Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Sticking together

My tumbleweed observation has revealed that there are baby tumbleweeds (consisting of one small piece), and there are big momma tumbleweeds. The big mommas are really babies that pick up other babies as they're rolling along. They stick together and become more than what they were when they started.

If I think too hard, I realize that I'm a single biker chick trying to scrape out a living being a biker chick and nothing else. I don't want to be an accountant or any other thing that requires time-off requests and cubicles and pretending to care about a company that doesn't give a rat's ass about me. But being on my own can be scary if I think about what could happen if say, something happens to my bike and I'm not sure how to fix it, don't have a place to fix it, or I can't afford to pay someone to fix it. What's a biker chick without a bike?

Last year I noticed a rocker box gasket was mildly leaking. Considering I'd ridden 70,000 miles on the original gaskets and this was closer to 10,000 on the new gaskets since upgrading to a 95" engine, I wasn't pleased. The stealership didn't care that my bike had sat in their service department for two months after I got rear-ended, two weeks over the one year warranty was still out of warranty. The year was one of upheaval, and I never got around to fixing the leak. I hated the always dirty heads, but I was riding.

I met a friend for lunch last Thursday. It was a beautiful day, and I decided to do the approximately 250 mile loop from somewhere near Greeley, Colorado to Kimball, Nebraska, followed by Cheyenne, Wyoming, and back to the farm. When I got to Kimball, I filled up with gas and grabbed a cup of coffee. While sitting on the curb next to my bike, I noticed that something had sprayed all over my lower leg. Yep, the gasket between the lower portion of the valve cover on my Twin Cam engine and the head had finally given way. Yuck. I checked my oil, added about half a quart, and headed toward Cheyenne. I considered going to the dealership there to pick up the necessary gaskets, but I really didn't have the money at that exact moment and headed home instead, stopping for oil checks along the way.

When I got home, I posted on Facebook that I'd blown a gasket. While my non-riding friends thought I'd gotten pissed off at someone or something, a riding Facebook friend asked if he could do anything to help. We've been friends on the site for a while and have bantered back and forth quite a bit. He's also friends of other friends of mine, but I'd never actually met the man. I mentioned I could use a garage. He did better. He had me drop the bike off, and by Saturday night I was riding with clean heads, a clean bike, a quieter engine (lifters were adjusted), and a smoother throttle. I dropped off a case of beer when I picked up the bike, but other than that and $28 for gaskets, there was no charge. I couldn't have received faster service anywhere, nor would I have gotten out of there for less than a few hundred bucks. I'm still wondering what I did to deserve that.

Last night a friend of mine posted on Facebook that one of her recently injured biker friends in Illinois had been transferred to a rehab facility in Denver. I'm close to Denver. He's a long way from home. Being a self-employed biker chick, I can manage my time as I please. I offered to visit and help in any way I can. She said she's speechless. I like people. I like to ride. I like helping out when I can. I don't see what the big deal is.

Are we seeing a pattern here? We don't really know each other, but we're rolling along and picking up the pieces and sticking together.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Everything else

I love the tumbleweeds. They are something from my new life in Colorado that I didn't have back east. They have broken free. They talk to me: "Abby, it's time to head home. It's getting too windy, and a storm might be coming." Sometimes they travel alongside me, and other times they smash into my bike and hold on for dear life. I love the tumbleweeds.

I've got Examiner, and I've got 50 First Dates. But there are still other stories and thoughts that need telling that don't apply to either of those. I'm ending the automatic postings from Examiner to this blog, and getting back to the fun stuff. Of course with all the other writing I'm doing, I don't know when I'll get back to the book. I was cruising along on that then hit a wall again.