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bearings, my burden

Bloged in life, random by rod Wednesday August 25, 2004

Not that anyone would care, but surely someone noticed that my blog stood stagnant for two days this weekend. It is not uncommon for me to miss a day (my profile says that I average 5 posts per week), but two days in a row is a little more rare. So you must have known that my bike was down. Now we joke about that, that I can’t blog without my motorcycle, but there seems to be something to it. Truth is, I had tons to say on Friday and Saturday, but every time I sat to write it down, the words eluded me. I just couldn’t make coherent all the chaos in my nog and heart. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking, “that never stopped him before,” but at least I usually THINK I know where I’m going. It actually took me until Sunday night, 3 dry days, before I realized what the problem was. No bike.
I was riding Thursday night, way out into the country when I stopped at a crossroads and there was a man standing there in an Armani suit. He offered me infinite blog ability in exchange for… no, wait, that’s the wrong story. I was riding Thursday night, way out into the country when I stopped at a crossroads and heard a terrible grinding, growling, screeching that sounded as if it were coming from the front of my bike. I took off my helmet and pushed the bike back and forth and felt play in front end. Bad wheel bearing. When I finally made it home, I sat up and worried about it, but having ridden, managed a blog. A poem even! Dan said it was my best one!!!! But that was it, no more until I get my new bearings (if you will).
On Monday, I finally found time to make it to the Honda shop to find out that they didn’t have them in stock, and they were nasty expensive too. So I got my neighbor Chip the motorcycle man to help me get the wheel off (he has a bike jack), and we took out the boogered bearings. I took them to Bearing Distributors, Inc. and matched them up with some new ones plus seals for MUCH less money. Props to Bearing Distributors, Inc. Some grease, a mallet, a 22mm socket and torque wrench, and I’m back to blogging long, rambling, who cares, tiresome blogs.
So back in the blog stage, one begins to think through the path that got him into the short-lived, but unfortunate mess. When one begins to lose his bearings, what are the tell-tale signs? What did I notice about my ride that should have tipped me off to the imminent failure of that which keeps my wheels turning? I’d been thinking for a week that my ride wasn’t tracking straight. My right arm was tired from subtly pushing the bike left. I felt like I was on the saddle crooked. Even my friends noticed things. On Sunday, E told me that she thought my tire was wearing unevenly. I noticed flat spots that night. Symptoms of a greater danger. Even the greater danger could have been worse. If not taken care of, the wheel could have been damaged or may have even seized while I was riding. Something’s out-of-whack and it manifests itself in little things that should be noticed. Gotta stay in tune with all the little things. Monitor the symptoms. Keep your bearings.

3 Responses to “bearings, my burden”

  1. dphil Says:

    Maybe a title for the future hardcover edition of your ramblings is surfacing: “Blogging and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.”

  2. dphil Says:

    Something just hit my head. When I’m on my bike, I can just think. Every other time I try to think, it seems there’s always something else to do. Even though riding a motorcycle is actually an act of calculated risk, taking my life in my hands, and demands more skill and concentration than driving a cage (er, car) there is something about it that is calming to the mind and I can sort things out better. Even better than while sitting on the couch doing literally nothing. Maybe it’s because you have to boil things down to the point you can remember them, since it’s impossible to write anything down at the moment. You end up with more organized thoughts. I’m not at all surprised that you need your bike to blog.

  3. AL Says:

    I used to do the same thing running….when I could run *sigh*

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