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Ride it like you borrowed it again

June 22, 2007

It had been a while since I had ridden on this stretch of Aurora, but I was eager to see how the bike performed. I’m keeping up with traffic; I glance at the speedometer and it shows 55 mph. The ride is relaxed, the bike composed, attaining this speed with little effort. The Battery Street tunnel awaits.

No, I didn’t get a Sito Plus pipe, I’m riding Safety Ed’s GT. It had been sitting in his garage since the last time I rode it, and it was due for another jaunt. And having overshot the 6000-mile mark, I didn’t want to put many more miles on the PX before its service visit on Wednesday.

Yes, the headset was still slightly cockeyed, so I’d decided to head down to Big People and see what would be involved in re-aligning it. And the quickest way to get from Queen Anne Hill to Georgetown is by Aurora Avenue and the Alaskan Way Viaduct.

Into the tunnel we go. I can feel the presence of grooved pavement, but then I can tell when a tire on my car is down by a couple of pounds. There appears to be a shiny object on the pavement ahead of me, so I slow down. It turned out to be sunlight coming through one of the many ventilation ducts in the tunnel’s ceiling, but the grating did something to the light that made it seem 3-dimensional.

Still traveling 50 when I emerged from the other end of the tunnel, I notice my right wrist is painful, and so is my left elbow. It would be nice to be able to fix the headset.

While re-aligning the headset of a Vespa GT is not easily done by the do-it-yourself scooter mechanic, it only takes about half an hour of Big People shop time. With my Vespa Club discount, that comes to $35. “Want me to do it now?” asks Jeff. You betcha!

Half an hour later, I’m heading north on Airport Way thinking, this is a whole different bike. Or at least a more comfortable one. My wrists are equalidistant from my shoulders, and I can take corners without having to think about where my hands have to be.

I can’t wait to get home and call Safety Ed. I think I’ll take the Viaduct again. It’s the quickest way. Favicon


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