Brake it…

VERY cold this morning…ice in the alley from the dingle-berries (technical term) that for some reason feel the need to run their automatic sprinklers this time of year…and that means ice patches in various…not always predictable…places around town.

Generally, in a hard freeze, even with no precipitation, I’ll take “Big Iron”…the Dodge 4×4…to work, as despite all my years of riding, I’ve never perfected the ‘art’ of riding on ice.

Not to say I haven’t tried

Anyway, backed “Big Iron” into the alley, put her in drive and was about to holler, “Warp 9!” when then that alarm bell…the little voice…said quietly, “Something’s not quite right.”

Sat there a moment, rationalizing that the truck felt “off” simply because it was so cold…and I was sleepy (not enough iced-tea yet), or any number of other things…and then did what I usually do.

I listened to my instincts.

Pulled back in the drive and pondered…was it the brakes? Something didn’t feel right…not exactly mushy or anything…just different.

“Different” is your machine trying to tell you something.

Opened the hood and could see the brake fluid was low…never a good sign. If brake fluid is low, bottom line is that it’s leaking somewhere.

Quick walk around and a peek underneath…and yep. Blown wheel cylinder on the driver’s side rear. Must have happened on the commute home yesterday.

Not an expensive fix…just kind of a pain to get to…as all the hardware on “Big Iron” is, well, big.

Leaking brake

Fluid splashed in the wheel well. Never a good sign.

Leaking brake

Yep, that’s a mess all right!

So yeah, I took “The Dragon” to work. She was calling for me anyway. Damn cold day for a ride on the big Valkyrie cruiser, but a commute in Dallas is no small thing…possible ice patches are one thing…but I’ve yet to become stupid enough to attempt it in an 8000-pound, 450-horsepower truck with compromised brakes.

I’ll have to tackle the repair…sheesh…when? Weekend’s out…plans already…working next week…supposed to be 19 degrees Monday…ugh. I’ll just have to carve some time out of somewhere.

Wonder where I misplaced that damn time machine?

Daniel Meyer

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