Rochester NY, Full on

August 5, 2010

It’s getting late, almost midnight and I know I’ll have to get up early tomorrow but I must write.

I sit here in the kitchen, just finished a first draft of a translation from English to French on the workings and safety measures for drivers of natural gas powered trucks. Pretty technical. One of my clients in Vancouver asked me to do a bit of work for them, and in view of the Visa receipts for all these parts I’ve had to buy to repair the bike the timing could not have been better.

I am here reflecting and not quite succeeding in absorbing all the goodness coming my way right now. I said a few times today “what did I do to deserve this?”

Full on work in progress

I rode the bike ; new stator and new regulator, a number of corroded connectors and wires were fixed, cleaned. My rear caliper was cleaned, sandblasted, repainted,and now I’ve even got the rear brakes working, finally, if that can be believed! (how many times and people have I consulted about this…)

All fuses and electrical thingies that could possibly go wrong were tested, checked and fixed if needed. my engine was repainted, suspension adjusted, drive train checked, and… I know there is more but I just can’t think of it all right now…

Now here is a wild one… I actually had ridden the bike yesterday. Here is the set up : Jim is in a 79 Continental with his son. Linda is in her Chevy Yukon I am following on the Suzuki and we’re heading home. The bike is working but somehow I’m feeling that there is still something not quite tip top.

At one point at a light Linda runs out of the Yukon and tells me: We have to turn around, the Continental has broken down!”

We zip over the 104 in the other direction and find Jim and his son at a gas pump, hood up. As I pull up the bike dies. It won’t start. Seems to be the starter…

What is wrong wit the car? The starter…

Two vehicles, two starters, same place minutes apart. Weird. Too weird to be coincidence in my mind but I don’t have a why at this point. We may never know…

I get a push, drop the clutch get the motor running. Jim lying down on the dirty pavement and is banging on the starter while his son tries to start it. Clang! Bang! Vrrrzzz…. Vrrzzzz… Clang, bing, blam! Vrrrzzzsss… Clang!.. VROOM!

All engines on Huston, it’s a go. We all turn around and head back to the garage. One corner from the garage my bike dies again, Jim’s son runs out of the car, pushes the bike, dump the clutch… Vrrooom! Phew, we finally make it.

We left the car and the bike at the shoppe and it was high time for dinner.

Today while I stayed at the house working on my translation the bike was being looked over once more. It was not quite the starter itself but the wires going into it. Corroded, bad connection. I got a call mid-day announcing me the good news. For the Continental : it was indeed the starter. That has been fixed too.

Around 3 PM Linda and I headed out for the garage. I get there, (not before getting a triple espressooooooohhhhh….) Jim says to me :
-”OK, go try the bike, try it good. Let me know what you think.”

I start it. I can tell immediately, something is radically changed. I rev it up and I get a coaching about how to actually start it, with the choke… let it warm up, start easy… give it a chance and it will give back to you and last forever.

Somehow I knew that, but all the people I’ve seen lately start my bike and just crank the sh*t out of it… so I figured it was the thing to do… against my own good judgment. I stand corrected.

I am actually drinking all the learning I can get out of this. Jim is a master. When in the presence of a master I shut up and listen, I only answer when asked and absorb the mastery as much as I can.

I know so much more about my machine than I did 4 days ago… it’s awesome.

So I head out. First, second, third, stop light coming… I brake… Wow! I got rear brakes… I listen to the engine, Green light. First, second, third, Geezus… the thing is just singing. It’s tight, it’s … Happy.

I went down the 104 then the 509 I think, I try different gears, accelerate, slow down, I hear the singing and I just burst out with laughter. My bike has been magicked! I turned around and went back to the garage, park in front and I just can’t stop grinning.

My little test drive was on the long side they thought I might have gotten lost… No, just enjoying the ride.

Again.. what have I done to deserve this? I’m overcome… well yeah, I do know that I “overcome” pretty easy but honestly… so much goodness…

And, on top of all this bike joy I have been treated to a complete NY experience.. I get to go in the shoppe where real people live their lives, I hear the accents and the rhythm of their world, live in the middle of it all, feel it, absorb it… All of it, the big cars, the food, the humor, the ups and downs, the characters, the intensity and the full on lives of these people. Because people live full on here. Full on.

Pedal to the metal and not only in the cars. There is music everywhere, riches and ghettos, all colors and lifestyles all blended up wildly in an explosive cocktail of humanity. It’s intense all the time in this city.

The force of the living. The forces of the past, present and future colliding. Even the weather is a force to be reckoned, so hot in summer, so cold in winter. People forge life, beat it like a metal to submit to your will. It’s the absolute opposite to Vancouver where the middle is so deeply trodden.

I’m enjoying it all.

Full on blue bike (Hayabusa)

Full on plate

Full on car

Full on USA


8 Responses to “Rochester NY, Full on”

  1. Duane Thorin Says:

    Ha!!!!!! Full ON!!!!!

    this blog is turning into a song…. I think your muse got revved up a bit on this stay. Full on. Vrooom. This is why people from that neck of the woods come here to L.A., (did you know we are call LA LA Land by East Coasters?), and cut through the whole thing like soft butter on a warm day.
    You may have found a nice pace there…. and we did not get to hear about your stage experience there, ya know?

    • The live performance never happened, no NY premiere for me… It was disappointing but I figure there is a reason! Like breaking down here in the exact spot I did. And yeah, I could see how the New Yorkers would eat us up West coasters in a NY minute!

  2. Alan Says:

    Hey Danielle, you should be a writer…..

    My bike has been magicked!

    Because people live full on here. Full on.

    Keep it up, way up.

    Quantum Leap Unlimited

    Onward, Upward

  3. Christopher Percy Says:

    Still lovin the blogs. Happy to here your back in action again. And I’m also happy you had a chance to stop and smell the roses. Love ya, C. PS Terry sends his best regards.

  4. linda kingston Says:

    oh by the way danielle………..your the beautiful soul

  5. Michelle Duckett - Drummer Says:

    Hi Danielle,
    It’s been a long time since I spoke to you.I’ve been following your blog . Wow! what an adventure you are having!!! I would love to do what you are doing except I don’t ride mortorcycles. I’d have to drive – Not so Easy Rider. Glad that your bike is fixed and things are going your way. I love your pictures and your stories.

    PS: You look great!

    Take care,

    Michelle :>) (the drummer)

    • Hi Michelle, what an cool thing to hear from you. Yes indeed it’s been magic and unbelievable… the goodness, the beauty the fun the laughs and the challenges all are unreal and I am so grateful. big hug to you XXXX

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