Today something vibrated loose. My inner shift lever, to be exact. This is the lever that actually connects to the transmission, shifting from one gear to another, and it’s a real drag when it comes loose on the I-10 at 70+ mph.
I pulled over and dug the right sized tool from my saddlebag (as a Harley owner, this has happened before, and my tool box grows in size with each passing year). This is not a complicated repair, but it is tedious and uncomfortable, as the lever is tucked between the primary case and the transmission, and is thus surrounded by hot engine parts.
But this is not my point. My point is that I had not been on the side of the road three minutes before another biker pulled in behind me. He asked what my problem was, and if he could help. I had the right tool, but he had a glove, and a couple of other tools that made my job a little easier. Perhaps more importantly, he brought a bit of comaraderie to the roadside that I was sorely lacking. We shared tales of other shift-related issues that had befallen us with our rides, and how we fixed them or limped home. His name was Danny.
My other point is that while we were messing with my bike, TWO other groups of riders stopped to see if they could help. One was a group of three or four guys whose vests said they were with the Gatekeepers club. They pulled over to offer to help. Another three or four riding in a group stopped to offer help. A DPS car whizzed by in the carpool lane; I guess he thought we looked like we had it under control, and anyway, he was in a cage; he wasn’t one of us. I was on the side of the road less than 40 minutes, and no fewer than 7 people stopped to help me. Because I was on a bike, and they were on bikes. We had never met, but we were in the same club, brothers of the bike.
My brothers helped me today, and I’ll be adding to my on-board tool kit so maybe next time I can help you. So until we meet, on the roadside or at a rally or local watering hole, keep the rubber side down.