Monday, August 22, 2011

The Power of Suggestion

Warning:  If you are susceptible to the power of suggestion I recommend you stop reading now.  To continue reading may set you up for having the wrong song in your helmet for a long time to come.


Helmet to helmet communicators can be a blessing or a curse.  Of course, I've only ever been connected to hubby.  So he is stuck with my rumblings and rants.  I'm not sure I could do well with "on" communication with anyone else.  I know it would be a connection with friends.  But your friend isn't always in your head to that degree.  And, honestly, do you really want them to be?  I mean, the spouse has signed up for your crazy, but your friend doesn't necessarily know the depth of it.
Do doo do-do

Oilburner and I don't keep up a constant patter of communication.  We have long periods of silence just listening to road noise, engine noise, wind noise.  But the line is there in case we spot something interesting, to warn each other of obstacles, or discuss what's for dinner.

We each have a Bluetooth connection with our own phones.  We can, and do, shut each other off and listen to music occassionally.


Many times I do enjoy listening to music while riding.  It's usually on just as background noise to drown out my wind/helmet noise.  But it is mostly when I ride alone.  I rarely listen while riding with Oilburner.  And he is the same way. 

This isn't a new thing for us.  Many times we will listen to the radio in the truck while driving.  When we are pulling the trailer?  The music is never on.  Pulling trailers is a responsibility.  I think we leave the radio off to tune into the trailer more, and keep alert for dangers.

Do do-do-do

I'm wondering if the same thing is true on the bikes.  Are we keeping the channel open, even though we aren't talking, "in case" we need to communicate in an emergency?  Or are we just concerned the other person will be offended if we didn't want to talk to them?  A way of ignoring each other?

The handful of times we have disconnected from each other was on the super slab and we wanted to make some miles.


So we went on a group ride this Saturday.  It was going to be a long distance day and the first leg was going to be slabbed to get us into Tennessee.  The pace was "spirited".

Oilburner was polite and offerend that I could listen to music if I wanted.  (Now I am beginning to wonder if he was telling me he didn't want to to talk to me, so he could listen to his music??  Hmmm....Why do I never think of these things at the time??) 

I told him I was OK.  I didn't need to listen to music.  I would just sing in my helmet.  Seriously, I really don't know the lyrics to too many songs.  So the default song came in...

It was over.  Oilburner had this song running through his head all day.  Karma for all the time he and his coworkers subtly whistled different tunes each week that their boss would unconciously pick up and hum, whistle, or sing for days.

And just when Oilburner was getting over it?


I have officially put 30,000 miles on my bike in three years.  I purchased my bike somewhere around this time in 2008, with 9,442 miles on the clock.  I flipped to 39,443 at the Saturday ride meeting location  It was a short lived victory since I went to put on an additional 400 miles that day.  But I'm still happy.  :)


The Saturday ride took us to places we have never been before.  Not even in a cage.  So it was lovely seeing a brand new area.  The group we went with are people from the local tag games.  So we "know" each other by avatar on the boards.  Some know each other in person as well.  This was our first time meeting most of them in person.  They are some good people.

However, I just don't mesh with their riding style.  I don't mind a spirited ride and allowing people to go their own pace.  I am fine falling behind and catching up, if you are good with that.  But please don't say you are good with that, and then not be in actuality.

Their idea of good riding was fast twisties come hell or high water and whisking along 45 mph roads at 60+ mph.  This involved passing on double yellows and even passing in the twisties.  I'm disheartened to say that I bowed to peer pressure and followed long as I was positive it was safe.  (Though nothing would have saved me if there had been a police officer.) There came a time when it was not safe and I fell way behind without any way of catching up.  Good.  It allowed me to actually spend some time looking at the scenery that was completely new to me.

The day was meant for the twisties and a minor amount of sightseeing.  Fine with me, except the roads where we were sucked!!  Lots of erosion and heaving, uneven surfaces with poor patch jobs.  There were a few decent areas, but many of the twisties were plagued by uneven drops.  After having read a face plant recently of someone that suffered broken ribs from a very minor 6 inch wide sink hole, I wasn't going to push my speeds on new-to-me roads.

