Scott M. (but we like to call him Unka Gus)

Main Ride:
A hotass little black 2002 Triumph TT600, "La Sombra Negra" (The Black Shadow).

Past Rides:
Dark Metallic Blue 2004 Kawasaki Concours, Suzuki GS850G (Great bike-didn't last), and new to the family will be 3 Yamaha XS400's that will turn into 2 (taking after Walter with a magic trick).

What can I say. I have evolved. It has become an obsession. I realized this most recently when driving to work at 5:20am on a 29 degree Wednesday morning. Let me tell you the tale...
I was alone on NE 145th street, doing about 40 or so. The wind was biting hard at my nose and eyes since my visor would fog up immediately when put down. (I gotta look into some anti-fog spray). Anyway I'm rolling down the hill heading towards the overpass for I-5 and suddenly my testicles retracted into my throat. The bridge was WET! In spite of the early hour my mind worked fast and saved my bacon. I realized that the bridge wasn't wet...better yet, it was frozen solid and Dorothy Freakin' Hamil was about to do a triple sow-cow in front of my soon-to-be-bleeding white ass. Wisely I grabbed the brakes (as hard as I could without going down) before I hit the bridge deck and managed to get down to about 20mph. As I creeped across the bridge, my now erraticly tracking motorcycle developed a hiccup like a misfire with momentary losses of traction...all the while I'm thinking: "I'm fucked---Oh God---I'm fucked". For some still-to-be-determined reason, I found myself accelerating across 5th Avenue NE and on to work without a scratch. (I regained the use of my testicles some hours later.) The funny part is that I have now dealt with this death-defying feat almost daily since, and will continue to do so until the weather changes.
That's the reason I state so emphatically that this has become an obsession. Any sane son-of-a-bitch would have hung it up right there and waited for the coming of spring, or would have cleared out that special place in the garage and resorted to masturbatingly waxing down his machine in anxious want of better conditions. Not me. I returned for more.

I have had bikes on and off for several years, but only over last year got serious about making this a full-time passion. I started off with a Kawasaki Concours. The problem became evident with this choice about 6 months into my ownership experience. I realized that I had bought a touring bike and gone on one trip!! I had purchased the WRONG MOTORCYCLE. I know it is a great bike for what it was designed to do, but it had as much style as the Sears Tax-Preparing School Marching Band. Not to mention that I had one of the worst Service Department experiences of my life (and I run a pretty large Service Department for a living) and it never really got out of my head. So one Saturday I got a wild hair up my ass (and permission from the wife) to head up to the local motorcycle dealership and 'look around'. After some seriously long road-testing of a few bikes---the salesman had to be nervous---I rode home on a black 2002 Triumph TT600, and I still can't believe how happy I am with it. I went from a sport-touring garbage wagon to a small, sleek, 100% USDA Choice, SPORTBIKE. What a change---but what a good one. I can't wait to have the chance to see what this baby can really do.

When you strip away the show, I really ride with the following thought present at all times (like a good rider should):

All you bastards on cell phones are out to get me and run me over like an armadillo on a west Texas highway.

After all, they are. Those of us that truly ride often enough, in regular everyday traffic conditions, have learned about and developed a technique to deal with the blind lane-changer. Ahh yes, those people who have their side mirrors pointed at their rear door panels (so they can admire their nice wax job) and have neck muscles that don't allow their head to turn either left or right. Without warning these bottom-feeders will respond to some underlying instinct that compels them to jerk the steering wheel in your direction, nary any thought of using a turn signal, and try and occupy your 'safe space'. Many of us have developed a wierd sixth-sense to when such a move will become inevitable in the blind-lane-changer. You can read the freeway body-language after all...for instance: Open lane in front of you; tailgating and rapid on-off-on-off of the brake lights from the guy just to your right; and usually some sort of bumper sticker taped to the rear window. Watch for the warning signs, my friends. It could save your life, or at least a pair of underpants (if you wear them).

Don't underestimate what stupidity people are capable of. They will lower your future expectations. Now don't think I'm Mr. Negative. Hell, I'm probably full of more lithium than any of these guys in the group, but I know that even the brightest thinker in the world is capable of becoming a complete fucking moron behind the wheel of an automobile. I don't ever forget it. It keeps me alive, after all. I'm not ashamed to back off a bit and give the stupid people room to kill each other.

Natural selection is being proven before your eyes. You should let it work. You'll save money on car insurance in the long run.

-Peace from the Old Man.

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