Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Day 7.209 Seen by Few
Today is a maintenance day. I have cleaned my bike, replaced the rear tire, removed most of the grease/dirt mixture. Trixie looks like she is ready for her close up.
I am charging the new battery for the Shadow. It sits atop the workbench, waiting patiently as the electrolytes (acid) drain from their plastic tubes and into the black box.
The Shadow rests, equally patient, with fuses, wires, a harness and unconnected clamps dangling from both sides of the saddle like a cheap Rastafarian haircut.
I hope (just this side of prayer) that the new battery is wha is keeping her from that delightful mechanical purr (that produces almost 70 mpg.)
We have a 10K run in the park (flat as a lake) scheduled in 90 minutes. Tonight we are testing in the PowerBarn, our local indoor cycling dojo.
I am between the mechanical and the metaphysical. Cleaning and troubleshooting does this to me. Moving parts, lubrication, alignment, adjustment, tension, inertia, artificial power, momentum, internal combustion, positive and negative polarity, torque. The brilliance of the design, elegance of operation and joy of use.
This, of course, always humbles me. The wheel was invented more than 5,000 years ago. But in all that time we have yet to devise a way to keep them from failing. Tubes pop. Tires melt. Stems snap.
The metaphor is obvious.
It ain't perfect. Its good, its DAMN GOOD, but far from perfect.
This maintenance, the act of cleaning, restoring, caring for, when done with interest and curiosity, focus and awareness…
It is therapeutic. It is liberating. It is wholly engrossing. It is a cathartic transformation from a dirty and chaotic apocalyptic nightmare to a magical sunset seen by few, and appreciated by fewer still.
I can't help but feeling that cleaning my bike, fixing my moto, washing my truck are all simple metaphors for my life.
I think keeping them clean and in good running order extends their lives.