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bikes, repairs and memories

It is funny how some things in life,  relatively minor in some cases, can over shadow one's whole outlook.

All of my life I have had a love of motorcycles and riding. My first vehicle was a Honda 175 Scrambler. It looked something like this:
 It set the tone of my life, or maybe it merely reflected the trend it was going toward. Is there a real difference? Back in the day, riding that bike was everything that freedom meant to a loner teenager. I never wanted to be a "Biker." I still don't understand why a hobby that professes individualism, one that celebrates the loner, seems to attract such tribalism. Nor did I really understand why those who rode in gangs found it so appealing. Back in those days of high school glory I liked to ride, ride to no where, I still do. As I got older, that love of riding only grew in intensity. I felt free, unencumbered. I could feel the world flying by. I had control of where I was going.

I played around with the engine on that bike a little, mostly just to see what would happen if I turned a screw here or there. Yet, I never really got into the guts, I never really saw myself as a mechanic. I just wanted to see what would happen.

Well four bikes and way too many years later, I now ride a Harley-Davidson Sportster. When I got on this bike for the first time, it was like the first time on that little Scrambler---the first time I knew how to really ride that thing, I mean.

I have been riding the Grinner for some time now and feel very comfortable on it, but like any high performance machine, even that old Honda, it needs to be maintained. I get to work on the Grinner in order to keep to on the road. Again with the whole mechanic thing getting in the way of riding. 

There are many guys and I suppose gals too, that enjoy working on their bikes I however, find it an impediment to the real reason for having a motorcycle...RIDING THE DARN THING!

Awhile ago, I decided to put new turning signals on the Grinner. Going to the local HD dealer I purchased a nice set to replace the old. They were on sale and seemed simple enough to replace. I got home and shit hit the fan just about from the start. Let's remember that I am a challenged back yard/shadetree mechanic on my best days---they are long past. I ended up having do a lot more than expected. Also, I suspect that I got the wrong part from the start. After two weeks and many calls back to the dealer, I finally got the rear signals working and got the bike put back together. But am still trying to figure out how to install the front.

Yes I did feel a certain sense of accomplishment in completing the task, but I still had the front ones to install and I had a nagging feeling that something was not right. I went on and cut the old signal cables anyhow and proceeded to figure out that the old mount was not compatible with the new equipment. It is a good thing that I did not cut the cables as close to as I could have...

I spliced the old signal back on and remounted it.

At least I was able to ride the grinner to the the shop. I'm Riding Again!

Again, I felt the thrill of riding a powerful machine. I have to admit it was a little muted, my exhilaration that is, by all the crap I had to go through to get to this point, but still...

Now I get to wait 'til Tuesday to figure out what we can do to fix this new issue. At least I can ride now. She is smooth and happy to run for me. The road ahead is long and full of adventure. Even now I feel the pent up frustration leaving, even though the Grinner still needs a little work, it is ready to go and find some fun.

Aw, the life on two wheels.


olc

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