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Why don't more women ride motorcycles? Posted on Mar 19, 2007 at 08:14 PM
It has nothing to do with strength. I've seen some 5 foot nuthin's riding Road Kings. Plus some of the dudes aren't all that buff.
Enclosed Motorcycle: The Peraves MonoTracer Posted on Mar 19, 2007 at 12:28 AM
Powered by a BMW engine, the Peraves MonoTracer is a two seat, fully enclosed motorcycle ??? with training wheels. The Peraves is designed to retract the trainers when moving and balanced. Once going it can lean up to 52 degrees in a turn. (I???m not sure if that would feel cool or strike panic) Specs for this production model are 57 miles per gallon at 55 miles per hour and 47 miles per gallon at 75 miles per hour. The MonoTracer is based on a self-supporting composite-monocoque fuselage made from glass, kevlar and carbon fiber reinforced with high strength aluminum crash and roll bars. Engine frame, steering assembly and stabilizer axles made from aircraft grade alloy steel. Other interesting features are: 3-point automatic seat belts. A heating + ventilation system. Optional airconditioning GPS and radio Cruise control It looks to me like Peraves opted for more luxury and speed and a bit less on the Eco Friendly end of the spectrum, however compared with most cars this vehicle is much more fuel efficient. I could see using this as an around town car that is easy to park.
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Smell my ride Posted on Mar 18, 2007 at 07:06 PM
The item in the New York Times today about scented tires made me think that they should be developing other nicely-scented automotive products as well. Since vehicles running on biodiesel can smell a little like French fries, or Chinese food, maybe we could have tires that smell like ketchup or soy sauce to go along with them. A little essence patchouli in the motor oil of an old broken-down VW minibus might be in keeping with the esthetic, and maybe one might appreciate it when having to follow behind a diesel truck if it smelled like, well, Diesel. Save the spring flowers for the rubber in the windshield wipers I say, as they have to fend off the March showers.
The Long Ride Posted on Mar 16, 2007 at 12:31 AM
With the sun striking the eyes over the crest of the horizon it sprinkled itself through the window blinds. With that I knew not long and the alarm would ring. Momentarily it went off and I thrashed one arm free of my blankets to find the alarm and turn it off. Thursday, March 15th had begun. I was awake no more than about an two hours and having a solid hour put toward work related tasks. Since I was an hour down already I opened up the FireFox Browser and looked up the #77 on the ole' Transit Tracker. It had 5 minutes until it would arrive at the 18th and Lovejoy bus stop. I pondered for a minute, but only a minute. Then up to bid farewell for the morning hours to my Joleen and out the door I went. Laptop and all, ready for another adventure in this city people call many things. Number 77 arrived right on time, as usual, and off we went. Onboard there where about 5 people, with me it totalled 6. Being it was a bit past 9:30am that wasn't too bad. By the time we pushed through northern downtown and up onto the Steal Bridge we had 9 people. Still a bit below average but I'm sure those numbers will go up. The sun shined down vividly from blue skies with randomly dispersed clouds. It was blinding without shades, at least for this blue eyed devil. We rolled off of the Steal Bridge and into the Rose Quarter Transit Center. No MAX trains in site, very strange considering one comes by about every 1-2 minutes in some direction. As we sat at the light for a few more moments another 2 busses, a Yellow Line MAX across the way, and about 10-20 people began congregating around the various bus stops. After boarding passenger at the Rose Quarter Transit Center we sat another 45 seconds at the light. By the time the light changed and we pulled away a total of 20 people where now aboard. So far even with 20 people, as always with the daytime riders, it was a tranquil group of America's mixed pot of people. Asians, blacks, whites, hippies, elderly, young kids, older kids, teens, business people, and more. In America, a nation known by others throughout the world for some of the most racist and close minded people, usually shows a very different life when out among the people. We all sit and ride this bus politely, without rude discourse, and respectfully. Elderly being given seating preference, blacks and whites with no racial discord, children viewing the sites and seeing the day of activity around them, and a few even talking friendly. The #77 carried on, with a few passengers off at various stops around Lloyd Center and a few more on at Lloyd Center Mall. We now totalled 18 patrons. The bus moved along. Number 77 finally pulls into the Hollywood 42nd Street transit center where patrons may transfer to the MAX. At this stop we lose about 6 people and are now down to about 14. Obviously some had snuck on without me noticing. I look out and see the new Trader Joe's building coming close to completion. This was a run down old grocery store before with a side store of some nature. Now the entire structure is being rebuilt and is really looking nice. Wooden superficial strutural elements greet one at the front entrance and give it a strong, yet natural look. I personally don't like the superficial use of materials, but I admit that it will give peple an immediate feeling of environmental gaurdianship. This feeling being something that the Trader Joe's Establishment attempts to put forth. As the bus begins to pull out of the Hollywood Transit Center two stunning, attractive, and classy young girls look upon the bus and wave. Myself and the young guy sitting in front of me simultaneously admire the situation. We both get a smile in return as a comment is made to their beauty. We joke about how nice a day is when one is graced with such bueaty. But as with all beauty it is fleeting and the bus pulls away. With that the bus makes its way down the road toward the 82nd Street MAX transfer point. We make our stop and a few more are on and off the bus. At this point a minimum of 14 people have gotten off and almost the same number has gotten on. It's not quit at the average patron level right now, but it is definately a well utilized bus between Lloyd Center and 82nd Street. With the numbers still at above 16 people in this off peak time, I'd surmise the bus is at 70-90% occupancy in the peak times of the morning and rush hour afternoon. 