I’m not exactly Peter Fonda on the open road spending miles with my road hog between my legs..I’m more like “oh, lets ride around the block tonight afterwork, it will be fun” kinda rider right now. But let me tell you, getting my girl out of hibernation this year has been quite an ordeal.

Feb: “Hmm..I should have put a trickle charger on her.”

Early March: “I’m gonna get this girl going and give my niece her first motorcycle ride. So first I need to get a new battery.”

Mid March: Battery purchased, then nearly fried when I tested it out without the cover. Sparks are exciting…
Battery safely installed this time, I take her around the block to remember how to shift and more importantly, how to brake. I don’t want to kill my unsuspecting niece, my brother would kill me.
…AND THEN a nail firmly implants itself in….the REAR wheel. Now..I don’t have a truck..so this is in fact a challenge. But met with open arms since I stated I was going to learn the art of motorcycle maintenance this summer.

Late March:
First I need some tools…a trip to the swap meet to discover I can buy new tools for less money than those stolen tools. which I do. Sears is still open! Can you believe it?

Early April:
Tools in hand, new manual in hand, I wrestle with the girl for hours trying to unhook chain links (which I never did, had to have help) and discover I do in fact have enough strength to break a bolt in half, while it’s still on. But..I do it! I get the blasted wheel OFF!

I head over to Woody’s to get a new tire and the wheel checked out. They have done a great job with the wheels of my car..I love them.
I drop off the wheel…and they don’t have any tires and my tire is probably from 1978 and I wanted to get new tires anyway..so I’m sent to Performance Cycle which is hidden behind a wall of street construction. And they don’t have any retro style tires…..so…I decide to order online.

I really don’t have time to look for tires..

Early..ish April:
I call woody’s back to have them just fix the tire. “we are out of the office Friday-Monday for a company ride.”
I call Tuesday…no answer, I leave a message to just fix the tire for now..
No call back.
Occurs to me Friday they haven’t called back. “we are out of the office Friday for a company ride.”

Now I’m getting irratated.

Mid April:
I call Monday. They tell me they might have another tire around that is better. They will call me back.
They don’t call back.  I call back several days later…”oh, yes, your wheel will be ready today.” “with a new tire?” “no, with your tire.” “you couldn’t find another one?” “no. yours is fine.”
I go to pick up the wheel..and..you guessed it..”we are on a ride until Tuesday”.
I go back the next week mid day this time, and wait in the front office behind someone else for 15min with no one around. I go in the back and someone scurries up front, can’t find my work order, then finds it and needs to talk to someone in the back, then he comes back and presents me a bill for $200. $200?! “yeah, that doesn’t seem right, let me check on something..” comes back..”yeah..sorry..it’s $160, and you need to get a new tire.” “a new tire? you said this one is ok. well..it’s ok if you aren’t going to ride it anywhere.” Well, that works out since I only ride it around the block anyway. So..pissed, I leave with my tire and descaled, spoke tightened interior painted wheel, 160 less dollars, and 40 mins less of my life.

I get home, excited to put it back on, and discover, there is no longer an axel..or anything really, other than the wheel itself. An experienced motorcycle mechanic would have noticed this when they picked it up. I’m not an experienced motorcycle anything.

I call. No answer. I leave a message. I call the next day..”your parts are here in a bag, it was left in the back.” “ok..when can I pick it up?” “we’ll be here till 6 tonight.” “awesome. (motherfuckers I hate your guts)”

I couldn’t make it there by 6, so I go before work the next day. To arrive to this sign above. I wanted to blow my brains out…no… start their building on fire. Can you believe it? They couldn’t tell me that the night before when I called..?

Thankfully Ross was kind enough to pick up the parts the next day.

And with another trip for more tools and grease and with a free Sunday afternoon, I, I am proud to say..put my bike back together, and it actually works.

That’s my landlords bathmat. Don’t tell him.

And yes…I did have a helper. Halle..and her ball.

Well…several balls…

So..watch out. I’m back on the road..around my block.


The Saga of a rear tire

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