I borrowed a friend’s DSLR to use the mirco lens for an upcoming post about fixing my speedometer cable. I took the opportunity to take some pictures of little details on the bike.
We’re planning on taking a day’s worth of photos of the bike in a light box setup and around town soon, but I want to try cleaning the bike up a bit before we do that.
It would be great, also, if it weren’t so hot outside when we did this. Even as I sit here and type the temperature outside creeps over 90°—and it’s only ten in the morning! I’m only delaying my own discomfort, as today I’ll be repairing the speedometer cable. Luckily we have a little canopy over the motorcycles in the driveway. Still, with an expected high of 100+ degrees today (I’m not brave enough to check what the heat index will be), shade is of little solace.
The summers are pretty heavy, here. Hot and humid, it often feels like walking into a wall of lethargy when you go outside: suddenly the only thing that matters is going back inside and, sometimes, not even that matters if the door leading inside is too far away.
On the bike, even in full riding gear, it’s not so bad. The wind washes through the material and keeps me from feeling entombed inside my own clothing. Any time you have to sit or stand still for more than five or ten minutes the heat starts to eat away at your resolve.
I have a lot of respect for the utility and construction workers here.
There’s quite a bit of just really basic cleaning and replacing little rubber bits to be done. The left spark plug, for example, has a tiny little oil leak which I need to clean up and find the source of. It’s a simple enough repair, just a matter of spending a weekend inside my bike rather than on it.
The chrome is cloudy or, in places, just plain dirty. The engine is covered in a fine layer of grease and the engine body has probably only been washed by proxy. The frame, which is good shape, is dinged and scratched from 40 years of service on the road and could use a thorough going–over and painting.But, I love this bike already. I’ve had it fewer than 6 months and I feel a sense of attachment. It sometimes feels weird to say that about a thing—especially a thing which I didn’t make, or which has had a history longer than my life (one in which I’m still barely more than a blip). It’s my plans, though. My ideas of what I will do to it and with it. What we will go through together and the frustration, anger, happiness and excitement I will feel as a result of this bike. Might I feel the sames things from any other bike? Sure, but this is the bike I have, so this is the bike I’m falling for. Come what may, good or bad, this is my mechanical companion as I direct myself on the next phase of my life.