Sometimes brakes stop you – from going.
It happens when the brake calipers clamp onto the rotors and don’t let go. This happens, typically, because the pistons inside the calipers have gotten sticky. Or stuck, as in the case of my ’83 Honda Silverwing’s calipers.
The bike felt like it had less power last time we took it for a ride. Which in a way it did, because a good bit of the engine’s power was straining to overcome resistance – caused by the front brake calipers having clamped down on the rotor, the disc that rotates with the wheel and which the calipers cause to slow down by causing the brake pads to contact the rotor when the brake pedal/lever is depressed, creating friction – which slows the bike down.
When everything’s working as it ought to, friction is relieved when pressure on the brake pedal/lever is relieved. The rotor – and wheel – rotates freely.
But rust or deteriorated seals or some other issue can cause the pistons to lock up – which can lock the wheel up. Maybe just a little, not so much that you can’t roll the bike – for now. But sometimes enough to render the bike immobile.
Anyhow, that’s what happened to me – and my ’83 Silverwing. A good thing, in a way – because it gave me something to do that would take my mind off everything that’s being done to us, from Chinese balloons to drag queen admirals.
It is immensely therapeutic to fix mechanical things. Things you can get your hands on. Things you take apart and put back together. To see – and understand – how it works and why it’s not working and what is necessary to make it work again. It is one of the reasons why I keep a fleet of old machines – things that, periodically, need to be taken apart and put back together; things that need to be fiddled with. Things that are, above all, tangible.
I despise electronic things because they aren’t. This isn’t to say electronic things are bad things. It is subjective thing. Electronic things simply don’t move me. I am uninterested in their workings, in part because they aren’t tangible. Which, for me, renders them emotionally uninteresting.
This brings me to why I am uninterested in electric cars. It is not entirely because they are electric cars. But it is a function of their being electric cars. As such, they are one dimensional devices.
They are quick – and that’s about it.
It is the one thing they do better than the machines they are meant to replace. Which is happening in spite of the fact that they are worse at everything else. Certainly as machines, in that they are incapable of doing the same job we rely on machines – our non-electric cars – to do.
EVs – as everyone ought to know by now – do not. Unless you think that not being able to travel as far or refuel as fast isn’t a weakness but a strength. Unless you think that inconvenience is convenient. That paying more for less is good. In this sense, EVs are incontestably bad. With the sole exception of their being incontestably quick, which is – ironically – the very thing that has made them costly and impractical. Huge batteries are needed to store a massive amount of electricity, which is necessary to power a powerful electric motor (or two). These are expensive – and heavy. The heaviness reducing efficiency for the sake of quickness.
An escalator is quicker than walking. And there are times when an escalator is helpful in that standing upon one relieves what would otherwise be the burden of walking up a long flight of stairs. But does anyone – other a small child, the first time he experiences it – get excited about taking an escalator? How many of us even think about it, even while we’re on it? We get on – we go up – and then we get off. And instantly forget. We do not feel anything while we’re on. We don’t remember it, except in the sense that we got on and got off.
Just as there is nothing memorable about driving an electric vehicle, including (especially) an electric motorcycle. They go, often quickly. Without doing much else. Of such things memories are not made.
They are made by machines like my ’83 Honda, currently laid up while I fix the thing’s brakes. And my other machines, including my Great Pumpkin – the ’76 Pontiac Trans-Am (in glorious Carousel Red, which is really orange). A Tesla Plaid is much quicker and would easily beat my old muscle car in a drag race. But it wins my heart every time – because it’s not a one-dimensional device.
Quickness only takes you so far.
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