Monday, October 17, 2011

A story of Human Grit

Today I met a gentleman in my apartment complex. He is an avid biker and has several interesting bikes of the vintage era including a 500 cc Matchless, BSA Golden Flash, couple of Triumph twins among others. I stopped by his garage to have a chat about his bikes because I saw him working on one of them. We were primarily talking about bikes and riding. "I feel far more safe on the highway 75 going at 75 mph, than on the city roads going at 30mph," he remarked. I was surprised and he explained that on the highway as long as you maintained the speed and rode in your lane at a safe distance from other cars it is no problems. In the city cars come really close to you and it is quite dangerous to ride. He still rides bikes that don't have disc brakes or electronic ignition. Slowly our conversation progressed from motorcycles to traffic to business, employment and he said that there was so much corruption in the corporate world that he wouldn't want to go back to his job. Then I asked him if he was retired, to which he explained that he is technically blind. Apparently some undiagnosed illness afflicted him few years ago which made him completely blind. Now after some aggressive treatments he can see fairly well. He further explained how he had built up complete motorcycles when he was so blind that he couldn't find his way back home from the paring lot (about 20 steps). "I adjusted valves and set the guides in this bike when I was completely blind. I just knew what I was doing and had a feel for how much smooth the valves had to be ground and adjusted". After having the chat, I have a new story of human grit and another reason that I need to start riding motorcycles again. I need to get a license and find a motorcycle too. Let us hope that this happens quickly.

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