MOTORCYCLE DIARY: 2

JUNE 18, 2021 – PASADENA, CA

Micah

RECORDED IN PASADENA

[START OF AUDIO] Good morning. 7:04 AM. June the 18th, 2021. The final day of my employment contract on [television program x]. It is over. Yesterday, I delivered two [pieces of work product] for the [freelance project x] that were due and contextualized those deliverables in a long and detailed email. What that means is I’m officially on vacation. Done with work until July the 6th. I never have to think about [show] again and I don’t have to think about any additional work until at least after the July 4th weekend, which is already a massive relief.

Standing in the backyard this morning, it was overcast, really overcast when I walked out here. Sky was just completely gray, almost, dare I say, cold. Had coffee, paced around, circled the motorcycle a few times which apparently is some sort of new ritual I now have. Last night, Fran came over. She and I and Micah ordered a big pile of sushi and ate it in the backyard and shot the shit for a couple of hours. It was really nice. Then I played The Last of Us for an hour, got my ass kicked by Clickers, and went to sleep.

Fran

Tonight, around 6:00 PM, I will ride to The Forge where we will roll the bike into the studio and Schude and I will do our weird photo which I’m really looking forward to. Today, more practice riding is on the slate as well as– Again, now that there’s no work in my brain, I’ll go through my checklist again and maybe pre-pack some of my shit. I want to go to Samy’s Camera in Pasadena today and get some odds and ends– boring shit like batteries and whatever else. I may also ride to– there’s a BMW motorcycle dealership somewhere nearby.

I may get a different pair of gloves because the gloves I’m wearing are strangely ripping my hands apart. I may also ask their assistance in wiring– it’s not really wiring, but figuring out how to secure the USB cable to the bike in a safe way that’s out of the way so that I can power my phone. I think it’s just a matter of running the cable under the fairing but maybe it needs to be secured with zip ties or something. Anyway, I’ll just get their advice because I don’t want to inadvertently put the cable next to a really hot element and have it fucking catch fire or some shit. What else?

I don’t know, I have a big open day until 6:00 and Micah’s working all day. I might try to spend, right now anyway, early morning I’m thinking, maybe I spend more time than the previous two days on the bike. Who knows? Maybe I’ll even ride through Griffith park into Silver Lake and see my old apartment. Check out the old neighborhood. I’m trying to think if there are any old stores or haunts I want to pop into because today’s– I guess tomorrow too, but today and tomorrow are my only two really open days to do whatever. We’ll see.

Anyway, yesterday’s ride was great. I left here in the morning. My structure for the day was to do my practice riding and stuff in the morning before it got to be 90 degrees. I rode from here to the Rose Bowl which is very close and circled to the Rose Bowl Complex, 20 times in one direction. Then I went into parking lot K and did low-speed practice, U-turns and that kind of thing. Then I circled the park in the opposite direction.

Eventually, I had to take a piss so I stopped at the golf course, went into that clubhouse. I was encumbered with helmet, jacket, shit, holding– I had too much in my hands so I went into a stall and as I was fumbling around I dropped my iPhone right into the fucking toilet. I just reached right in there and pulled it out. That was terrific.

After thoroughly cleaning and sanitizing the phone and my hands and finally taking a piss, I ate two hotdogs and a drank giant bottle of water while I watched about 10, maybe a dozen, retired Korean-American dudes teeing off at one of the holes. Shot this with one of their phones. Enjoyed my snack. Took one or two photos of no consequence [see below]. Got back on the bike. Circled the park. Circled the Rose Bowl some more. Then somewhere up above the park, I left that loop and climbed into the surrounding neighborhood.

Golf carts. A photo of no consequence.

I saw something up ahead on the road on the left– not on the road, but in a dusty, scrubland border area to the left – what I thought from experience was a coyote. As I passed saw that it was a bobcat. I think the first time I’ve ever seen one. Pretty cool. Saw the bobcat. Also twice yesterday during that ride, it rained. Obviously rare for souther California, big fat summer rain. It was really enjoyable to be pelted with water while riding. The sound on the helmet is… exceptional. Obviously, the jacket and pants and everything held up. I was not even remotely wet underneath the gear.

Also, like dropping the bike the other day, it was good to get some riding on a wet road surface. The road surface is most dangerous, aside from sand and obstacles and shit like that, when it is just beginning to rain. All the oils and whatever else is baked into the road surface start to leach out of the pavement and you get a slippery surface. What can you do? I just kept riding and leaned through my turns and didn’t go too fast. Obviously, the bike held up great and it wasn’t a problem.

I have a memory from 20 years back. It’s not quite 20 years, but Motorcycle Number 1, exiting the Brooklyn Bridge onto the FDR. It was raining. Back then as a neophyte, you’re being intimidated by a curve because it was wet and not trusting the bike or fully understanding traction. I don’t know. It’s just… fear and ignorance. This time, I’ve really done a lot of research, watched a ton of videos. Obviously, YouTube was not available to me back then the first time. A lot of cornering videos and having a really good understanding of trail breaking, traction, lean angle versus brake, all those variables knowing for a fact what is safe, what isn’t, and then just executing that.

It’s just a good feeling to have the knowledge and know what you can do, what the bike can do, and not be freaked out by something like a wet road surface. That was another thing like the drop like, “Okay, got that over with. There it is. Let me pick it up. Boom. Back on the road.” It’s like, “All right, here it is. It’s pouring rain and it just started and it’s hot out and this is as slippery as the road gets. Let’s do it.” Anyway, got that out of the way too.

That’s really it. That’s the report from yesterday. I am pleasantly surprised that I actually came back after that practice ride and A. FINALLY showered, because I was disgusting. Made another coffee, sat down at the dining room table, and then B. banged out all that work. Just knowing myself, I was certain that today, Friday, I would be behind schedule, having avoided the work yesterday, but instead, I actually did it on time – actually early – and it’s no longer in my brain. Wonderful.

I don’t know. It might be time for another covfefe. That’s it. I’m just hesitating in saying, “Um,” because I like talking to the audio recorder. I think that’s it for this morning. Nice long zero-agenda day ahead. Hopefully, I make the most of it. The end. Goodbye. [END OF AUDIO]

MOTORCYCLE DIARY PART 3