18 September 2004

Single Track Mind

Thanks, Fixer, for letting me contribute to "The Fixer". As if I haven't screwed up "The Alternate Brain" enough, I'll try to do good here too.

I've been riding motorcycles for 46 years. All my arms and legs still work, so I must have learned something. The brain damage is from something else, the 60's maybe.

I've been a motorcycle mechanic since 1971. I worked on my own bikes before that, but I thought I'd like to actually do it for a living and, since you couldn't get a job without experience, I enrolled at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College, major in Motorcycle Repair, for two years. Should have taken the AA degree that came with it, but didn't think I needed it. I've worked in many shops, on many brands, and have had my own independent repair shop.

I've learned enough about the damn things to know when to run like Hell but I'm stupid enough not to sometimes when I know I should. I don't make rookie mistakes (much) anymore and I learn something new from each job.

I'm not as "former" a mechanic as Fixer says. It's more like I'm "in recovery". I still keep my hand in. Motorcycles get in your blood, that's no shit. My dear departed Aunt Florence once told me "motorcycles are just a phase. You'll get over it, hopefully before you get killed on one of the damn things."

Well, it's been nearly a half-century (shudder!), and I'm still "in a phase".

I really like to work on English bikes, and I particularly like single-cylinder jobs from any country. One or two cylinders (the latter are better for blowing up air mattresses) are all you need. Simple. Basic. Used to be cheap wheels, not so much anymore.

So much for now. I'll be back. Rants, screeds, diatribes, philosophy, metaphysical certitude, funny stories, and life's little lessons are all in store.

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