Garage SeasonTuesday, November 15, 2011 | 4:00 PM
A few weeks ago I went into my garage and felt something that I hadn’t felt in months--chilly air. It was a signal that soon the leaves would fall from the trees, the days would become much shorter, and shorts and t-shirts would be replaced by jeans and hoodies. It was also a sign that garage season was just around the corner. I don’t spend much time in the garage during the summer, as its lack of air conditioning, combined with the triple-digit summer heat here in Chico, Calif., tend to make it an uninhabitable place. But now that the heat is gone, the endless lawn mowing has ended, and there are no races to attend or watch on television, I will once find myself loosening oil drain bolts, polishing fenders and tightening chains.
Two homemade workbenches provide workspace, while a few motorcycles provide the work. Hunter, the dog, offers good company, and a foosball table supplies entertainment when friends drop in. A 10-0 loss on that table will earn you a naked run around the block. In the coming months, you’ll find me in here on any given night, happily tinkering away. Valve clearances will be set, tires will be swapped, and many cold beverages will be consumed. This fall, it’s open season on questionable wheel bearings and leaky fork seals.
But my love of the garage goes deeper than mere motorcycle maintenance. As I sit and gaze at the various posters, mementos and failed motorcycle parts that adorn the walls, I’m reminded that it is here in my garage, that my deepest, purest appreciation for motocross is invoked.
To be sure, there are few things that can match the excitement of watching live motocross and supercross races, but there is simply nothing that can compare with the personal motocross memories that have accumulated over the years. As my eyes travel around the room, they bounce from item to item, each one causing me to briefly recall different experiences. I smile at the mini, seventh-place trophy I got at Sacramento Raceway, and laugh at the scraped piston that resulted when I tried to port the cylinder on my Yamaha scooter. I grin slightly and shake my head when my eyes cross the picture of the mangled remains of my ‘05 KX250. My buddy Mike looped out on a simple double at Cycleland Speedway in Northern California. Sub frames really should be stronger. The endless, happy memories are a reminder me how much I love this sport, and how much of a positive impact it’s had on my life over the years.
Now, as we enter another season, my workbenches are cleared and my tools are organized, ready for work. Before I know it, my buddy Chris will be beating me on my own foosball table, while another friend, Elliot, will be consuming (but never replenishing) the contents of my mini-fridge. I’ll be cleaning up nasty oil spills, getting my hands hopelessly sticky with air filter oil, and searching on my hands and knees for dropped bolts. Yep, garage season is back, and if you ask me, not a moment too soon.
What's the moto life like in your garage? Tell us below in the comments section.
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