On Wednesday, I was minding my own business, just riding along on my motorcycle, when it started making an odd ticking noise. I listened to it for a while, trying to decide whether it was a serious enough new noise to merit pulling off the road and enduring the hassle of taking off my helmet, gloves and earplugs and examine the noise.
While whizzing down the freeway at an astonishing speed, I leaned over and looked at both sides of the engine, and didn’t see anything flapping about that wasn’t supposed to, and it looked like all the parts I could recognize were still right where they should be.
But when I pulled in the clutch to see if that would make the noise stop, the engine died. Shocked and saddened, I put on my blinker and moved over to the right lane, and off onto the shoulder and coasted as absolutely far as I could. Motorcycles are kinda heavy, and even though I’m ultra strong and fit, I still don’t like pushing them for miles on end. In fact, when I’m shopping for a new bike, one thing I check is how easy it is to push it across a parking lot. If it’s too heavy, it gets left for someone else, no matter what the salesman offers.
So anyway, I coasted to a stop just before the freeway exit. Cars, trucks, and big rigs zoomed past me, barrelling on down the onramp. I didn’t think for an instant about shoving my dead motorcycle in front of them to guarantee its death, but it did cross my mind that any one of these crazy morons could come spinning off the road and cream me and my TL.
I didn’t want to push it up the tiny offramp with these people zipping by – there might be asian drivers eager to run me down! – so I looked for an out.
To my left was the freeway, and certain doom. Straight ahead was the offramp, and near certain doom, along with a long, tiring push uphill to a stoplight without crosswalks or sidewalks. It was already warm, and I was wearing my full suit, which wasn’t designed to be worn while working out or pushing motorcyles uphill.
Behind me was nothing but shoulder and freeway, and so I didn’t even bother looking behind me. You know what they say – you can never go back.
So I looked to my right, and saw that the fence running along the freeway stopped and turned, and left me a nice lane, wide, nearly flat, and well groomed, better than a Roman highway, leading me to safety.
I turned and pushed the bike along the side of the overpass in complete safety, yippee! Even better, it was pretty quiet down there, so I was able to make a few phone calls to people who couldn’t come get me, and I could take pics of the incident for blogging.
So I eventually got back to work, and retrieved the motorcycle later that night. I haven’t been able to take it to a shop yet, so don’t know how bad the damage is. Hopefully it’s the type that requires me to replace engine parts, and since aftermarket high-performance parts are always less expensive than OEM replacement parts, I might get trapped in souping up the TL, just to get it back on the road.
Oh well, it is what it is.
At least I don’t have to sell it for scrap and get a minivan to make room for the new baby.