They say a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. We shall see.
I took a single step today, resolving to get my Norton back in riding shape. With this decision, I contacted my buddy Andy to figure it out in the best way possible, by a 200 mile ride in upstate CT. Nothing crystallizes a decision and follow ups like that kind of ride, as we all know. One problem, he needed to fix the brakes on his car. Not being one to perform actual physical labor, I told him I’d grab some beer and weed and ride the hour to help him, then we could continue on to Falls Village (up near Lime Rock where we’ve seen the races) to visit ‘the Dude’.
I’d had a really good weekend so far, having received my first ever sext with pics of naked hotty not 30 minutes before, and with my daughters soccer cancelled. my mood was good. I also realized that I actually HAD a bit of Rich’s buddy’s dirtweed left in my hitter. Fortifying my head, I threw a boatload of The Black Keys on my phone, straddled the LT, and headed out. Its funny how the LT smooths out curves and eats miles on the slab. As my buzz was fading I decided to freshen it lakeside and saw a turn off of 58 with a couple of bikes and guys fishing. I stopped. Two doods were hanging out and we started talking. Getting baked is a whole new experience now in CT as it is no longer illegal…really anyway. Now I was standing around it struck me, life is good. It was sposed to rain today, and I was out riding, and I am 54 years young and getting pictures of naked hot women that I actually know sent to me unsolicited by non-commercial enterprises. I actually burst out laughing and with the quizzical looks of my companions, I shared the reasons for my grins with the squids and they confirmed that being 35 neither one of them HAD received any kind of similar missive that morning. I felt good about that and we resolved to ride a bit together, and we did, although they being squids and me being a gnarly 54 and feeling mellow, I didn’t follow too closely.
Andy is a potential Maggot except his wife keeps him on a pretty short leash. As I think about it, he would fit in as I am sure he would get along with Pagan, Biff, Scrounger, Mr F and Marc. He rides a 74 BMW something something slash something.
By the time I got there, the brakes were done, having been a dick simple job of just replacing pads on the two fronts, so we packed up and headed out. You’ve all been on those roads so you know they are twisty and fun CT back roads and they need no explanation. Fun.
‘The Dude’ is Greg and he inhabits a place called the Toymakers Cafe http://local.yahoo.com/info-34891072-toymakers-cafe-falls-village (check out languages spoken) and its a little B&B with two barns full of Norton and Triumph parts. Pics adorn the walls of Gregs misadventures racing and riding Nortons in places like Daytona. All-around cool place, we sit down and discuss the project with Greg while he toasts my muffin and fixes our coffee…it reminded me of that scene in Blues Brothers with my buddy Matt ‘Guitar’ Murphy and Aretha Franklin.
We explained our situation and determined that it would cost between 1-2k to get the bike finished. Greg would do some of the work and farm out the balances to one of the myriad people he knows. As long as I need to do NOTHING except write a check on this bike, I am cool. Long story short, we resolved to start with the tranny ($75), and that I could do the wheels myself (doing nothing is always a good plan and I try to follow my plan and do not always succeed), in the interim, and once they were done, could reassemble and refit the balance. Its worth noting the engine is completely rebuilt, and ready to rock, the frame is in perfect shape, as is just about everything else except for the two parts mentioned above, maybe some work on the tank as I decided NOT to redo it to save money and it is original. Reassemble with new consumables, tires, and bearings all around, fab a piece for the swing arm, use Greg’s new washing apparatus, (not sure but he was proud of it), and pretty much call it a day.
As the food at the Toymakers is a bit suspect (lol – his wife makes everything and he is really thin…), we took our leave and rode a bit to another bar, couple beers and lunch, with best onion rings I’ve ever had, (The Boathouse). We finished our ride, and I reflect on whether this will actually be the end, whether I will follow up and actually finish it this time, probably not, but someday and it was worth the ride to meet my new friend Greg and his wife, and at least move the ball forward…
The Toymakers will absolutely be a stop on every ride up there in the future…even if I stick to the muffins.