i took my last ride of the season on this cold monday morning. i stopped by the nearby hess gas station to filled up the tank. as if a sign telling me it was the right time to put away the motorcycle, it began to snow even though the sky was still blue. just a few fuzzy snowflakes that i thought at first was floating lint. i forgot the tank was already half full and accidently spilled some on the front of my jacket and pants, guaranteeing that i'd smell like gasoline for the rest of the day.

once i got to belmont i added some stabilizer into the tank and ran the engine for 5 minutes to let the chemical circulate. once the bike had a chance to cool down my father came out and helped me change out the engine oil. i also had a genuine replacement honda oil filter but i couldn't find it anywhere in the house. regular motor oil resembles olive oil in color; what came out of the engine was more like barbecue sauce. that's surprising, because i didn't ride the bike all that much. it's still better than when i had my honda rebel; one time after having not changed the oil for several seasons, what came out was the color of soy sauce.

i didn't need to buy any motor oil because i already had some from the end of last season, 3 bottles of genuine honda motorcycle motor oil. i was going to save them for a special occasion, but it seemed stupid to be sentimental about motor oil so i decided to use them. my 750cc honda engine takes anywhere from 2.2 to 2.5 quarts of oil, which is about 2 and a half bottles.

i went back inside the house to do some code work. later in the afternoon i was back outside, oiling the bike with WD40. my father had cleared out the garage and was running the engine one final time with the gasoline intake valve set to off in order to burn off any remaining gas residue. even with no gas, the engine still sputtered for several minutes, before it finally went dead for good. we elevated the bike onto a rolling jack and parked it in the corner of the single car garage. i removed the battery (to be trickle charged inside) and put the cover over the bike to keep off the dust.

thus marked the end of the 2010 riding season. the odometer read 8201 miles. at the start of the season the odometer read 7324 miles. that means this year i only rode 877 miles, not even breaking a thousand. there are several factors. the arrival of my honda shadow spirit motorcycle coincided with a renewed interest in bicycling (totally free and exercise to boot). little trips i used to take via motorcycle i was now doing by bicycle. especially trips into boston, where my now larger motorcycle is more difficult to park. this year i also got bored with naturing, and did very little of that (that usually accounts for the majority of my long distance travel). finally, i think i'm still a little bit traumatized from having "survived" two motorcycle accidents. i wouldn't say i'm scared to ride the motorcycle, but i'm very aware of the fact that the less i ride the longer i live (or at least avoid getting injured again).

i never did realize any of my motorcycling goals for this year, like traveling out of state or visiting western massachusetts. hopefully next year will be a better riding season.

the whole family was engaged in yard work today, including hailey, who was off-leash in front of the house. who knows when's the last pickup for yard waste; better rake all those leaves just in case. i helped out by collecting all the stray gardening tools in the backyard and putting them in the garage. there was actually ice pucks in some of the empty flower pots, the first time i've seen liqudified water this season. winter is definitely upon us.

every now and then i'd go back inside and do some more coding.

after some peking raviolis for dinner, my father gave me a ride back to cambridge. i took the opportunity to bring home all my pyrex lasagna dishes and ramekins. i also brought home a pair of eastpak panniers matthew gave me a while back (i never used them, because they didn't fit on my 24" bianchi wheels).

i moved to my bedroom because it was warmer. i did a quick load of laundry to cleanse my clothes of that gasoline smeell. i did some more work and watched the jets-patriots game. new england won (of course) but it looked like new york didn't even show up. the final scare was 45-3. i spent the rest of the night reliving the game by watching all the wall-to-wall coverage on the sports channels.