For the first time in nearly 5 months, the Heritage rumbled in the Ted Shed. Those of you who have been following the Ted Shed Videos on YouTube will know what I had to do to get to this point. Let me tell you, there were tears of joy. Here’s why.
I’m a hack.
I have no significant formal training in anything. Sure, I had carpentry in high school. My grandfather and dad showed me how to do some things on my cars and I did have a 3-month class on AutoCAD in the 80’s. Other than that. There has never been any training on anything that I have ever done. With the exception of my service in the US Navy, where I received training I will never use again, any job I have ever had was on the spot here’s-how-it’s-done training if I didn’t already know how to do it. I have progressed through life doing things by learning how to do things by research and doing it. Now imagine doing that before the internet.
Thanks to the wonders of the internet, a few people more intelligent than I and some manuals, I thought the only way this bike was going to get back out on the road is i I fixed it myself. My grandfather always said “Learn how to do everything yourself, unless if you are rich enough to pay other people to do it for you, this way you depend on no one”. Smart man.
So when I set out to do this repair, I knew full well, it was doing it correctly or I would fail miserably. There was no grey area here, it was all right or wrong, flawed or perfect, spot on or way off. I was scared, I admit. Here I have a twelve thousand dollar investment, now only worth $5K give or take, a bike I pay for each month and will do so for the next 18 months. It’ll either be a functioning form of transportation or a 700 pound paper weight.
The moments leading up to the point where I pushed that button on the handlebars held an anxiety level that was through the roof. I ran through everything in my head that I did, everything I had to do, everything I should have done. I replayed every step, every bolt, every gear, every screw, every wire and hose. I did everything the books told me to do, except push the button.
I was going to wait another day. Let it fester in my brain a little more. Then the little bug in my ear said “Do it”.
I feared a detonation. I feared unGodly sounds and metal clanging together. I even feared an explosion of sorts. But I know I did everything I was supposed to do. I know I did. Success or failure, the only two outcomes.
I resigned myself to that fact and had one last conversation.
Voice in my head: “Push the button”