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Thread: I don't want to ride to work anymore

  1. #21
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    And I thought *I* was analytical !! ;)

    Quote Originally Posted by 53driver View Post
    I commuted on my motorcycle whenever the temp was above 20 degrees and the roads were dry.
    My commute was only 17 miles, but there were 42 stoplights (yes, I counted several times) and lots of two lane streets so my commute was 45 - 50 minutes as well.

    For starters: I understand your sentiments perfectly.
    Now for my morning commentary on your predicament......
    I want to get one thing out of the way: for me, riding is not about me vs the bike and then me vs the bike vs the world. Riding is me AND Isleen vs the world.

    Physical vs emotional fatigue:
    - If I walked a couple miles each morning, I'm pretty sure I'd be 'exercised' enough to maintain focus on the bike. Exercise does that to me. Might physically fatigue me, but my mind gets more alert.
    - I was never physically tired in the afternoon, but 'emotionally drained' from dealing with people? You betcha. These people could suck the life out of anyone......
    - I never found my bike commute to be physically challenging and I would look forward to riding her home. Like you, I had several different routes just to mix it up and see what was going on elsewheres.....
    - Separate emotional & physical fatigue as it applies to riding. They affect people differently. For me, I don't find riding physically challenging, and I've learned to stuff emotional crap into its "box" before I ride.

    Routine...
    - My morning routine was up at 6. S, S, S, S, eat breakfast/coffee and out the door. No exercise. Philly drivers will keep you on your guard though.
    - Wearing a uniform and then after I transitioned, wearing a coat & tie (same building) was no factor and I didn't have to transition to other buildings on the compound where I couldn't walk.
    - Every time I leave the house, I tap 3 pockets looking for the critical 3 Ps: plastic (wallet), phone, piece.
    - My cage vs bike routine never changed in the prep work inside the house. In fact, I would often head to the barn not knowing if I was riding or driving.

    Bike outside all day:
    - Yeah, I didn't like that either.
    My assigned parking spot was by the smoking area so there would be people gathering around Isleen, Saorla, or "Cherries & Cream" (red & white 98 Valk) with cigarettes in their hands.
    Made me nervous. The sunlight wasn't good either and yes, I concur that a cover or even a half cover is a PITA.

    Analytics:
    - My bikes all have logbooks where everything that happens to the bike gets documented.
    - Every fill up with mileage, every time I roll over a 1000 mile marker, every maintenance action, every mod.
    - So yeah, I get that part too.

    Passion for riding:
    - I've read many of your posts over the years and you are passionate about riding, about being a better rider.
    - Like me, you can analyze & "nit-noid" to the microscopic level, but at the same time, get emotional about doing it right & proper the first time through.
    - You are concerned about safety as well (with posts that have proven this) - and that is obviously the number one priority. If you think you are setting yourself up for being unsafe, it's time to step back and review.
    Personally? I think you are better in this category than you think you are, but in reality what I think doesn't matter.

    Bottom line: Let the light of your passion for riding shine on your morning commute.

    Riding vs Commuting:
    VStarRider, I write this with love and respect: "Do not let your analytical mind associate/link pleasure riding and commuting."
    Thinking of your bike more as a partner in life's journey (like a favorite pocket knife or every day carry weapon) rather than a transportation conveyance might help. Might not.
    People think I'm crazy for naming my bikes and projecting personalities into them. If flying large helicopters taught me anything, it is that machines that are identical & somewhat complex can behave VERY differently and those differences must be factored into the equation. Giving them a personality helps that.

    Whether commuting or leisure riding, I'm with my girl. We are dancing. We are a team. We are ready to take on whatever life throws at us and take it on with a smile on our faces.

    Please allow yourself to take your riding to the ethereal level.
    Reading "Calvin & Hobbes" helps too.

    Time for more coffee.....
    Cheers,
    Steve
    I picked up the F6B to replace an M109r that I found wasn't filling my needs. I had bagged & faired the M109 ("Candy was her name, after her color) to be able to carry stuff to & from work essentially, but it wasn't good at wind management like I had hoped. So along came the 'B, "Jetfire" (named after the black SR-71 in Transformers II).

    On a side note, my personal riding experience is quite different from being on a Harley at work. Riding at work, when I was able to do so, came with a 'kid in a bubble' effect. Everyone stayed the hell away from you, because they were afraid you were going to pick them out of the crowd. But I have found that being on a big bike (like a bagged & fairing-ed M109 or an F6B) helps with visibility & lane position. Car's are more likely to see you & less likely to move into your lane.

