Thursday, July 15, 2010

I Prefer When You Provide the Propulsion

While riding my motorcycle to get saddlebag brackets installed on it at a bike shop downtown  a couple of days ago, it unexpectedly died at an intersection.  After doing the obligatory inspection of the bike both to see if there was an obvious cause (out of gas) and to appear like I knew what I was doing (hey, there's a guy kneeling by his bike poking around, must know what he's doing), none of the obvious solutions were the cause.  With only 85 miles on the tripometer I knew I wasn't out of gas.  The battery terminal was still connected.  Didn't have a clue what else to check.  In my world bikers aren't mechanically inclined.  At least not the short ones with no tatoos.

As it turned out, I was only a few blocks from the shop, with no hills left to climb, so I decided to push Bessy the rest of the way.  I didn't want to risk the helmet falling off the seat, and had no place to put my jacket, so off I went in the close to 100 degree heat, pushing my bike while fully suited up.  While the invention of wheels, one of man's greatest achievents, and eclipsed only by the realization that bread can be sliced, made the process doable, it was still hot and hard work.  One lady in her car asked if I was alright, an elderly gentleman asked if I was out of gas, and a young troop circled around on his bike to see if I needed assistance.  Respectfully declining their offers with thanks for their concern, I plodded on, passed by cars, a bus, and a cop car. 

Finally I arrived at the shop, and informed the clerk that in addition to getting my brackets put on I would need to have a service call.  He let me know that I didn't have an appointment for anything beyond getting the brackets put on, and they may not have time to look at it for a few days.  I replied that I had just pushed the bike a half mile and wouldn't be self-propelling it any further, and whenever they could get around to it would work for me.  He was adament that they might not be able to work on it simultaneously with the bracket install.  I was adament that the bike wasn't going anywhere any time soon.  We came to a gentlemen's agreement that they would check the battery connection and Heather took me home in the CR-V.

Today I picked up Bessy, with a freshly charged battery that had apparently lost its charge due to a loose cable.  We went much faster, and had a more enjoyable time together, with her providing the power this time.  With "Back in the saddle again" playing in my head I gleefully returned home on my faithful steed.  Welcome back, Bessy.