In all, the twisties were fun.  It was wonderful being on new roads and having new vistas to look over.  We managed to make it to a state park with a beautiful waterfall, that we didn't see.  The heat was getting to Oilburner and he wasn't up to walking the trail to the overlook.  So we sat in the shade and hydrated.

It was nearing 2:00 pm by this time and we were 4 hours from home.  We had only progressed one third around the originally planned loop.  Oilburner and I decided it was time to split off and head for home to rescue the puppy and have a leisurely ride home.  We stopped at one overlook for photos.  :)  And the one patch of rain we hit was wonderfully refreshing, dropping temps from 100F to 74F  (38C to 23C).











  1. Steel Cupcake:

    It's about time, I like your 50D but it's blocking my view.

    I know what you mean about group rides, esp on unknown roads. I don't find it a thrill to ride fast. I like to enjoy the scenery.

    I remember I once went on a group ride. We were all together . . . until the first curve, then everyone sped up and raced up the highway. I kept to the speed limit and rode by myself both ways. I would never pass on a double yellow.

    Riding the Wet Coast

  2. Does riding as couple count as a group? I have to admit that I am not fond of group rides. Like Bob I like a decent pace and want to stop to smell the roses.
    Riding with hubby (he knows me well, and often does a mind reading job, as we have only hand-and-feet communication) is almost perfect. We like the same pace, we see the same things... more or less conditioned over many years.

    And by the way: phenomena... do doo do do do
    haven't heard that one for a long time.

  3. Phenomena, gee thanks a lot. I haven't heard that in like twenty years....

    And I'm in the "don't like group rides" category. Don't listen to music when riding or driving. I like the shot of your bikes in the parking lot. Nice color contrast. And congratulations on 30K miles!

  4. Wow!!! Those Big Sky shots are something else - thanks so much for posting. Just one week short of 15 years since I was working in the Southern States. Maybe that's another option for our 40th anniversary next year! Decisions, decisions.....

  5. Lori, lori , lori, you have devloped a real gift for saying what every one else is thinking. Good stuff.

    Self control can be hard to exercise, no doubt you will have learnt from this experince. Never and i mean never be afraisd to speak up. Love your work....

  6. Lori
    Good stuff!
    There are not too many good things to say about group rides and general showing off on the road - this is what I did not like about the so called advanced motorcycle club where I did my advanced test 2 years ago. I did question the application of the rule that you should be able to safely stop in the distance that you can see and was told that was nonsense from a book!
    I do enjoy seeing the scenery - I must invest in a gopro soon.....

    Still enjoying the crocs(tm), N

  7. Great post Lori and beautiful pictures.

    I don't really care for group rides. I don't consider hubby and I going out as a group ride, just a pleasant day spent on two wheels.

    I find that the groups around here also say they don't mind slower riders but will leave you in the dust in the blink of an eye. I prefer to see the scenery going by and to stop occasionally for photos and breaks.

    We went out on Sunday and on some unfamiliar roads. It was just Troubadour and I but I still had to slow down some as the road conditioners were bouncing me around. Why is it the bumps are always when you are setting up for a corner? Hard to keep those lines with your butt bouncing out of the saddle.

    I've never ridden with music and don't think I would. Too much of a distraction for me personally although I always have the radio on in the car. We have our radios (communication devices) on when on the bikes and usually talk about road hazards, where to turn, when to stop for a break and such. And sometimes about randomness that pops in our head, but most of the time it is quiet except for the road noise.

  8. Lori,

    I love how much thought you put into the bluetooth discussion. I feel like my wife (in spite of, or because she's a scientist) spends as much time analyzing my decisions. Does music mean he wants to ignore me? Did I do something? Does he just want to listen to music?

    I just want to listen to music. On the slab in particular, it's that or ear plugs. The earbuds do nice to cut some wind noise, plus I love the black keys as I ride.

