Holy crappy brakes, Batman!

“Someone’s got a case of the Mondays!” You’ve heard that before and it usually isn’t me. I like Monday mornings because unlike most people I like getting up and going to work and having a week of work to look forward to. Some Mondays are exempt though. Like today.

I’ve vowed to wake up early and go to work every day this week. This usually means getting out there before 7:45AM when traffic turns to shit on WA-520. I cut it too close, got geared up, got on the SV and turned on the ignition and… nothing. It wouldn’t turn over, meaning battery issues out of the blue again. This is the second time in as many months that the battery has died for no apparent reason. I last rode it on Saturday, so it really has no reason to be doing this. F***ing electrical gremlins.

This meant walking back up and getting the key to the XT and riding that to work instead. By now I had missed the window of opportunity and looked forward to getting stuck in bad Monday morning traffic. The XT started up grudgingly and I rode it out. Switching bikes that are so different is always tricky and my muscles take a little adjusting – my steel-plated arm is always the first to protest for the first ten minutes. My muscles were the least of my worries today though when I realized that the brakes on the XT are way less reponsive than the ones on the SV. I found this out when a moron car just *stopped* in front of me at a “yield” sign. Wasn’t quite expecting that and stopped with only about an inch to spare between us. Ugh… my fault though. I should have been looking ahead instead of off to the side to yeild to traffic.

The second time was worse. As I droned through stop-go traffic on 520, an asshole Subaru driver unexpectedly swerved from a gridlocked left lane into my lane with no warning and I had to stomp on the brakes again. This time the bike went all wobbly and I’m surprised that my knobby tires had enough grip to come to a stop. I’m also grateful that the driver behind me wasn’t tailgating me and didn’t collide into me. I recovered and retaliated by honking at the Subaru driver and flipping him off for the next five minutes. I’m sure he genuinely hadn’t seen me at all and he kept trying to wave an apologetic hand. I passed him in a little bit and glared through his window while he still looked apologetic. I’m not quite sure how menacing a tiny motorcyclist on a 250cc bike looks, but I put everything I had into it. :P I wasn’t really mad seeing as I had recovered and no damage done, but it was more to shame him into realizing that making lane changes without looking is Not. Cool. and maybe him and the drivers around him would remember that in the future. Really I did it all for him. :P

I made it to work unscathed. The XT is such a fantastic bike to ride, in spite of its limitations. Maybe I’ll ride it through the rest of the week.

On the miscellaneous bike news front:
1. I did an oil change on the SV on Saturday. Fresh oil, whee! I noticed that my drain plug bolt was missing a crush washer and the oil filter didn’t come with one. I need to remember to get one the next time I change the oil. And umm.. also hope that the bolt stays in place without one. It did for the last 3000 miles, so why not 3000 more?

2. I noticed that 5 out of 6 bolts on the Givi windscreen were missing. They were either taken out by the douchebag who stole more bike two weeks ago (likely) or vibrated off in one night (doubtful). This calls for a trip down to the hardware store to find substitutes. I should probably also get some OEM nuts and bolts to replace some of the more rusty ones on the SV.

3. I washed the bike! After about 6 months. This is pretty good going by my track record.