A New Year in the Garage

Set the thermos on the workbench: coffee with Jameson’s. No work today; I just came out to the garage to “tidy up a bit,” my own preferred personal euphemism for doing nothing at all. It’s the first Sunday of January, but not too terrible cold for a’ that.


The only actual task I have today is to take down last year’s Garage Calendar (Rachael Clegg’s delightful, beautiful, sexy, and witty Milestones TT calendar) and put up this year’s (images of engineers rappelling off buildings from Wiss, Janney, Elstner; sexy in a very different way). I’m very particular about the selection of the annual Garage Calendar ever since I got the droolworthy 2010 Zero Engineering calendar.


So, January. Janus is the Roman god of beginnings and transitions. He has two faces, looking forward and backward. He signifies that every beginning is an ending and blah, blah, blah, whatever. January isn’t actually named after Janus, it turns out, but it’s close enough, so we’ll go with it.


So as we look forward to another year of, by the grace of Jupiter, riding, wrenching, tinkering, drinkering, revving, leaning, and getting home alive, it’s worth an hour or two to inhabit the garage, have some augmented coffee, and reflect.


Everything in the garage is put away so neatly now, as it never is during the season. Drawers are closed; King Dick wrenches are aligned on the wall in soldierly fashion; mower and wheelbarrow parked under the stair; hoses coiled; Triumph tarped and parked. It’s really quite pleasing to observe, and the temporary neatness masks all the undone projects nicely.


Of all the things still incomplete, I’d have thought I would have gotten the BSA on the road this year, but over there is the frame, and over there are the wheels, and under that sheet is the engine, and in those boxes… oh, boy. Look at that bucket full of nuts and bolts. This isn’t even at square one. It’s square zero.


Time to get realistic and realize I need to call in some help. Instead of lofty, hifalutin’ New Year’s resolutions, let’s be realistic this time. Sure, I’d like to be able to say I did it all myself with tools I forged myself from locally-sourced organic iron, but let’s get real. Let’s put ego aside and do what’s best for the project and give us the best chance of getting her on the road.


It takes some combination of time, skill, and money to complete any project. My resources of all three are limited. I’ve decided to decide that I can spend a little more money and borrow an expert’s skill. Do I lose a little authenticity? (maybe) Am I getting older? (yes) Well, I’m OK with it. I know I would enjoy doing more of the work myself (if I had the time), and I would surely learn a lot on the rebuild. I also know that, like everybody else, I’m going to be working my ass off this year and I can’t always put a bike rebuild first. “Others have excuses, I have my reasons why.”


This will be a good year. Maybe by giving up a little of my self-improtance, I’ll get a little more done and be a little less manic. Maybe I’ve had enough augmented coffee. (nope)


Well, the calendar is up. I guess I’m done here. Here’s to kicking the starter in 2015.

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