Had a nice though chilly ride friday the 250 miles to Shooting Star Casino up old US 59 in Mahnomen, Minnesota. Excuse for the ride was the Minnesota 7th Congressional District DFL Convention, to which I am a delegate. Being bored at the time or something like that, I interviewed for the post of “Affirmative Action Officer” (AAO), and surprisingly, was recommended by the screening committee and elected by the delegates.

Now, my job isn’t to make sure that some quota decreed number of persons of one race or another are elected, appointed or whatever. Quoting from the party bylaws “… we seek to increase the participation of members of those communities that have been traditionally been shut out of and/or underrepresented in the political process. …” . Well, there were over a hundred delegates assembled there and the only motorcycle in the parking lot was mine, so you can see where my work starts. We’ve done a good job of getting native americans involved in the process, even elected two as delegates to the national convention. Hispanic americans and immigrants, not so much- I’ve clearly got work to do there. The delegates looked pretty gray too, gotta get some young folks involved to kick us old political hacks out of the way.

But that’s just half my job- I’m really a “road warrior”, riding (and driving when neccessary) to meetings all over the 400 mile long district. Not really that tough a duty- the district is 400 miles long because it’s thinly populated and thus makes for pleasurable riding. On the ride up to the convention the biggest town I rode thought had barely thirteen thousand souls, and I could have easily bypassed it. Coming home, I explored new county roads and found a couple lakes and a nice county park I didn’t even know were there. So the only “combat duty” is the rides to meetings at the state capital and party HQ in St.Paul, surrounded for the last 50 miles of urbanification by stoned “drivers” preoccupied by their lunch, makeup, and texting while weaving across three or more lanes at 80 MPH. Oh, and my trips to the big swamp in Flatistan may be cut short by said meetings… Maybe I’ll have to start hauling bikes along for fuel money?

Got colder than expected earth day morning… could this “global warming” at least be consistent? Finally got going at almost the 11 am motel check-out time, road an hour, then lunch and warming up at Micky D’s. Got to the Glacial Lakes Motorcycle Club’s ( http://www.glmc.org ) most excellent “off road poker run” late, but still had a gas… And I was just spectating. The club is doing a nice job of reclaiming an old gravel pit, putting in a shelter with picnic tables and supplying a porta potty for when nature calls. They laid out a tough bit over two mile long course with dozens of hills and a couple “water hazards”. In fact, the course is so tough that a lot of riders did just one lap and spent the rest of the event watching the young riders too foolish to quit. After two hours the event was over with the top finishers finishing laps numbered in the teens and a good time had by all. The only injuries were to a few egos, the short straightaways and tight turns keeping speeds down, and a few mechanical maladies were observed. Overall, a good afternoon’s entertainment and the bikes probably made a lot less pollution than the trucks hauling the bikes to the park. And for the environmental purists, the park is open to the public and there’s nothing stopping you from testing your mountain bike skills there!

Monday, and back to work… Still trying to find the source of the oil leaking onto the clutch of the BMW R80ST and the F800S badly needs a new back boot. Better get the turn signals fixed on the R65LS “spare” so I can ride it ’til I get a new tire for the S this weekend…