By October 2, 2005

Riding Day 1: Charlottesville to Richmond on a new bike

After some last minute stress thanks to my insurance agent, I was able to take possession of my FZ6 at 3PM yesterday. The FZ6 had three miles on it 🙂 Desperate to beat Friday rush hour traffic, Bond and I headed out from Charlottesville and headed towards Route 250.

I received a crash course (not literally) on city-level driving in Charlottesville. Traffic, sudden rights by cars in front of us, pedestrians stepping out in front of me, and getting lost on the way to 250 (complete with a dreaded U-turn). We broke through local traffic and made it to Route 250 safely, and then it was smooth sailing the rest of the way.

Another annoying 40 minutes were spent in a gas station talking with my insurance agent, and Bond and I split ways. I had capitalized his entire Friday, and he had a dinner date with Cleopatra and their two friends. I felt guilty, and left him on Route 250 to take 288 home.

I was most concerned about the on and off ramps, but they didn’t pose any significant skill threat to me. For the most part I followed the flow of traffic in the right hand lane to the tune of 75MPH. I did skitter around a gravel truck and a concrete mixer, with a top speed at 85MPH. Bond was right, 85MPH seems a lot different on a bike when the ground is a few inches away from your feet.

I logged 81 miles yesterday, almost entirely without incident. I had to make a sharp left turn and go up our somewhat high-pitched slope of a driveway. I was concerned about the loose gravel and dirt in the runoff strip right in front of the driveway. I made my turn and gave the bike a little gas to ease it up the driveway ramp — right into the front yard. Oops! No harm, no foul, and I don’t think my neighbors saw. Score.

Lady Jaye came home shortly thereafter and took these snaps:

The bike is significantly taller than the 250cc Virago I rode in my MSF class, but easily handles better than the smaller bike. My knees were bent pretty sharply on the Virago.

Porter wants a sidecar!

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