Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance
It’s after 10 p.m. and I’m pushing my 500-pound motorcycle up a 150-degree angle.
I’m drenched in sweat, I smell like gas, and my arms, shoulders and calves are aching.
Mere hours ago, I was winding along the coastline, basking in the sun and scenery and thinking this is what makes owning a motorcycle in Atlantic Canada worthwhile.
Now, I’m in this pushing predicament and wondering what I did to tick off the motorcycle gods.
This situation is my own fault. I got home from work, and that stunning ride along the ocean, super excited.
My son was playing his first baseball game and I couldn’t wait for him to be introduced to the magic.
In my excitement, I left the motorcycle key in the ignition and drained the battery.
I discovered it was as dead as disco upon returning from the game.
No problem, it required a simple “push start” down the very hill I’m now pushing up.
The bike started, but I needed keep it running to recharge the battery.
It was a sweet summer night so I chose to continue riding.
A few minutes later, the engine went “buck, buck, buck.” Out of gas!
No worries, I thought, the bike has a reserve switch so there should be enough fuel to get home.
But the reserve was already on. The tank was drier than a tax return.
I reached for my mobile to call home and realized that’s where I left it.
So I was more than a mile from my house with no gas, no phone and obviously no common sense.
There was a corner store a few minutes downhill (thankfully) so I rolled there and used the phone.
Soon my wife arrived with a jerry can.
There was just a drop of gas in it, but it was better than none.
I used it and tried to push start the bike again.
Not a gig.
Not enough gas?
My wife drove me to the gas station to fill up the can.
We returned, gassed up the bike and I attempted to push start it again.
No go, and it was starting to get dark
I rolled the beast to the base of the hill leading to our house and began pushing.
That was a half-hour, and 3,700,009 calories, ago.
I’m not even halfway up yet and the incline only gets steeper from here.
It’s physically improbable that I’ll be able to push it home by daylight, there’s no one I could call at this hour even if I had a phone, and I’d rather be home tucking my son in and talking baseball.
Actually I’d rather be seeing an amateur proctologist than in my current predicament!
But how do I get out of it?
Scottie didn’t respond when I asked him to beam me up hours ago.
Hmmm … There’s a streetlight about 100 feet ahead. I’ll push it there and leave it til morning.
If it’s the wrong choice, if something happens and my bike is stolen or destroyed, it won’t be the first bad decision I made tonight.
Steve Bartlett is an editor with Salt-Wire Network. He dives into the Deep End Mondays to escape reality and leather chaps. Reach him at email@example.com.