02 May 2005

Spring done Sprung

Spring is here! How do I know? The snow is almost all melted? I'm deterring Bluejays from building nests in my eaves? Mais non, mes amis!. Here's how I know:

The first moped has snuck into my driveway for the classic Spring "make run" job!

Its arrival was announced yesterday by my neighbor Toni's 6'3", 220lb teenage son knocking on my door to tell me that his petite (6', hunnert 'n mumble-mumble lb) mom was, at that very moment shoving said prime mover up my driveway.

She bought the thing last Summer to save money on gas and she's rarin' to git 'er goin', what with the even higher price of gas now.

As she explained to me what all it wouldn't do (run above idle) and explained all the tech stuff ("This is the throttle, these are the foot pedals, this is the gas tank") to this 30+ year motersickle mechanic, I thought she had ridden it the three doors from her house until I realized those weren't two-stroke fumes I was smellin', but, in fact, Merlot.

The clue came when she unscrewed the gas cap and showed me the little cup attached thereto for measuring oil into the gasoline: "Just put this much oil in when you gas up!" I tried to ask how much gas she was adding "this much" oil to, and she showed me the gas tank again. I took leave of my senses at this point and swiped my finger in the rear of the muffler. My finger, and the muffler, were dripping oil. I think I'll start by looking for a possibly carboned-up muffler baffle, install a fresh fill of petroil mix and go from there.

The moped itself is a Bombardier-Puch. That's Bom-bar-dyay. A French Canadian/Austrian model. An interesting conglomeration, non? I've never seen one before, and there's no manual. I'm hopin' my career has prepared me for this monster, but I'll give it a shot. Luckily, I think I can put the whole plot on my workbench. Try that with a Hawg!

I hope it doesn't need any parts.

The lovely Toni has made the offer of dinner for me and Mrs. G if the operation is successful. I'll keep ya posted.

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