Category Archives: Modifications & Maintenance

The Grasshopper and the Towtruck

As I mentioned in a previous post, the rear tire on my bike is completely shot and the towtruck was coming today to bring it in to the shop. The truck was supposed to arrive around 14:00, but I guess he was so keen on seeing my bike that he decided to show up 90 minutes early. At least he called to give me five minutes warning…

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So I ran out to the backyard to pull out the bike, which I keep parked in the space below the stairs to the upstairs apartment, and push it through the overgrown grass into the parking lot. Just as I had backed the bike into the grass I wondered if I should have checked the area for snakes first. The show up rarely enough, so I convinced myself that I was fine. However, as I rode the bike from the parking lot up onto the patio area in front of the house, I felt something climbing up the inside of my right pant leg! I hopped of the bike without putting the kickstand down first, which I never do, and then jumped about trying to shake the bug, which I could only imagine was a mukade (huge poisonous centipede), out of my pants while trying not to drop the bike.

I was able to get the bike on the side stand, and then I immediately ran up the front steps and stripped off my jeans in front of the entrance to the apartment. I ran in to get a fresh pair of pants so as to not frighten the neighbors or towtruck driver who was supposed to arrive momentarily. Once I came out fully dressed again I took a closer look at my pants and found the little green monster pictured above hanging out in them. It was just a grasshopper, but that really doesn’t mean much when it is climbing up the back of your leg inside your pants!

I pulled out my camera to grab a quick photo, so that my wife would not think that I was making things up, and the towtruck driver pulled in to find me there with a spare pair of jeans just lying on the ground. He probably just noticed that I was a foreigner, and foreigners just do strange things, of course, so he completely ignored me while I kicked the grasshopper across the parking lot and threw my bug tainted jeans back towards the front door of the apartment.

Once the bike was loaded on the truck the neighborhood wives all came out to find out what was amiss. They were all curious as to why my bike was being taken from me. I explained that I had “ridden too much”, and now my tire was too damaged to ride on. ¬†They then all quizzed me on the current mileage on the bike, and quickly turned to scolding mode when I told them I had racked over 13,500 km in the last ten months. The towtruck driver even joined them, and started to claim that he had not put as many kilometers on his truck in the same time, but I think he decided at that point to stay out of it… lol

That said, they did not seem to phased when I suggested that I might take my son motocamping to Mt. Daisen this weekend. They just casually started discussing distances and tabulating my new high score. So, sometime tomorrow I will pick up the bike, new rubber and all, and start planning for Daisen over the weekend.

Is 1,350 km/month really a lot of riding? How much do you do a month/year?

Visibility

I ordered some new 3M retro reflective visibility tape from Rakuten the other day, and it arrived today, just in time for my trip.

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As I’m sure you can tell, I have only added the tape to one side of the top box at this point. The tape really makes a huge difference. It actually looks like there’s a light in one side of the top box now. Now if this would only make me more visible to the deer then I would be all set.

* Update*

I took some of the leftover tape and added it to the end of my handlebars. Now the width of my bike will be clearly visible to oncoming traffic and maybe even to cars coming from behind as well.

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