The First 100 Miles
For 36 days I stood over this bike, taking every piece apart and putting it back together four times to finally see a problem I could only hear.
"I knew all along the problem was big"
It’s taken three months to ride 100 miles – for 36 days I stood over this bike, taking every piece apart and putting it back together four times to finally see a problem I could only hear – a faint whisper of trouble buried deep in my machinery; so faint in fact, I thought I might be crazy and that the problem was only in my head. Not to mention, every time I reassembled the damn thing, it ran perfectly; aside from that whisper of trouble between rotating weight… and then finally, there it was, staring at me through the face of a dial indicator – a diabolical .032” of space where there should be no more than .010”. I knew all along the problem was big… an extra .022” of play in my flywheels. Differences of this size are actually enormous indications of mechanical doom and I did not want to face the problem so I went through every other assembly first. What a massive waste of time.
“I love these machines so much because they teach me something new so long as I keep listening.”
This meant that in 36 days of avoiding .022”, I made .00061111” of progress before finally fixing this damn thing. I could hear it the whole time but I didn’t want to listen. Wait a minute; are we still talking about motorcycles? I guess that is why I love these machines so much… because they keep teaching me something new so long as I keep listening. Regardless, you can imagine how good this first 100 miles felt. Time for some oil changes.
Todd Blubaugh was born and raised in McPherson, Kansas. His earliest interests were in art and motorbikes and since the age of 12, Todd has been pursuing these two passions. He currently works in film, writes, shoots, and pursues collaborations with his roommates at The Chun, a motorcycle warehouse and art space in Los Angeles. The free-spirit artist shares his passion for open roads through aspirational imagery and poetic travel notes that resonate with Serengeti’s DNA.