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Old 12-08-2008, 11:16 PM   #136
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Okay, to sum up:

Audition #1: Rocked out, but no love.

Audition #2: Fell on my arse.

Audition #3: So-So, no love here either.

With hindsight it seems I should’ve ridden the bike with the Black Death, eh? Oh well, I tried, there will be plenty more. Three things are certain: Death, taxes, and symphony auditions.

So back to work I go! I seriously need to replenish my funds after the summer expenditures [ahem, KTM!!!] and this latest round of auditions. I’ve got quite a bit of performing work headed my way, and I’m getting a lot of new private students too, so I have plenty to keep me occupied. No reason not to ride to all my musical work now that I have the carbon fiber viola!

I was spied by a violinist colleague during the commute who took some pics with her phone. For some reason I was rocking the huge rectangle instrument case that day, I can’t remember why. It’s heavy and LARGE. My saddle bags have my tux crammed in one side and gym clothes in the other. It’s also unusual that I was on the freeway, I normally utilize surface streets as they’re slightly more sane and certainly more interesting. I have a messenger bag counter-balancing the viola with my music and paperwork across my body.





I know many FF’s here on ADVrider ride to work on a daily basis, but I’ve never been able to share in that small joy because of the nature of my work, but now, together with the Black Death, I can ride ANYWHERE!!! WHEEEEEE!!! Damn, somehow riding every cool morning puts the whole day in the right place, I’m in such a good mood as I arrive at work buzzing from adrenaline with a huge smile on my face! I can’t imagine my life without motorcycles now and I often wonder why it took me so long to discover them. Occasionally I drive my cage/coffin and bring “ye ‘ole woody” viola (I need to keep it in shape too), but lately the motorcycle has been my primary transportation for business AND pleasure, and that is a good thing.

Waitin’ for a train:



The mighty KTM is filling a new role as a daily driver, so all the more reason to learn to take care of it. Some of this:



The oil change really is a big mess on this bike. Not difficult, just, just a big mess!

And I finally got my ROX risers! Hell yeah, they’re great; I found them from a vender here on ADVrider. I’m ever so slightly crouched when standing, which I think will be ideal for off-road.



I’m getting much more comfortable operating the bike while standing, and sometimes I find myself riding the majority of my thirty minute commute up on the pegs. I certainly like being able to look OVER Chevy Tahoes and Hummers. Freakin’ cool... I’ve never seen another KTM on the road in San Antonio, and it seems no one else has either. Heads swivel and jaws drop at every stoplight and intersection, and my upright riding position only adds to the spectacle. Who, me? Awww shucks...

The “office:”



One of my favorite markings. It means “with motion,” but it always makes me smile and think of motorcycles. That’s me: Violist Con Moto!



When you’re out there "Con Moto-ing," watch out for these:



I’m not sure why someone wrote “18 wheeler,” but it probably meant “play loud” or something. The pencil marking to the right isn’t a smiley face, it’s a slur with staccato articulation, which means to play those two notes above it with the same bow direction (“up” in this case) and to re-articulate each note and to make them short. Just FYI, incase you’re asked that on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. :) (now THAT is a smiley face! )

I caught some flak for using the Black Death on some “big” concerts (classical subscription series) at first, from one conductor in particular (all based on how it “looks” BTW), but what instrument I play is MY decision. There are many things about symphonic work that are out of the individual musician’s control, but choosing the equipment we use is something that we do have control over, and we certainly don't get paid enough for management to forcibly require us to meet any sort of instrument "standard" (as if there is such a thing!). I mix it up and bring my traditional viola from time to time to surprise people, but I’ve been using the carbon fiber so often as of late that I think any opponents have given up realizing that it won’t go away anytime soon. Ha! We’re about to have our first black president, why not a black viola in the symphony?!? Change is coming...
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Old 12-08-2008, 11:18 PM   #137
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cymruduc
Great RR. Good luck with the auditions. BTW we now have a Coopers
in New Braunfels.

Really?!?! Good to know...
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Old 12-08-2008, 11:21 PM   #138
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Originally Posted by Nanuq
Nice report. Thank you for sharing.
dude, I want to ride to Alaska and see your dog sled and skiff!

Thanks for tuning in!
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Old 12-09-2008, 07:38 AM   #139
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I am supremely envious of your ability to ride to work, the 20F mornings & 35F afternoons here are no problem, but with a dusting of snow and ice the Syncs on the Uly just quit grabbing the way I like. The bike will never be "stored", but between my work travel and the icy weather I have not ridden off my property for 2 weeks. So I am going through withdrawal and the ride reports here help immensely.

Thank you for your well written and photographed report, you have given an excellent accounting of a musical life I gave thought to as a teenager (percussion) but passed for a more secure livelihood as a petroleum engineer (which is a joke all by itself). No regrets, but interesting to think about where I might be now.

