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Old 10-26-2012, 09:53 PM   #1
redhandmoto OP
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Pit Pony.

A scoot-shaped scoot entered the shopping center some distance ahead of me. Later, when I came crabwalking out of the pharmacy with my prescription bag in hand, it was parked up by the grocery, and I hoofed it over to take a look.

It's not much of a shopping center; working class like this, my neighborhood, like me. The supermarket is worn, shabby, not real clean, but cheap. I've known the drugstore manager ten years, and he can accurately gauge the general economy by the volumes of generic cigarettes and discount domestic beer he sells on a given Friday afternoon. Pharmaceuticals and health care products are a dim third place.

The bike is on its stand between potholes in the clouded pre-Sandy gloom, and I see that I called it right by the de trop headlight; a Yamaha Vino 125 with some years on it. Did that headlight come out of a '61 JC Whitney catalog or a Godzilla movie? I bought mine used, a most excellent flat-floored errand-runner and carter of packages and parcels around town, simple and dead reliable, plain but wearing that bizarre oversize chromium-plated plastic hat. Some unsung Yamaha designer thought it was the cat's nutz, no doubt. It always made me laugh.

Now I am taking in the riding-dirty, no-tag, no-sticker, scuff-on-scuff, cracked and beat used-to-be-blue plastics, the tires, the tires, my God, tires can't be that worn and still hold air. They are sanded-down smooth and patternless across the whole breadth of contact patch, with a faint memory of tread along the edges, and I am grinning at this absurd scooter remembering my own silver 125 when the owner comes out of the market with a loaded plastic bag in each hand.

"Hey, man; Vino 125. Cool"

"Oh, yeah," he says, grinning back," 'at's my baby!" He's late forties, two-day growth, stained carmel Carhartts, on a jobsite someplace here in town, a roof, a porch, something. It's about lunchtime. He sets his bags on the ground, sees me looking at their bulk and shapelessness, and says, "Meat Day."

"How's that?"

"Meat Day. Friday at ten they mark down the meat and put it out. I'm late." He can't be too late. There's gotta be about a dozen pounds of slightly aged but saleable meat there, and he pops the seat. A caged trouble light at the end of a six-foot orange cord falls out on the ground; he also removes a carpenter's square and a scissors jack. Screwdrivers, sheetrock bits, and sockets stay rolling around the bottom.

"My daughter is fifteen," he says, "and she loves to cruise through the neighborhood on 'er, she looks just like a princess in her white helmet," and he says this with no hint of non sequitur because we're talking about his scooter and all things attendant to it. He is as foursquare, open, and friendly as you could wish a man to be, and he starts packing meat into that gritty storage space, chatting as he goes, and when the meat's away, he puts the light, square, and jack into the plastic bags and ties them somehow to the handlebars.

The bike starts right up and runs well, no smoke, no tick, and I wish it were mine. It's not abused, exactly, just well-used as he and his family need to use it, but, well, you know their dog probably sleeps outside in a doghouse, too. It is loved, no question, but has a job to do, and the job's outside.
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DR-Z400SM, '68 Honda 305, '64 Honda C110, '06 Honda VT750, GTS 250ie, Genuine 150, Vino 125, Zuma 125, Yam C3, Honda Met, Tomos ST, PCX 150, Honda PS250 Big Ruck, Vino Classic 49, Honda Rebel, and a Lifan CT 70 clone I forgot about...

redhandmoto screwed with this post 10-28-2012 at 07:08 PM
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Old 10-27-2012, 06:38 AM   #2
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Word painting of life.

Pics are a moment in time, with word you have share an experience in time. The camera captures time in a fraction of a second. Your have captured an experience over minutes. Nicely done!
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Old 10-27-2012, 03:15 PM   #3
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Nicely written man.
Cool.
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Old 10-27-2012, 08:01 PM   #4
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thanks, gents; it fails, though, ya know? Grasping to say how the riding life captures, abstracts me, out of care, out of drudgery & the prosaic, out of disintegrating body, even; not the Kevin Schwantz/championships/Salt Flats records/ RTW documented touring/press release/new bike buzz riding life. The other kind, the framing carpenter locking up his bargain meat in the underseat life, keeping it secure at a muddy construction site while he works out a Friday afternoon.

