Blue and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Out of Gas

The bike may be out of gas, but the beginnings of the fall colors are pretty nice.

I’m not the world’s handiest person.

It’s probably a patience thing. My wife says I don’t have the temperament for close-in work – I want it to be done fast, and typically, that makes any kind of delicate work take twice as long. That leads to frustration, which leads to cursing, which leads to giving up. It’s a pretty predictable pattern.

In fact, it’s a lot like my dad’s approach to DIY work, with one major difference – he taught himself how to do it, do it well and, though I’m not sure he ever ENJOYED fixing stuff stuff around the house, he got good enough at it to the point where he was able to complete some fairly ambitious building projects. Said projects included a split-rail fence, a water/electricity line from the house, a dog-run complete with indoor/outdoor house, several decks of ever-evolving size and complexity and various other small projects around the house.

Oh, and he built a barn. An honest-to-God, 30×50-foot POLE BARN. Sure, since I was 13, I had to help out quite a bit, but it was mostly lugging stuff around and hammering nails. It was his project and, to hear him tell it, it was one of his proudest accomplishments.

Me? Not quite as handy. I’m probably handier than some – I can jump a car, change its battery, change the oil, those kinds of things – but I’m not really Mr. Fix-it. I’m learning, though, that to ride a motorcycle, you need to have a basic understanding of its mechanics. And so I’m learning.

I changed the brake lever, I changed the license plate (!) and, as of today, I now know how to avoid running out of gas.

Baby steps.

And yes, I’m reading the book.


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