Thursday, September 11, 2008

Thath not guud...Or, Kuj the Wrecked Sprocket (thanks, Momma)

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. Not the book. MY Zen and MY Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.

Some riders are diligent and thorough. They will keep track of the life of their tires, their oil, their valves, etc., and will likely be able to rattle off the exact dates for when they come due.


Well, here's my "diligent" maintenance schedule:

Male in my life #1: "When's the last time you changed your oil?"
Me: "Dunno. Probably time."

Male in my life #2: "Chain looks a little loose...and bindy."
Me: "Really? Guess I better clean and tighten it."

Me: "What's your tire pressures?"
Male in my life #1: "34, 32."
Me: "Okay."

Me: "What's your tire pressures?"
Male in my life #3: "35, 41."
Me: "Okay."

Male #3: "Ooo, look who's starting to show cords!" Motorcycling terminology lesson: "Showing cords" means the tire's BALD. An example from M.N.'s last tire...

Me: "Wow. Must be all those burnouts I've been doing." /end sarcasm
Male #3. (after close examination): "Eh, you've got miles left to go on that tire."
Me: "What, till I SLIDE?"
Male #3: (smirks and drives a car)

And yes, more than one male told me it was time for a new sprocket. I even ordered one, but suffered a shipping snafu, so it was delayed. I did not stop riding. Then I had what could best be described as an "event". Not an accident, nor a surprise...more of a stupid..."Oh hell. Red light. Oh hell. There's a Civic parked there. I should brake here. Oh hell. I'm going much faster than I at first guessed. Oh hell. The front brake isn't enough. I'll add in some rear brake. Oh hell. Is that my back tire sliding around? Oh hell. Oh hell."

Everything did its job. I stopped. I was safe. I even laughed a little...nervously.

El resulto?

You see...a sprocket should have TEETH whereby, engaged by the CHAIN, makes the back wheel turn, thereby making the bike go vroom. No teeth, well, then you're just riding a toboggan. Total count: 21 of 45 teeth remain. I have since replaced that glorious evidence of torque (after riding it that way for two days unknowingly) and hung it on the garage wall as an "offering to the god of speed." Or possibly, more appropriately, "The Buddha of Redneckly Maintenance."

...could you just imagine 24 pieces of aluminum flinging every which way? Wish I had a camera.

Incidentally, I just ordered a helmet camera. And a heart monitor. I'm conducting experiments. And mounting the camera somewhere on Mostly Naked so I can see myself. Yes, so I can see myself. would too.


  1. Just don't put that camera on Mostly Naked's not naked part, we do not want to see that feed!
    I'm still crying looking at the empty space in my garage. I'm just not sure I'm ready.....
    Love, Heb xo

  2. Also...this is why I had a SHAFT drive.....well and it's one of my favorite words, of course.
    But then I'm no expert rider like yous.
    Today's scramble reminds me of Heebie Jeebie