Sunday, October 8

Queenie will rise again!

Well, my gal-pal needs new handlebars, a new brake lever, new right mirror--eventually--and new right bar end (optional, if the scratches don't annoy me). Currently, she sports a "temporary" brake lever, making for a mismatch pair of levers, which definitely annoy me as the bike looks put together with spare parts! But it's better than being unable to ride her.

Cost? I don't know yet, but the items are relatively inexpensive. It's that dang labor that will get you every time! But this shop has been great about prices and service. I learned that a larger shop has my parts in stock, which means I could get her fixed and spiffy right away. But I try to support good, small businesses. Besides, this other shop has a tacky, strange atmosphere. I have purchased items there and have had no major problems with sales folks or the repair shop--although I think their labor charges are outrageous! The really unpleasant part about this other shop is the guy who seems to run the place. He runs hot-cold at unpredictable times. He's been both friendly and inexplicably Arctic to me. Weird bedside--or motorcycleside--manner. Truthfully, he seems off. Not slightly. But hugely! I don't pay for maltreatment. Motorworks, my shop of choice, treats you like fine silk! Their service is superior. Every time I've stepped foot in the place, I feel like I'm there to hang out with a bunch of guy-pals. And, I never leave there without learning something new. So, Queenie and I will wait for our TLC and parts from Motorworks.

When I left the shop, riding with my cock-eyed handlebars, I stopped at the range where the Ride-Chicago teachers would bound to be conducting a class. My advanced riding class, SRTT (Street Riding Technical Training),would be Sunday (today) and I wanted to know if I should even show up. I liked that they too were ticked upon learning that someone had tried to steal my bike. They had their own bitter memories.

Chris, my first safety instructor, thought I should attend the class, that the ride might be a tad awkward initially, but he felt I'd soon adjust. I hate when things I need are not up to snuff. I know if I don't do as well as I want in class, I'll always think it was the cock-eyed handlebars that sabotaged me. Chris inspected my handlebars and said he might be able to straighten them. The bend was at a stress point that could snap. He tried. Eventually, others helped him. I hated that Queenie was being manhandled by three strapping guys, but in this case the "no pain, no gain" was in effect. In running a safety school, Chris said they are experienced at straightening out handlebars. Mine seemed particularly stubborn and refused to cooperate. Later, when I prepared to leave, the ride did seem slightly less cock-eyed. It's weird that I'm riding with a countersteering sensation. But Chris assured me I should be okay in the class, which is held on a track. Getting there will be interesting.

I should get some shut eye before I ride the cock-eyed bike. Signing off...