So the fastwagons blog is become inaptly named. I haven't had a fast, quick, or reasonably switch wagon in some time. I do now have a fantastically frugal and functional Jetta TDI wagon, capable of hauling all but the biggest bikes (my 29er bigfoot bike) and capable of bladder-bursting distances between fuelings.

I ditched the 911, and the Passat, and was living a car-lite life down here in Raleigh, NC. Things are swell. Fixed up some of my neglected bikes, got a mid-level modern mountain bike (which still blows my mind with its right-now brakes) and enjoyed no car payments and the like.

July 27
Unfortunately I returned to Wisconsin for a bit, which is akin to a recovered addict hanging out with his old junkie friends (fiends?). Hearing about everyone's new toys, being back in the land of actual country roads (not the maniac-infested, congested rural highways here in the Triangle) made me want something motorized again. I had taken the MSF basic rider course back in March, and passed, and promptly got my motorcycle endorsement on my minty fresh NC driver's license. The time wasn't right, so I didn't get a bike right away.

Well, now I have one. I'll just say the trade from 320bhp to 78bhp could not have been more fun. Despite being reviewed in the mags as soft, dull, and old-tech, my bike is faster than anything I've owned. I like to translate soft as comfortable, dull as in it-doesn't-want-to-kill-me, and old-tech as bulletproof and reliable.

It's a 2000 Kawasaki ZR7, which I didn't know was a thing a week ago. It's an old air-cooled inline four, 750cc, two cams but only two valve per cylinder, and 78bhp. It's a five-speed, and I wish it was six because I find myself phantom-shifting in fifth. It'll do the quarter mile faster than my 911 could but I don't have 10% the skill to do it. It's just big enough for me and my tall frame and docile enough to putter around town.

Or maybe not? I thought I was going to be the one lucky one to avoid the requisite drop of the first bike. Felt good, tried to ride it as much as I could while being as cautious as I could. It's always the most mundane things, you know? Waddling out of the parking lot, slight slope, and grabbed a touch too much front brake. Crunch. Bike down. Only cosmetic damage to the bike, not injuries other than my pride. Lifted her up (good to know I can do that) and went on my way. I couldn't let myself be intimidated. It wasn't the bike, it was a simple bad move on my part.

I went home, everything looked sound. I had to order a new front signal and mirror. I sanded and painted the ignition cover and gauge pods to look good as new. The only evidence is a scratched pipe (time for a slip-on?) and a wee dent in the tank, which is oddly shaped like my knee. Lesson learned and now to keep practicing!

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