Conspiracy

This has been was one of those mornings.
You know the type: early, cold, and full of unpleasant surprises.

7:30
I had my motorcycle ready to go a few days ago, so I decided that this morning I'd finally take it on the road and get to school extra-early. (Buses can be nice for reading on, but when you just want to get into the office and put the essays into the mailboxes already, a motorcycle comes in handy.) I had plenty of time before my planned arrival at 8:30.
I had to stop and get fuel first, though. No problem, I thought--and I'll stop to check my tire pressure at the same time (the one thing that I hadn't checked on Saturday.)

7:35
But where are my extra-wooly-cold-morning-boot-socks? I was sure I washed them on Sunday...

7:40
Oh, right, I put them beside my boots. How thoughtful of me.


8:00
I rolled into the gas station, fueling takes five minutes, tops. ($1.14/l again. Ugh. At least it's only 12l to fill the tank.)

Sure enough, the front tire was down ~8PSI, so I wrestled with the gas station tire inflater thingy for about five minutes. (Don't the people who design these things realize that some valve stems are at awkward angles?) Once I figured out that the pressure guage attached to the tire inflater thingy was borked, I checked with my handy digital guage (thanks again, Carol!) and let out the extra 4 PSI I had put in...

8:10
Then I tried to start the bike.
Somehow, in the 5-10 minutes it had taken to check and inflate the tires, the battery had drained to the point that the engine didn't fire. It turned over a few times, but soon emitted that dreadful *CLACKCLACKCLACK* noise that reminds you to put the battery on a trickle charger once in a while during the winter. (Well, that's what it should remind you to do...)

8:15
I knew I wasn't going to make the first meeting of the day. I called to cancel, and realized that while most faculty at the University do indeed have offices and telephones, many of them do not have voicemail.
How can you expect to do business in the 21st Century without voicemail?

8:20
I called AMA to see how long it would take to get a boost (since all the trucks and vans in the station at the time were rentals--why don't rental vehicles have jumper cables?) and after another ten minutes found out that AMA no longer provides jump-starts for motorcycles.
Thanks, AMA. I was sure I paid all that extra money for a premium membership for some reason. I guess now I know what that reason is. Or something.

So, I went for the push-start. There was a bit of a slope in the parking lot, and once the (Korean?) attendant figured out why I was asking her to push me, I got up enough speed to pop the clutch and bring the beast to life. I smiled and gave the attendant a "thumbs up," and she gave me the strangest glare I've ever seen in my life; it's hard to describe a glare, but this one was something like the please-stay-away-from-me glare. (Not that I've seen that glare before... much.)
Does the thumbs up have some sort of obscene meaning in Korea?

8:45
On the road, and it's cold. Not cold enough for frost on the asphalt (a good reason not to ride before sunrise in April) but probably between 4-7 degrees. I soon remembered that when stopped at red lights, I can warm my right hand on the exhaust manifold.

9:00
There's a line forming to get onto the High Level Bridge. Flashing lights at the front of the line. Time for a u-turn, try river valley road.

9:10
My left hand is a bit numb, and my right glove smells like beef jerky that's been sitting in a car on a hot day, but I'm alive and can finally print this essay and move on with my life.

9:12
There is no printer paper in the Humanities Centre project lab.

9:15
My morning is over. Time to find a quiet corner of the library and sleep this off.
Or, maybe just go for a quick ride... and hope that the bike will start this time.

3 comments:

Michelle said...

oh dan, that was sucky. You have to remember, not all mornings are like this I promise. ;) You handed in a paper, that's a good thing :D How are the other two coming?

Anonymous said...

Oh man, I sure know how all of that feels, especially the refusal to start after seemingly going well for a time. The good ole push start. I had an old mini minor that had to be cojoled into starting like that on more than one occasion. It was a lot easier to run and jump on the bike. Woo-Ha!
But the end is in sight. We have run the good race. Let's hope we make it to the finish line!
C.

rush said...

On the 15th, I left the house at 11:00 a.m. planning to ride my scooter over to the westend to visit my parents.

As soon as I turned onto Cloverbar Rd. the wind bit right through me, and I made it as far as Starbucks... on Baseline.

I had a productive work session there and then went back home, put the scooter back in the garage, and took the car over to west Edmonton.

I made a mental note to myself that 4 - 7 degrees C with a 40 kmh wind = wear a parka.