When you’re out alone on the either the Enfield or the Ural, questions or conversations are to be expected when you stop. People are curious and I get that. When Kenny and I go out together on the both of them, it apparently blows peoples minds to the degree that they lose their grasp on reality.
People with even the most rudimentary knowledge of motorcycles are the most “interesting” exchanges.
Sunday at the gas station.
Wooooooow. Wooow those are so cool.
::points and the Royal Enfield Kenny is filling up.:: What year is that?
It’s new. It’s a ’12.
Wow, yea. So cool. It’s new. I know a replica when I see one.
It’s not a replica.
What is it a copy of a Triumph?
It’s a Royal Enfield. They’ve been around a long time.
So is it a BSA, then?
No, it’s a Royal Enfield.
I though I was going to get away clean on this one since gas station friend was so wrapped up in Kenny. I suppose it’s hard to hide when you’re messing around with a giant orange Ural.
Now it was my turn.
Wow, look at this thing. This is wild. What is it?
It’s a Ural.
A Ural. It’s from Russia.
Ural. Right. Nice. What’s it like going around turns?
It’s not really like riding a motorcycle, it’s steering is more… direct.
Right, yea. I need to get something like this for my wife. She can’t handle a motorcycle.
While I was hanging out with mama-dog, eating lunch in front of the Granville Country Store, I sat looking out onto the town square. When I’d arrived, I pulled into an unlined parking space of which there where only 2 left. Not long after everyone filtered away, leaving only my bike and 1 other car in the far end of the small parking area.
Until my new best friend pulled in and decided to park RIGHT NEXT TO ME.
I felt a little nervous that someone with no situational awareness just might clip my sidebag with his mirror when he backed out.
But… why? Look at all that space. Why did he have to park that close to me.
When I glanced at the clock this morning, I hadn’t really planned on heading out for a day ride. It just sort of… happened. It was already a later start than I normally take so I opted for the ferry rather than riding off of Long Island via the Bronx.
When I pulled into the ferry parking lot I was the only motorcycle in line. The dock crew usually keeps motorcycles off to the side to squeeze them on wherever they’ll fit once the cars load. I sat there for 10 minutes or so waiting my turn to ride up the ramp. While waiting, another motorcyclist arrived and pulled into the loading corral next to me. I gave a smile and a quick wave as we sat there idling, waiting to board.
When the dock staff motioned for us to go, the two of us loaded into the same area in the belly of the boat.
After parking, we both shed our gear and readied ourselves to head upstair to pay our fare. I didn’t make any small talk with my fellow rider or really even glance his way. You know how you can feeeeel someone looking at you like they want to talk? Yeah… that.
Sometimes, like this morning, that makes me feel like a dick. But the reality is, I just didn’t feel like talking. To anyone. I know I can come across as standoffish or chilly but, I’m just introverted. It sounds cliche but it’s not them, it’s me.
This leads me to question: Does the bond of riding oblige you to acknowledge your fellow motorcyclist or engage them deeper than just a quick hello? The rational part of me says, no. But the social norm part of me isn’t so sure.
Don’t you just hate it when you lose a front brake caliper bolt when you’re riding your motorcycle? Yea. Me too.
When I pulled into the parking lot in town on Sunday night, I gave the Husky brake lever a squeeze as I approached the entrance booth. Instead of gliding to a gentle stop I was met with metallic crunching sound, an odd feel on the lever and well, no brakes.
Without actually knowing what was wrong, it was obvious what was wrong. I leaned towards Kenny who was riding next to me and said, “I think my front brake caliper just fell off.”
This of course was met with a look that said, “Whaaaat?” without saying a word. He may or may not have slowly opened his helmets sunshade for dramatic “are you crazy?” effect.
I rolled myself past the booth and pulled directly in front of it to get out of the way of the incoming traffic. I hopped off the bike and saw indeed that my front brake caliper was cocked back and balancing along the edge of the brake rotor. The lower bolt had sacrificed itself to the road gods somewhere on my short journey.
Like my own personal pit crew – in about 2 seconds flat Kenny had parked his bike, jettisoned his gear, walked back to me and began looking at my front wheel. If you don’t already have your own pit crew, you might consider getting one. It is a very nice service.
While he was laying on the hot summer asphalt next to my front wheel, he struck the pose of a man with a purpose who was actually doing something other than, you know – hanging out on the blacktop near the 2 lanes of traffic by a parking entrance booth.
From out of the parking booth right behind us, a squeaky teenaged voice said, “you can park your bike in any spot anywhere in the lot.”
I turned and looked at her, smiled and politely and said, “If I could, I would.”
Actually… my look probably wasn’t entirely polite. It may have appeared more along the lines of “Really? You’re kidding. I can PARK in the spaces in this PARKING LOT? You mean everyone who comes into this lot on a motorcycle doesn’t strip off all of their gear and lay down on the hot blacktop RIGHT HERE and poke at the moving parts on their bike ALL the time?”
But I did smile.
I took a quick walk around the entrance driveway to see if my bolt had by some chance wiggled itself out there. Of course, it was nowhere to be found. We had to figure out some other quick fix.
With the caliper shoved back into its normal position on the disc, I pushed the bike over into the motorcycle parking spaces. You know, because I can park in any of them. We just needed something to steady the caliper in it’s rightful place since I didn’t have another bolt. Some safety wire or … Oh! A zip tie would do.
“We could just zip tie it in place for now,” I said.
“You mean wire tie?” Kenny replied.
::blink:blink:: “What? Yes. Wire tie.”
It was at this moment that I finally realized that men are indeed from Mars and women from Venus. We were saying the same damned thing. Zip tie, wire tie, cable tie, potahto – whatever you want to call it, let’s just go ahead and fix my bike.
I swear. It’s hard to find good help that won’t talk back these days.
I’m happy to report that the temporary fix worked like a charm and that my caliper bolt has been replaced.
I have also docked Kenny’s pay for being insubordinate. Beatings will continue until morale improves.