Ted’s essays

unwelcome time off


We (I’ll drag Missy into this for allowing the following) picked up from an estate sale a BMW touring bike I used to own, and grabbed a heckuva deal on a small 400cc “dual sport bike” that was languishing under a tarp next to it. I never got around to restoring the BMW, but found the Suzuki DRZ400S to be a highly desirable bike in exceptionally good shape. The former I sold “as-is” for what I had into it, while “Doctor Z” became a favored steed.

With the ice thus broken, I bought an upgraded semi-touring BMW in Denver on occasion of a family reunion nearby and rode it the next day to the top of Pike’s Peak. Not particularly smart, but it was certainly noteworthy and memorable. I published that story here: https://www.bitterrootbugle.com/2022/09/05/pikes-peak-the-wrong-way/

The ‘big beemer’ was an ex-police patrol bike with abnormally low miles on it. I love that bike. It brings lots of joy with its agility and refinement. With its history and exhaust note that rumbles under moderate throttle and roars when opened up, I call it “LEO”.

I (we) upgraded Dr Z in on a slightly larger, more powerful, refined bike that could handle the dirt/gravel roads around here well, but was much better on the highway that is the main artery in this valley. The Dr Zee replacement is a 2011 BMW F650GS. As a “Jack of all trades” in our motorcycle garage, his name is simply “Jack”.

Somewhere in this chronology, Missy’s ‘HOGS (Harleys) forever” brother restored and gifted her with a 1978 Honda XL75. In honor of its source to us and diminutive stature, we call it “Piglet”. Here is some of that story: https://www.bitterrootbugle.com/2024/04/02/biker-chick/

So Piglet and Dr Z, or Piglet and our snow-plow (ATV) or Piglet and Jack traveled the lower speed back roads around here for a while.

Then some previously undiagnosed disease struck me and I got a vintage BMW (1976) in almost great shape to scratch some obscure itch for re-living my early motorcyclist years. I sent it to my trusted mechanics at The Motorcycle Garage to have it gone over and certified good-to-go. On my maiden ride, the front wheel locked up at low speed and SLAMMED ME TO THE PAVEMENT with my left half under a 500-pound motorcycle.

This introduced me to my very first hospital stay in 74 years. A badly bruised tibia prevented my left side from bearing any weight at all for two weeks – a big thigh bone that must have come incredibly close to breaking under the strain. Other bits that did not fare well on my body slam were 7 broken ribs and a broken clavicle that is much more painful and debilitating than silly little rib fractures. Completing the picture is some discoloring bruising over most of my left side and a broken toe. After a few days of having hired help moving me around the hospital, Missy brought me home to a rented hospital bed and neighbors helped unload me into the house.

So I am not doing much physical stuff around the yard, shop or neighborhood and wear a sling everywhere to hold the collar bone somewhat in place to help healing thereof. I also have a couple of motorcycles that are quietly sobbing in a dark garage as the far-too-short Montana motorcycle season ticks on by. Piglet is also relegated to inactivity as Missy takes no chances handicapping the only one of us who can do all the physical things needing done around here.

Today, just over two weeks post-crash, I have figured out how to keyboard two-handed in my lap. This is a HUGE upgrade from two fingers on the desktop. I may get good at this, but so far it is simply a ton faster than double-digit typing or handwriting.