Freer Than The Birds

Freer Than The Birds

It was whilst sitting, sipping a well earned cup of tea, when the robin first appeared

I thought to myself: look at that cheeky Robin, she’d better not leave any droppings there. The bird had landed on the mirror of my freshly polished motorcycle you see. I was indoors. She’d got something that looked like a worm in her beak; probably got young to feed.

It’s often the case, that whilst basking in the glow of a job well done, I get a little philosophical. I’d spent weeks pondering and then attempting some of the more complicated repair jobs on my bike. Of course what always makes these things more of a challenge is age. The ageing effect on machinery. Especially machinery that hasn’t been very well maintained during its previous lives. The front brakes had been the most recent challenge.

It all started with an advisory on the MOT

For those who don’t know, here in blighty, we have a compulsory annual check on vehicles that are more than three years old. Anything defective is either flagged as a potential problem or is considered a fail. The vehicle is then taken off the roads until the problem is sorted.

Anyway, last year an advisory notice stated, that when placed on the rolling road, there was a slight judder, or pulsing, when the front brake was applied. I had noticed this but had chosen to not worry about it too much. Also, at the lever, the brakes seemed a little notchy and stiff. These kind of problems start to appear when things age, especially when not nipped, in the bud.

Having replaced many parts, at great expense, I’m now happy with the brakes

The only teething problem is the disc on the left hand side; it’s getting hotter than the right. I’ve bled the system again and reckon this should solve the problem. The extra heat suggests there’s greater friction on the left hand side, and there must be a weaker braking effect, on the right. Logic tells me that air in the right caliper is the likely culprit.

Air is compressible, whereas brake fluid isn’t, so air in the system will cause this kind of imbalance. Most of the braking is been done by only one disc (the left) and this is not as it should be. That’s my theory, and once I’ve been for another test ride, we’ll see if things have evened out. I’ll be able to tell immediately, because when correct, the brakes will feel very efficient.

There are a lot of things in life that logic can easily resolve isn’t there? I like mechanical things because of this. Metaphysical, non-mechanical stuff, is of course a little different. And so back to the cheeky robin. Thankfully she didn’t do her droppings on my shiny bike, she just paused, had a good look around, and then moved on. Much like us really.

I feel it’s okay to own stuff

It’s a bit like the little boy who asked his grandfather why he polished his car so much. His grandfather told him it was because he owned it and wasn’t about to replace it anytime soon. They made things last in those days. It’s okay to own stuff, yet we mustn’t define our happiness, by these things.

There’s an important balance really

After all, the Robin owns nothing, except herself. The thing is though, we have much larger brains, and need more to keep ourselves amused. She might be happy flying around singing, raising young, gathering worms, yet we need creative expression, and we need many avenues, for this. Just don’t define your happiness by what you have but rather by who you are: a good person doing your best.

That’s all.


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