10/7/2006

A Provisional ‘Ahhhhhh’

Filed under: — Bravus @ 6:27 pm

After talking to the relevant people, I was able to get ‘temporary’ administrator access to this machine to install my software tools and set it up how I like it, which feels like a real victory. I’m now racking my brain to try to think of every single tool I’m likely to need so that I can set it up in case the access goes away again. Wouldn’t it be nice if they just ‘forget’ to take it away…?

The Pleasures Of The Bike

Filed under: — Bravus @ 5:04 pm

Leaving aside the obvious and practical ones – like the fact that it will go as far on $12 worth of fuel as the car would on $50 worth, and the fact that parking costs $78 a year instead of $70 a fortnight, and $160 a year for comprehensive insurance – there are lots of small pleasures of riding the bike that I’m rediscovering.

One is that commuting is transformed from a chore to a pleasure. I don’t get radical or race, but just riding along in the breeze is a pleasure in itself. Even the hypervigilance of watching for cars whose drivers aren’t watching for me doesn’t take away from that. Part of it too is winding through the corners… which is why I’ll likely usually take the back road rather than the freeway when driving between the campuses. Sitting on the freeway at 100 km/h or so gets a little bit buffety without a fairing, and probably makes it thirsty too, but beyond that it gets boring. Working through the gears in the tight stuff is much more fun.

Another is that you ride a bike with your whole body. It’s not just the controls and you sitting there inertly being carried around: you steer with weight and with the throttle, so it’s a full-body experience where it really does feel as though you and the bike are one unit. In fact, it’s something like having a more powerful robot exoskeleton that just does your will and enables you to go faster…

And then there are the special pleasures of this particular bike. It’s a little Honda v-twin, so it sounds cool, and feels great. Its very free-revving, with a redline at 13,500 revs that it’ll reach very willingly. It’s less power-band-dependent than the 2-stroke 250s that I’ve ridden, with pretty even power across a wide range of revs, but it’s happiest between about 8,000 and 12,000 revs. Just burbling along, it’s on about 7,000 – which would have most cars screaming their guts out and on the verge of siezing up! With all that, a little more low-down grunt from the 4-stroke also makes it more tractable for cruising around town in the 60 zones.

It’s a tiny bit small physically for me – the racing style seat means I can’t slide back that extra couple of inches that would make me totally comfortable – so the longer term plan involves Sue getting her license and taking over this one, and me moving on to something slightly bigger. But for right now, it’s sunny and dry and slightly cool, and I’m having a great time!