Who Am I?

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A nobody; a nitwit; a pilot; a motorcyclist; a raconteur; a lover...of life - who loves to laugh, who tries to not take myself (or anything) too seriously...just a normal guy who knows his place in the universe by being in touch with my spiritual side. What more is there?

24 July 2010

Figuring Things Out

The speedometer on my motorcycle says, “Harley Davidson Certified.” It gives one the impression that it would be highly accurate, right? We’ll get back to this.

After Matt and my disastrous, nearly-fatal hike down into Tallulah Gorge, I realized that I was terribly out of shape. Well, I sort of knew that even before the hike, but the hike drove the point home with the precision of one of those laser-guided bombs the U.S. used in Iraq.

The next day, still huffing and puffing (and hurting), I mentioned to Matt that I had already begun exercising, which I have. Jogging around the block. It’s a good mix of uphill/downhill/uphill again. Gets the old heart rate going, it does.

Okay, well it’s not exactly jogging. Trudging, really. I would love to jog, but I just cannot run. It starts off as a jog, then quickly degrades to a trot, a brisk walk, a casual walk, and finally a sweat-soaked half-crawl back to the house. I mentioned that once-around-the-block was 9/10th’s of a mile, and I did that three times in the evening for a total of almost three miles.

Matt raised a suspicious eyebrow. “Oh, really?”

I know that eyebrow. I didn’t know whether he was being skeptical of my actually doing the walk, or the distance, or both (probably both). I couldn’t prove the former, but suspected the latter. He lived here, and he knows the route. I figured I better check it out.

I had originally made the lap around the block on the motorcycle. Harley’s speedometer (Certified! remember) said that I covered a distance of 9/10th’s of a mile. So the other evening I was in the Jeep, coming home from…uhh…work (although my friends do not call what I do for a living “work”). Before turning into the driveway, I zeroed my trip odometer and circled the block. What I came up with was…(drumroll) 6/10th’s of a mile! As the kids would say, WTF!

So my big three laps is really only just shy of two miles. Dammit. Here I thought I was really pounding out some marathonic distance, when in reality it wasn’t even a walk in the park. Hell, we walk more than two miles in Walmart fer cryin’ out loud. Especially if you have to buy something for your car and then cheese, which are at completely opposite ends of the superstore.

I thought I was doing so well, but I should have known. For one thing, my riding buddy Jacob’s speedometer and mine do not match. I arrogantly assumed his was wrong and mine was correct (“Certified!”).

Also, it takes me a half-hour to do those three laps around the block. If it really was three miles, that would make my walking speed about 6 mph. And it ain’t that, I can assure you! It’s more like 4 mph, which is more reasonable, but still pathetic.

So kids, don’t believe everything you read. If I ever get stopped for speeding on the bike, I’m going to point to the speedometer and ask the cop,
“Would Harley Davidson lie?”

Apparently they would.


Capt. Schmoe said...

Having had a H.D. Road King with a "certified" speedo and owning a 04 jeep, I would take the hog's measurement over the jeep.

Having said that, a hand held GPS would likely be more accurate than either. Another option would be to measrue it out on google earth.

Then, pick whichever one makes you appear more macho.

Bob Barbanes said...

LOL, I like it!

I kind of already doubted the H-D speedo though. My gas mileage has been an astounding 60 mpg, on average. While perusing the various Harley online forums, I see that NO OTHER Sportster turns in that kind of mileage. And my old one- the EXACT SAME ENGINE in a 1986 frame, did a little worse than this one. So the speedo may be as much as 10% optimistic, I would think.

Lord, if figuring out how far I've run is this much trouble, it's enough to make a guy want to give up exercise completely!