So here it is, ... the barn beast.
Hereafter known as Raptor Red, after the strong female character in the book of the same name by Robert Bakker.
She's a brand new 2009 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 LTD.
She's been on my Lust List for years now, but I put her off for lots of reasons.
Recently though, as I looked at the odometer of my 2003 JEEP, the pain of 141,000 miles caused me to rethink my procrastination.
I really do not want another vehicle ... EVER.
I love my JEEP. It's tough, it's bouncy, ... it's me.
The problem is that my 20 mile commute through piney woods to work each day is packing on unnecessary pavement miles on my beloved 4-wheel steed.
(Coincidentally, the 7 year old alternator went out this morning and I am off awaiting her repair)
Plus ... even with a 4 cylinder engine, she's not the greenest vehicle on the planet and it bugs me to waste gas.
Soooooo ... the male brain being what it is, I convinced myself that I was truly justified in seeking out a used Vulcan 500 for commuting, thus extending the life of my JEEP.
I'm also bringing in some extra dough with my 2nd job as a part-time Virtual School teacher, which made the decision easier too.
All of these factors were processed by the medulla justificablongata portion of my brain and the decision to proceed was made.
Let the search begin.
Once on the internet, I found lots of used Vulcans and even a few new ones. Prices for new ones were running around $4500 and the used newish ones were around $4000.
And then ...
Up popped an ad for a new 2009, full warranty, still in the crate Vulcan for $3699.
Dang! Fancy Mopedish scootery thingies cost that much ... must be a mistake.
I called the shop down in Kissimmee.
"Yes, brand new bike. We have them on sale to make room for 2011's."
That was Monday.
Wednesday evening, I was driving home from Orlando with a motorcycle strapped in the back of Mrs. FC's truck.
I have owned the bike for two weeks now, but will not be able to (legally) drive it on the street until after this weekend.
It seems that since I last owned a motorcycle, the rules have changed and now you have to attend a two day motorcycle safety course to get the motorcycle endorsement on your license.
Well, okay, who can argue with that, but gee whiz, this is testing my patience.
This will be the 3rd bike I have owned.
The first was a Suzuki when I was 15 and gas was 33 cents a gallon the first time I filled it up.
Later, while stationed in Savannah, Georgia with the National Park Service, I drove a Honda Nighthawk on my daily 27 mile commute to Fort Pulaski.
No one ever used the word crisis regarding those bikes.
NOW though, when I mention that I bought a motorcycle ... I often get this response,
" Oh, is this your midlife crisis?"
"No, it's a motorcycle."