took a ride out to durham this morning to interview and fill out an application for a ridercoach position at durham technical community college. faced the usual stuff with riding to a new location - not sure of what the roads are going to be like, not sure how long it's going to take to get there, not sure if i need to allow extra time to get gas, etc. in trying to prepare, i printed off the directions that were e-mailed as well as plotted the route using google. the main problem i have with using these mapping services is the travel time seems to be off. if it says four hours, i can make it anywhere from three to three and a half hours. today's trip was projected to take an hour. with the roads i was going to be on, curvy two lane, i figured an hour would be the minimum i would want to allow. if i needed gas, add an additional fifteen minutes. and as it turned out, i did need gas. and i left about an hour and fifteen minutes before the meeting - so if timing worked out, i'd be there right on time.
the ride out was great. temps were in the high 60s when i left, so there was a nice breeze. sky was fairly clear. two lane, non-congested, rural roads. this is so much better that four lane, interstate riding. i could ride on roads like this all day long. if i was left to my own devices to plan a route, i don't think i would have planned this one. and this one was so much nicer - keeping me out of some of the seedier sections of durham. it was nice exploring new areas, learning about new roads i can take for future rides.
well, i made it to my destination about five minutes early. which didn't really matter since jim was about ten minutes late. apparently he was on his way to get gas for the class this weekend and forgot that we were supposed to meet this morning. no big deal, though. once he showed up, we talked through the application process, i gave him the necessary information and he copied what he needed to. we decided i'd follow him over to the main building so that he could show me the way as well as show me the bikes and the range. as we were riding over, we went through some of the rougher areas of durham. at one point, we came to a stop light and there were at least four police cars in a parking lot. i'm not sure what the officers were doing, but they were obviously investigating some sort of criminal activity. while i never felt directly threatened, i did think once or twice about a news headline that read something like motorcyclist killed by stray bullet. needless to say, thankfully, that didn't happen...
i checked out the bikes and the range. bikes looked like they were in pretty good shape and the range looked well maintained. apparently the brc program at the community college is really growing. they're in their third year - started the first year with only six classes. now they're up to twenty-eight and will probably have more next year. after chatting with jim a little longer, i headed over to the main building to get my application. pretty much routine. they gave me a packet that i need to fill out and return. i also filled out some other information so they can get my on the payroll sooner.
the ride home was good. after looking at the map in the parking lot, i picked a route that i thought was good. i wasn't exactly sure where i was or what the roads around there were like. i didn't necessarily want to take main roads, so i chose a slightly longer route that put me on two lane roads. it was a bit warmer than the morning ride, but i guess that's expected since it's already the beginning of june.