Thursday, December 26, 2013

A long story with a low payoff

I ride to work on a motorbike. There is a choice of two routes: the main road, which is direct but is full of traffic, or back roads, which are twisty but empty of traffic. I prefer the back roads as there is no traffic and it's quicker. Unfortunately, there is minimal upkeep of these back roads so there are plenty of cracks in them which I have to avoid. There was a section of the ride which seemed both superfluous (the road was something like a V) and dangerous, because of the cracks. A few months ago I noticed that a short cut had been made between the two ends of the V, thus making the ride shorter and possibly safer. This short cut is over a grassy hill, so I rode slowly but safely.

Possibly as a result of these cracks, I was feeling unhappy about driving over them: the bike would slip and slide and at times I was having trouble keeping balance. As a result, I decided to send the bike for a checkup (it was time anyway).

A few days before the bike was due to go away, we had the worst storm recorded in this area for the last 60 (or possibly 100) years: continuous rain for a few days, along with snow in high areas. Jerusalem was cut off for the weekend and many residents there had no electricity. We didn't have such problems as Tsora lies at the foot of the Judean Hills, but there was plenty of rain (100 millimetres in one day) which caused enough damage. 

It took nature a few days to get back to normal, days in which I wouldn't normally ride the motorbike, so it was fortunate that these days coincided with the days the bike was in the garage. I received it back last Wednesday afternoon; the following day I immediately noticed that the bike's balance - even over the cracks in the back roads - was much better. I spoke with the garage and they confirmed that they had changed the tires, amongst other things.

I had a look at the short cut and noticed that jeeps must have been riding through it during the rain for there were heavy tire tracks. I rode through this short cut a few times but felt unsure about using it as it wasn't easy to manoeuvre a motorbike through the tracks. This morning I again took the short cut, debated the issue and decided to cease going this way lest the bike overturns ... when the bike indeed overturned. I was traveling at only a few mph so nothing very much happened, except that I hurt my thumb. After picking myself up and dusting myself down, I got back on the bike, restarted it and drove the rest of the way to work.

I had to sign a paper with a pen and discovered that it was painful to hold the pen, because of the knock that the thumb had received. I was thankful that this knock happened now and not three weeks ago, for I don't know how I could have taken a three hour exam and write several pages by longhand when I can barely hold a pen.

[SO: 3259; 2,11,30]

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