here, occasionally drives in to work, only to find out it really didn't snow, or turn into an electrical storm, or whatever. I have a cure for his "bad ju ju" weather days. I call it the "Motorcycle Meter. It's very simple, and a good morale boost to a cyclist that drove in on a day that didn't turn out as nasty as expected.
Heat, cold, rain, lightning, hail, and other weather affects both motorcyclists and cyclists. Observing the daily increase and decrease of the numbers of motorcycles parked in their designated area outside my building, it occurred to me that the motorcycle count might be useful as a measure of how pleasant it'll be for cycling on the trip home. And so "The Motorcycle Meter," or MM was born. Conveniently, a really nice day at my building results in 10 or maybe a couple more motorcyles. 10 or more thus gives me a "Ten" on the MM. A really NASTY day may drop the motorcycle population down to 1 or 2. What's really cool is that the daily MM reading is not purely a weather measure, but also includes how much motorcyclists have been missing their rides, and it is tailored to this locale. Just as in the case of cyclists, a motorcyclist's definition of "too cold to ride" is different in Manitoba than in San Diego. Certainly the MM is not a perfect predictor for cyclists. For example, short days and wind affect cyclists more than motorcyclists, whereas gas price spikes increase the MM reading more than a cycling equivalent. Still it's pretty good.
This means we can move beyond crude descriptions of commute cyclists as "hard core" or "just a fair weather cyclist." Tracy, when he finds out where the motorcyles park at his office, can pat himself on the back, if he drove his Jeep in on a motorycle-free day, for his excellent and prudent judgment. On the OTHER hand, if he rode in and those motorcycles are all absent, he ought to check the weather report to find out what he missed. My own threshold is a two or three. Rantwick is definitely no higher than a one.
Yesterday, at my building, the MM stood at 1. I felt immensely pleased at having driven into work. I DID feel sorry for the poor, benighted motorcyclist who had to ride home on that cold, wet, freezing thing. One might wonder if our first warning of Armageddon will be that all the motorcycles disappear?
The Beginnings Of Change - Today I took a ride down to the Rockaways, and along the South Shore of Queens and Brooklyn. The skies were even clearer than they were at the end of m...
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