122nd Avenue arrived and we changed out a few more patrons. The total now riding was at 16. It seems the entire length is maintained fairly well. We rolled down the massive 5-lane road toward the deeper and deeper suburbs. The turn lane at some points being closed with construction vehicles tearing down into the road for some type of sewage work. Being what time it was there was no backup fortunately. A little further on we passed a massive park. Absolutely beautiful with a walking trail sprinkled with walkers of various sorts making their way around. At this point of travelling through the burbs I pondered what I would find in Troutdale once we arrived. I didn't see anything nearing the sort of town center I'd hope to stumble upon, but being this is an adventure, I truly didn't know what I'd find. The bus continued as did my ponderings. Would it be nothing but a house on the side of the road? Would it be a nice central area with businesses and a coffee shop to entertain me? None of this I knew, none of it particuarly worried me, but questions always sit in my mind. Just as I pondered we pulled up to 172nd Avenue and a few more patrons deboarded. I looked to my right and there sat a rather polite little espresso shop that appeared to have the theme of a living room. Several people sat inside, relaxed and calm looking. My ponderings grew into the idea of action, action to deboard myself, but blast it I had promised myself a ride all the way to the end of the #77 route. So I sat, not moving, still working, just waiting. The bus was now officially emptying out. The patron count riding totalled 7 people including yours truly. We left 172nd, made 2 more stops and got down to 4 total patrons. Then after a major 4-way we boarded another patron. Totally 8. Even though it isn't many, 8 people at this time of day out here in the boonies of suburbia surprises me. The bus route continued and we began running on a small two lane road, with a third middle turn lane appearing here and there at small 4-way stops. The route seems to have gone from suburban to rural almost. We pass a school and a few small establishments. A person boards and one deboards. Someone snuck off at some point because we're now down to 5 riders including me. Finally we get down to 3 riders after stopping at Target. Rolling forward it appears we are entering a more populated new area of development. We pull into 223rd Avenue and pick up 2 more people. Now totally 5 riders again. Around the area are about 4 espresso shops. Most of them being driver thrus. Across the way about a block is a Fred Meyers. Suburbia by definition, except there are still a few large lots that obviously need development. At a stop, that appears to be nothing more than a field, I see a sign for McMinnamin's Edgefield Hotel/Bar/Windery. I intend to partake upon a trip to this establishment in the near future to check out some music and maybe a wine tasting. We move a little further on and it is difficult to claim rural, suburban, or industrial use as the roads seem to be bordered by every imaginable use. The #77 finally pulled into Troutdale. It was less than I thought, and more than I'd have imagined. A mere single block of silly modern historically depicted buildings. It was quaint to say the least, and nice to say too much. I ate a nice quaint lunch and had a mint mocha. Tasty stuff I must say but nothing to much out of the ordinary. After enjoying a bite to eat I then trekked down a couple blocks to board the #81 toward Gresham Transit Center. My idea at this point was to travel down through these burbs and jump on either the MAX back into town or some other bus that would take me through the side streets and down through the south east maybe. I wasn't really sure at this point which way I would go. The #81 arrived after waiting for over 28 minutes. Myself and another girl had been waiting the entire time. Discussing the various aspects of waiting for a bus out in burbia. She had ridden the bus a total of two times, both having waited no more than 10 minutes both times. So today she and I ended up enjoying a bit of the sunshine that was out among the white clouds and blue sky. The bus driver on the #81 seemed a bit distant from his current drive. He was going good though. With the siren of an emergency vehcle coming he immediately slowed and pulled over. Much better than the majority of people on the road. Number 81 rolled on and pulled into the Gresham Transit Center. There I decided to jump on the #4. The fun then started full on. I boarded the #4 and sat toward the rear so I'd have some space to work. In the back was some young peoples. All sittin back there we started a chit chat in regards to where we where all from, mainly because the south got brought up and I had to comment. One girl was from Mississippi, the dude was from Texas or somewhere, and the other girl from Mexico. After that the drama and laughing started. The guy was a character and a half, and thus the majority of the #4 trip consisted of hilarity based on these three peoples personal lives and the guys future trek to Lincoln toward southern Oregon. This bus trip from the start, at Gresham Transit Center, had about 28 people onboard. Along the way a minimum of about 70 people boarded and deboarded. With a good portion of the trip with standing room only. The bus made way and crossed I-205. The entertainment continued. The drama was somewhat hilarious. Being was writing code this definately kept me laughing while I was coding away. Taking a minute or two here and there to write a paragraph or three f