Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Spring Cleaning; Rediscovering Your Sprint

Girl Wonder and I have been so busy riding dirt bikes that the tires went flat on the SV650 and Sprint RS. This weekend seemed as good as any to breath some life into the streetbikes.

The truth is, we've been having so much fun in the dirt that if someone had stolen all of our streetbikes I would never have noticed. And even though I was about to take a ride, my heart wasn't in it the way it was a year ago. This happens in all types of relationships. You know, you wake up one day and that person sleeping beside you isn't as interesting as the tattooed tongue-pierced bar-maid that you've been heavily tipping on the outside chance she'll lock you in the bar and reseat your bearings.

There seems to be an obvious difference in fun factor, even if both women are anatomically similar, save the bolt-on doodads and ink. The real question, though, is whether you'd dump your babe of record and take a chance on the chick who can tie the stem of a cherry into a knot with her tongue. It sounds like an obvious choice if your hormones have anything to say about it, but it never is, and it never works out the way you expect it will. Take my ex-wife, for example. She was the total PSE(1) once the bedroom door closed, but in all the other rooms of the house she was an obsessive compulsive freak with no self esteem, an eating disorder, and real lack of endurance for the aspects of a relationship that aren't advertised on the inside of a Hallmark card. Three years and one-day later I was describing it as a "starter marriage."

Anyway, the same is true for modes of motorcycling, and I am not about to dump my streetbike in favor of the dirt machines until all my needs can be met. Hopefully someone doesn't come out with a kickass supermotard or I'll be in a real quandary.

The good thing about being where I'm at right now is that the throbbing I used to feel for a lot of other bikes has subsided. Sure, I still think they are sexy, but it has become much less important to own them. And as I rode my Triumph Sprint RS towards Mt. St. Helens, I was realizing, or perhaps remembering, just how good this bike is.

When I first bought the Sprint in 2001, I wasn't sure if it would work out. I wasn't in love with it, but it did everything well. After a little time together the bike's personality and do-everything prowess grew on me. It was like an arranged-marriage that worked out way better than expected. I have enjoyed this bike on the track, it's good over long distances, and it enthusiastically charges through curves as if it were a more purposeful bike. No, it's not a lot of things that the latest and greatest superbikes are, but I just don't ride that way often enough to put up with the downsides of most single-use weapons.

Our ride to Mt. St. Helens was cut short, unfortunately, because the only road worth riding within two hours of Seattle was closed (Forest Road 99 to Windy Ridge). Apparently it doesn't open until June so that the snow melts off. How much snow could there be? It was almost 80 degrees out. We continued on Forest Road 25 towards Cougar, but a quarter mile later I was faced with the answer to my snow question.

Girl Wonder was not having any of my talk about trying to push on a little further. "Hey, it's only 12 inches deep and there are wheel tracks to follow." Nope... no way. We ended up doubling back over our initial route. Once on the edge of the city, we headed to "Smarty Pants" to have some of the best bar food in the Seattle area -- one of the only motorcycle-themed bars that doesn't cater to the rough and tumble wannabees. This place is for hungry enthusiasts. We wolfed down their massive barbecue pork sandwiches while staring at a mid to late-sixties Ducati single and a couple other nicely restored relics that are displayed above the entrance door. It was a cool place to end our day after dustng off our under-appreciated street bikes -- all part of the spring ritual.

(1) GFE and PSE refer to services provided by escorts. Those acronyms mean Girlfriend Experience and Porn Star Experience.