The Great Scrapyard In The Sky

Yup, that’s where my bike’s headed, I’ve officially had enough of trying to keep the thing going. A week ago and fifteen miles away from home I turned the key in the ignition to be greeted by a whole load of nothing. the battery and fuse check out as being ok but something in the electrical system’s given out, so that’s that.

In theory I could pull the bike to bits, track down the issue and fix it, but I can’t be bothered, and the way it’s been the past couple of months even if I did get it going again it’d only be a matter of time before something else went wrong and screwed me over. It’s been sitting  where it got dropped off a week ago and though I’ve had more than enough time to investigate things I’ve had zero inclination to do so. I’ve got the tools and possibly the know how to fix this. Even if I did fix it I now have zero confidence in going anywhere and getting back again.

I’ve not long replaced the spark plug, done an oil change and swap over a few hoses that were on the way out. I can strip the back end down to get the wheel off as well, useful when the rear tyre gave up the ghost a while back. However it’s so tiresome to do. I’m not all that keen on spending ages scrubbing my skin raw to get all the muck off after messing around with something mechanical and I sure as hell haven’t got the strength I used to have. HRT and arthritis have seen to that, probably for the best given I used to be able to tighten stuff until I cracked the socket and ratchet, or put enough stress on my joints to really set them off.

More than the less being able to physically do stuff is the fact I’m through sinking time and money into the thing so I’m making arrangements to get rid of it. When it’s gone, that’s me done with bikes, I’m not getting another. I’ve had five years of hooning around on the damn things and lately I’ve been getting fed up with doing this. I’m fed up with wearing enough layers to go on a polar expedition to keep warm and allegedly dry, and wearing a helmet that wrecks my hair. I’m fed up of being jolted about on poor roads and I am especially fed up of being almost taken out while on the damn thing because I apparently ride wearing an invisibility cloak. Even with high visibility clothes and a colourful bike I’ve lost count how many near misses I’ve had with myopic drivers who have pulled out, pulled across or are just being an intimidating dickweed in their vehicles.

The last three months where I’ve had to do a lot of driving for work purposes have driven this home. Funnily enough I only started driving because at the time I was working three separate part time cleaning jobs and was struggling to get about on my pushbike. Being told by my then GP I was tearing my knees to bits cycling was the main reason why I got up and on the road. My ex hated the idea, which probably made me want to do it more. It was also a lot cheaper to go see my family than by train. Faster too as I could get to theirs in 20 minutes or so. Can’t do that now though. These days to get to theirs would be a good couple of hours, impossible with my back. I found that out going to see my nan and granddad one time any more than about half an hour’s my limit on a bike. Any more and my lower back flares up thanks to me jarring it so badly falling while rollerblading when I was 15 or so. I slammed down on the base of my spine hard and it’s never been right since. I hit the same spot again some years later and had trouble with the nerves in my legs for a year or so. I really don’t need anything else to add to that.

Where I live now has a great bus service (provided I don’t get drivers coming onto me, but that’s another story in itself) so I don’t need to drive places very often away from work and whatever my next job will be I’ll be using public transport and walking so all in all the bike is pretty redundant now.

In the not too distant future I shall be learning to drive a car so with that in mind, I’m going to hang up my riding gear and moving on with things.


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