Motorcycles: Falling Off Horses
I was taking a friend of ours back to Victoria on Monday (she stayed with us over the weekend - fun was had by all) when the clutch cable snapped. No panic necessary, but it meant stopping along the highway in 30 degree weather in full riding gear.
I tucked my passenger into some nearby undergrowth for shade and hiked off to find a phone. No problem there, just some sweat and chafing, so I joined our friend in the shade and waited to the Significant Other to come riding to the rescue. A couple hours later, I joked that it would be funny if the truck broke down on the way. Heh. Ten minutes later, the truck arrives...
The power assist for the brakes had given out on the way, which made using said brakes more difficult, but not impossible; so we tossed Clover into the back and strapped her down and limped into Victoria with wife, friend, dog and self packed in the front. Leaving the truck with its cargo at the first service station we found, the friends roommate gave us a ride to my parents place, where we parted ways.
The parents were a little surprised to get a call from their house when they were several hundred kilometers away, but not so much that they couldn't make me feel guilty about never calling them. One awkward conversation (and an encounter with their housesitter) later, the SO and I decided to call up the fellow we're rebuilding RDs with, have him pick us up, take her and the dog back home, then I go to his place and retrieve the one RD that we've got working and I'll ride it home so we have at least one vehicle to get me to work and her back to Victoria the next day.
About this RD: Artie and I have a bit of a love-hate thing going on here; actually more a love-fear thing... Last time I rode this bike, he seized on me as I was turning a corner doing 120 km/h. Not my favorite moment, but it did leave an impression: I was assured that the possibility of this happening again was negligible, that our co-conspirator had ridden it a few times now, and a good distance at fair speed, he even doubled his daughter on it. Don't worry, it's fine. Oh, and the signals don't work, and watch out for the left handgrip - it comes off. Have fun!
This time, I rode Artie home along back roads exclusively: left hand poised over the clutch, ready to disengage the engine at the slightest sign of seizing; checking my mirror and trying to guess if the car behind me will catch up before I needed to signal a turn, and hoping they weren't RCMP... I made it to within 10 klicks of home when the engine started to bog. With a sinking feeling I applied more throttle, vainly wishing it was simnply a "flat" spot on the powerband, but no joy this night. Once I pulled in the clutch, the engine thudded to a stop.
Despite all the reassurances, despite taking apart and inspecting the engine myself, I knew in my heart of hearts that this bike was going to seize again, if out of nothing but sheer spite. Somehow, Artie had found out about Clover, and didn't like being foisted off for anothers use.
Jealousy is an evil, evil emotion.
Happily, two helpful young women stopped to see if I needed aid and offered the use of their cell phone. So one again, I called the wife, my own personal BCAA this day, to come pick me up.
"With what?" came the logical reply. I was going to have to push Artie home.
But, much like those who expect miracles see miracles, I had gone into this ride knowing what would happen. Only under the pressure of possible physical labour did my mind start to consider other possibilities. Like being out of gas. A quick switch to reserve, and home I went. The SO has had Artie all day today, after dropping me off at the ferry to work, and hasn't had any problems.
Except the left handgrip falling off.