Ignoring the advice of a couple of friends who ride faster and harder than I can, I decided I've been riding long enough to at least try the SBR Saturday morning ride. A nice guy named Tom had encouraged me to join up, so he was the sweep (the rider who rides in back and makes sure no one gets lost) and it was mostly the two of us in back for the day.
It was a good time. I stayed well within my limits for the most part, venturing out to the edge a couple of times by accident. It was my first time on Smith Grade Road, which is a case study in "Don't go fast on roads you don't know": I entered a reasonable-looking curve at 45-50mph and suddenly discovered it was nearly a hairpin. Then I did it again, and then I slowed down. I'm pretty happy I pulled the turns off, though. The secret is to never give up on the turn until you're actually crashing, because 99% of the time, the bike will do the turn if the rider can. Keep your head up, look through the turn, avoid the brake, open the throttle. Those are sort of foundational things they teach in the MSF, and it's kind of funny how well they stick, considering it was only ten hours of riding practice.
Tired and still a little out of it. I may stay home tomorrow, slow-roast some pork for lunch/dinner (I do amazing pork roasts, thanks to my thermometer with a temperature alarm), and clean up some. To start with, I can't find the title for my bike, which I imagine I'll want someday. Also, I've been contemplating getting an apartment by myself sometime in the coming year--feels like it might be about that time--but before I do, I want to throw out or give away a lot of my stuff. The last move convinced me I just have too many things. Lots of my stuff I do use: the bike stuff, most of my tools. A lot of my books can go, though, and the majority of my computer crap.
Oooh, and my first guitar is going to a friend's 13-year old son, in exchange for homemade black-and-white chocolate chip cookies. That makes me happy, partly because I like cookies, but mostly because I want the guitar to go to someone who'd appreciate it and couldn't necessarily cough up for a new one. (Low-end guitars nowadays are much, much better than my first guitar, but still more expensive than cookies.)