Friday, September 4, 2009

1900 km later

August 19, 2009 - Wednesday

Here's another calculated effort to get back into my writing habits. I've already grown lax on my novel-writing; if I quit my blog I'll really be throwing away the only talent I've got plenty of.
Of which I have plenty. Hm.
Anyway. Rewind the clock to last Thursday. I worked at Opa's in the afternoon as I was expecting to be gone on Friday. Around 4 p.m. Michi called from my mechanic's. He said that just thinking of my bike made him nervous and asked for my insurance's number again. I gave it to him and soon after he called me back.
"You be sure you bring a cake along tomorrow," he told me. "I went down on my knees at the DOT to get an appointment, and tomorrow morning at 0815 I can bring in your bike, get it registered as reduced and have them record the streetbar and Pazzo levers." (All bureacratic procedures required by Swiss law when registering a new vehicle.)
I only halfway avoided squealing with delight, told him he was an absolute darling - to which he replied "I won't say I know" - and promised I'd definitely have something for them. He then told me he'd be taking my bike home with him that evening to make sure the limiter kit worked properly and I shouldn't be surprised if it had 120 km on it when I came to pick it up. I said that was fine; those were 120 km fewer that I couldn't haul on the gas and I quite trusted him with it.
Friday. I was as antsy as an Arabian stallion and somehow kept myself occupied until 0800 hours, when I walked down to the train station with my helmet and backpack containing something to read. I figured that if Michi was showing the bike at 0815 and it took 45 minutes I could go to a bakery, get him and his crew some sweet rewards, and by that time we was sure to have called me to say I could pick the machine up.
In the back of my mind, of course, I knew nothing ever goes according to schedule, but that's why I brought something to read.
I went to the Honold bakery on the Rennweg, according to Oma one of the best - and accordingly most expensive - delicacy bakeries in the city. I bought a large chocolate cake, a Linzer Torte, half a kilo of assorted cookies and a couple specialty chocolates for myself, leaving the cost of half a front tire there. But the mechanics so earned it.
By now it was after 0900 hours, and no call from Michi, so I sat myself down on a bench, watched the city wake up and read through the latest issue of the DMZ.
Around quarter to 10, then, with no news, I decided to meander down to the mechanic's; even if something had gone wrong and there'd be no Beastie pick-up that day, the guys had earned the stuff I'd gotten them.
Well, I walked in shortly before 10, saw my Beastiekins sitting in the lot and promptly met Michi at the door.
"Your silence is worrying..." I greeted him, and he said, "Hey, I hadn't called yet. I only just got back. But here you go." And he handed my the green registration paper of the motorcycle.
"Look, your name, the prescribed power limitation, and the additional components."
I gave him my prettiest smile and said, "I didn't think you'd manage it."
"To be honest, neither did I."
I then handed him the sizable bakery bag and said, "You ordered a cake yesterday, so here you go."
I'd stuck my helmet on top in the bag, so he look confused for a moment.
"Yeah, you have to leave me the helmet," I added, and then he saw the boxes and grinned. "Hey, thanks!"
I remembered then that 10 o'clock was their usual break time, but Michi said we'd get the paperwork out of the way and then I should drink a coffee with them. He deposited the edibles in the workshop and we headed upstairs.
As he prepared a couple documents I looked out the window at my bike and noticed they hadn't done quite everything I listed. The grips and mirrors were still original and the elephantine handguards were still mounted. I pointed that out to Michi and asked that the original parts be replaced with Rizomas next week when I brought it in for the first small service.
I paid for the bike in cash and then joined the whole crew outside for a coffee. Michi shooed the mechanics away from the cake long enough to tell them where it came from, so I got the opportunity to thank them too for getting the bike ready for me on time. Then Beni, the mechanic who'd actually done the work on, went out with me and pointed out various little things he'd adjusted to make the airbrush or the streetbar fit. He then added that with the steeper seat struts he couldn't get the seat to click in, and I told him about the washers we'd inserted...
I said that after lunch I'd bring the bike back in for an ECM reset after Florian got the stupid limiter kit out, and Beni offered to add the washers so the seat would fasten then.
I drove home over the Buchenegg, elated to be back on a grumbling, shaking V2. As soon as I got home I said hi to Mom, who'd come back from Amsterdam late the night before. I then showed them the new Beastie and found they couldn't see much a difference to the "old" one (Number Two) so I had to point out that this one has black wheels instead of blue.
I'm not sure I'm satisfied with the black wheels, or if I want to spice them up somehow. Walti's said they look good, though, better than the blue, because the blue didn't match my airbrush. That's good. The concept of "Beast" improves with every new machine...
At home I quickly removed the sozius footpegs and a couple warning stickers, packed my tools into the backpack and headed back into the city.
Florian works right across the river from my mechanic - thank goodness, because no sooner had I parked the bike at our meeting place than I remembered that I'd forgotten to bring the original parts. So I hopped back to the mechanic's, caught Beni just before he left for lunch, grabbed the bag and returned to Florian.
While he got to work I went to the Subway around the corner and got him a 12"-sandwich as ordered. Together (that means he did the work and I kept the required tools on hand) we replaced the limiter kit and put the bike back together in less than 90 minutes. I then, for the third time, returned to the mechanic's.
Beni got to work on the seat and adding the newest updates to the ECM and I went upstairs to fetch the second key and finish the paperwork with Michi.
I reached home about three, threw my things into my backpack, donned my leathers, and was off.
I didn't take many pictures during the 1700+ km we did in Italy; I'll post up some of the few as soon as I've gotten them up the camera. But suffice to say, it was great fun. The new Beast is broken in and now has over 1900 km on it, I'm fully back up to my old level of skill and was able to miss another Monday at work.
Now the mail just came in so I have to get back to work. Thank goodness I can get out of here at midday.

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