As I said in the last post, I rode home in the rain. The bike gave me no trouble, and I gratefully pulled into the garage, got my wet things off, then wiped down the bike (the only cleaning it’s had since I bought it). The rain was on and off until bedtime, at which point it stayed on… in spades. It poured most of the night, with lots of ground lightning really close to home. I was really grateful about not having to ride in that… I’ve done it once before and have no desire to repeat the experience. And I should write about that some time, but not now.
Wednesday rolled around, finally. Mrs. Fetched said there were buckets standing in the open that were brimming over. Her dad's rain gauge had overflowed, so we got more than 6 inches of rain. Lord knows we needed the rain, but catching up all at once? It was still raining on & off, but I’d planned to work at home so I didn’t worry about it.
Thursday morning, more (light) rain. I needed to take some stuff that I’d photographed back to work, so Mrs. Fetched let me take her car… the first time I’d driven to work for about a month. I had to repeat the experience Friday morning, since the motorcycle battery was drained — some moisture must have gotten into the ignition switch or other places where it could do unwelcome things. There was also water in the fuel, which was easily fixed by draining the float bowl.
So Jimmy, a guy who helps out with the farm stuff from time to time, has been getting tired of gas prices and bought a Lifan motorcycle — it’s basically a Chinese 200cc Honda clone — and got it plated with just a little effort. After we took care of a tree down across the fence, we brought his bike up to my place to check over. His chain was pretty loose, so we tightened it up a bit and lubed it (which it also needed), then he let me take it for a short putt. The rear sprocket on this thing is a lot bigger than it needs to be, even on a 200cc bike — it would pull from zero in 2nd gear without any trouble, and I joked about using it to pull stumps.
We decided to buzz down to the creek to see what needed to be done about the log barricade (to keep the cows from going around the fence). I learned very quickly that my habit of using the front brake so much was a bad one on dirt, but fortunately it was just pucker-inducing rather than surrender-to-gravity. But I rounded a corner in front of the pond and stopped at the gate… and no Jimmy. I was just about to go back to see if he was OK, when I heard him coming. He came around the corner a little faster than I would have thought comfortable, straightened it out, then went down. I ran back to him; he’d mostly landed on his shoulder but was only scuffed a little. The amber bezel on one of his turn signals broke; you can see it in the picture if you look carefully.
We continued down to the creek. The heavy rains had washed out the bank where the logs were, and they’d floated sideways… but they were there. We’d just need to get the tractor to pull them back into place. By the time we got back to the house, Jimmy was starting to feel a bit shocky from his get-off, so he sat it out while my father-in-law and I took care of it.
I guess you don't just dust yourself off and keep riding, like you did as a teenager, when you’re pushing 60. “He’s gonna be sooooooore in the morning.”