Monday, May 02, 2011

Even a motorcyclist can notice gas prices.

This picture was taken last summer.  Yesterday, the Littlest Ninja's odometer read 25,455.  I don't normally pay attention to gas prices.  As someone who gets around 75 mpg, and buys two gallons every two weeks or so, I've started to notice it takes a bit more to fill my two and a half gallon tank.

I'm used to being blithe about the supply and demand that governs retail petroleum.  No more.  Gasoline cost $3.69 at one station close to home, and $3.89 a little up the road.  I can't believe I'm quibbling over twenty cents, but, times being what they are, maybe it is time to pay attention.

As someone who uses his motorcycle as his only means of transportation, I've become curious how far I travel.  25,455 miles isn't very far in the scheme of things, all things considered.  Cars travel farther every year.  A five year old automobile with less than 25,000 miles clocked on its engine would be considered underused.  Not so with a motorcycle.  I've spoken to other motorcyclists, ones with Harley Davidsons and others with bigger engines than the Littlest Ninja's mere 250cc displacement.  Motorcycles of comparable age seem to log 5000 miles as a high average.

The only time I didn't drive my motorcycle was when I lived in Boston during a blizzard.  It didn't seem prudent so I took the T (subway).  Most motorcyclists are not snow riders, for obvious reasons, but those who are deserve respect.  A journey under adverse conditions feels like a journey worth completing.  Most people also wouldn't drive a 250cc motorcycle from Massachusetts to Louisiana.  I pity those souls.  This, gentle reader, is the only way to travel, back roads all the way, experiencing our great country with the wind in one's face.  See the sidebar on your left for the record of that memorable journey.

Since yesterday, I have travelled 28 miles.  That seems very far in terms of my usual routine.  Take a compass to a map of New Orleans, and I rarely venture far from HQ.  Of course, I never go from Point A to Point B in a straight line.  A motorcycle encourages taking byways and the roads less traveled.

I'll be tallying up my daily miles traveled this week.  It is just an experiment in measurement.  I probably won't learn much.  I already know I go out of my way to go anywhere.  Moving through scenery is one of my life's greatest joys.  It entertains me like nothing else, and keeps me sharp, aware of what is going on.

28 miles.  How many more till next Sunday ends?  I don't know.  We'll see.  As an urban rider, it can't be too far.  I have no plans to make a cross-country trip this week, though I do plan on visiting Alabama the Beautiful in a month or so.  With gas prices being what they are, I may forego that excursion, though.


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