On the road again.
I currently live in a building that looks like a barn. Built two generations before the current owner, carpenter and close friend of mine, Big Joe, became the caretaker. Next to the barn, is a little shack, built by Joe, complete with workbench two vises, out of place kitchen cabinetry and a few strewn tools. Also occupying the shack is Joe's precarious collection of old motorcycle parts and me, for the last two months.
When I returned from Japan, I became the owner of a bike that looked like my friend Chauncey had craned it out of the Coosa River. Before leaving for Japan I had helped assemble it in the basement below my apt., a learning experience for both of us, but the real learning would come more than a year later, when I became the owner.
Chauncey grew tired of the cranky nature of the bike, and the tendency of my welds to crack. He bought a stock ironhead, chucked this one in his dad's garage in Locust Fort AL and put it on craig's list until I got it out of him that it was for sale during an intercontinental skype conversation. It was sold back to me within days and destined to sit in the dark, with gas in the carbs, until I returned 8 months later.
It took me more than two months in Joe's shack to right our collective wrongs on the bike. Yesterday I quintuple kicked the hesitant twin to life. Grumble, pur and little spit. I crossed town to Nick's house where a random old timer, Keith, showed up with a framed piece of history: a black and white picture of his older brother astride his panhead, with something like a 14 over front end, wearing his captain's hat. Perfect. Keith claimed that his brother used to put him on the fender and take him to school. Living it in elementary.
I tuned my ignition sitting on Nick's gravel drive and waited for the sun to go down. When it did I had the ride I had been waiting for more than a year. Small dark forested roads, not a sputter out of the bike. The long way home. She still looks like she was pulled out of a river, but I think she's dialed in now.