Me, us, just-some-guy people must hammer together one necessity to another to bridge our days, cold dawn to dusk, just to reach a snug night. This guy is a singularity, a framer on a beat scooter and not in a beat pickup, thinking ahead to hit the grocery for the weekly meat mark-down on his lunch, working his beloved daughter into his telling of it, a guy still carries around one of those triangular aluminum squares for marking true 45s and 90s and any other angle, with the math for figuring stairway chords and pitches cast into the flats.

the bike, the scooter, the light motorcycle can be at the center of the most ordinary of everything, invigorating it, lighting it up, making it better than it is, and that is the jello I just can't get nailed to the wall.
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DR-Z400SM, '68 Honda 305, '64 Honda C110, '06 Honda VT750, GTS 250ie, Genuine 150, Vino 125, Zuma 125, Yam C3, Honda Met, Tomos ST, PCX 150, Honda PS250 Big Ruck, Vino Classic 49, Honda Rebel, and a Lifan CT 70 clone I forgot about...
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Old 10-27-2012, 10:56 PM   #5
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Yes, very well written. Just by coincidence, I own a blue Vino 125. Mine has 23,000 miles on it, but still looks nearly new, or would if I cleaned it up a bit. I like to say it has been ridden, but not used. It has been ridden 100% for recreational purposes, never as a commuter or for work. You will not likely ever see it in a parking lot. Been on many long trips on it, either stayed at campgrounds or in a motel. If I stayed in a motel, I waited till after dark, and took it in the room with me. That huge chrome headlight cover is indeed an abomination, here in AZ it reflects everything, including the sun. I have often considered sanding it down and painting it matte black or gray.

BTW, I also own a carpenters square. It is steel, not aluminum. It used to belong to my dad. I am a mechanic by trade, but am also a halfway decent amateur carpenter, and have used that thing on many occasions, last time to build a shed in the back yard to accommodate part of my ever increasing bike collection.
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Old 10-28-2012, 02:13 AM   #6
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Aha, Jerry! You see? A magical confluence of artifacts inside the lingua franca of low COG/little wheel handling. Ours was a silver '06, and the headlight could've been worn by the Rocketeer to a New Years Eve party; atsa Japanese take on Italian aerodynamics, ok, just a little off in length and flattened arc and girth, like a big long chromium olive, but the gawdawfulness always made me laugh and never repelled.

I wisht I had it now, I'd take one over any maxi, even trade, even a new BMW-cum-Kymco automatic motorcycle rideable razorback hog thing. But you can't go by me: I can't get fond of maxis: maxi corner at the local Big Four looks like a pod of Orcas. Thar they blow! No, no; I'm talking scooters. You know. De Gustibus, tho; not to condemn or judge - maximizers should only enjoy and rejoice.

Say, you have the Z125, too. Loved mine, whippiest little town runner ever, right up till I kitted, piped, geared, re-variated, leaned it out and blew it up. My fault entirely; 125 jug and stuff went back in, and it still runs someplace. Went for a light motorcycle. In the happiest of worlds I will have another.

And you're a lucky man; you have your dad's steel square. Lucky in that it's steel and belonged to your dad. I never saw a cast aluminum one wasn't cracked the first time it got dropped on concrete.
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Old 10-28-2012, 02:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redhandmoto View Post

And you're a lucky man; you have your dad's steel square. Lucky in that it's steel and belonged to your dad.
I hear that. I have a pair of my Opa's electrical cutters on the wall of my shed. His father gave them to him when he graduated with his electrical degree in the 1930s (he put it to good use too........he was very good at blowing up trains during the early '40s ). I never use them, just look to remind me not to be cavalier with electrickery. They have an 1/8" hole in the centre of the cutting blades, a reminder to him, and now me, to always double-check the power is off. He presented them to me when I got my first trade ticket.

It's hard to capture the moment with mere words, but I rekn you don't need to get an exact snapshot. You are able to bring up a moving series of images that we can see in our minds, and that is more than enough. It's up to us to add detail based on our experience. That way you can create a different world for every reader.

Good to see you're back writing again man.
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Old 10-28-2012, 05:20 PM   #8
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Can sure see your Grandpa wiring detonators in the dark, ok, and now his sidecutters hanging on the shed wall. Lord, what that invokes; God grant that it be the same for your daughter.
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DR-Z400SM, '68 Honda 305, '64 Honda C110, '06 Honda VT750, GTS 250ie, Genuine 150, Vino 125, Zuma 125, Yam C3, Honda Met, Tomos ST, PCX 150, Honda PS250 Big Ruck, Vino Classic 49, Honda Rebel, and a Lifan CT 70 clone I forgot about...
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Old 10-31-2012, 03:50 PM   #9
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Nice writing. Always a pleasure.
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