Born to be wild or bike bondage?

Presently, the irony of the mythical image of motorcycle ownership as enabling one to be wild and free is making me groan. Sleepless nights, vastly depleted bank account, dealing with corrupt and vindictive officials, begging friends for favours, trying to find mechanics or a tyre service who will actually deal with motorbikes in my region, the list goes on….

I had wanted to learn about basic motorcycle mechanics when i bought Feisty, and my gods I’m learning the painful way. Something as simple as changing tyres requires driving to end-of-the-world villages (picturesque but remote) in a convoy of bike and car in one direction, hoisting Feisty up, removing the wheels and then driving to another end-of-the-world village in the opposite direction where I must then find a service which will exchange rubber. Then, hopefully if i manage to do so, go back again.

Every little thing on my bike requires ordering via the internet from far flung countries. Every time I fix something, another thing goes wrong (just replaced the rear brake switch and now the temperature gauge has stopped working). Sometimes i feel like giving in, cursing myself for not buying an old, locally produced (Czechoslovak) Jawa 350 where parts are aplenty and virtually every villager over the age of 40 can fix them in their sleep – they’re even basic enough for me to fix them alone.

But then, when I start Feisty up and hear her roar, and I sit in the saddle with arms outstretched and tear arse down the pitted country lanes, I discover I have a huge grin across my face and I remember why I put myself through all this. And, for a brief moment, I can hear the opening bars of Steppenwolf’s classic ringing in my helmet….

Four wheels move the body, two wheels (although not in her current state) move the soul….

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