Your day sounds great! I want a breakfast sandwich right about now but, unfortunately can’t afford a new vespa! Have fun!!!

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