Sunday, October 3, 2010

The 1st Annual Los Angeles Motorcycle Push!

Last Wednesday my 1976 Moto Guzzi Convert's alternator died.  How do I know? Cause it wouldn't start.  The battery?  Dead.

I connected some jumper cables, pushed start and presto! It started right up. Yeah!

I then took the cables off the battery.  Instantly, it died again.  For those of you who don't know, if the alternator worked, the motorcycle would keep running even without a battery.  The fact that it turned off means that my alternator died.  It needs new magnets.

I let my roommate borrow my Guzzi and it died on him at the Westside Pavillion parking lot.  When he called, I knew I would be too cheap to pay for motorcycle towing and would have to make alternative arrangements.  Maybe a chain would work?

So I grabbed a ten foot chain that I previously used to lock down an actress to a bed in a Lancaster Motel and drove with South Central Matt to fetch my Guzzi.  Of course, I also brought my Canon 1D Mark IV.

Watch it. Let me know what you think.

I did get into an accident.  Some guy pulled a left, directly in front of Matt.  He braked hard, so I braked hard too.  Then he accelerated, probably remembering the precious cargo he was pulling.  The jerk made my Guzzi make a 12 foot long steel gash on the payment at the intersection of Overland and National, near the 10 fwy.

Wow. I was okay.  I landed on my knee and hand, then popped right up.  Lucky me.

I grabbed all my stuff that popped out of my Guzzi's trunk and lifted the Guzzi right up, pushing it off the flow of traffic.  I felt stupid.  Crashing in front of strangers is embarrassing.

Examining the Guzzi, I realized the chain bent the front fender.  If I continued my way home with chains, I might cause me more harm.

I threw the chain in Matt's SUV and grabbed a heavy-duty tension strap from the Guzzi's trunk.  I always carry one just in case.

I anchored one hook on the crash bars of the Guzzi, and anchored the other hook in the bumper of Matt's SUV.  It works!  We both moved down Overland toward Venice Blvd.  Nothing could go wrong now.

Then the cops pulled us over.  Apparently, Officer Jolkoele, Badge No. 26874, thinks towing my Guzzi home violates the law somehow.  Matt's ticket alleges some violation of Vehicle Code Section 29004(a)1.  Huh.  We'll see what the judge at the West L.A. courthouse has to say about that.  Hopefully, I won't get stuck with Judge Rafferty.  He's mean.

Would this traffic citation end my mission home?  Nope.  While Matt waited for Officer Jolkoele to finish crossing his T's and dotting his I's, I pushed on down Venice Blvd.

The way I figured it, I've already ran 5 miles completely barefoot before.  I should be able to easily run four miles with my Vibram FiveFingers.  Sure the 600 pound Guzzi might present an obstacle, but I'm wearing toe-shoes this time.  And it's one mile less.

So I started pushing.  After a mile in, I realized I would need nourishment.  Luckily, the Bluebird Cafe popped up out of nowhere.  And they serve beer.  This is good.

With my Ahi hamburger in my belly and my free Bluebird cupcake in my Guzzi trunk, I set off for South Central.

It wasn't easy.  The crash bars were great for the fall but kept hitting my legs on the push home.

About two miles in, I started rethinking the wisdom of pushing my Guzzi.  I could have just as easily searched Craigslist on my iPhone for a motorcycle towing service and paid some guy $40 to tow it home.  But that would be too easy.  Anyone with $40 could pay some dude to go home.  I wanted a challenge.

So I kept pushing.  I got so tired at one point, I actually just collapsed on top of my bike. Damn, I felt stupid.  Good thing no one saw.  It must have looked real funny.  Some guy  pushing his Guzzi when suddenly he just falls right on top of it.  My cupcake was ruined. The Canon 1D Mark IV also took a hit.  But it kept on ticking.

I lifted the 600 pound Guzzi off Rodeo Blvd., somewhere between La Cienega and La Brea.  Again I rethought the wisdom of pushing my Guzzi instead of calling a Craigslist tow guy.  Huh. I kept pushing.

When I got to the Ralph's at La Brea and Rodeo, I knew I needed something more than Ahi hamburger leftovers to get me home.  I needed liquids.  I needed milk.

After drinking half-gallon of milk, I pushed on.  I eventually made it home, smiling like a kid in Disneyland.  Overall, I'm glad I did it.  I saved $40. I sweated a lot, but it felt good. I definitely recommend motorcycle pushing as an annual event.  In fact, let me know if anyone wants to join me for the 2nd Annual Los Angeles Motorcycle Push.  Or not.


Chicano Lawyer

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