    The upgrade definitely got me what I wanted in a bike. My commute was occasional, only on days where it was going to be dry. My commute was opposite to yours, sun wise - west in the AM, eastbound in the afternoon. My commute in was freeway and street riding, about 30-35 mins. My commute out of the city was 45-90 minutes, depending on afternoon traffic & whether I was on Jetfire or my Jeep. But once out of the city, the bike permitted me onto the HOV lane, which reduced my commute by as much as 15 mins some days. I also parked my bike in the employee parking outside, but I would never cover it. The bike got more filth on it during the commute than it would ever get sitting still in the parking lot.

    Like many who ride through traffic in commutes, mine was a "Ride to Live" mentality, it's not relaxing at all. It's a challenge in itself. When riding in the city, I am (or I feel I am) on constant high alert because of the possible dangers & risks that go with 'running with cagers'. But the alternative to commuting to work on the bike was commuting in my Jeep. And after work, most days, there was not much of a chance of me getting out for a ride midweek anyway.

    VstarRider, not sure that I have any solutions for you, but I empathize with you. Like Steve, above, I find myself to be more regimented in my collection of things before heading out to work so as to not forget anything. I put all of my necessaries in the same pockets every time, & then I do a final 'patdown' of all of those pockets while I am seated & waiting for Jetfire to warm up.

    'Jetfire' got me into the HOV lane & moving, for which I was always grateful. For most folks, getting for HOV lane, cell phone, or excessive speeding (here it's a huge ticket & a mandatory 7 day vehicle impound) violations would mean just a ticket, or ticket & impound. Due to my work position, if I was to get busted for those it would also likely include a disclosure to the media & a spotlight in local news, so I took great care to avoid being in that kind of spotlight.

    I retired from that position about 2 months ago, largely because I didn't want to keep up with that commute, & my pension was maxed out already. For the past 2 summers, most of my mileage (6,000 miles/yr) was commuting to & from work. But I wasn't judging myself because of it. This year, I've already got over 5,000 miles in since May 1st, but that was due mostly to a ride to Vegas & back last month.

    But I still ride in and around the city every chance I get, because I would rather ride Jetfire than go into the city in my Jeep [so named "Gunny" - 'because Gunny can do everything a S/Sgt can do - just better' ]. If I have to pack things in to the city that I can't pack in the F6B, or it's pissing rain, then I'll take the Jeep. Not much has changed that way, even once retired.

    I empathize with you. I don't think many of us that did or do commute feel much different about it than you do. But I find it was way better on an F6B than in a cage. So much so that I still ride in to the city when ever I get the chance.

    Best,
    C

  2. #22
    Moderator 53driver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by copper View Post
    And I thought *I* was analytical !! ;)
    That was between my first & second cups of coffee.....under those circumstances, there have been many lengthy diatribes penned on these hallowed pages by yours truly.
    Oh the joys of retirement coupled with the excitement of waking up every morning thinking "YESSS! I've been granted another 56,000 seconds to make peoples' lives more surreal!"

    Back to my oatmeal....

    Cheers,
    Steve
    aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
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    Isleen - 2014 CBR1800RRF6BD
    Saorla - 1995 FLSTN Heritage Special


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  3. #23
    Junior Member scottarkon's Avatar
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    I would say, you know yourself best. If it's stressing you out, don't commute on a bike. Take it on the days you feel up to the extra effort. It sounds like your commuting on the bike to justify the purchase. Maybe in the beginning that was important?

    I stopped riding for about a 1.5 year stretch because it wasn't fun anymore. I had other things in life that were going on and when I went to ride it wasn't having the usual de-stressing effect. It was the opposite. I felt like I was fighting the traffic and elements and i'd come home more fatigued. It was all mental energy. It upset me because i'd ridden for over a decade with none of these issues. What was wrong with me?? I sold my bike and said, well I guess i'm just not into it anymore. I went a year without thinking about motorcycles at all. And then the bug started again. I picked up another bike and riding has been fun again the last 7 years. I guess I just needed to get through that time in my life.

  4. #24
    Senior Member tiltingf6b's Avatar
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    I ride because i CAN

    After being hit by a car doing over 50 MPH while riding my bicycle 9 years ago - I vowed to never give up two wheels because of fear.
    Everyday parts of my body hurt - the ride helps, it eases the pain
    everyday I struggle with dickhead cagers but I remember I ride for me and they make me more alert
    sometimes, esp in the morning brain fog, just standing the bike up off the kickstand can be a chore - but it reminds me to exercise and eat better and I am healthier because of it.
    I complain to myself everytime I put on all my cycle gear - then I remember WTH I can still dress myself after doing the tango with a 5400 pound car and it's because of all that gear i'm alive.
    Yeah the bike covers are a PITA but they keep the cats from pissin on my seat and the sun from fading my blue paint that I enjoy polishing because it gets me away from the boob tube and other non constructive things.
    I could keep detailed records but why? I know when my warranty is toast, I know when I need service, I know when to replace my tires... I know so I go.
    Be Careful What YOU Wish For

  5. #25
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    Riding to work is 100% more enjoyable than driving

    I ride the motorcycle to work as many days as possible.

