Lou Arevalo & Bill Cammack
I’m sitting here right now, in Manhattan, in my house, able to type this on my computer right now because of the dedication of my friend, homie, brother, etc… Lou.
We went for a ride this morning, and the mechanic had assured me a couple of weeks ago that they checked out the electronics on my old-ass 1993 GSXR sportbike. I don’t doubt that they did. I think today was a NEW problem. It was so hot today, and my engine was running so hot, I’m pretty sure it burned through my cable leading to my ignition fuse. When I took the tank off so I could check my cables, they were different from when I had sent them to the mechanic, so I’m sure they did SOMETHING, and I don’t doubt it was proper. However, the location of my wires is conducive to them getting burnt and essentially “shorting out”.
I had had this happen quite a while ago, and my good friend MK got me out of that jam. This time Lou made it happen, and I just plain wouldn’t be here right now if it weren’t for Lou helping me out. I’d still be in Chester, NY, or wherever we were when my bike shut off.
I had offered to Lou to continue on his trip and just pass back that way when he was done. I didn’t want to ruin his day, but he wouldn’t break out. I was really more upset that I had messed up his plans for the day than that I was stranded out in the sticks without enough bike-mechanic knowledge to get ANYWHERE NEAR my house, where I am right now.
Eventually, we got back on the road and came back home. Thanks, Lou.
There really isn’t any more to say, but it’s still not enough. I’ve had people go the “well, I’ve done all I can for ya… now I have to go” route under similar circumstances, and it doesn’t feel good. That’s an incredible understatement. Similarly, “Thanks, Lou” doesn’t even begin to amount to anything near how appreciative I am that he stuck with me and helped me out of that situation. Not that I *EXPECTED* any less of him, because I met Lou more than half my life ago… But, it’s still nice to receive that gift of friendship…. of dedication. While I wasn’t thinking properly and couldn’t bring myself to find the proper solution, either because I was so upset or because I just didn’t possess the technical, mechanical knowledge to get myself out of that situation, Lou was on-point, and I’m getting to type this right now because of him. 😀
I didn’t realize how blessed I was when I first got my bike a few years ago…. I mean, I did, but I never documented it. Another life-long friend, Jay, walked me through learning to ride and then rode with me for VERY VERY MANY of the 20,000-plus miles I put on my bike in two years. Fortunately for Jay, he met the woman of his dreams and got married! 😀 I hadn’t realized how much of what I considered to be fun in “riding” was actually the fun of “riding WITH Jay”. On top of that, I hadn’t realized how much I was ‘dependent’ on Jay’s technical knowledge of biking. I was *N.E.V.E.R*, *EVER*, ONCE… NEVER worried that I wasn’t going to make it home tonight if I went riding with Jay. NEVER. I knew that Jay took bikes (and cars) apart and put them back together again. This was in the back of my mind… along with his dedication to me as a friend, and my dedication to him. Again, though it doesn’t come close to expressing my heartfelt gratitude… Thanks, Jay. 😀
Going riding is like going campaigning or going to war. You go out with a certain number of guys/gals, and you return with that same number. Similar to what’s said about war… It’s EXTREMELY IMPORTANT to trust whomever’s next to you in the bunker. That BELIEF carries you to your greatest potential in riding. This guy Todd went off what I consider to be a short cliff one time when we went on a group ride. We went back to find him and five of us literally LIFTED his bike out of the woods he fell into, maybe 30 feet below. His front rim was jacked, so I suggested that someone remove his front brakes, and he was able to ride with us all the way back to NYC, and to his home in either Queens or Long Island. The point is that we were going to FIGURE OUT how to get him home and get his bike squared away. PERIOD. Even though that was my first time meeting him, he was rolling with US, so MY goal was to get him home. PERIOD. That was the goal of the others too, and we made it happen, hoisting his bike with one hand each and grabbing onto trees with our other hands while digging our boots in to the soft dirt of the ledge we were climbing with Todd’s bike in tow. Todd got home. Mission accomplished.
There are some who will read this and discount my claim that riding is like going to war because nobody’s shooting at us. Well… When you go riding, you’re not SURE you’re going to make it back. I’m NEVER sure I’m going to make it back when I go performance-riding. Anything can happen, from mechanical failure to someone running you off the road to oil slicks or construction to someone rear-ending you. I always thank God when I make it back, because I know I didn’t have to. There are quite a few riding deaths every year. One of them was my friend “Avo”. I didn’t know him for a long time, relative to many other riders, but he was a great guy and a solid rider. When Avo died on the West Side Highway, that was REALLY the first time that I honestly felt like “if it happened to him, it could happen to me”.
Anyway… I wanted to get this stuff down while I’m still feeling the immense *GRATITUDE* to Lou for sticking with me and changing his plan for the day from “having a good time” to “getting Bill back home”. I realize this is all my fault, and even though I completely LOVE my bike, I may very well need to sell it, because I’ve allowed it to become unreliable. It’s my fault that the bike’s unreliable. I bought it @ 22,000 miles and put another 20,000 on it in the span of two years. I allowed the ignition electronics to get jacked up. Nobody else. I’m either going to commit to getting it fixed PROPERLY or selling it and getting another bike. I’ve had enough of people saving me from the DEPRESSION of being WAY out of town with NO WAY to get home. 🙁
The bottom line is that riding isn’t about the bike you’re on… It’s about the people you share your experiences with.