Saturday, July 12, 2008

Raining Buckets… Literally

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.

bikesSo 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.”

9 comments:

  1. I hope he's OK FAR. Just as I read this there was a particularly heartbreaking story about a motorcycle wreck. So actually just getting banged up isn't too bad...

    I guess.

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  2. I think he'll be OK, KB. He called me this afternoon & said he'd probably be left-handed for a few weeks. At least his sense of humor is intact. ;-)

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  3. Oh, good! And I guess if you have to switch hands it's better if you can laugh about it.

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  4. Hey FAR,
    Now, you realize that much of this was Greek to me, the non biker, dude, hehe. But as always, you can make anything into an adventure (viz: the fly in the milk cooler) ... I just hope your pal Jimmy didn't sustain any long term effects from the fall. Nope, that get up, dust me off crap goes by the wayside (so to speak) after 40 as far as I'm concerned!

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  5. First time you've washed your bike since you bought it? Shame on you. :)

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  6. Hay, 50 year olds are pretty tough. I hope that Jimmy doesn't suffer too much from his fall.

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  7. Hey Far! Gee, I hope Jimmy doesn't quit! I'll bet, he'll watch it now, getting to know a new bike, takes time and patience... Ha! ha! Yup, using the front brake on loose gravel, bad idea! ha! ha! Remember the old early 70's Java's? When I was a kid, I raced a 500cc one banger, flat tracker (no brakes) a couple times, once at the Silverdome, when it first opened. Heh! heh! Used to lay 'em down into a 60 mph powerslides! ha! I wouldn't be doing that anymore......

    Flushed the tank out a couple times on the Yamahopper, using that gas to clean the motor, drive shaft and any area that was oiled up. ha! Freed up the back brake line. Carb lines still froze up in places, maybe it'll be cheaper just to replace new lines especially if a new carb has to go on anyway..

    I'm guessing about $300 at the dealership, then I'll have to button it up(secure elec. lines, cables, mounts etc.), then I'll be on my way! heh! I won't be worrying about 60 mph poweslides with it! ha! Just about getting runned over!!!

    Thanks,
    yooper

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  8. IVG, I would guess it ends somewhere before 40. You don't see many people playing pro football much beyond 35.

    Solar, it's a dirt bike pretending to be a street bike. Keeping it clean would only give it a complex. :-)

    Boran, I hope not too.

    Yooper, I've seen that done. Flat tracks make for some fun spectating!

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