New Relationships chapter 2
Kurt – City Moto
Compromise, that's really about the only thing I can think of that works, at least for me. Listening is a big part of the compromise, again, at least knowing when you need to and when not to. Unfortunately, in the world of old motorcycles, listening is a huge part. Whether it is listening to what my brain is trying to tell me, to what the bike is telling me, or to my heart. Making the right choice here isn't always easy, it isn't always fun either.
I woke up Saturday morning, after a long night at work, and a few too many misunderstood text messages. I was supposed to meet up with my girlfriend after work and we would make a night out of it, on her Birthday too. Well this, didn't happen. I misunderstood the text messages. Mood, feeling, and tone are often lost in texting. It's a great way to tell someone when and where, beyond that, it doesn't work for me. Mostly, because I can't listen or hear the important intonation in what someone is telling me. In any relationship, how it's said is as important as what.
So, with some anxiety and frustration, I decide I want to do a little work on Cindy and have a little run. We've got a couple of problems at the moment that I want to address. The first of which is a center stand that rubs on the chain, because the exhaust had been cut off. I turn a couple nuts and pull back what exhaust is still there. This seems to do the trick, no chain rubbing. Secondly, she needs gas. I've only had enough in to make those previous runs and do some messing around. So, I take her out and get her topped off. I'm starting to be in better spirits and having a good time, since I seem to be getting something accomplished. I decide to go back home, because, after all, this is a new relationship, I don't want to test it too much, too early.
On the way home from the gas station, everything seems to be going great. My heart tells me to keep going, Cindy's ready to go. My brain says make sure, so I stop at home, everything is still in it's place, except for the newly acquired license plate with her 1974 birthdate on it. I'm amazed how fast a bolt can undo itself. I figure I can ride up to the shop with the license plate in my pocket, no one will even notice, then get some bolts. After all, I've got about an hour or two before I need to be at a pool/pizza party that my girlfriend is having.
So, Cindy and I take off again (it's about twelve miles to the shop); cell phone in front pocket, 1974 license plate in back pocket, gloves, and helmet. I'm smiling, Cindy is loud and chattering away, we're having a great time. At least I think so. After about five stop lights, I notice the idle is way too high, about 4K, I'm thinking it's just a sticky cable. No big deal, I'm getting a lot of attention at the lights. After some more riding, we're about half way to the shop, Cindy's really getting loud and hot. I'm starting to come back to reality. Cindy wants to go home, the afternoon is coming to an end. Too much, too soon, time to turn around and head back.
After turning around, I make it about five good blocks. I say “I” because, I don't feel like I'm getting any help from this 40 year old at this point. I wasn't listening and I know better, now I'm going to pay the price. Dead at a stop light, I mean completely dead, nothing, not even a neutral light. Even the guy working the intersection is looking to help me out. Of course, at this point the traffic light is green again, I push us off to the safety of the median. No electrics at all, so I go for the kick start.
I have never managed to successfully kick start a bike, but I keep trying. Another someday, hopefully, I will achieve the kick start. That day of achievement will be up to Cindy, this I am sure of. I'm going to go for the bump start, which I've managed several times in the past with her and several other bikes.
No luck with the bump start. Hmmm, at least I'm rolling in the direction of home. Problem is, I'm using up my free time fairly quickly. I've managed to get about a mile and a half with pushing and hoping. It's getting hot, I need something to drink and go for the bail out of trouble phone call.
Making this phone call for me is about the same as setting up the “emergency” call from a friend when you're on a first date that isn't going well. I've got two “bail out” friend calls going at this point, both of which are about an hour away. I appreciate this all the same. I resign to keep pushing anyways while I'm waiting. I make it about another block from where I stopped to make the calls and I hear someone yelling out, “you need any help?”. I happen to have gotten the attention of a few guys in a car lot, eating pizza and cussing at a car on a lift. These guys told me that they heard me go by a while ago and they thought the bike was cool.
Yes! That'd be awesome, I think if I can get a jump I'll be able to make it back a few miles to my house. The jump works, at least for a moment. Still can't keep her going more than a minute. They decide to do a little messing with the carburetor, nothing. They also do some spray cleaner to check for vacuum leaks and lube up a couple cables. Idle's getting worse, Cindy's not happy, she's complaining a lot.
The first guy asks me where I'm going, I tell him the closest intersection to my house. He tells me that he can ride her that far. I told him to go for it if he wants. I get in his friends pick up truck with my gear and off we go, about 4 blocks at least, then she dies again. I jump out and bring him the battery jumper. Cindy's going again, he jumps back on and takes off again, this time for two blocks. At this point we decide that Cindy needs a lift home, so she ends up in the back of the truck with the guy on top of her holding on, till we get back to my driveway. The whole time we can hear him make motorcycle sounds from the back of the truck, Cindy is being the quiet one.
As we unload the bike, the guy starts in and says, “I'm going to tell you two things and I want you to repeat them back to me”. Okay, I say. “Stator, Carburetor, now say it.” Okay, I repeated it twice. “stator, carburetor, stator carburetor”. Then they both nod and leave. I gave them a few bucks for helping me out, I really appreciated them taking their time to help and going the extra mile to make sure I got home.
As I was pushing Cindy back into the garage, I figured I had learned a few things. Number one, I was pushing this relationship too far, too soon, by testing its boundaries. Number two, I didn't listen to what I was being told. Number three, there are still a lot of really cool people out there, willing to help out. Sort of restored my faith in humanity and strangers.
I was also told by a dear friend and my first bail out call, that I am officially a member of the old motorcycle owners club now and welcome. He was also laughing while he said it. I now have a little more sympathy and a whole lot more understanding of what this means.
Re-charge went great, next is a stator and electrical kit I'm going to attempt to install. It can't be that hard, right?