I have the San Antonio Symphony webpage bookmarked now, so next time I am in the area for a meeting (which will probably be years now that I have another reason for going) I will try and catch a concert. Looks like you have a full schedule for Christmas.
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Old 12-09-2008, 07:43 AM   #140
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Good luck on your quest !

If you ever need any help on the 950, let me know !
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Old 12-09-2008, 01:04 PM   #141
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subscribing now...


sorry I missed your performance at West Fest... I was coming back over engineer pass after borrowing a 990 for 70 miles... sweet indeed.

Please keep the story going...

and enjoy the riding.
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Old 12-09-2008, 04:27 PM   #142
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wow, i wasnt to sure about this report at first, but man, im hooked. good stuff and hope to see more. i'd love to hear you play sometime. good luck and ride safe

oh yeah, my daughter is totaly creeped out by the spider shot.
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Old 12-10-2008, 05:07 AM   #143
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Moto music

That Viola is very impressive. I thought I was good building an Aluminium (Aluminum) guitar about 20 years ago. It is quite heavy on the back of the bike.
Maybe someday I will post some pictures
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Old 12-10-2008, 08:20 AM   #144
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Great story Violator, what an interesting take on the ride report concept. Having two distinctly different interests and melding them together into an awesome adventure/lifestyle! It is a real inspiration for all of us to live our dreams as it certainly appears you are living yours. Also it has been a real educational opportunity for me to read about your life of music. Thanks for taking the time to share.
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Old 12-10-2008, 10:51 AM   #145
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What’s the saying? “All work and no play makes somebody something-or-other...” I can’t remember.

Since returning to Texas I’ve been frustrated by the apparent lack of public “adventure riding” areas. Now I’ve got the bug (thanks a lot ADVrider!) and I don’t want to wait until next summer to increase or at least maintain my new found confidence and skills off-pavement. Surely there’s SOMETHING interesting to ride around here!

I start to throw little challenges into my daily commute. A curb-hop here and there, a detour through a gravel parking lot, a little wheelie from time to time (I’m new to wheelies too... Evil! ). This bike is trouble! It’s fast making me a hooligan. I start to use google maps to find alternate and interesting routes, then I spy some undeveloped areas not far from my place... Could it be? Urban adventure riding?!? It IS!!! Some how I forgot my camera when I first discovered it, but my bike came back looking like this:





This is great! The little area has all kinds of mixed terrain from dirt and gravel double track, to rocky grades, to knee deep mud, and even a few jumps! Oh man, I can’t believe my luck, and it’s only minutes from my house. Pinch me. Now I can practice in the dirt with my big orange dance-partner anytime I want and gradually build my skills and confidence for whatever adventures await me. The next time out I will have to remember the camera.

After poking around the Texas Regional forum here on ADVrider I eventually get in touch with inmate SATEX who’s an officer of the Dirt Bike Club of San Antonio. They have a lease on a place called Zars Ranch which has an extensive network of trails for dirt biking. It just so happens that the coming Sunday is their annual family day which is free and open to all, members or not! I’ve gotta check this out.

SATEX warns me that my bike might be too big for much of what Zars has to offer, but that doesn’t scare me away! The first activity of the day is a poker run through one of the “easier” trails. A couple dudes politely suggest that I remove my saddle bags, but it’s a real pain to fuss with all the straps so I leave them on. I wonder why they would say that???

Ready for some gamblin’. I do take my mirrors off:



Well... Two hundred yards in I see what they mean. This is full-on single track that’s winding through the trees, barely wide enough for the handle bars! I’m cruising along in first gear standing up, even in the tight stuff with only the occasional foot-dab. When I hear that distinctive dirt bike buzz behind me I pull off the trail at an opening and let ‘em fly by, but I’m not the slowest rider either as I pass a couple folks myself. It’s no race and I don’t want to get hurt, I just want to see what this place has to offer and hopefully learn a little bit more about operating my beastly machine. Fun!

I had to change the front tire a few days earlier, the knobs from the summer were gone and the clump-clump-clump was getting pretty annoying on the street, so I went with the Scorpion. I have the matching rear waiting, but thought I’d leave what’s left of the Dunlop 908rr on for this day at the Zars Ranch. Oooooo, those sandy sections are un-nerving when the front is dancing around on me, but I stay loose and transfer my weight backwards and manage to complete the poker run... with a straight flush!

The morning was semi-organized with events like the poker run, a race for the kids, barrel racing, and a slow-race, which leaves the afternoon for open riding. I only have the morning, so I’m gonna try everything I can!

I’ve never barrel raced before, this’ll be interesting. The time keepers explain the rules, and off I go! Sorta. I’m wide... WAAAAY wide, on all three barrels. This is harder than it looks, I definitely set the slowest time for the day. Okay, try again. And again. On each pass I shave a full TEN SECONDS off my time, which I doubt anyone else can claim! LOL!





