Thursday, 23 December 2010

Clean bike, wide grin..

She sits in the workshop in all her glory. Having been a bit of a hangar queen lately, she seems intent on testing my patience. I think she has a smirk on her face. I remind myself to be a bit less silly, this was a bike after all. Whatever was causing her to throw her little hissy fits, we had to get to the bottom of it and fix it, lest she throws a tantrum en route to Goa. A night ride is on the cards, and a possibility of the bike throwing tantrums on NH4 might not sit well with my mental well being on the ride. I think back and remember that she's not really let me down on a long ride as yet, but as she (and I) are getting long in the tooth, I tend to anticipate issues more often these days. Thus, we're back at the workshop, where she takes centre-stage.

Syed the Reliable, coaxes and cajoles her into revealing what the vexing issue was. She's not easy on us, we have to check and eliminate electrical and fuel line issues before she finally reveals what was wrong. A tiny unreachable sleeve connecting carburettor to engine has given up the ghost. For all of 150 rupees, Syed the Reliable will have to dispatch a minion halfway across town to get a spare. The broken sleeve meant she was taking in an impure fuel-air mixture, which caused power and mileage to drop, temperatures (both hers and mine) to increase, and more importantly, stoppages. I would be doing 100+ on the ring road and for no reason, she would go on strike. And then when I'm on the verge of giving up and calling Syed for help, she would start up again, as if nothing was ever wrong. Sounds a bit like a marriage, I suppose. I wouldn't know. I leave her in the care of Syed and his minions, and walk the short remaining distance to work.

At five fifteen in the evening, I walk back in and see she's getting a wash. Syed has been uncharacteristically tardy, but that's okay, I have all the time in the world. They roll her out of the washing bay, oil up the chain, put on new handlebar grips to replace the old ones I'd lost in the last accident, and she's good to go. She's set me back two hundred and eighty eight rupees, but that's nothing compared to the relief of finally having fixed everything. A thousand couldn't fix her the last time I was here. I thank Syed and Co. one last time, and walk out of the shop, where they have her ready and purring, dripping wet from the wash. From the sound of the engine I figure everything's okay, it's an oddly reassuring sound. I get on, check everything, switch the purr to a muffled roar, and we're off. I watch the water droplets slide and fly off her sides as we pick up speed. I made it a point to ask them not to dry her after the wash. There is only one proper way to dry a freshly washed bike. And that is to RIDE it.



malayaleemonk said...

So PG-13.

fulcrum said...

haha :) i was influenced by this pilot's blog, .. i like the PG-13 love story he has with the airplanes he flies.