i was visiting my parents at the cafe and was about to leave, when i noticed my curb-parked motorcycle was leaning at an unusually steep angle. at first i thought maybe it was sinking into the asphalt on this record hot day. that's when i noticed the kickstand was strangely curved. i still didn't quite connect the dots until i looked at my fender and saw it'd been crumpled, probably from somebody backing up without looking. whoever did it must've hit the bike with enough force that it actually gouged out a scar onto the asphalt from the dragging kickstand.
i stood there for a few seconds feeling slightly nauseous, as the memory seared into my brain, catalogued as another day that will forever live in infamy. "i think somebody hit my bike," i told my father back inside the cafe, who came out to inspect the damage.
unfortunately this wasn't the first time my motorcycle has been rear-ended by a negligent driver. a few months back, a woman struck my bike while trying to perform a 3-point-turn. i actually witnessed the whole accident, and ran out of the house barefoot to confront her in case she tried to leave. there was no damages that time (somewhat of a miracle). then my old honda rebel was backed into from a hit-and-run a few years ago. the collision actually sent the bike toppling onto the sidewalk. i didn't see the accident, just saw the end result one fateful morning. there were some cosmetic damages, and i ended up replacing the kickstand (purchased used off of ebay). so yeah, car people don't seem to notice motorcycles. even with my defensive parking, people still find ways to smash into my parked bike.
if i knew who hit my bike i could've got them to pay for the repairs. but since this was a case of hit and run and i don't have collision coverage on my insurance, i would have to pay out of pocket. i called the police anyway, just so i could file an accident report, even though it wouldn't do anything.
20 minutes later a cop in a police SUV showed up. he basically told me what i already knew, taking down my information as a formality, then returning to his vehicle to type up the report. he was surprised the collision didn't dump the bike on its side, which would've caused more damage. speaking with the officer, i found out he rides himself, a fully outfitted 1990 harley-davidson cruiser. at least they sent a biker to ease the pain, i thought to myself. only another fellow biker would understand the indignity of somebody messing with your ride.
as far as hit-and-run accidents go, this was manageable. it could've been a lot worse. after removing the front fender (it was crunched up against the tire), i rode the bike into the parking lot. absolutely no problems with the steering or the suspension or the engine. the folded-up kickstand pointed out at an unnatural angle, digging into the back of my leg whenever i planted my left foot. kickstand down, the bike leaned at some an extreme angle that i could actually see the bottom of the motorcycle and it looked like the bike would just fall over completely. shifting the bike back into an upright position was difficult, essentially leaning 500+ pounds of chrome metal.
i was still in a daze when my mother offered me some beef tendon noodle soup for lunch. i ate silently, still thinking about the motorcycle. after i finished, i went online searching for parts. a replacement OEM fender would set me back $145, while a brand new kickstand costs $90. i went on ebay and found somebody selling a used 1998 kickstand for $40 (including shipping). after checking to see that the 1998 would be compatible with my 2003 model, i bought it. i also saw used front fenders for as low as $20, but they were all in the wrong colors. maybe i could repaint it? i held off on ordering the fender, figuring it wasn't as critical as a replacement kickstand.
finally returning home, i layered some wood about an inch thick to give the kickstand some elevation. that seemed to be better, and the bike doesn't look like it's in danger of toppling over.
i continued my fender research. after further examination, most of the fenders for sale on ebay were salvaged off of junked bikes (i wonder if my old honda rebel ended up in pieces on ebay?). that being the case, all had cosmetic damages hinting of their catastrophic past. i looked to aftermarket brand fenders as well. some had cool shapes, but they all came unpainted and undrilled, and i neither have the expertise nor the time to finish the fender (special body paints would also add to the final price). besides, they cost about the same as a brand new honda fender anyway, easier just to go with something that works.
this little hit and run will cost me about $200 to repair on my own (with the help of my father naturally). if there's one good thing to come of this, it's that i may treat the bike with less kid gloves now. i basically babied this motorcycle, afraid to ride it too much, or even expose it to the elements. but after this latest accident (i'm sure there'll be more), i've lost a lot of that sentimentality. in the end, the bike is just a tool to be used, nothing more.
earlier this morning, prior to the accident, i'd biked to union square to deposit a work check from client S. now all that's left is for client P to pay up. i also went to the cafe to further discuss a cell phone plan with my parents. in the end, both my sister and our relative bing bing would be getting new blackberries, my mother would lose her phone in exchange for a pay-as-you-go cell, and my father, my aunt, and myself would received an "upgrade" to new LG accolade phones (verizon has very limited selection, and they're mostly pieces of crap anyway, but at least i may get some better battery life out of it, definitely functionality over coolness).
i finally brought the 20" samsung tv down into the basement. electricity-wise, it used about the same as the 20" emerson, and i like the colors and the stereo, but in the end, the emerson felt more comfortable, with its sans-serif closed captioning font and its numbered volume display. plus, if i ever wanted to watch something on VHS, i'm pretty much covered with the built-in VCR.
in the midst of a heat wave, i finally turned on the air conditioner today, but only briefly. i didn't dare do a kill-a-watt check on the power consumption, but maybe tomorrow. i did a small load of laundry, trying to get rid of that fishy smell that continues to haunt my clothes. i thought i contained the outbreak, but now it's on my jeans and my second to last pair of shorts. i think i might've found a solution though: if i rub a piece of fabric softener on the offending smell, it's strong enough to cover up the stink. i'll have to do some further testing, but a resolution may be close.
i ran into ed while tossing out some trash in the evening. he was mumbling my name and for a split second i was scared because i couldn't quite see who it was yet. he'd also gotten a haircut since i last saw him. it was a hot night, the kind that brings people out into the streets who otherwise would spend the night cooped up inside with or without air conditioning. we watched a bunch of people moving out, perhaps on their final lease day before the start of september tomorrow. i showed him the extent of the damage to my motorcycle.