So $100.51 later I had my bike and it had been “serviced” and given a brand new inspection sticker. I had brought it in last Saturday ’bout noonish, and asked for an oil & oil filter change, to check and lube the throttle cable (my Dad said it was acting strange) and to get its yearly inspection sticker. Well, you saw what progress they had made on Wednesday.
I was going to call him on Friday evening after work to see what was going on with it, and if I could get it before this weekend. The guy beat me to the punch: he had left me a voicemail when I was out to lunch asking me to call him back. When I called him back he said it was ready, but there were several major things wrong with it.
Uh-uh. I thought. What the heck? So I asked him what they were. He told me the throttle cable was a bit rusted and should be replaced. Okay, but seeing as how I don’t have a spare and I don’t want to wait for them to get one, nor charge me out the arse for it, I said okay, what else? And he said the gear shifter wouldn’t automatically return to the ‘home’ position after shifting it. Umm. Yeah, it’s had that problem for a while now. The entire time I drove it I had to ‘tap’ it down after I shifted to any of the up gears, but mostly gears 3 to 4 if I remembered correctly.
So the guy said I could come on down and pick it up.
I asked one of the guys at work and he said he could take me down there on Saturday to pick it up. When I got down there, the guy who worked on it was shocked that I would take it with the shifter acting the way it did. Umm. Its acted like this for the past 20 years that I know of – when my Dad drove it 16+ years ago for a year or two he said it did the same thing for him. He never bothered to fix it, and ::knocks on wood:: it shouldn’t be a problem for me. The mechanic showed me the rust on the throttle cable, and it wasn’t the actual cable, but the adjustment or connector, whatever he called it. You can see where he taped it to ensure it stayed together here:
Now this bike is from 1978, so it is almost 30 years old (!), and most of the components are all original. So that they have a bit of rust on them, or are fragile, doesn’t suprise me. . .but what did surprise me, was after I got on my bike (and finally got it started – took me a bit to remember which way was ‘on’ for the choke, as she is slow starting up.) and took off on it, the assembly of the front brake / right mirror was loose. Not falling down off the handlebar loose, but loose enough to be a pain in the arse.
So why didn’t the mechanic guy tighten it back up after he put it back on – I’m assuming that he loosen it in order to tak out the throttle cable to lube it. Makes me wonder if they broke it trying to take it out / put it back in. Whatever – I’ll just assume (again) that he didn’t do it intentionally if he did do it.
And remember how it took nearly a week for them to check it out? On my bill they charged me for .4 hours for the oil change and .3 hours for the throttle cable adjustment. All total: .7 hours. Less then an hour. Want to guess how much labor cost? $52.50, or $75 an hour. I guess that is standard for a mechanic? All I know it is more than I make an hour, and I’m a chemical engineer. I guess I ought to switch professions, eh?
But I forgot about all that jazz (for the most part) as I drove home: in the low 80s, sunny, low humidity. A beautiful day out for a bike ride. Though the bike did stall out twice while I was riding it, and with the crazy slipping front brake handle it made for some nerve racking moments – but I made it home in one part, and will go out later for another ride I’m sure. I hadn’t forgotten how much I enjoy riding it; it is about as close to flying as I’ll get (other then skydiving, which is just falling).