Sunday, December 28, 2008

A Useless Update

It has been a relatively slow day here, with a notable lack of calamity, disasters, or blackmail material. Writing, unfortunately, will reflect this. But, I need to write something daily, so here goes.

My little sisters and I managed to pull off a difficult song today in church – O Holy Night as sung by the group “Selah.” This is already my favorite Christmas song, and I was hoping that it would remain such even after we finished singing. Indeed, it is still my favorite. The song went well, save for one error on my part. If people noticed it, they did a good job of not showing it. I was very much aware of it, as were my sisters. Thankfully, they’re patient with me. Overall, it was a rousing success. Unfortunately, it was not recorded. If it were, I would post a link to it. Maybe sometime in the future we’ll get to a studio and cut a track. We have the resources available, just probably not the time or necessary interest. We’re not that hung up on ourselves.

Also of interest, I began the process of restoring Molinara (my motorcycle) to her former resplendence. I once described her as a mudslung horror, and I think that title would fit now, too. I haven’t cleaned the bike since leaving California. That was well over 3000 miles ago. I’ve been since rained on, driven some awful roads, and scratched even more paint. Splatters of tar and other unidentifiable road grime have been thoroughly baked to the engine block.

For the moment, this is a purely aesthetic endeavor, but even horses feel better when they’re clean and showy. Maybe the bike does, too. At any rate, I removed most of the rear saddlebags and accessories and began waxing and polishing. After a couple hours, nearly all the chrome is beautifully shiny again, and the only parts still needing work are the wheels, spokes, and handlebars. That’s not half bad. This, I fear, was the easy part.

Still remaining are the windshields, the paint (badly scratched in places and simply dirty in others), the tires, the frame, and unfortunately, the engine block. The latter will consume the vast majority of my time. One of the consequences of having a V-Star custom is that a rather small front fender permits all the grit, grease and trash from the road to be propelled directly onto the engine block – where the heat immediately bakes it to the fins. I will attack it with gusto over the next few days, probably consume an entire can of carb & choke cleaner and several hundred q-tips just to peel away the layers of filth. Somewhere beneath is a bike – and a rather attractive one. For the moment, I could ride it proudly, but I would still know in my heart of hearts that there’s much more work to be done. I’ll get to it eventually. This is going to be a lengthy and ongoing process.

When the polishing and cleaning is done, I will probably turn around and do it again. I always get a little more dirt off each time. My thinking is this: if you have a bike, you should ride it. Why else have it? But since a motorcycle is (at least in my case) a luxury vehicle, it would behoove me to take good care of it. You don’t see too many folks riding around in filthy Cadillacs, do you?

Before I set out on this trip, I used to clean the bike ad nauseum and take it for a “test ride,” mostly to show off that I have a shiny bike. Despite the fact I’ve ridden more than 23,000 miles in the past 15 months and only recently returned from a 13,500 mile excursion, I found myself wanting to take it out again. The only reason I did not was because I was running out of light. If the weather is nice tomorrow, I might go for a spin. The itch, apparently, is still very much there. To be honest, this somewhat surprises me. I was never tired of riding, but I WAS tired of being cold, so had expected to park the thing until warmer temperatures set in for good and I had done some maintenance on the thing. Perhaps I may head out sooner than this. We will see.

I guess I’m not done riding…

In other news, there is no news. This week will be spent running errands, doing chores, then hurriedly preparing for my trip out to Oklahoma, which will actually begin on the 31st. That’s Wednesday, and approaching quickly.

This is it, for now.

Copyright © 2008, Ben Shaw
All Rights Reserved


  1. Blah, blah, blah. And you met Evelyn, and you ate fudge, and you wore your sweater (again), and you got to see Beulah folks, and so on and so forth.

    On days like this, when you can't say anything original, say something else. Quote from someone competent. Start a little story. Share an old picture.


  2. man, Elizabeth sure sounds whiny here.

  3. Time for you to go, Grasshopper.

  4. Sorry. I didn't mean to be whiny. It just happens naturally.

  5. You want some cheese with that whine???

  6. Do I need to separate you all? Really now...this sounds like Family Circus.

    Glad you cleaned your bike and you are soon back on the road. It's cold our here in the West so get some really good handwarmers.