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The Kurt ride that wasn’t

January 1, 2007
by

Burn, baby, burn!

Aside from being New Year’s Day, this was the day the first 1524 miles on the PX were all about.

The first day of the new year is also the first ride of the Seattle scooter rally calendar. The Bozo Soku Brass Monkey Run, led by the owner of Cafe Racer, Kurt, is intended to “freeze the balls off the brass monkey” (look it up) prior to the practice of the old Norwegian custom of burning the Christmas tree on the first day of the new year.

However, the weather was not exactly conducive to freezing balls off brass monkeys, or much of anything else. The Weather Channel said it was 47° F when I left the house, with a 30% chance of rain.

Bring the rain pants, head to Cafe Racer. There are eight bikes and nine riders in attendance when we’re ready to leave. And it’s raining.

The group heads south on Roosevelt, but we stop at 50th because we’re missing two bikes. RobandDana, who ride a pink Stella, couldn’t get their bike started due to a carburetor issue. Fortunately Scott the Bartender is able to get them going, and we’re on our way.

Kurt takes the secret right turn just before the University Bridge. We’re going to be circulating around Queen Anne Hill and Magnolia before stopping at Cissy’s (Cafe Racer day manager) house to get her Christmas tree… it’s the one that will be burned. Well, aside from the Charlie Brown tree on the rack of Scott’s GT 200.

This will be a familiar ride, I think. Except that Kurt designed this ride to emulate the rides of the bosozoku, the Japanese motorcycle gangs who like to, among other things, ride unmuffled bikes through alleys at untoward hours of the day and night.

Suddenly, the PX hesitates. It continues to roll, but twisting the handgrip not only produces no go, the bike stops running altogether. Ohmigosh, what’s going on here?

Luckily, I’m at the back of the pack, so I can coast into a driveway without any drama. My mind races with thoughts of engine seizure, but I realize that I forgot to turn the fuel petcock to the “on” position! D’oh!

I’ll have to see just how far it was, but it is certainly interesting to know that it’s possible to go quite a ways before the fuel in the fuel line is burned. However, in the time it took to sort this whole thing out, the pack had long since disappeared.

Oh, well. I decide to head for Queen Anne Hill, hoping that I might cross paths with the group. My hopes are buoyed slightly when I see that the Fremont Bridge is open, but rounding the corner from 34th finds no scooters waiting for the bridge to close.

I try a few other places before deciding to head for Golden Gardens Park, which is where people in Seattle go to burn their Christmas trees.

The group eventually shows up, and we join a queue to throw Cissy’s tree on the fire. It burns magnificently. Favicon

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3 Comments
  1. Orin permalink*
    January 2, 2007 1:53 pm

    Turns out the distance is *exactly* one mile. Good to know, but still…

  2. Robert M permalink
    January 2, 2007 4:16 pm

    This is good to know because it’s such a simple fix and can make you feel so dumb when it keeps your rig from running and you spend half the day taking it apart and putting it back together again only to discover: . . . . it was a stuck kill switch all along!!!

    They don’t depress much so when they stick it’s not patently obvious unless you take a really close look and then jiggle it a little bit to see it pop out. But only a little. Blink and you’ve missed it.

  3. Orin permalink*
    January 2, 2007 4:26 pm

    Are we talking about the same thing? I was referring to the paddle-shaped control that rotates to the left for “off” and to the right for “on”. It was in the “off” position. And yes, I feel dumb because I’m ordinarily really conscientious about “FINE-C”.

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