My motorcycle is an expensive traffic cone

The design of my townhouse community is unfortunately flawed by over crowding and a general lack of parking.  When the original builder, WestBrook Homes, designed the community, they assumed that there would only be 2 cars per townhouse and that those with garages would at least park 1 car in the garage.  Man how wrong they were.  It is a constant struggle to find parking on the street.  I personally have to park on the street because I already have a car in the garage and my motorcycle is parked in there too.  There is also the issue that I put in new shelving which would prevent me from parking my car in the garage now.  Truthfully its the van’s fault for being so damn wide.  Even with no shelving I still don’t think my car would be able to fit in the garage.  The crash of 2008 killed all the assumptions the original designers had.  Most of the townhouses have multiple generations in them and they bring with them more than 2 cars per townhouse which makes parking a real nightmare.  I think parking is one of the most contentious things in my community with people constantly trolling the streets looking for a place to park or not even going out so they don’t lose their parking space.  Kinda sad.

Anyway, on to this evening!  On weekends I normally leave my car where it is, left alone in its parking space so that I can see it from my home and also so its ready for me to use to get to the airport.  Tonight the wife and I had different events to go to, I had to get a new iPhone from Apple and she had to go to dinner with some friends of ours.  That meant that I had to use my own car and potentially lose my parking space!  However since it wasn’t raining tonight, the wife suggested that I move my motorcycle into my parking space.  I’ve done that before on occassion but I don’t like to do it, I have to drag the motorcycle out of the garage, then move my car, then the bike into the space and then do the reverse to get my space back for my car.

Using my motorcycle to save my parking space makes it a really expensive traffic cone.  I actually saw someone in my community use a traffic cone to save their parking spot.  I was really tempted to  just kick it away or something but who knows who has cameras up on their townhomes these days.  They might have spotted me doing it.  Either way, pretty smart but also a real dick move.  Technically when I did it, I had a legit vehicle in the space which was my motorcycle.  I’ve seen other people on my street with motorcycles do it so I didn’t really feel bad myself.  Doing it at night I think is fine, that way my bike seat won’t get so hot when I have to move it later.  That and I’m trying to preserve the paint color so it doesn’t fade in the sunlight.  I think thats part of the reason why so many people have white cars, not only does it not attract heat there isn’t any color to fade.

I think the holidays will see some craziness around parking.  That means my car isn’t moving or my motorcycle will once again become a traffic cone.  They might suspend the double parking rules or the ability to park on the street where the garage are but I doubt it.  I know the tow truck company will be happy.  The people in my community seem to enjoy calling it so they can see illegally parked cars towed away.


6 Years and 7000 Miles of Motorcycle Riding

It’s been 6 years since I started riding a motorcycle and I’ve just gotten to the 7000 mile mark.  For all intents and purposes I’m still a pretty new rider even though I’ve been riding for a while now.  Not a lot has really changed in the last 6 years in terms of riding except for a few pieces of equipment.

I’m still riding around on my green 2009 Kawasaki Ninja 650R which I bought new from Gables Motorsports.  Luckily (knocking on lots of wood in my house) its still in the same condition as when I bought it.  There’s a lot of bug splatter and dirt but thats to be expected.  It probably needs a new front tire finally, its looking a little bald but I had to change out the rear tire during the first year when I got a nail in it.

I have changed out my helmet and gloves since my first days riding and I’ve added some Kevlar jeans to my riding gear for some extra protection which also has some impact pads for the knees.  I also updated my helmet speakers to Bluetooth which was an awesome gift from my wife one Christmas.  Every once in a while I take out my GoPro and do some filming but its rare and I don’t like wearing the chest harness all that much.  The only thing I would change if I could afford it would be to upgrade to the Kawasaki Ninja ZX6 636.  But in actuality, I don’t really need that sort of bike since I ride so little, its more of a desire.

I think for Christmas I’m going to get a new front tire when I get my yearly service.  I don’t ride far enough to warrant service based on mileage, if I did that I would have only gone through 2 oil changes by now.  I think I’ll hit 14000 miles in another 7 years, maybe by that time they’ll have some affordable electric motorcycles!  That would be totally sweet!

Bye bye Ninja 250 :(

Claire's Ninja

Today was a little bit sad.  I had to sell my wife’s bike which means I’m down to riding the 650.  The decision wasn’t really mine since the bike wasn’t mine in the first place.  I was more a care taker for the bike to make sure it at least was put on the road once in a while but it was definitely a fun bike to have around since it was so light and even had some spunk to it when you went up past 10K RPM’s.  The reason to sell it was really because no one was riding it.  I have my own bike and since I have a little daughter, most of my time can’t be spent riding around and taking care of the bikes so my wife decided to sell hers since she really hadn’t ridden it in a while.  I put the bike up for sale on Craigslist and after a few false starts I was able to sell it to someone that had a real interest in learning how to ride and wanted a cool looking bike in the process.  I’ll admit that I love the graphics on the 250 more than my 650 and the fact that it was a special edition was just icing on the cake.  The 250 only had 1321 miles on it in 3 years.  My bike is closing in on 4000 so you can tell I didn’t have as much time for it as I would have wanted.  Although we had to sell the bike, I’m glad it went to someone that had a willingness to learn to ride it and have as much fun as me and my wife did with it.  Maybe in the future my wife will want another bike or a CanAm.  I would personally love a Ninja ZX6 636 but not right now, maybe when my daughter is a bit older and I have more cash to burn on another expensive toy 🙂


I has a Motorbike


Through a slight oversight on my part, I accidentally announced to my parents that I have a motorbike by sending them a photo book with me and little E on it.  So I guess now I can at least blog about it.  The lovely picture above is of my 2009 Kawasaki Ninja 650R. I decided to get it in Kawasaki green.  This is their signature color and it looked way better than getting it in blue or black. This picture is a bit old now, I actually bought the bike in the summer of 2010 and I’ve been a weekend rider ever since.  It’s hard when you travel and have a family to get some time to ride but my wife is nice enough to give me some time on the weekends to go out for a little while and at least get the oil moving.

Now I didn’t originally want to ride a motorcycle, but my wife convinced me that it would be a fun thing to learn together so we both took a class.  After taking the class we decided, well hell why not lets get a bike!  So there it is, I am the proud owner of my very own motorbike.  Unfortunately there aren’t a lot of places to ride a motorcycle safely in South Florida.  The only real place that I go is up and down I-75 and US 27 both of which are close to my house and I normally only do it during off peak hours to avoid all the crazies.  I used to go down I-595 but they’re doing a ton of construction there these days so I’m not going there until they’re finished sometime in 2014.  I-95 is just off limits totally.  I hear of too many people getting into crashes in cars, and the ones that crash on motorcycles don’t normally make it so going to Miami or Miami Beach on my bike is totally out of the cards.

Thats ok though, I’m happy with my bike and the areas I can ride.  One day when I have the time, I’d like to try a trip down to Key West.  That will be 3 hours of riding but I won’t do it straight.  It’ll have to wait till E is a bit older though and she can enjoy Key West with me and the wife 🙂