    Compared to driving the car, I can cut about three to five minutes off the drive, as I take a route that has more starts/stops, but the bike can accelerate and brake fasater, and I can mix into traffic a lot easier on the bike.

    In addition...i just love the smell of the morning grass, trees, and the outdoor feel. For the ride home, it is just as enjoyable.

    Perhaps the F6B is too large of a bike in commuter traffic? I take my Honda CB500X to work more than the F6B, which I do so due to the lighter weight and easier to maneuver in traffic style.

  6. #26
    Senior Member VStarRider's Avatar
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    So much good advice in this thread, it turned out better than I expected. Thanks, everyone.

    Just to clarify, the "tiredness" I referred to in the morning is not due to eyes open at 5am or the two mile walk...just groggy from probably not going to bed at a time that corresponds with the alarm clock going off the next morning.

    It is more emotional fatigue in the afternoon. All the cars coming at me (not much traffic with me)...I can't maintain the level of focus I feel is necessary to be a safe rider.

    Steve pointed out something that I am betting is true...my analytical nature is interfering with the pure enjoyment of motorcycling. Being an analytical pays dividends at work, but often is a hinderance when it comes to anything emotional.

    I took an 85 mile ride tonight. I actually felt myself leaning back and enjoying the breeze for the first time in a long time this evening. What led to that? No rush, no heavy traffic coming at me or with me, great scenery, lots of cruising, less stopping and shifting.

    What a relief it was to feel good on a bike again.

    I will probably continue to commute on the bike - on a part time basis - perhaps once or twice per week when I am in one building for the day, feel good in the morning, and can sneak out a few minutes early to enjoy a different route home.
    Current ride:
    2013 F6B Standard, black; purchased 10/8/15
    Additions:
    *Madstad; glovebox key knob; Tridium LED fog lights; foot wind deflectors; Ram mount; 12V fairing pocket*
    Former rides:
    1982 Suzuki GS 650 S
    2008 VStar 1100 Silverado
    2004 VStar 1100 Classic
    2017 Miles:
    1,700 as of 6/4/17

  7. #27
    Moderator 53driver's Avatar
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    aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
    My girls:
    Isleen - 2014 CBR1800RRF6BD
    Saorla - 1995 FLSTN Heritage Special


    "Politeness, n: The most acceptable hypocrisy."
    Ambrose Bierce

  8. #28
    Senior Member mtcgun's Avatar
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    If you're that tired before and after work, I dont think i'd want you driving in a car around me either.
    2013 Honda F6B #374 (darksided)
    2004 Honda NRX1800 RUNE #274
    2008 Can Am Spyder #21 (basically factory darksided. )
    1989 Kawasaki KZ1000 Police
    1992 Yamaha FJ1200

  9. #29
    Senior Member tiltingf6b's Avatar
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    Yes yes YES

    Quote Originally Posted by VStarRider View Post
    So much good advice in this thread, it turned out better than I expected. Thanks, everyone.

    Just to clarify, the "tiredness" I referred to in the morning is not due to eyes open at 5am or the two mile walk...just groggy from probably not going to bed at a time that corresponds with the alarm clock going off the next morning.

    It is more emotional fatigue in the afternoon. All the cars coming at me (not much traffic with me)...I can't maintain the level of focus I feel is necessary to be a safe rider.

    Steve pointed out something that I am betting is true...my analytical nature is interfering with the pure enjoyment of motorcycling. Being an analytical pays dividends at work, but often is a hinderance when it comes to anything emotional.

    I took an 85 mile ride tonight. I actually felt myself leaning back and enjoying the breeze for the first time in a long time this evening. What led to that? No rush, no heavy traffic coming at me or with me, great scenery, lots of cruising, less stopping and shifting.

    What a relief it was to feel good on a bike again.

    I will probably continue to commute on the bike - on a part time basis - perhaps once or twice per week when I am in one building for the day, feel good in the morning, and can sneak out a few minutes early to enjoy a different route home.
    Be Careful What YOU Wish For

  10. #30
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    If I drive to work it takes 20 min. If I take bike... 20 min. But coming home, it typically takes about 90 min. cuz I tend to take the long way via back roads. Commuting by motorcycle blows! cheers:

  11. #31
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    Little Commuting on Bike

    When I ride my motorcycles, I want to get out on the road as far away as I can from cars, traffic lights, people texting on their phones etc. On Saturday mornings I always leave early and when I get out on the road there is often no one in front of me or behind me. That is the way I like to ride. I commute to work sometimes, but it is actually not much fun. I can get to work in about 15 minutes which is not nearly enough bike time and I have to watch out for all the morning commuters in a hurry to run me over. For the most part, commuting on my bike is stressful and that is not why I ride.

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