14 November 2010

Baa-aaa-aaack Ache

I woke Wednesday morning and felt an almost electric shock as I started to roll out of bed...
Uh-oh. If I'm not really careful I'm gonna be disabled today.

I inherited the potential for back trouble from my Dad. I can remember knowing how much his back was hurting him just by watching the way he walked. I can also remember him lying on his back on our hardwood floor while my Mom would lean over him, slowly pushing his knees toward his chest in an attempt to try to stretch and straighten his vertebrae. (That exercise must have given him some relief 'cause I can remember them doing it many times.)

Thank God I don't have the kind of troubles he had. But I do get warnings from my back now and then and I've also learned what I need to do when I receive those warnings.
But Wednesday was a puzzle.
What had I done to strain my back?

And then the light bulb went off.
Monday I rode the '87 Goldwing into Bigtown. I rented the truck and loaded the bike in the back, then drove the truck home and unloaded the big bike.

Tuesday I drove several hours to pick up the '89 Goldwing. Noticeably bigger and heavier than the '87, the newer bike has "carburetor issues" and runs rough off-idle to 3000 rpm.
I had to push the heavy monster up the ramp manually. It was a scary process. Unloading the bike at home was somewhat easier... gravity did most of the work, but I still had to make sure the bike was balanced on the ramp as we backed it off the truck to its new home.

So there you have it...
Trying to "Hoss" two 800-pound motorcycles in and out of a Van exercised muscles that may have been idle for years...
Muscles I certainly had forgotten were there until Wednesday morning.

Yoga practitioners will tell you "You're as young as your back is old".
Wednesday morning reminded me I've been neglecting my body.
It's time to ease back into my old ARMY "Daily Dozen" and loosen up those muscles!


Rita said...

Hmmm, shall we continue the men vs women debate on your site? Can't believe someone took either of us seriously other on the school site.

The Old Man Himself said...

Greybeard . . Next time push a Whizzer. You need a chain hoist for the Wing.

Got a new blog.

Look in sometime.



Timothy Frazier said...

My friend, you must master the art of letting the bike load itself. Walk beside it with engine running while manipulating the front brake and clutch. Practise doing that in a nice big parking lot a few times before you try to drive her up a ramp this way so you're sure you have a feel for the friction zone while walking beside the bike instead of riding.

You'll find it's as easy as walking a well trained dog up a hill and no strain on the back at all.

No sense using muscle when you have that big purring engine to do the work for you.

Greybeard said...

All true Tim, except...
The point where the ramp meets the truckbed on the 16-foot truck is about 40 inches off the ground. The Goldwing is so wide there is barely room to touch the edges of the ramp if you're sitting atop it. Should it begin to tip, you're gonna have to be Hulk Hogan to keep that 800 pound slug from falling 40 inches to the ground, and I AIN'T HULK HOGAN!
When I picked up the truck I rode the '87 up the ramp. As I said, unloading it was easier, but it was still tense using the front brake to balance it and back it down the ramp.

The '89 is wider (driver footboards), and heavier. Even if the bike had been running perfectly there was no way I was gonna take the risk to ride that machine up that ramp. The fact that it wasn't running well between idle and 3,000 rpm sealed the deal... we had to manhandle it. It was all the two of us could do.

You're right though...
I have no trouble using the technique you describe to load the Guzzi...
How does that huge Triumph compare in width to the Goldwing?

Timothy Frazier said...

Ah, I was confined to my own little world where I always load onto my big dually open flatbed trailer. I didn't consider the fact you had a wall on each side to deal with.

The R3 is not as wide...in line three vs your boxer config horizontal six (I assume), and the saddlebags are only 6.5 inches wide. Overall probably not much more than half as wide as your GoldWing.

I reckon I would have ended up with a backache as well. The R3 weighs about the same...around 860 with all the fluids.

Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Or, as in the case I faced many years ago trying to load a friend's Gold Wing up a ramp barely three feet wide:

I couldn't "manhandle" it up the ramp; not wide enough. I couldn't walk it up the ramp under its own power. I had to precisely ride it up the ramp and then grab a huge fistful of front brake to keep it from romping into the cab.

That so sucked. But I can easily see where you demanded work of muscles seldom consulted in such situations.