Saturday, March 21, 2009

Plans A, B, and C

I have three plans to get me where I need to go, to preserve my independence. The first is my 1997 Geo Metro. It's fairly reliable, 3 cylinders, great gas mileage, utilitarian, has heat and defrost and windshield wipers and good tires. It will haul all three dogs and a month's worth of groceries. That's Plan A in the wintertime, Plan B in the summer.
Then there's Plan B in the winter, Plan C in the summer--my 1993 Ford F-150 Pickup truck. It's a supercab, so it will also haul all three dogs and a month's worth of groceries, but the gas mileage sucks, literally. The tires are there, barely. It almost always starts, in spite of long periods of disuse. It has a very useful cargo area and a V-8 engine. It will haul a dead motorcycle in desperation.
And I have summer Plan A, sometimes Plan B, and extreme weather plan C--my 2001 Harley Davidson Sportster 1200S. The piglet. I think I'm pretty well covered for transportation.
On Thursday, I had a pretty important medical appointment about 60 miles away. Had to be there. On time. The Geo, aka "The Mouse" picked that day to crap out. The battery didn't seem to have enough juice. It was parked in such a way that I could still back the truck into the garage and nose up to it to try a jump start, which I did. The truck, aka "the Nightmare", decided to pick that day to not operate it's charging system much. It started, but wouldn't start the Mouse.
I was looking at a clear, sunny and chilly sky, about 40 degrees. I checked the weather hourly graph on Not looking good, but I was running out of options, time, and nobody to call. Sweetie was in Chicago taking care of the P's.
So, I suited up. Extra long johns, woolly scarf, pack the polar fleece-insulated chaps (I made those and they have saved my ass on more than one occasion) for on the way back, and extra shirt. Helmet, definitely the helmet. Thinsulate gloves.
To make a long story short, it was 40 when I left, and 27 degrees Fahrenheit when I got home after dark. I didn't get frost bite, and no, I don't want to do it in that kind of cold again soon. But I got to ride my motorcycle and it felt good to do that!

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