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Saturday, April 22, 2006

Motorbike antics

This is what's left of my lunchbox - actually a big beer cooler - after something went wrong with my bungee cords yesterday afternoon. The cooler sits on the back of my motorbike on a luggage rack, right behind the "sissy bar" (backrest). It was my last night shift, and I had to leave early for a safety meeting at the plant. So I left home in the afternoon for a night of work.

The fellow I ride to work with couldn't locate the keys to his motorbike for several minutes when I arrived at his house. By the time he found them, we knew we really had to hurry to get to work on time.

When we finally got clear of town and onto the highway we started going triple-digit speeds to make up the lost time. Actually it was very low in the triple digits - my commuting bike is old and not too fast - a '79 KZ650 if you are curious.

When I'd almost reached work (just to the bottom of a nice twisty road winding to the top of a hill), a guy coming from the other direction pointed at me. Clueless, I continued for another couple of miles, while noting how my bike was suddenly shimmying slightly in the curves, hahaha.

Eventually we caught up with a slow-moving vehicle and backed off, and I caught up with my ride partner. He pointed behind me, and this is what I saw, dragging from the back of my bike's luggage rack by the only remaining bungee cord. It's pretty clear that one or both of the bungee cords held onto it for a while, long enough for the rear tire to chew into the hinge and open up the box. The lighter contents probably caught the wind and were gone!

Amazingly the cooler was dragging on its bottom. My food, daytimer, security badge, and blue ice were all still inside. What popped out was expensive though: I lost a pair of ski pant pullovers and a heavy pair of ski gloves that are nice to have in the mornings. Worse, I lost the liner to my leather jacket. Worst of all, I lost my prescription eyeglasses - I was wearing my prescription sunglasses at the time.

So... I spent the night at work wandering around in my heavily tinted sunglasses, no doubt looking very cool, but feeling like an idiot. Then I rode home at sunrise in those shades, without the benefit of pants, heavy gloves, or jacket liner. They were nowhere to be found along the road, of course.

Today I spent several hundred dollars replacing most of that stuff (plus a replacement lunchbox and new bungee cords, LOL), but was unable to obtain a jacket liner. The people who sold me the jacket were *most* unhelpful. They wouldn't even make a call to their wholesaler on my behalf. It must be nice to be a merchant in Bakersfield. Another fool will walk into your store 10 seconds after the previous unhappy customer leaves... Looks like they don't need my return business. Hopefully I'll be able to find a source for the liner on the internet. Leather gets a bit chilly directly up against the skin when it's cold out.

To top it off, I ran out of gas on the way home in the morning! I almost made it to my regular filling point on reserve. Had to push it across one intersection. $3.06 per gallon! Glad I'm riding these days at 40mpg instead of driving the truck at 16mpg! Ouch.

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