Thursday, September 24, 2009

A momentary time of absolute freedom, followed by a crashing sound.

People occasionally ask me why I ride a motorcycle. It's obviously unsafe, frightening and loud. And in spite of all that, there are the moments when you're hunched over the tank, a fast wind pulling at your face and tears streaming back from the far corners of your eyes and a dull red sound echoing back from somewhere below and behind you that makes it all worthwhile.

The other half of this is walking home, sweat dripping out from under your padded jacket and 450 pounds of dead weight resisting your motion towards home.

My bike apparently ate a valve this past week. I'm so sick about it right now I can't even think about it much. I go out to the shed, look long and hard at the bike and try to remember the flying but all that comes to mind is the pushing. Fixing it is a job. Pulling the engine out of the frame, lifting the head and hopefully only discovering a bent valve, if I'm lucky, or a holed piston, if I'm not. Less the lion or the princess and more the lion or the tiger...

I'd sell it, but I can't bear the thought of condemning myself to the ground. Not just yet, anyway.