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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Sporty vs Winter - Part 2

I decided to go for a ride on Sunday because the temperature was in the 40s and the roads were mostly clear.  I headed downtown, stopped at Bob's for coffee, and rode around Lake Calhoun and Lake Harriet.

Then I went to Lakewood Cemetery to take some pics before heading home.  After entering the cemetery I could see up ahead that the roads weren't very good.  There was still some snow on them.  I should have turned around but didn't.

That was a huge mistake.

I hit a very slippery patch of icy snow and the bike fell right over.  I trying to be careful and was going very slow at the time but it fell to the right without warning.  I was fine but surprised as I have ridden in poor conditions before (rain, gravel, slush, mud, herd of buffalo, etc.) but have never dropped the Sporty.  I was glad to be so padded for the cold weather but my thigh hit the ground pretty hard.  The bike cut itself off.  I crawled out from under it, picked it up, and surveyed the damage.

Here's the bike after I stood it back up.  You can see my helmet and gloves off to the side in the snow.

Note how beautiful the cemetery looks and how great some photos of the bike against this backdrop would have been (this sentence should be read with heavy sarcasm).

I'll even give you a bonus color version.

Looking at the photos I really have to question my own judgment for riding ahead, however cautious I may have tried to be.  The snow was packed tight and turned out to be too slippery for two wheels.

Here's a summary of the damage...

Very bent brake pedal (one I spent a lot of time modifying to accept a shift peg, which only makes it hurt more):

Small tears in the exhaust wrap (these are minor and, so long as the wrap holds together, I think it gives character):

A little road rash on the underside of the front muffler (not too noticeable when bike is upright):

Deep scrapes on mirror stem, tip of mirror, end of brake lever, and minor damage to where the brake lever meets the housing:

Overall, I was pretty lucky.  There was no damage to the tank or anything else on the right side.  The bike rode home fine but I was careful to primarily use the front brake since the rear brake pedal was mangled.  The mirror and brake pedal definitely need to be replaced but I don't plan to worry about the exhaust.  I'm not sure whether I'll replace the hand lever or just try to grind it smooth and paint it.

Here are two additional pics taken in my garage.

What should have been a fun "bonus day" of riding in late November turned into a small disaster that left me with a scraped up Sporty and a sore thigh.  It could have been worse and I'm very thankful it wasn't.

Now it seems I have a longer winter to-do list for the bike than I previously thought.  It's not like I messed up a few stock parts and now have a great excuse to add cool new stuff.  Instead, I have to replace or re-do stuff I had replaced or customized in the past and was really happy with.  Dammit.

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