So I brought the SVS over to Hare Racing for new tires. It took about a half hour for Paul to mount the tires, so I sat around and read back issues of Road Racing.

When Paul was done, I paid up, thanked him, and started gearing up to leave. It takes me about fifteen years to gear up in the winter: electric vest, neck warmer, jacket, iPod earplugs, helmet, glasses, etc. Eventually, I put the key in the ignition, hit the starter, and….the bike wouldn’t start. Wubbawubbawubba but no catch.

After a few tries, it became obvious that the battery was starting to run down. Paul walked over, along with another guy who’d shown up to chat with him. Now, I’m geared up, with earplugs and a full face helmet on. The conversation was sort of retarded on my part.

“No, really, this is really weird. It hasn’t had any electrical problems at all lately.”

Paul gave it a try. Wubba Wubba. “Huh. Mumble mumble charger mumble?”

“Um, no, the charger should be fine.”

Paul’s friend came over. “Well, the mumble blargle charger mmmmmfffff mumble.”

I really couldn’t hear a damn thing. “What?” Paul’s friend sighs and repeats himself, no louder. “The mumble blargle charger mmmmmfffff mumble.”

I point at my head, in the vain attempt to explain my predicament. I get through this time, and both Paul and his friend start shouting good-naturedly at me about how the charging system works, and how letting the bike idle for a while without riding it can cause the battery to wear down, and etc.

Eventually, I gave up trying to explain (shouting all the while) that, yes, I know how the battery works; yes, I ride the bike (they’d just looked at the mileage, for goodness’ sake); yes, this was really an anomoly. I handed the bike over to Paul and his friend, who push-started it for me in the parking lot. After yet another muffled and helpful lecture on battery maintenance, and another failed attempt to prove that I hadn’t just fallen off the turnip truck, I gave up, got on the bike, and left for my friend Alan’s house.

While driving to get sushi, I told Alan this sad story of my inexplicably belligerent battery. He was quiet for a moment, then turned to me and said, “Sometimes, God just wants us to look like really big dorks.”

Needless the say, the bike hasn’t had a single hiccup since.

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