Thursday, May 29, 2014

Sweet Homecoming (Again)

At first I thought my air compressor was broken.  Rrrr, rrrr, rrrr, it could barely muster enough energy to make a sound.  But ho ho, no no!  It wasn’t the air compressor, it was the motorcycle.  Clicky, clicky.  No starty, starty.  The Ducati had failed self proclaimed Ducati test day.  It would not, could not start, it would not be charged, it could not be jumped, it would not be bumped.  (I didn't try to bump it, but it rhymes, okay?)  Given its history and my long absence, I guess I wasn’t surprised, but that doesn’t mean I had to be happy about it. There was good reason to believe it was just the battery, but, honestly, in all my life it’s never been “just the battery.”  No, not once, not ever.  Not this time, and certainly not last summer in southern Utah, when every last bit of the Ducati’s alternator insulation melted away like so much dark chocolate on a June day in my not so climate controlled house*.

Aside from celebrating the fact I was in the same locality as my motorcycles for the first time in two months, this ride was specifically designed to answer two questions.  1) Is the Ducati running? (Answer: No)   2) Can I still corner respectably?  So I went up the mountain in search of Answer 2 on the trusty old Kawasaki.  (Answer: Yes)**   Bless that bike, it’s 15 years old, has never seen the inside of a shop, is held together with more tape than a toddler’s first gift wrap job, and, last link not withstanding, runs happily every time.

Yesterday, I put a new battery in the Ducati.  Damn that M696 design team, but you actually have to pull the gas tank to do so.  It took me utterly by surprise, but when that machine gaily started, I actually burst into tears of relief. It really was just the battery!***

Ducati Hoodoos Mount Lemmon
Ducati with Mount Lemmon hoodoos.

On the way home from today's post-op ride, I picked up enough pork shoulder to test the capacity of my top box.  I'll simmer it slowly it in a silky, shimmering, red mud bath of Eating on Two Wheels chile paste.

Chile Paste
Good red chile paste sorcery can and does cast a hypnotically alluring magical spell.  You may even accidentally cast it upon yourself.

Colorado trip next week?****  "We are ready to go!"*****

*But, WAIT!  My house has recently become so climate controlled that I actually tempered chocolate in it earlier this week.  In May.  In Tucson.  I love my little ductless minisplit heating/cooling unit!!  What’s next, croissants in June?
**An additional question remains unanswered: Why do you need a shiny sports car to drive up Mount Lemmon at 30mph?
***So what if I jostled the lambda sensor when wrestling with the tank, such that 10 minutes into my test ride today, the engine light went on?  The real miracle here, folks, is that I could interpret the error code, knew what and where said lambda sensor was, and could re-jostle it all in the T.J.Maxx parking lot.
**** As it turns, out, we didn't go to Colorado.
*****You have to say that part aloud, in the same voice Pilot Guy uses to radio the airport tower when we've successfully completed our run up, are poised at the runway hold short lines, and are, well, ready to go!

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