Change of Plan

I lost my job on Friday.

I don’t want to say much about it publicly. Suffice it to say that I’ve been preparing for this eventuality, and I’ll be fine for at least a few months if nothing else comes up. Of course, I need to start cutting my expenses immediately, and that includes road trips.

I have no intention of cutting out motorcycling from my life entirely. My bike is already in the shop for its clutch repair. The shop says it was a bad slave cylinder – exactly as I had diagnosed it. They have a rebuild kit on order. So I’m already on the hook for that. Beyond that, my bike is getting over 50 miles per gallon these days, while my car gets 20 whether I drive like grandpa or an idiot.  I’ll actually save money by using my bike for most travel instead of the car (though obviously not to job interviews). Given how much cargo space the bike has, I can use it for running many errands as well as visiting local friends. Also, it’s summer, the best time of the year to ride. I’m not missing out on that, especially now that I have all this time on my hands. Also also, without a work schedule, I don’t have to work around it. I can ride more during the week when there’s less traffic during non-commute times, and keep job searching on weekends when the tourist traps are full of people.

My trip to Canada for July 4 weekend is postponed indefinitely. That will cost some money, both in prep and the trip itself, and I shouldn’t spend that much right now. I can still do day trips from time to time. I can even get away with some overnight or longer trips if I can plan to stay with friends for free rather than paying for lodging or camping. That also means I can get away with not packing the camping equipment, which keeps the bike lighter and more fun. Maine is a likely destination in the near future, since I know a lot of people there (I lived there for seven years), it’s beautiful territory to ride, and I can plan to pass through the busy, traffic filled, tourist trap areas on days other than weekends.

It’s not the greatest situation, both for road tripping as well as my life in general. But what can you do? I can’t quit riding for the duration of my unemployment just to save a few bucks. I’d resent missing another summer of riding and likely go crazy. So I guess I’ll be exploring the idea of motorcycle road tripping on the cheap – how to get the most of the experience that you can for not a whole lot of money.

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