Friday, September 4, 2009

Project in progress

November 10, 2008 - Monday

This weekend would have been great for driving. Sunday was chilly, but Saturday was gorgeous day. For the first time ever, though, I found my mind constantly on Monday. I usually relish every moment of a weekend, but all I could think about from Friday evening to 9 p.m. Sunday was getting back into the work week and knowing that at any moment my mech could call and say, "Your bike's here."

To recap the weekend and pass the time... On Friday evening was the monthly United Bikers dinner in Basel. Two new faces - new to me - were there; and German woman who drives a KTM and Angelo, a guy I had contact with over the forum but hadn't actually met. Angelo is a real all-rounder. He customized motorcycles for 20 years, guns for 5, bought an old house and barn and fixed them up to his liking, meaning that he has direct access from the kitchen to the garage and work area. My favorite part about these dinners is always listening the stories, and Angelo had oodles to tell. He and David - whose bull caricature I've finally finished - were talking about racetracks, and Angelo told of his experiences on one in France with a name like Le Demain. He says it's a track you have to know backwards and forwards to be able to drive well, and there's not a curve in it where he hasn't wrecked a bike. He told of a time when his front brake didn't work and the medics had to pick him up on the other side of the tall fence surrounding the track. He told about the home stretch, that takes such a sharp curve the road seems to have a dead end. You race down it thinking, "I'm not gonna brake yet, I'm not gonna break yet, I'm not gonna... Crap, I shoulda braked back there."

To which David replied, "So most folks on the stretch say they'll only brake when they see God; you only brake when you can shake His hand."

Next Saturday a couple of United guys - Roger, Fabian, Remo, Angelo - and me are going to spend some hours in the afternoon at an indoor range, shooting off as many rounds as we can (only handguns, though I'm very tempted to bring the Spectre since 9mm is 9mm) and having a good time. Angelo said he'd bring some of the revolvers he customized. He wants to sell them and I'd gladly take some of the larger calibers off his hands, but until the Beastie is back on the road and done up, I have no money. Maybe I can convince him to hold one or two of the nicest ones for me, though.

I allowed myself to sleep in until 0600 hours on Saturday morning, after getting back shortly before 2300 Friday night. It's an hour's drive down to Basel every time, but I think it's worth it, just to get to know different people and listen to their experiences.

Saturday was great. Mom and I went on a ride and completely winded fat ol' Arthos. They're building more houses down by Wilacker, so we went up into the woods. The route doesn't make a circle, but it got the horses tuckered out.

Afterwards I went into Adliswil with the Kid and Dad, mailed off seven or eight kilo-packages of chocolate - my whole stash that's been slowly accumulating over the past months - to various friends, and helped with the shopping, sticking in a couple packages of gummy candy because it struck my fancy. After we got home, Florian was outside with Joshua, looking at the 50 which still smokes and smells like there's sulphur in the exhaust. Löchen was supposed to be working on his SVA, his endterm paper for his apprenticeship. I offered to write on it for him if he'd work on my wrecked Buell. He decided he'd rather work on the wrecked Buell without my interfering with the SVA, so I grabbed the gummies and some drink and we headed down to the basement of the barn where the wreck, or Silver as I guess I'll call it now, is up on blocks.

We got everything off of it except the back wheel, which we could have done as well but Florian didn't want to. We removed all four of the LEDs that Florian had so painstakingly mounted in about eight hours of work. We - yes, we; I actually unscrewed some things too, yay me - got all te electronics behind the front mask disconnected, removed the mask and the handlebars. The bearings for the front fork didn't fall out, which means if there's any problem at all with Silver, it would be some thread tears in the frame. We tried WD-40, but aren't sure if the streaks it showed are rubs from cables or cracks. Florian scratched away some of the silver coat trying to find out for sure... Looks lovely. I think I'll try to find some spray.

I also removed the K&N filter, and took everything off the shortened tailpiece. Instead of painting the 560.- tailpiece black, or buying a new one, I think I'll just have it powder-coated black. As soon as I have a couple hundred free - say, as soon as a couple curlies have sold - I'll make a call and see how soon I can have it done. Though now that I think about it, maybe I should just get a new tailpiece, since I won't want a tea strainer of Silver either... Hmph.

Florian ate most of the gummies as we worked, and after two or three hours Silver was looking pretty bare, our hands were good and dirty and with exception of the back wheel switch, we're not ready to rebuild Silver into a stunt bike. Which means it'll sit down there for a while until I can stick money into it. Really should get the rest of the gas out...

Alex came by soon after on his smashed, bashed, cracked, broken-frame Husaberg. I actually got the see where the frame had cleanly broken, and man, I can't believe he's riding the bike that way! Indestructible, those monobikes. For real.

Sunday wasn't so productive. I was so antsy I couldn't concentrate on much of anything except reading. I rooted through the bottom of my closet, read, posted up my curlie collection for sale, helped prepare dinner, and talked to Linsey in the evening. I was out with the dog and the pony for a good hour, but I definitely could have done more in the day.

On the other hand, learning the process of impaling someone alive or more reasons why Jugos live fine in Eastern Europe but have no business in the West is a sort of progress too.

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