I haven’t been blogging because I was busy rebuilding my bike and trying to do too many projects I’ve been wanting to for a long time now. I work best under pressure, so with a deadline ahead of me, I decided to tackle everything at once. I was racing the clock to get everything done for the Denver St. Patty’s Day parade, March 12, 2011, where I’d be joining the Colorado Sportbike Club (CSC) – being hooligans and doing burnouts where we’re not supposed to, etc. Why do a parade? Erm, to get the word out? Erm, to create a positive impression? Erm, actually, I think because I get to be the center of attention for a brief moment. Why hide behind other reasons? Enough of the ego.
While fixing the bike I run into some issue, but those are posts unto themselves. I get everything buttoned up, checked and rechecked ready to rock and roll the next morning. I even take the bike out for a test ride to make sure everything is fine, and romp on it proper to make sure and stress everything that will be stressed tomorrow, so I don’t get stranded by the side of the road…. No matter how thorough I am though, there is always something…
I’m happily cruising down I-25 in harmony with my fellow road users. I want to commute with this group of cages every morning, they have it figured out! All of a sudden a little red light illuminates on my dash… I see this red light every time I flip the ignition to ON prior to starting the bike but I can’t remember for the life of me what it means. I lean forward to get a better look at it tilting my head left and right (as a dog or owl does when inspecting something) and with a start I jump in the saddle as I realize it’s the temperature light. My bike is overheating. It must have been a hilarious scene for somebody driving next to me. For me though it was hyper drive time, gotta think fast. Still going 80mph or so I lean off the side of the bike to try and see any oil or coolant leaking and sho-’nuff the coolant drain bolt is missing. My bike has lost all of it’s coolant, much of which has sprayed all over my boot, pant leg, chain and I’m sure somebody’s windshield just a few minutes prior. Think fast. I have 3 miles to go. Will the bike get me there without blowing up? Should I risk it? I have 20 minutes to get to the meeting point. I’m not going to be able to fix it before the parade in the best of circumstances. Why push my luck? I pull of at 104th struggling the keep the bike running. I don’t want to be stuck in the middle of a 6 lane divided road. My luck runs out. She’d out cold. Quickly, neutral, jump of the bike and push her across the flashing yellow turn arrow into a parking lot. Right, 15 minutes before launch.
I start calling friends. Strangely enough I’m not in a panic. I have the issue diagnosed, I know how to fix it, and I’ve made amends with the fact that I won’t be riding my own bike in the parade. I have the best friends in the world. After listening to my quick summation of the situation the first words out of all 5 folks who I spoke with in 3 minutes is “Where are you, I’ve got my keys, I’m coming to get you”. Some of them were still asleep. Just wow, I hope I can be such a good friend one day! I called 5 people trying to find the person I’d inconvenience the least. I decide on pulling a favor from a friend who’s in the parade and while he’s hauling balls to come pick me up, I call the other 4 back to thank them for their quick thinking and absolute support wishing them a wonderful day and promising a beer for the inconvenience next time we hang out.
I collect all my things that are important, stash the bike behind the gas station, let the attendants know what’s what and have a smoke while waiting for buddy. As buddy pulls up I garb-up and jump on his bike as he pulls to a stop. A quick “cops are out, we’re gonna take it easy” and we’re off, nutz to butt.
This is humiliating, but, I guess if I have to ride passenger behind a guy, this is one of the best guys I could ride behind. He’s a looker, he has an amazing personality, and he’s a great rider. Wow, I sound as if I like men…. Well, if I did, he would be at the top of my list. We pick up the train of fellow paraders as they’re pulling out of the meeting spot’s parking lot. Perfect timing. 10 minutes later of stop go and we pull into the holding zone and proceed to drink beer and socialize for 2.5 hours. I love it when a plan comes together. Especially when it was conceived in 3 minutes! Wait, what? We had 2.5 hours before we HAD to be here…. Long story, it would have been a mad dash to get my bike running within those 2.5 hours and still make everything happen. I decided not to complicate plans and ride on the race bike strapped to the back of one of our sponsor’s pickup truck. Awesome guy! The parade was fun, but I don’t think people had had enough to drink yet. I guess I can’t blame them, it was only 1pm, but it was the St. Patty’s day parade… Common Denver, I know you can do better than this!
Alright alright, the Parade was a blast and I had a great time with the CSC, as I always do! After we show off, me playing the beauty queen doing the princess waive in front of thousands of people in downtown Denver, the group of 29 bikes behind me get 5 warnings by the cops for doing burn-outs, one right in front of the judges stand! All the bikes finish the parade with no malfunctions and no ejections. There is a rumor floating around the club that this is the first time for no toasted clutches, no overheats, and no ejections. Awesome! Maybe I took all the bad luck for the group on this morning. Maybe the karma was high… I head out with another friend to get my bike running again. I miss the rest of the party. Oh well, somehow you gotta pay for your own stupidity…. Shoulda checked that bolt one last time. We stop by Coyote Motorsports to pick up a bolt. Service guy behind the counter says he has no idea what kind of bolt it is, I tell him I can ID it if he has some random bolts… These guys aren’t a Kawi shop, so I don’t fault them for that. I know its a 10M x 15, pretty standard stuff on a metric bike. Nice guy, he gives me the bolt for free! I’ll be coming back to this place for sure! We go back to the bike, and yes, after 4 hours it is still there as I left it! My apprehensions of it getting towed or stolen were unfounded, thank goodness!
I buy anti-freeze and start taking off the fairings using my slightly customized toolkit which I thought I should leave at home this morning. Thank goodness for gut feelings, eh? I put in the bolt and antifreeze, bleed the system and put her back together. All is well with the world! Friend and I go to Gunther Toodies across the street for some good ol Chocolate Malts, Howdy Doodie Bacon Cheeseburgers and Elvis fries (cheese and gravy on french fries). Yea, even with the adventure, this day is turning out to be freakin awesome!
Moral of the story: No matter how thorough you are, if you are destined to have an adventure, smile and enjoy it!