Thursday, October 07, 2010

Mid-Teen Crisis? No. Mid-20's Crisis? No. Mid-Life Crisis? NOT!


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?"
My answer?
"No, it's a motorcycle."

32 comments:

edifice rex said...

Oh!!! I'm the first to comment!!! yay! Okay, I'm calmed down. Well, I don't think it's crisis-like..but then I think you know I don't look at life like most people! lol! I have found most people make snarky comments about other's 'out of the box' moves when they are themselves slightly jealous. Hey, if it makes your skirt fly up, go for it! just be careful on that thing. ;)

robin andrea said...

Congratulations! That's a beautiful new motorcycle! What a cool way to do your commuting. Hey, buying new vehicles must be in the air, we bought a previously-owned 2005 Subaru Forester yesterday. It's new to us, and we are totally jazzed. Now we don't have to worry about driving in the snow this winter. Yay!

BTW, I love your neologisms.

Pablo said...

I had to stop and ask myself if it was April 1st.

Sharon said...

SA-WEET!!! I'm sure you'll enjoy it on those long rides back and forth :) We have a Honda VTX1300R - LOVE to ride!

Dani said...

She's beautiful FC!!!

amarkonmywall said...

Well, imagine my disappointment that it's not a cat. Seriously? She's beautiful! It doesn't look like Miz Mary or Cathy have seen her yet but I'm sure they will approve. I bought Rich a Honda Shadow as a wedding gift and although he loved it in Michigan, Chicago was not a safe or fun place for it. Now the Shadow is here in Asheville where the riding is great, but as a licensed Florida resident he will be taking that same weekend course in December. I say, have a blast, because I just know you got the very best helmet available to protect that wonderful gray matter. Really, enjoy, enjoy.

Deb said...

Cool! And I think you'd be one of the last people in the world to have a midlife crisis; you seem to enjoy your life way too much for that!

Anonymous said...

Hi FC,

Wow, that's purty! I used to have a bike, A little gold Honda. You would laugh if I told you the size!It was fun to drive when I lived in Archer. All those backroads!

Have fun.

Patio

kevin said...

Nice looking bike, that thing should be great around your neck of the woods. I'm too scared to drive one to work, but I'm trying to think of a good reason for a weekend rider.

Maybe after my next deployment.

Island Rider said...

I knew it! And since you had one at 15, that doesn't make it a mid life crisis, just resuming a childhood interrupted! Youngest son will be sooooo jealous. He took the motorcycle "safety" course last month and has been watching the want ads for one. He says the class was a joke, but then, he has been riding since he was three. I have to admit to some anxiety over him out on the road, but I guess it is no more dangerous than going into smoke filled houses to put out fires. Congrats! Will Mrs. FC be riding on the back. Tell her I said it is good for her prayer life. It is hard to sit down, shut up and hang on!

Miz S said...

I love motorcycles.

I think it is beautiful and just perfect for your commute. Good for you, FC. May it bring you many years of pleasure.

Robert V. Sobczak said...

I was looking a Jeep's today while waiting for someone to pick me up from the dealer. I was surprised to see the low gas mileage they get. I have a 30 mile commute (from Naples) so I can relate to those miles adding up.

SophieMae said...

BEAUTY! So, is RR as 'you' as the JEEP? Good on ya finding such a deal!

Dani said...

You're gonna be such a hottie on that!

who wouda thunk it?? said...

folks that have the natural curiosity of a ten year old DO NOT have mid-life crisis!

Bill said...

FC,
That is wonderful! What a nice looking bike. I would love another bike, my last one was a Kawasaki 750 Spectre. My wife vetoed the last time I tried for one, 2 years ago, since my commute is only 8 minutes. She saw right through the mileage excuse. Something about breadwinner and traffic. I know you will enjoy your commute even more. Just wondering how you are going to get all those great pictures when you are blasting through the woods on your rice rocket, lol. Thanks for sharing.
Billy

kathy a. said...

well, i was right about the color, wrong about the amount of stuff in the barn....

have fun! you did get a matching helmet?

DHarper said...

She is lovely! Take care out there . . . drive like you know nobody can see you! (If you think they might turn right smack into you, they will!) It doesn't matter how loudly we yell "Start seeing motorcycles!" they don't . . . and, oh yeah, have fun!

Arkansas Patti said...

I took the plunge for a bike at
65, wish I had done it earlier.
Those courses are good but I took mine in August, Florida in a vacant shopping mall parking lot. With required long sleeves, gloves, boots and jeans, it was brutally hot. It is a great course however, so have fun. ABC--Always Be Careful.

Anonymous said...

Very Nice! I hope to have one myself one day...
Woodie

The Florida Blogger said...

One of the reasons I got rid of my jeep was the poor gas mileage. And I have a 45 minute one-way commute to work. My s-10 has gotten this far, so I'll stick with it. That bike is a beaut!

Floridacracker said...

Thank you all for the great comments! Update: Day one of the motorcycle course is over as I write this at 11 pmish Saturday night.
I passed the written test already and tomorrow is the driving test.

I'm getting closer to legality!

Other good news = the JEEP alternator and battery turned out okay. Minimal $$ expended!
Woohoo!

Florida Beach Basics said...

Congratulations, and enjoy it!

One of these days, please post more about the Virtual teaching gig. Same pleasures/pains as classroom teaching?

Fantastyk Voyager said...

It's certainly a beauty! Enjoy and be careful!!

kevin said...

I got lucky, I happened to renew my license just before the motorcycle thing kicked in and they asked if I'd like the endorsement, so I have the motorcycle endorsement without having to take the class. All I need is a scooter.

Miz S said...

Hope you didn't lay ol' Raptor Red down on the course today. That would be sooooo embarrassing.

Thunder Dave said...

Can you believe that neither Lightnin or I spilled the beans! Nice looking bike, I can't wait to see it in person. It won't bee too long and you'll have a riding partner down there! ;-)

Ericka said...

aw geez.

it's beautiful, and i hate to be a kill joy, but i hate the damn things. i've lost SO many friends to traffic accidents - and not a one of them was at fault. it's not about who's right, it's about who's left.

please be careful.

The Bhagwan said...

I dunno, if it walks like a mid-life crisis and it quacks like a mid-life crisis....

Carol said...

Tellem' you're going "green"...saving all that gas etc. Have a great time...still sorry I traded my little Honda Rebel..it was great for those trips to town for parts etc. I thought we were going to do long trips so traded for a Honda 750..guess my talk of SD..the tent & sleeping bags scared my husband..LOL

roger said...

my, that is a powerful machine. ride it well, as we all know you will.

Native Mom said...

I ride a Suzuki Boulevard 650. Can be a lot of fun. Enjoy!