    Behind Bars - Motorcycles and Life

  9. Hi Bobskoot,

    LOL. I hide behind lenses. Until I got rid of the glasses. ;)

    I enjoy riding fast to a point. Riding up to my limits helps me improve. I just don't want to ride beyond my abilities and have something stupid happen.

    Maybe you need to try out a few of our twisties here with smooth pavement and easy riding...

    -Steel Cupcake

  10. Hi Sonja,

    I don't think I count riding as a couple a "group". As long as they have been married for years and know each other inside and out. :)

    It's nice to have that riding partner that knows to zig when you zag. do do do
    every so often the thing just has to be planted.


  11. Hi RichardM,

    Catchy tune. Don't you like it? ;)

    There are a couple people in the local BMW group that listen to digital books while riding. I wasn't into it, until I started listening to them during my regular commute. Actually very soothing compared to just looking at all of the brakelights in front of me. :)

    Thanks for your assessment of the picture of the bikes. I like the color in that one too. The parking lot was a nice beige instead of hard white or dull black.

    Hope you are getting a few more rides in!


  12. Hi Geoff,

    Yes, the skies were perfect weren't they? Though we don't often have elevation and clear views here, do we? :)

    You have some huge decisions to make for your 40th next year. South, Canada, Northeast... ;) All of the above.


  13. Hi Raftnn,

    Thank You!

    Yes, self-control can be very difficult. I wonder if it comes easier to girls than it does to guys. Though most of the girls that I talk to are newer riders, and most of the guys pretend they are old hats at riding. ;)

    "Never be afraid to speak up"?? I thought you knew me well enough by now to know that will rarely be a problem. LOL!!


  14. Hi Nikos,

    Your instructors actually told you that you did not need to see enough around a curve to stop in a safe distance?? That has been drilled to me in all of my classes!! Scary.

    Even the skilled riders can go down. We are awaiting news about a friend that took a hard spill on the Blue Ridge Parkway last weekend. And he is one of the few riders that I trust implicitly he has so much experience. Broken collarbone, a couple broken ribs, facial issues...and going into surgery for we know not what.

    So ride safely and enjoy the scenery! ;)

    Glad the crocs(tm) are a live and well. And it sounds like they are doing quite a bit of traveling lately.


  15. Hi Trobairitz,

    I understand about the bumps going into turns. They continue to be one of those things I obsess about. I keep reading Face Plant accidents. Very bad. I'm not sure if I learn and it gives me something to think about, or if it keeps me too cautious.

    But it sounds like your roads were in about as bad shape as Tennessee's. One road along the river was actually buckling and settling. Half the lane was lower than the inside half...with a wavery ridge squiggling around. You had to commit to the high road or the low. Not recommended to go in-between.

    Glad you were out and seeing new sights!

    Next time some randomness pops in...start singing Phenomena. Troubadour will love it! Honest!



  16. Hi Brady,

    What can I say, smart girls think things through. Just be grateful that she thought through marrying you and thought the see-saw was stacked favorably. :) hehehe

    With Oilburner, I was being highly selfish to keep communications open. Left it open to plant that obnoxious tune in his head.

    Keep those tunes rolling, but pay attention to your new roads. Are you taking the Concours over there? When you going? Are you ready?


  17. Lori,

    Sadly, no, the Connie is not coming. It costs about 2,000 USD to ship a motorcycle across the ocean.

    Behind Bars - Motorcycles and Life

  18. Brady! That news saddens me. Are you thinking yet of picking one up over there? What happens to all of the bikes here? Do they have someone to watch over them and take them out for joy rides to feel the wind in their handlebars? Get their toes a little dirty? :(


  19. Lori,

    2 of the 3 will be with my in-laws, one will be at my parents. Hopefully they get out once in a while. I know Kelsie's dad enjoys 'blowing the carbon out' of the Honda from time to time, and he straight enjoys the f650. As for Germany, I'm working on it. Aside from selling the Connie, I don't know. Maybe I'll strike a deal with some fancy motorcycle magazine...

    Behind Bars - Motorcycles and Life