Sunday, March 24, 2013

I just thought you ought to know…

… that after after nine months, one chain catastrophe, a wrecked rear brake bracket (twice!), one leaking slave cylinder gasket, one valve adjustment/belt replacement, multiple tensioner pulley failures, and (pardon me, but WTF, as they say) one bent valve repair, there's an operational Ducati back in my life.

Welcome Home, Ducati
The Beagle is overcome with emotion.

Welcome home, my little Italian Princess.
What's that? Track Day tomorrow? Don't mind if we do!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Three Wheels (Two Wings)

It’s not often you wake up on your morning off in Tucson, AZ only to find an inch of snow and ice coating your motorcycle* and hear on the radio that even humble Gates Pass is closed, but when the unthinkable happens, well, what’s a girl to do?

Leave the snow behind and go riding in the air, that’s what!

Pilot Chris** does Important Stuff while I stay out of the way and document the day.

Piper Cherokee

Piper Cherokee Cockpit
My seat!

The pre-flight check feels remarkably similar to a motorcycle pre-flight check.  There are other familiar tasks, too…

... like grabbing the keys on your way out the door...

… man powered reverse out of the parking spot...

Piper Cherokee Reverse

… and fueling up. 

Fueling the Piper Cherokee
Okay, yeah, surely the price of this part of the day bears no similarity at all to motorcycle riding.

By this point, I am hopping up and down with excitement.  And I really do hop up and down (and clap, too!) if I’m excited enough.

Piper Cherokee Pilot
Hm, now what?

We’re ready to roll!  I’m a little nervous, but as we pick up speed and the nose of this little Piper Cherokee levitates into the air, it’s nearly impossible not to joyously cry out the obvious:  “We’re flying!”
There’s a lump in my throat.  It’s so, so beautiful.

Snow on Tucson Mountains

The lump goes away, but I am still speechless.  I even decline the chance to fly the plane myself. There's simply too much magic outside my window today for that.

Snow in Tucson Santa Catalinas

And only now does the obvious question occur to me.  Could a small motorcycle fit into a small plane?  The answer, it appears, is a definite maybe

Can a Burro Fly
Li'l Burro and I contemplate entry into a Bellanca Super Viking.  Thanks to Pilot Guy for this shot.

Imagine the long weekend possibilities, oh my!

*Really happened!
**Not to be confused with "Pilot Guy."