I’m laughing, the time-keepers are laughing, people watching are laughing, this is just hilarious having me slog this bike through the course again and again. I really want to learn to do that rear-wheel-slide-180-turn-around thing which appears to be the key to barrel racing, but this bike gets heavy real fast leaned over on one leg...

And down it goes! My first drop of the KTM 990 Adventure. All of a sudden I’m standing there with my hands still holding imaginary handlebars. I hear some whoops and hollers from the spectators, including SATEX, so I chuckle and pose for a “victory” shot:



We are all laughing so hard, the whole thing is just a crack up. The little kid there in the picture even says “Wow, COOL!” When I dropped the bike, like it’s something to be envious of! Funny kids... Everyone runs over to help me pick the pig up, but I insist that I want to do it alone, I have to learn sometime. I try the handle-bar-squat method... No problemo! Picking it up isn’t bad at all, but I do work out...



I take a couple more runs through the barrel race, and the judges suggest that I try it once using my turn signals correctly and beeping my horn before each each barrel. It turns out to be one of my better runs! (and funnier too! )

During some downtime between events I rode around the beginner/kids course just to have some more dirt time. A nice couple I was visiting with encouraged me to try their Yamaha 450. How nice is that?! Letting a stranger ride their bike! Okay, if you insist...



It was fun, but somehow not as fun my bike. The way it should be! Me love my KTM... I did notice that 1st gear on my 990 covers about three gears on that Yamaha. No wonder I rarely leave 1st! I thought maybe I was really slow this whole time.

Next was the slow race. I figured I had a good shot at this one! It was kinda a zoo and getting people assembled was a challenge, so they used my mammoth orange monster as a beacon to show the starting line. It was funny to see all the kids ride over and converge around the mighty KTM like an idol. That’s how I feel too!



I was moving along, nice and slow and was a real contender for the top spot in my heat, but ten yards from the finish line I dabbed, disqualifying me. Shoot, oh well...

Now for lunch and prizes! $5 got us a great BBQ lunch after which the prizes from all the morning events are awarded. Soooo... I win first prize for the poker run with my straight flush, and SATEX makes up a special category for me which is “Most inappropriate barrel racing bike” or some such thing. My prizes are a brand new MSR dirt bike helmet for the poker run, and some matching MSR goggles for the barrel racing. This is too cool! The helmet even has a little orange in the paint job. This is great, what a fun day meeting new friends with great riding AND fabulous prizes! And it didn’t cost me a thing! I do need a new helmet too...



I was the only person there who rode my bike to the event, and naturally I was well equipped to haul my loot home with my vast luggage capacity, bungee net, and tie downs. My machine was also the biggest bike there, I had everyone else outsized by AT LEAST 500cc!!! Whoooo! I kept kinda apologizing for my lack of skills, but even the Zars veterans were all saying “if you can ride that big thing through the poker run you must be doing something right! I wouldn’t want to do that...” Well I DO want to! This bike is incredible! Thanks for a great day DBCSA and inmate SATEX!!!

I’ve gotta get back to SA for some work. Todays gig is leading the viola sectionals for YOSA (Youth Orchestra of San Antonio). Naturally I ride there after picking up the Black Death from home. It's time to pass on the musical knowledge to the younger generation!



I also sit in the full rehearsal and offer tips with other instrumental coaches.





I spy some evidence of the viola-tor...



Not a bad day! Riding and teaching and winning and music... I’m starting to figure this all out.

viola-tor screwed with this post 12-10-2008 at 08:58 PM
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Old 12-10-2008, 04:21 PM   #146
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What a familiar sight! This brings back memories and a warm fuzzy feeling. Nothing like holding a $6k miraphone and B.S.ing with the timpani player during our christmas concerts!


Thanks for keeping up with this report!

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Old 12-14-2008, 06:32 PM   #147
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I feel that one of the responsibilities of a true motorcyclist is sharing the majesty of the experience with others, specifically people who are completely ignorant of “moto-enlightenment.” There’s a number of ladies in the symphony who have said over the years “when are you gonna take ME for a ride?” I reply that the offer is always open, but if you want a ride we’re gonna do it right, not just an around the block foray. They need a taste of the real thing...

I got a women’s leather suit off the clearance rack a while back, so between that and all of my gear I can accommodate most people as a pillion. I think it’s great to able to suit up my guests with a level of protection similar to my own. I have several rides available for them to choose from based on how much time we have to play with: A twenty minute jaunt with a few “urban” view points and some decent curves, a hour plus ride through some soon-to-not-be agricultural areas that really feels like touring with even a little gravel, or and all day, full on Texas Hill Country assault which will feature the best curves the state has to offer. Choose, but choose wisely...

