Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Back to The One I Love

Current mood: excited

Saturday we breathed life back into the DRZ. It had very sad valves, and we put the new shims in, fired it up! Not only does it run again, but it feels like a new bike! More power, happier in general, still need to fine tune the idle and all that, but for now, it RUNS!
And, as I took it around the neighborhood to test it out, I was very immediately reminded of the way riding used to make me feel. Corner once, twice, and oh HELL yeah, this is the bike for me! Lately I'd been very much NOT enjoying riding. I never used to say "couldn't we just go somewhere in walking distance" so much (unless there's liquor involved) and I was getting more and more depressed about it. All of that was gone as soon as I pushed the bike down under me to take sixth street. You can tell the bike is pushed down enough when you are looking at your teeth in the opposite mirror. Would the SV take that? Uh, no.
So all is well again. At least, enough is well. I am in heaven on that bike.

The SV finally got its new battery and is safely off of the street and away from the meter maids. It will sit there for a few weeks until Paul comes back, during which time I'll hopefully formulate a better plan of action. And, most importantly, ENJOY riding again. Then I'll be in a better frame of mind to approach the thing.

So far, the things floating around in my head:
-numero uno: replace fork oil. For $12 and a pan of brownies I can get this little thing fixed, and maybe make a little improvement.
-numero dos: someone to help me set the rear suspension properly. I suspect it's set up for someone heavier, though I don't know why, since the previous owner was my size. Might this help keep it planted in the turns?

Other considerations:
-tires: I'm tired of EXPECTING the tires to slip at least once in every ride. Last night it was when I got off of the freeway; the ride home before that was when I was on West Hill leaving work. Whatever. I don't know what it is, but it's nerve-racking. Rain Race Tires? The tires I have now are good for trips to Seattle, but how often am I really riding to Seattle? I know sticky tires are not long-lasting, but maybe it would be worth it to get rid of some of the icky feeling.
-Suspension: if I keep the thing, and the fork oil and rear shock don't work for me, that's a thousand dollars to sink into my bike. hmph.
-Selling it: which seems sort of logical, but I don't think there's a more suitable bike that I can think of. (except that SV dirtbike conversion?) Which leads me to believe that I might do better to just work on the one I have. Also, I DO like the motor. A bunch. And it's such a pretty blue.

Now, I don't have any real understanding of suspension, and I probably never would have noticed it had I stuck to crappy bikes like my first bike. But the DRZ has me spoiled. It feels so solid, really strongly stuck to the ground, anchored. Beautiful. The SV feels like it is rolling around, but not in a sticky tire sort of way; it feels like marbles on glass, gliding around this way and that, no real connection to the ground. That and all the clunkey stuff. I don't know how much of that is just my spoiled DRZ-riding ass, and how much of it is a nasty combo of suspension, fork-oil, and hard tires.

I DO know, that I am thrilled to have my real bike back up. And to enjoy riding again, and feel perfect again. The DRZ is like my own pair of legs, completely natural, and wonderful...

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