Mein Motorrad ist ein Teufel-Rad.

Mein Motorrad ist ein Teufel-Rad.

My big, black, Teutonic motorcycle wouldn’t start last night when I got home to the train station. That’s partly my fault, as the bike is so new to me that I don’t have any twistgrip mojo yet. More gas? Less gas? Goose it when it catches, or after? Mostly, though, I suspect the big, white, Teutonic battery that seems to be original — that is, 25 years old.

Kate cheerfully picked me up at the station, and we went off to have dinner with my dad and my aunt, who was in town to visit this year’s Vassar Show House. Until several years ago, the house belonged to my great aunt Ann Chandler. Aunt Ann was my paternal grandmother’s sister, and a great favorite of mine. Kate and I met at her funeral, in fact.

The Vassar Show House web site mentions nothing about the coolest feature of the house: a convoluted attic that seemed to be to be the spiritual twin to the big, rambling country house in The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. In fact, there was a suit of scowling samurai armor on a stand thot would scare the bejeezus out of you if you came around a corner at dusk. Plus all sorts of other dark, cavernous furniture that clearly led to other worlds. I’m glad that the house has been restored, though I have mixed feelings about all the peach throw pillows lining the wainscoting.

After dinner I drove back to the Exton train station and pulled the battery. I put a rain cover over the bike and left, though now I’m plagued with visions of German bike thieves, chattering to each other about Kraftwerk as they load my beloved R100 into a black Unimog.

The battery is in Bob Smith’s garage right now, on a 2-amp trickle charger. He’s in France, so I’m kind of winging it. In fact, I had to get out of bed to make another trip to his garage when the Haynes manual belatedly warned against “…a risk of explosion if the cell cap covers are not loosened.” Yikes!

I’ve put a plea out for advice to the Airheads Beemer Club mailing list, so I should have a good recommendation on a new battery before the blond bike thieves can get me. Careful, Hans! Don’t get motor oil on your black turtleneck!

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