i decided this morning that i would end my riding season. the forecast said there would be some snow tomorrow (thursday) night and then some more saturday. neither of them can be called snowstorms, but i didn't want to deal with the motorcycle anymore. even a small amount of snow brings out the salt trucks and i didn't want to needlessly corrode the bike. the temperature has also been falling, and riding in the freezing cold is not fun to say the least.

first stop was the nearest hess gas station to fill the tank. i brought the fuel stabilizer with me and added that to the tank as well, figuring by the time i made it to belmont everything would be properly mixed together.

once i arrived at my parents' place i left the bike running in the driveway with the gas tank turned off to burn off the remaining fuel in the carburetor (so they don't gum up the engine next season). that actually took longer than i expected, almost 10 minutes. i revved the engine towards the end just to speed up the process. finally the engine sputtered and stopped.

with a can of WD40 i purchased earlier, i wiped down the bike, coating the bike in oil to prevent rusting. the temperature was in the 30's and my nose was dripping while i worked outside in the cold. by that point my father came home from the cafe to help me with the final steps.

since i didn't need to start the bike anymore, i removed the battery from underneath the seat, to be trickle charged indoors throughout the winter.

next we elevated the bike on a rolling jack, just enough off the ground so we could spin the rear wheel by hand. we greased the chain with a motorcycle chain lube spray (goes on white; that reminds me, i'm almost out need to order a new can for next season).

with the bike lowered back on the ground, we pushed it (with me on the bike and my father pushing) to its final resting place in the corner of the garage before raising it on the jack again, this time raising it high enough off the ground to lock the jack in place.

i don't remember why we elevate the bike. since it's only off the ground 4", it's not really freeing up anymore space. i used to just park the bike on the ground during winter storage. the one advantage is there's no pressure on the tires, so if one should go flat, it won't drop the bike.

with the bike in its final location, we covered it up with the rain cover, just to keep the dust off during storage.

the odometer read 9219 miles, which meant i logged 1018 miles this season. surprisingly, i broke last season's (2010) mileage of 877 miles. i didn't even feel like i rode that much in 2011, but apparently it's a case of quantity over quality due to the unusually long riding season.

my father said he could give me a ride back to cambridge when he picks up my mother at the cafe in the evening. for dinner we got some burgers and sandwiches from the concord avenue burger king.

it feels liberating not having a motorcycle. no more worries about parking or whether somebody's going to hit it accidentally. no more watching the weather to decide whether i should cover up the bike or not. i think a lot of new england car owners would envy the fact that i can put away my vehicle for the season. owning a car and living in the city during the winter can be a nightmare. having your car buried under snow, digging out the car, and then not having a parking spot when you come back.

elsewhere, back in skyrim, i've been exploring whiterun. i had some opportunity to do some smithing at the warmaiden's (even learning how to make steel weapons/armor). i used up all my gold learning how to upgrade my one-handed combat skill (sort of waste, since i'm more prone to the two-handed weapons). sven is my follower but i'm starting to think he gets in the way from me leveling up because he has a tendency to kill the monsters before i have a chance to dispatch them. i talked to the jarl who wanted me to find the dragonstone at bleak falls barrow; unbeknownst to him, i already completed that quest and promptly gave him the stone. exploring the city is boring; my warrior is itching for battle and finding treasures to sell.