July 19, 2009
It was a typical Wednesday as I left work just after 6 at WMS. My Birthday was coming up and I was wondering what Sheila had arranged for it, as we make a big deal out of birthdays in our house. I was traveling one of my usual routes home. I have about 6 routes that I take on a random basis. I think it’s safer to ride this way because you don’t get complacent at intersections and other traffic hazards.
I was about a mile away from my office in heavy traffic; I had just turned southbound on Kedzie, just above the Belmont intersection. Traffic in the northbound lane was bumper-to-bumper. A silver car was peeking its nose out, trying to turn out from School Street and into my lane. I chopped the throttle and covered my brake. Just like that it darted out in front of me. I hit the brakes but it was too late. There was no place to go, so I added more rear brake and went sideways, laying the bike down and separating from it cleanly. Continue reading
Limited resources are commonplace in today’s economy, and our new house in Oak Park, IL also has limited space to put bikes. Since moving there, I’ve decided to add another bike to my stable, but in agreement with my wife who really didn’t want to look out the window at too many two-wheeled critters, I decided that one had to go. I had “loved” the Ducati ST2 and ridden the heck out of it over the last 11 months, but I never “fell in love” with it. I didn’t have a lot of remorse about parting with the bike — now it was time to choose what to replace it with.
The 86 LeMans that I’d looked at last year was still for sale, even cheaper. My checkbook was out. Too many subject matter experts said that it was in need of too much work. Between that and the 2500 miles’ distance, I took a pass. I looked at SPs, G5s, a couple of gorgeous T3s. There was an incredibly low-mileage Quota in Joplin. There was a beautiful 1000s. I was going to get a Guzzi. Just didn’t know which one.
My spanking new 1200 Sport
Jim Barron at Rose Farm Classics chimed in. “Why don’t you buy a new one and start a relationship with something that nobody else has ridden first?” he thoughtfully pitched. I know Jim wanted to sell me a bike, and he knew which one it was that I had spotted over the espresso machine in his showroom. I trust Jim, but, well, he’s there to sell bikes, too.
I started doing the math. A Guzzi has a two-year warranty. My financial outlay on a new bike will be minimal. I already have my “vintage” Guzzi, which isn’t a money-pit but does require a lot of maintenance to keep it in tip-top shape. Guzzi’s don’t depreciate much, so, if I buy it right, I won’t be out much in three years or so if I want to sell it then. So I’m already sold. Jim knew it before I did. Continue reading