My Two Cents
The feeling I get when nearing completion of a timely custom bike project is reminiscent to my youngster years come Christmas time. Lying in bed awake on Christmas Eve, listening for the pitter-patter of little hooves on the roof while Santa Claus de-sleighed to pop down the chimney with treasures and trinkets I’d been eagerly fanaticizing about for 364 days. Excitement and anxiety were somewhat of an understatement. Literally bouncing off the walls like a hyperactive child was par for the course. Rational thinking was immediately replaced with the idea that the Diamond Back BMX I’d coveted for years could possibly be sitting under the tree.
I get a similar feeling in the pit of my stomach when I fire a bike project I’ve been working on for the first time. After lying on the operating table during its incapacitation, resuscitated only by the careful hands of a crack team of V-twin surgeons and a defibrillator, when the roar of the pipes and the rumbling of the power plant come to life, the sound of the motorcycle’s breath certainly soothes the soul and a calming feeling takes over. For that brief instant, everything the poor iron horse had endured during its reconstruction has been immediately replaced with a renewed sense of self, a passion for speed. During that moment, the bond between man and machine is formed, never to be broken (unless someone offers me a shitload of dough).
After my old pal and I became reacquainted, it was time for that trial run I’d obsessed about for months. Popping the bike into First gear, easing out the clutch, the foreign yet familiar feeling of riding the bike was well…like riding a bike. Everything fell into place, shifted into gear, and the adversity the two of us had endured was immediately replaced with gratification, satisfaction. Since I’d never ridden the Sweet Tracker project (page 70) I’d been undertaking for months in its stock state, you have to imagine what a thrill it was after almost a year of eagerly awaiting this union. The excitement of rolling on the throttle reminded me of that Christmas morning where to my surprise sat a poorly wrapped Diamond Back BMX (thanks Santa…err, Mom and Dad). Both were great days in my life. Only a couple more operations and the project will be done. Stay tuned for the next installment where the Sportster dawns a new robe.
Bye for now…