A cellist:



A violist (for her birthday!):





A horn player (wearing my suit and the helmet I won at Zars Ranch):



A violinist (with Jazz Hands!):



I’m working on a clarinet player and the English horn gal, but we haven’t set it up yet. It’s not that I’m sexist, I’m happy to give guys a ride too, but somehow they aren’t as eager to climb on behind me and hold on oh-so-tight... :ymca I must admit, chicks are more enjoyable, and more willing! Muh-ha-ha...

I like giving people their first-ever motorcycle ride. Naturally they are concerned for their health primarily before boarding and usually say “Please don’t go too fast!” But by the time we return home they often tell me how much they like the speed and wish I’d have gone faster! I tell them I like to have a good balance of fun and safety... It’s a great compliment when they tell me they feel safe and trust my motorcycle skills. I work hard to be good!

On one run I hit Lost Maples State Park for the mini version of fall colors (I thought everything was bigger in Texas?):



There's some nice hiking there too:



My new music-moto lifestyle is really falling into a nice groove here in San Antonio. It takes me a little longer to get rolling each day because of all my gear, but I’m able to carry everything I need for symphony, gigs, teaching, and errands throughout the day on my mighty orange steed, and this is the best time of year to live and ride in San Antonio as the temperatures are just about perfect. Life is good!

And I get good parking too, often for free. Downtown:



The red door is the backstage entrance to the symphony venue. You don’t get closer than that without riding INTO your workplace, eh? The security guy used to race dirt bikes as a kid so he always saves me a little spot and moves the cones out of the way when he sees me coming. I’m a V.I.P. (Viola Instrumental Player... Heh!)



The orchestra was encouraged to wear costumes for a Halloween children’s concert (and it’s my favorite holiday), so I came as Casey Stoner. Of course I rode to the concerts!



I had to push the helmet up a bit on my head for clearance for the chin rest, but I WAS able to play the concert with it on. Quite a feat, actually...

I just happened to park here for the Halloween concert:



Lot’s of performances of all types lately. Here’s me, the Black Death, and Doc Severenson backstage before a Pops concert:



Onstage during a Pink Floyd Tribute show.





Look how bored all the musicians look! All the colorful lighting and fog really doesn’t mean much to the classical musician, if the part is boring... IT’S CRAP!!! I make a joke, but this is almost true... Classically trained musicians usually view pops programs and/or “crossover” music as cheap and unfulfilling. I’m not saying this attitude is right or wrong, just pointing out that the “real” music we’re trained to do is the richest and most rewarding. You could call it “deeper.” Personally I enjoy playing all types of performances, but I do feel that the core of classical music literature has more artistic value than much of the popular stuff out there. Snob!

Next post: Gearing up for some music on the road!
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Old 12-14-2008, 07:57 PM   #148
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Still loving the reports that you write up. I find even your day-to-day to be pretty interesting...and it's giving me some ideas of my own, Mua Ha Ha Ha. And MAN, that 990 is just soo much fun to look at. I know I'm speaking for others out there too! Thanks for taking the time to write up the report and post up the pics. Of all the great RR's going this is the one that I return to for regular check-ins.
Oh and in case your wondering...the skiing is Vermont isn't that great right now. I reallly I wish I could be riding
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Old 12-14-2008, 11:14 PM   #149
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Originally Posted by Wildabeast
Still loving the reports that you write up. I find even your day-to-day to be pretty interesting...and it's giving me some ideas of my own, Mua Ha Ha Ha. And MAN, that 990 is just soo much fun to look at. I know I'm speaking for others out there too! Thanks for taking the time to write up the report and post up the pics. Of all the great RR's going this is the one that I return to for regular check-ins.
Oh and in case your wondering...the skiing is Vermont isn't that great right now. I reallly I wish I could be riding
Thanks Wildabeast! I'm looking forward to finding out what you have in mind. Muh-ha-ha-ha indeed! Reading the amazing RR's here def played a big part in my inspiration/motivation, so passing that on is the least I can do. Yes, the KTM 990... A face (and color) only a truly demented mind could love!

Sorry to hear about your lack of quality riding right now, but I'll make up for it! Still riding daily, actually sweating today in the upper 70's believe it or not.

Much more to come!
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Old 12-14-2008, 11:31 PM   #150
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Having read all ten pages now, including the barrel-racing updates, I've concluded you're an idiot

Not the stupid kind of idiot, no - you're the kind of idiot normal folks wish, from behind the wheel of their Civic on the daily commute to a crap job, that they could be.

It was idiots like you who first looked at a sheet of silk and thought "you know what, I bet I could jump out of an airplane with that...", or saw a guy flying a kite at the beach and thought "you know what, I bet I could hold one of those on a surfboard and not have to paddle so much...", or, looked around the KTM factory, spotted a litre-capacity V-twin in the corner and a pair of knobby tyres, and thought "you know what..."

Keep it up!
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