Sometimes the life of an advice columnist can be rough. No, not in the way you might think. Dealing with people's problems all the time isn't that bad. After all, it's not us having the problems, right?
No, this is much more serious. I'm going to give you an inside peek.
You might think that folks like me are driven to help others. Sure, there's a great satisfaction in helping riders get new skills. Yes, I feel good knowing that, due to my efforts, fewer riders will suffer accidents. However, I am not an overly altruistic person. Us so-called "gurus" actually like the chance to show off what we think we know. There you have it. Things are out on the table in plain sight as ugly as it might be.
Take the advice column. When a reader writes in with a problem, I start rubbing my hands with glee. Oh boy, here's another chance to dazzle everyone with my "wisdom". Somewhere I'll throw in a couple of witty jabs, something that comes across as slightly smug, and offer some counsel in the process. Most of the time, life's good. My ego grows bigger each day.
Just about the time my ego won't fit through a standard doorway, something like this happens.
So I have a problem for the advice column. I recently purchased a 2007 Suzuki Bandit 1250 for a bargain price on Craigslist.
I rode the Bandit the last 10 days and am just getting to know it. It thrills me and scares me at the same time - part of that fear is that I cannot corner as easily as I can on my S50 - in the low speed around town stuff. I rode my S50 tonight and it was like an extension of me. It turns in easily and goes exactly where I want it to go.
Is it a mental thing that stops me from being able to perform the low speed maneuvers on the Bandit? Surely this bike should be easier to turn?
I have 9000 miles on the S50 and less than 300 on the Bandit.
Do I just need to give it more time?
The Unsure Bandit.
I waited a few days just to enjoy thinking about the possibilities. What would I write? How could I get a laugh or two without actually insulting the reader? How much of what I think I know should I reveal here as opposed to holding something back? In other words, do I tell everything or end up still looking wise and mysterious?
Oh yeah, I was so ready to publish the column. And then, aaargh! I get a second message. I was deflated faster than a hot air balloon in an archery contest. The reader had solved their own problem. Curses, curses, curses! I mean, er, uh, good for them!
Here's the second message.
Well I found the remedy to the problem.
A ride from Eugene to Florence, to Reedsport then back to Eugene via the Smith River Road. ( links to Google map of route )
Oh well, there's plenty more where this one came from. Keep those cards and letters coming, folks!
Miles and smiles,
Dan aka The Maniac