Saturday, January 15, 2011
New Year, New Wheels
New Year 2011! I started with a bicycle and have upgraded.
I've entered the world of two-wheeled motoring by purchasing the above motorbike. It's a Honda Super Cub with a 70 or 90cc size engine. It came newly painted in the bright orange and green colors, along with the red mirrors. The shop owner put on the front basket, which I use all the time! The bike is a kick-start, and needs some time to warm up in the morning or after it's been sitting.
I bought it on a Monday out of necessity to get to the school where I teach, which is quite far down the road (about 5km or more) to ride a bicycle in the hot sun. Plus some nights I have to get to my volunteer job within 3o minutes during rush hour, so a bicycle wouldn't do, nor would hiring a driver.
Then Thursday started with a flat tire that required a complete inner tube change, and the fun didn't end there. I arrived late to work, and as soon as I pulled into the driveway, my front wheel seized up. Ack! Thankfully I wasn't in the middle of traffic. Some folks from the school helped take care of my bike while I went to my class.
But, it didn't end there...When trying to leave school, my front wheel did the same thing. So we packed it up in a tuk tuk and took it back the shop. It was closed, but fortunately one of the guys was still there and he was able to come out and work on my wheel again. Back to the road.
I went out to dinner to relax from the long day and on the way home while trying to stop to buy some fruit, my wheel seized for a third time! What is going on!?! I tried calling anyone I knew who might be able to bring a tuk tuk to haul my bike back home again. I was only minutes from my house. Thankfully one of the drivers from the guesthouse of the organization I volunteer for was able to come and he managed to help find a way to get it moving again.
I limped home and went to bed. I wouldn't drive my motorbike on Friday. I left a note for Da to inform him of what happened and what time I finished school that day. Thankfully he got it and was there to pick me up from school. Because I had forgotten to leave the key, he didn't have a chance to check out the bike until I got home.
Da checked out the bike and gave it his seal of approval, so I drove it, though nervously. His diagnosis: don't use the front handbrake. I ended up taking it back to the shop on Saturday to have it checked out. Plus, the headlight had gone out on Thursday night and I didn't want to keep driving at night without a headlight.
Now I'm back on two motorized wheels again. All's well with the motorbike. It hums along just fine. The front handbrake works, though I'm not eager to use it. It's all in the right foot, folks!