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when things don't go my way

Written on: Monday October 6th, 2008

I wrote in the first post that I felt that the trip had begun, though I had not yet departed. Later that day I had the first emphatic invitation from creative forces beyond me to change my plans. That invitation came hours after my first post, 20 miles from Young's Sawmill where my dad works in Beaver Dam, KY in the form of a POP! and KLANKETY-KLANK-KLANK-KLANKETY-KLANT-KLANK. Ah, an emergency mechanical situation. Thus I quickly assessed and responded most calmly and with a touch of amusement. Pulled over in quick seconds and shut down the bike. A friendly middle aged white middle class-looking man stopped to make sure I was ok. Yep. I'm fine. Thanks for your concern. Nice of him to stop. Annoying of him to stand around asking benign questions. Didn't know nothing about motorcycles, but clearly assumed he knew more than me. "Well, it's not supposed to sound like that (?). He asked when I started up the bike for a second to see if the KLANKETY-KLANK was still present. No. No it is not supposed to sound like that. Thanks again. I'm fine.

I had a nice time sitting on the side of the road. Put me in a jolly mood really. Got to eat a granola bar. Enjoy some flaky sparkly sandstone. After my dad showed up, he pulled the head off my cylinder- the source of the KLANK- hypothesizing that the rocker arm of the compression valve got loose. Not so. Cousin Todd came to our rescue with his truck and trailer and we took the bike to the sawmill. There my pops got to work putting a windshield on the bike. He cleverly came up with a strategy to mount a windshield not made for the LS, but one that we had and fit near enough. I said he was a creative genius and he said, "you mean a redneck." Making do with what you have. Calling upon your ingenuity to solve problems. A definition of redneck I had not previously understood. Just like poor folks everywhere. Obstacles lead to increased creativity.

 Anyhow, the next day was the Friday when we had planned to go to the Return to Shiloh rally in Savannah, TN. So dad had the day off already. We borrowed a truck from Kenny, the mechanic who has the shop right next to my uncle Wayne's house, to take the bike back to Scott's place in Shelbyville. When we arrived there was a clever sign on the door to the shop at the sawmill (see photo)

Turns out the bolt that was missing from the airbox that allowed the oil to leak upwards, out and into my airfilter had fallen into the carbourater intake and the washer slipped into the cylinder. Thus the KLANK situation. After being told by the BMW dealership in Nashville that a new piston would have to come from Germany, Scott tried to clean up the piston and thought that it may be good enough. But he concluded it wasn't just right and so not good enough. A new piston I will have. New cylander too, I believe. That stuff is being overnighted to him tonight from Bob's BMW in Maryland. With luck the LS will be in good shape by tomorrow evening.

 I am back in KY. Feeling a bit restless, ready to go but sad to be leaving. Got grumpy for a bit earlier today. Then remembered that I love it when things don't go my way. Just an invitation to collaborate with creative forces with broader perspectives than my own. Done being grumpy now. Still not really sure how the next couple of days will play out or when I will get to start making some miles west. But am again relaxing into uncertainty.

 When dad and I ran down to Sav. TN from Nasvhille on Sat. night to go to the rally for a little more than an hour I had an important stroke of inspiration- that is that little churches on the outskirts of small/medium towns will make excellent bed-and breakfast sites for me. They are everywhere and the folks who may show up early in the morning are likely to be friendly and at least unlikely to be threats.

 I am excited to be on my way soon.