Soon, I was itching for a motorcycle that could keep up with the other guys on group rides. I sold Red on Aug 10th and bought "Ethel", a low mileage 1995 CBR600F3, on Aug 11th, 2007.
Ethel was a real sweet ride and a nice upgrade for me. I kept her a bit longer than Red and put a few thousand miles on her. Once I got comfortable with riding her, I was able to keep up with everyone else on the rides except in the twisties where I tend to take it a little easier than the fearless boys do. I'd rather take it easy, enjoy the ride, and live to ride again tomorrow...
I even added an aftermarket exhaust and windscreen, all by myself - my first motorcycle farkling attempt.
The day I took this picture is the day I will forever call "The Day of the Kite", June 21, 2009. I had been needing to get out and go on a little ride so I decided to head over Hwy 92 to Half Moon Bay. My not so elaborate plan was to find some cool little place to have lunch in HMB, then meander south down the coast on Hwy 1 to Santa Cruz, and later head back home via Hwy 17.
On Hwy 1 not too far south of the Hwy 84 turnoff I got clothes-lined by a runaway kite that came crashing down across the highway in front of me. I was going about 65mph in moderate Sunday traffic when I saw the kite come across the road in front of me - then I noticed the kite string coming across the lanes right at me. As the kite bounced off the road in front of the oncoming northbound car, I tried to lay on the gas tank to avoid the kite string while at the same time trying to safely do a quick stop.
I felt the kite string hit me in the upper chest and (with help of the traffic hitting the kite and knocking it around the road) go up and around my neck. I ended up killing the engine because I had to grab the string with my left hand so I could keep it from cutting me and still use the brake to finish stopping. I was able to break the string once I could get a hold of it with both hands. Amazingly, I didn’t freak out, wipe out trying to do the quick stop on the sand and gravel on the side of the road, or get run over by the cars behind me. All I had to show for it was a little rash on the side of my neck at the top of my collar. It would have never occurred to me that this could happen.
I gathered my wits, took a few deep breaths, and continued on my merry way as they say... I did slow it down a bit though just in case it was one those days where the weirdness keeps happening. I stopped at Pigeon Point Lighthouse for a few minutes and then stopped further down just past Waddell Beach to watch the para-sailors before making my way home.