I love the coming of Spring, the warm weather, the sunshine, the smells of nature and other pleasures. But what I enjoy the most is getting my bike ready for riding.
Every autumn I place my baby into a hybernated state. I place fuel additive into the fuel tank, remove the battery, place the cover over it and roll her into her little corner of my friend Tony's garage.
When I made my final preparations last fall, I failed to notice that I had dropped something. A something of great importance, though at the time, seemed of no consequence to me.
My pal Tony, had found a square nut, on his garge floor a few days later, and had the great forsight and prescence of mind to pick it up, and save it. And for reasons I will divulge shortly, I am glad he did.
So the other day, I decided since it had gotten warmer and finally stopped raining, that I would go over his place, and restore my bike back to a rideable condition. And I made sure to do two very important things, the first was to grab the battery and the second was to grab the little square nut, pictured above.
When I got to his place, I grabbed the battery out of my car and walked over to his garage. I opened the door and saw my baby sitting right where I had left her months before. And I set forth to make her road worthy once more.
I removed the cover, and rolled the bike out of the garage into the sunlight, so I could see what I was doing with greater ease. The part of the proceedure was to put the battery back in, and in order to do this, I had to remove the seat.
So I grabbed a set of Allen wrenches and went ahead and took the seat off, so I could get to the battery compartment. Once off, I was able to access the battery box, and set the battery into place.
That done, I went to go attach the ground wire to it's terminal, and to my surprise I ran into a wee problem. The bolt that holds the wire to the terminal, just kept spinning and spinning.
Hmmmm.... I thought to myself this is not good.
Then I made the little "two watt light bulb connection". I dug into my pocket and pulled out the little square nut. And then I lifted the battery out, to see if the nut would fit somehow in the battery terminal. Wouldn't you know it, it did! Hooray!
So I put the battery into the bike, and decided I would tightened the other wire first, only to discover that the terminal was missing it's nut as well. Oh noooooooo........ damn!!!
Quickly I removed the battery, yet again, and gave a quick look in the battery box.... ah... success! The missing nut was at the bottom. So I retrieved the pesky fixture and slid it into the terminal and proceeded to slide the battery back into the bike, again.
Of course Murphy was lurking near by, and as I did this , the nut slid out of the terminal as I tried to slide the battery in. I was treated to the sound of it bouncing deep into the inner workings of the bike, not to be seen or heard from again. Aaaarggggh!!!
I searched, and searched, and searched..... couldn't find it. So I decided that this was a poorly engineered design. And just an irritating tragedy! My plans to get my sophisticated, state of the art motorcycle ready and road worthy were brought to a crashing halt!
So I drove to the nearby dealership with hopes of finding a replacement. But if you have ever had to deal with a parts department, you know already I was facing a wall of frustration, for two reasons.
The first being is that they are always horribly understaffed. And secondly, they are not manned by the most well educated individuals. I am sure each parts dept. has at least one well learned expert, but that person is almost never around!
As was the case when I arrived. Instead I got a semi-eager associate who meant well but was not savvy enough to help. And in all fairness the part in question was not a standard issue motorcycle component, so much as it was part of the battery which is technically a peripheral part of the whole.
He did his best to help, which meant that he took the one nut I did have, and found the highly trained parts man in the back, only to re-emerge moments later to sadly inform me that he couldn't help me. But this I sort of knew walking in, .... though I gave it a shot.
Not deterred I decided I would wander over to the service department, with the hopes that maybe one of the techs could help. Having worked over the years in the automotive industry, I knew that often techs, when repairing things, will save extraneous things like new hardware and use the old ones instead.
Thankfully, this was the case, and I was soon presented with a little plastic baggy, filled with not one set, but two sets of shiny brand new nuts and bolts for my battery. Best part is that it didn't cost me a thing. Well a part for some time and effort, that will never be regained once spent!
So I headed back to my friend's house, and managed to install the battery, finally, before the sun started sliding downward into dusk. It was too late to go for a ride, but I decided I would at least turn her over. And with one push of the starter button, the proud mechanical beast roared to life!
I was dissappointed that I couldn't take her for a spin, but relieved that she was back in service once again. And I comforted myself that there would be other sunny days in which to ride. So I turned my bike off and wheeled her back into the garage.
I stared at the lonely nut in my hand and laughed to myself about how ironic that such a small insignificant lump of metal could render such a marvel of engineering that is my motorcycle, completely useless. It boggles the mind! But I guess in a Zen kind of way, it is reassuring to know that even the most insignificant of things probably serves a more useful purpose in life, than you know! And to always hang on to those extra parts lying around. Junk drawers can serve a useful purpose, once and a while! Hmmm... there is a life lesson in there somewhere!