Sunday, August 31, 2008

Super-Duper Spectacular Motorcycle Extravaganza Extraordinaire

Yesterday afternoon I was annoyed. I mean really annoyed. There's been some kinda kerfuffle with payments on my visa, and now I can't get the shingles I need 'till next Tuesday. I was so mad. Especially since this kind of crap always seems to happen right on a holiday. I'm already late at starting the job. To add insult to injury, not one but two kind souls nearly caused accidents on the road right in front of me, and at least one other person blindly cut me off. All this happened in the space of a few hours, and I was driving a freaking truck, not some miniaturised "smart car".

Sometimes when I get that frustrated I need to do something to take my mind off the issues. Something that I love. In this instance, dirt biking came to mind. A friend of mine owns an old Suzuki enduro which I have helped repair and maintain. In return, and because he's a nice guy, he lets me ride whenever.

Check in with Dave, jump on the bike and GO. Oh yes, the freedom of rippin' and slashing up rocky terrain, and then there's that narrow track I've wondered about but never taken. Yeah, I'm definitely taking it this time.

I'm off down the trail through a lush green forest that reminds me of bygone days hiking outside Abbotsford, BC. I love it. Out of the bush, and now the trail goes through forgotten fields. Several forgotten fields. What are these farmers doing anyway? (The farms are probably owned by weekenders.) There are trails everywhere. I'm sure that I'll remember which paths I chose, and besides, I've got half a tank of fuel left. More than enough to rediscover my way out if I get disoriented.

Finally, I arrive at a beautiful scene. Beautiful is the wrong word. It's more like a quietly hidden garden, and I don't even want to describe it to you. I might ruin the feeling of the place, and I don't want any of you rabble trying to find it, dragging your muddy feet all over the place, spoiling a natural wonder. I know what you're like. It's hard to forget that creek, though. Dropping over a series of huge flat rocks through a ravine, hugged on both sides by slender trees. Magnifique.

"Whatever," I thought as I crossed a shallow spot, gunning my snarling, spewing beast, beckoning it to rip, tear, and shred wherever it wanted. Mwuh hah hah hah. Take THAT, pristine nature.

Actually, I stayed on the trail, and I was very careful: too careful. In my desire not to make a mess, I took it really easy, and stalled. No problemo. I'll just fire it up again, fire it up again, FIRE it UP again. Blast it! The freaking bike was refusing to start. In my boundless wisdom, and knowing the bike's history, I let it sit for 10 minutes while I explored on foot. That spot is incredible.

I went back, started the bike, decided to leave for home. Five minutes later, I stopped to check another interesting trail, and the bike stalled again. I had to do the same 10 minute routine, and now I was getting ticked. Especially since this bike has a history of eating spark plugs when you ride easy, and I was worried that it would leave me stranded.

Oh yeah, it was starting to rain.

I jumped on the bike, and let the trail feel my wrath. I wasn't that mad, yet, but I did want to clean out any carbon deposits which form all too readily on this bike. While I picked up the pace, Mother Nature must have thought I was playing. It began to RAIN. I tore up a nice hill, enjoying myself again, when guess what.

Chug, chug-chug, chug.

The bike died exactly as if it had run out of fuel. By this point it was raining so hard that I couldn't hear whether there was any fuel sloshing around in the tank, and I mistakenly assumed that something had gone wrong, and I was empty. What could I do? I started jogging. Visibility was very limited, and all my bike tracks were washed away. Needless to say, I got a bit disoriented. Let me give you a tip. When you've been jogging for 10 minutes and suddenly recognise terrain you saw 15 minutes ago, you've made a couple of wrong turns.

By now it was well after 6 PM, and quite grey out thanks to the low cloud ceiling. I was pondering the fact that I didn't have a flashlight, and as well as I had been doing, I figured that I wouldn't find my way out in the dark. I checked the bike again, and this time I could tell that there was still fuel in the tank, which meant that it was up to its old tricks again. I was furious. Burning the bike came to mind as fitting justice, but I didn't have a good means to light 'er up.

There was nothing for it, so I set out on foot again. I followed a trail into the bush, where it was quite dark. However, through the rain and gloom, I could make out the next trail before I got to it. Since I wanted to save time, I cut diagonally through the bush. I jogged...straight into a low, single strand of old rusty barbed wire fence. What the <>?!!? Am I in friggin' Vietnam?! Because I hit the wire at an angle, I ended up sliding along it for a moment, shredding my jeans and cutting my left leg in several places. My first thought was whether there were any deep cuts. Satisfied that I was only battered and bruised, and not pouring blood, I carried on.

To make a miserable story short, I made it out before dark, hiking and jogging over eight kilometers before reaching home. Even though I was completely drenched the whole time, my burning desire to avenge myself on the treacherous bike kept me warm. But by the time I was half way back, I did start to laugh. It struck me as such an absurd situation. I recalled my thoughts about getting out. My chief worry was that my friends would actually get a search party organised if I was out all night, and that would embarrass me to no end.

I went back the next morning with Dave, and we changed the spark plug and got the blasted thing running. I tore out of there like a man possessed, and of course the bike ran perfectly.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Do it, do it! Leave that glowing comment while your mind reels with the portent of what you just read.