Just Quietly. I’m Enjoying The Attention.
Lately I’ve noticed people, young people mostly, are looking to me for – ahem – my learned opinion on various things.
This phenomenon has been creeping up on me for the past couple of years, and although I’m flattered that people think I know stuff, I’ve never thought of myself as any sort of expert at anything.
Maybe these “young folk” are looking to me because I’ve been around for a smidgen over half a century and they expect such expertise from us “old folk”.
I suppose we all look to those that have been around the traps for a while for their advice, but I never thought I’d be the one giving said advice to inquiring minds.
The other thing I’ve noticed is that having a crack at something you know nothing about isn’t the favorite pastime of teenagers anymore. I mean, back in my day (sonny) we’d fix a busted throttle cable with a bit of fencing wire from the back paddock.
Mind you, things were simpler back then too, you could see an engine in a motor car, and you could get your hand into just about anywhere to tighten a nut or bolt that had worked its way loose.
These days you have to call an electrician, a plumber, an electronics technician and a refrigeration mechanic. Then you’ve got to have a work method statement in place before you even start to think about looking under the bonnet*.
I’ve always tried to encourage our kids to look for a solution to a problem and have a crack themselves before coming to me with their questions. For the most part this has worked out well for them; it’s taught them to research, ask questions and be self-sufficient.
I hafta say though, they’ve got it a little easier than us “old folk”.
The internet is wonderful place for tutorials, general information and the like, and these days it much easier to find what you need quickly and without too much effort.
Those of us born last century will remember countless trips to the local library, magazines like Popular Mechanics, Street Machine, CQ Amateur Radio and others. All of which were gold mines of shared information – good and bad.
Most of the time though, it was trial and error…
“I wonder what happens if I turn this whose-a-ma-whatsit?”
Quickly followed by…
Sproing! “Oops, where the hec did that go?”
I guess this is why so many are attracted to motorcycles.
Even though they’ve advanced somewhat over the years with electronic wizardry and such, they’re still a relatively simple thing to tinker with.
And unlike a motor car, you can strip it down to its undies* in the confines of a 10′ x 10′ shed and still have room for your beer fridge and favorite chair for when you want to sit back and admire your handy work.
This last point became clear last weekend when The Bar Tender pulled me up and asked if I’d show him some basic maintenance items on ‘Fee’ <Link>.
He’s been driving for about a year and a half and never shown an interest in any sort of maintenance regime on his car, so his request came as a bit of a surprise. Maybe it’s because ‘Fee’ is new and he’s keen as mustard to ride and keep her in good nick.
Or maybe, it’s because I’ve been drumming it into him these past few months that he can’t neglect things like tyre pressures and chain tension on his bike, because, unlike a car, if something breaks or isn’t quite right, it can be very painful… and I don’t mean financially.
In the last few weeks he has come to realise that my “lecturing” as he calls it, is worth taking note of. He now understands what I mean when I say: “You’ll be one with the bike and it will speak to you. It will tell you if there is a problem, no matter how small”.
I’m sure people who don’t ride think we motorcyclists are all nuts when we say things like that. But its true, and until you ride you’ll never understand.
There have been other questions as well.
Like, “Why do you carry your wet weather gear with you all the time Dad, the sun’s out?”
Or, “Why do you leave your bike in gear when you park it?”
All of these questions are valid and I’m glad he’s asking, and I’m sure the questions will continue to come thick and fast for the foreseeable future.
Just quietly. I’m enjoying the attention.
Makes me feel wanted 😉
- Bonnet: Car Hood.
- Undies: Under garments/ shorts.
- Wet Weather Gear: Because you never know when you’re going to be stuck in a tropical downpour.
- Parking In Gear: So it doesn’t roll off the side stand
- And finally: Yes, I’m a Licenced Radio Amateur (Ham)… and no I won’t tell you my call-sign 😉
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