Startled, but not the least bit embarrassed, I froze like a deer in the headlights when I realized she was watching…the music from the mp3 player rollicked on unabated.
Summer was here. We had entered our typical early summer weather pattern. Hot, humid, intensely bright and clear during the day, and possible thunderstorms every evening to close a grand day with a grand light show.
I was prepping the bike for my summer trips. The massive F6 Valkyrie cruiser never needs a lot of attention, but the prudent rider will attend to common maintenance items before setting out on a month long voyage. I was expecting to be gone for most of July, covering 10 states and 8-10,000 miles while wandering around the countryside.
An engine oil change, tire inspection, final drive oil replacement, new air filter, and new brake pads were on the list of things to do. I was also installing yet another set of driving lights (so I can actually see the local wildlife just before impact). This required a fair amount of disassembly of the motorcycle and to make the work easier I had the bike on the lift and jacked about 10 inches into the air.
Just as I had finished the final drive oil change, I had dribbled a bit of the amazingly sticky and slippery gear oil on my shirt. Gear oil travels…that’s what it is designed to do…and a little bit dribbled somewhere will soon spread all over the place. I wear old, torn up tee shirts when working so I just shrugged, removed my shirt, wiped the rest of the oil off of me, and tossed the shirt into the rag pile.
The heat was really starting to kick up now and I was sweating profusely. Born and bred here in Texas, it rarely bothers me and I just kept on working. I finished installing the new relay for the lights, and was ready to begin the installation of the light-bar itself.
Those that know me know that I am passionate about my music. While singing along to the inspiring tune from my very good mp3 player in the garage, I retrieved the driving-lights and hardware from the workbench. As I stepped around the bike with the light-bar the music took hold of me and I executed a series of dance steps and maybe even a turn or two.
That was when I realized the wife was watching…
With mirth in her eyes and struggling to suppress laughter, she silently handed me a large glass of iced tea, turned, and bolted back into the house. She did not quite get in the door before she dissolved into hysterical laughter.
“What?” I hollered after her. She was incapable of a response. Women apparently cannot talk when they are laughing to the point of tears. She was holding her side and gasping for breath as she closed the door.
“Women.” I murmured under my breath, “Who knows what they’re thinking?”
I shrugged and turned to go back to work on the bike. That is when the scene finally struck me as it must have struck her…
See, I had told her I was going out to the garage to work on the bike. When she had asked what was wrong with it, I had said, “Nothing, there are just certain things you have to do to prep a motorcycle for a long summer trip.”
Picture a sweat slicked man, clad only in gray cotton shorts, with a bit of grease smeared here and there, holding chrome parts and dancing, singing, and spinning to music around a partially disassembled motorcycle. Totally immersed in the passion of the music at the moment, he probably has his eyes closed and is moving rhythmically. The motorcycle is in the center of the open space in the garage, has several powerful work-lights aimed at it, and has been elevated about a foot in the air on a pedestal.
Cult rituals and bizarre movie scenes leapt instantly to mind, and were as quickly dismissed as completely inadequate to describe this. Truth really is stranger than fiction.
I looked toward the door into the house. Even over the music I could still hear laughter from inside.
Yep. There are just certain things you have to do to prep a motorcycle for a long summer trip.
And there are some things that are just easier not to try to explain.
I smiled as I went back to work and murmured again, “Who knows what they’re thinking?”
I certainly don't. But at least I know why.