Monday, April 28, 2008

Back on the bike

Since I've been doing pretty well with the cast, I thought it was time I tried to get back on my motorcycle. Since Saturday was a beautiful day, it was the perfect time. The first challenge was just getting my leg over the bike and standing it up, which wasn't really easy since I parked it really close to the wall after the last time I rode. I managed to walk her out onto the driveway and fired her up, but I had to put up the kickstand with my hand since I couldn't get it with my boot. After sitting for more than seven weeks, the bike started on a fast idle on the second try. After letting it warm up for a couple minutes, I gritted my teeth, pulled the clutch and hit the gear shift with my cast. Starting down the street was awkward, but riding was coming back to me and I managed to shift into second gear. I'm sure it wouldn't have worked on my Night Train, having to lift up the gear shift, but the Fat Boy has the rear heel shift knob for up shifting. I figured since that went well enough I would go all the way to get lunch. I didn't go far, of course, just to the new shopping center at the interstate. The riding didn't prove problematic, but pretty awkward shifting, at least at first. I was kind of dreading stopping and having to put my feet down, but any discomfort was on par with walking.
I enjoyed the nice day sitting outside at a wing place and reading the paper. There was a pretty good sized playground adjacent, but the kids playing didn't really bother me. I rode to the Harley shop to say hi to some people. I saw a couple things I wanted, but remembered a gift card sitting at home I should use, so didn't buy anything then. I rode back home and then came the next challenge- getting the bike turned around and backing back into the garage. Getting turned around wasn't easy, having to push the bike backwards, but I managed. I had to abort my first attempt at backing into the garage after running out of momentum. I almost didn't make it the second time, but had just enough momentum and just enough leg power to get over the lip of the garage and back her into place.
I grabbed the gift card and the newspaper and went to get two new rear tires on my car- the belts were showing through on the driver's side. The place was backed up and it took an hour and a half before they even got my car into the service bay. I went back to the Harley shop once they finally finished and bought a new shift linkage for the Night Train and a new pair of gloves like the ones I've worn out two pairs of. I didn't have it as strong this past summer, but previously these gloves have given me a suntan tattoo of Harley's bar and shield. I'd had one old pair patched, but even that didn't last and they had been discontinued. I was very glad to see them back again, I was expecting to have to switch to some other style this year.

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