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And we’re walkin’!

November 22, 2009

File under: pictures of my feet (Orin O'Neill photos)

The sun was shining through the branches into the bedroom. Where is that other shoe, I asked no one in particular.

I had an appointment to have the sutures removed from the partial foot on Friday, but the appointment got canceled due to lack of staff. It would’ve been nice to know this before going to the VA Medical Center at oh-dark-thirty, but nobody thought to call me. “That’s been happening a lot,” said the receptionist.

I was told this meant the foot’s healed. I’ll take their word for it. I want to get on with my life. I want to go for a ride on the GTS.

There’s the other shoe, way under the bed. It goes on fairly easily, and the fit is snug enough not to require stuffing the toe. Not too snug, but enough to make those first few baby steps easy.

I grab the keys and head for the driveway. First order of business is to check tire pressures. Both tires are down, but not alarmingly so according to the tire gauge. About what you’d expect for a vehicle that has sat for a month.

GTS floorboard

Tires at 26 (front) and 29 (rear) psi, the next order of business is to fire it up. I’m more nervous about this, but didn’t need to be; the engine starts on the first hit, and while a bit phlegmy, idles just fine.

Pushing off the center stand, I have no trouble holding the GTS up, or scuttling it backwards. Good, good, I think. The bigger issue would be the clumps of wet leaves on the pavement, gimpy foot or not.

I’m off. It’s funny, the slight unfamiliarity not unlike what I experienced on foot taking a wheeled form as I head for Halsey.

The GTS is running well enough that my plan to do laps around the block so as not to have far to push seems unnecessary. Off to the Hollywood District, I say!

Going west, the bike weaves slightly. Is that me? No, I can see trees bent significantly. It’s the wind. It’s been windy in Portland, and really windy on the coast.

I reach the Confluence, and the GTS is purring like a contented kitteh. There’s three bars worth of gas in the tank, and I figure burning as much of it as possible would be a good idea. What the hell—let’s go downtown.

Broadway is rather empty all the way to the bridge. I bear left toward downtown. Downtown is also a kinda empty. Maybe things will pick up in a while, since the rain forecast earlier has given way to sunshine and blue sky.

Fall colors

Can’t turn left on Burnside, so I go a few blocks south, then loop onto 5th going north. Zig, zag, back on Broadway. Passing the Rose Quarter, I’m reminded of a recent newspaper article calling the area “moribund.” Huh? There are two sports arenas and a convention center, so of course there’s not going to be any activity when there are no events!

The light hasn’t come on, but I decide to stop for gas. Fresh gas is always good for an engine, though it occurs to me adding a few drops of fuel stabilizer during the cold/damp time of year (if you have one where you live) certainly couldn’t hurt, even if your bike doesn’t sit. I sure wasn’t planning to leave the GTS inactive for as long as it was. It’s warmed up and running fine, thankfully.

From there, it’s off to Starbucks. I don’t remember the last time I was able to decide on a whim to go for coffee. Or do anything else on a whim. During my convalescence, Pablo has been good about getting me out of the house at regular intervals so as to keep me sane.

Hollywood Starbucks

But now I can get out of the house on my own. I never thought I’d appreciate that (at least at my age) as much as I do. Favicon

  1. karen permalink
    November 23, 2009 5:50 am

    Good to see you’re back on two wheels again. You have a gift for describing things/events.

  2. November 23, 2009 7:55 am


    You had a delightfully nice day for your first day out. Freedom at last to explore the world on 2 wheels. I’m glad you didn’t have any issues. Here’s hoping for a fast recovery to a normal routine and to your independence

    bobskoot: wet coast scootin

  3. November 23, 2009 8:03 am

    Your bike looks good and I bet there were a couple of smiles on your face.

  4. Ian permalink
    November 23, 2009 8:41 am

    Wonderful you are back up. Funny we had the same experience this week, I’ve been unable to ride because of a separated AC joint in my shoulder (bike incident). This week was the first day I was able to take the Vulcan for a ride, I wondered how nervous I would be that I’d fall off again. The ride turned out great but there was no worry.

  5. November 23, 2009 9:08 am

    Congratulations, Orin! Good to hear you’re out and about once again. I’m certain that “Starbucks” stop was a welcome treat for you!

  6. November 24, 2009 4:36 pm

    Somebody let the puppy off its leash and watch it run!

  7. December 4, 2009 8:38 pm

    Glad to see you’re moving again Orin!

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