Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Not just about motorcycles

I promise I'll talk about things other than motorcycles least after I talk a little bit about motorcycles.

So dad came over last night to look at my bike and figure out what was wrong. It turns out nothing was wrong. It started instantly when dad tried. I felt a bit sheepish about dragging him out there.

We talked about what I did versus what dad did, and came to the conclusion that the problem might have been the choke. If you know nothing about chokes and engines, which I didn't, here's the quick run down. Most cars have fuel injection. This means that the car automatically gives the engine a bit of extra gas when it starts, to make it catch. Motorcycles do not generally do this automatically, that is what the choke is for. If the engine is cold and/or hasn't run for a while, you engage the choke when you start the engine to give it some extra gas, then release the choke once the engine is warmed up.

When I tried to start the bike on Sunday, it was early morning after a cold night and I assumed it would need choke, so I engaged it then tried to start. When dad started it he did it without the choke. He thinks that when I started it, it did not in fact need the choke, and that I ended up flooding the engine. So, another lesson learned - try to start the bike without choke first, don't default to using it. I also learned how to get the seat off of the bike, and how to get it onto, and off of, the center stand without help (Alan had to help me last time). So, I've missed 3 days I could have been biking, but many lessons were learned. I will get out on the bike tonight at least :)

Ok, time for non-bike things. There has not really been a lot going on, to be honest. I work, I do stuff at home, I go out with friends. That about sums it up. I should tell you about these great books I just read though. I just finished Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials series. This is the trilogy that starts with the Golden Compass, which I'm told was a terrible movie.

If the movie was terrible, then it in no way reflects the book. The book was great, and the series only got better as it went. Through most of the first and second books, you have a sense of where it's going, but there comes a moment when you really understand what the characters (and the author) are doing, and it is shocking. I felt as if I had actually been struck when I realized the scope of what was really going on.

The books are classified as young adult, but they are the same class of young adult books that Harry Potter belongs to, where the category doesn't really matter. They are fantastic regardless of your age. They are somewhat reminiscent of Madeleine L'Engle's "A Wrinkle in Time" series in theme and content, if you are familiar with those (if not, I recommend that series too).

The characters are well written, the world(s) are fascinating, and the story is original and intriguing. I don't think I've read anything like them before, and I highly recommend them. Go read some books, it's good for you!

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