It’s been 90+ degrees out for who knows how many days in a row, and I’ve been fighting with my van, the van I use to fix and service your scoots and bikes, for the past 2 months.
It started when the transmission went out. That happened around the 4th of July. $1300 and 6 days later, I was back in business, new blue-painted transmission and everything. I was behind, but I knew I could claw my way back.
Then the leaf spring on the passenger’s side decided to break less than a month later. OK. New leaf springs and shocks it is. I had to drop the tank to remove the leaf springs, so I thought I would do a “good thing” and replace the fuel pump while I was in there.
“Brand New” Means “Untested”
Know what they say about fixin’ shit that aint broke? IF IT AINT BROKE, DON’T FIX IT!!!
Apparently the service life for a brand new fuel pump these days is ~500 miles, give or take. That’s about as far as I made it before the van started stalling in traffic and refusing to restart.
The last thing I suspected was the BRAND NEW fuel pump I’d just installed. So I checked, re-checked, double-checked, and triple-checked everything else. Finally, I popped the fuel lines and turned the key and guess what? The BRAND NEW fuel pump I installed is GARBAGE.
More specifically, it’s a $200 piece of garbage that cost me HOURS UPON HOURS OF MY VALUABLE TIME, not to mention the cost of a tow AND HAVING TO PURCHASE ANOTHER SERVICE VEHICLE IN THE MEANTIME.
At this point, it was becoming difficult to claw my way back to the promised land of productivity.
That’s right. I went and bought a whole other vehicle to use to service your scoots and bikes because I can’t keep my van on the road for any length of time after replacing its old fuel pump with a brand new, however faulty, one. Most expensive month-and-a-half of my life, tell you what.
So yeah, if your repair has been delayed for a bit, THIS IS WHY.
When you ask me for a discount, and I get grumpy, THIS IS WHY.
I have serious, big-boy expenses, and I don’t feel good about discounting my services when I’m in the middle of blowing low-5-figures just to stay in business. On another note, the trick to GROWING a business is… there’s no real trick to it. The trick is STAYING in business 😉
Why a Smart Fortwo?
At any rate, I bought a 2015 Smart Fortwo because they’re amazing little service vehicles. People who have never driven one tend to hate them.
I know better.
I’m also not using it like a “normal car.” It’s a service vehicle. Having more than two seats doesn’t matter to me. I fill the passenger’s side up with stuff anyway, so it really doesn’t matter. As a normal car, I don’t know. I’d have probably bought a Fiat 500 or something completely impractical like a Lotus Elise or an old Lamborghini Gallardo. I’m looking forward to the day I can buy another “fun” car without caring too much about how it fits into my work and the rest of my life. One day!!!
But it’s a service vehicle, and I know how well the Smart works under those conditions. So I bought one.
You wouldn’t believe it until you tried it, but you can fit a staggering amount of crap in the rear hatch. I can stack no fewer than 10x Uline bins full of tools in the hatch. There’s room for chemicals behind the seats. I fill the passenger’s seat and foot well with even more stuff. It even has a tailgate with an awesome cubby-hole to store my power tools.
I learned the Smart Fortwo is an excellent service vehicle when I was working for Rolling Wrench, whom I’m not going to link here because screw them, but yeah, I owe them some thanks for “showing me the ropes” even if we don’t get along these days. I’m open to communicating with them, but I’m not willing to be the first to reach out. 😉
The only thing it doesn’t have, but will soon have, is an onboard air compressor. In my opinion, compressed air is 100% necessary for this line of work, to do a good job anyway. I will find a way to mount an onboard compressor on this turd, so I can do tire changes on your scoots and dirtbikes like I’ve always done. COMING SOON!
At the end of the day, I had to go and buy another vehicle over a brand new fuel pump that didn’t work the way it was supposed to work. Oi vey.
Broken transmission —> FIXED —> broken leaf spring —> FIXED —> replacement fuel pump —> GARBAGE! —> New car to keep going. It’s been an expensive couple of months here at MOTO2N.
Time for some good news.
I’ve Been Out to Ride Exactly Twice This Year, and I DON’T CARE
I have more bikes than I can count out on one hand, but I’ve only been out to ride two of them this year.
Reason? I have a woman in my life these days, and I like her a lot. I wasn’t expecting to like her so much.
Here’s a pic of us at my buddy Dan’s wedding last week.
She’s fly as heck. She’s self-employed (like me!). She’s a little weird (like me!). I like her soooo much. I can justify not riding as much as I’d have hoped because she’s another part of my life that brings me joy.
She won’t put me in the hospital or break my collar bones like I know my bikes will. I could have ridden my bikes more, but I would not have spent as much time with her. I enjoy the heck out of the time I spend with her. She’s 100% “my cup of tea.” I dig her.
There’s always next year, and, even if there’s not, I’ve done things with bikes other people can only dream about. That’s something. If I died tomorrow, the last thing I think I’d think would be “I didn’t get to ride enough.” It would be more like “I didn’t love enough people” or “I didn’t care enough about the people who were close to me.” Maybe I’m just getting old, which I’m not, but I am. Whatever.
Happiest Thing Ever: My Homie Dan Got Married
This is cool beyond words. It’s just, well, it’s toooooo bloody cool.
That’s my buddy Dan and his new wife Lindsey in the middle there. I’ve known Dan for 20 years, since we were freshmen in high school. If you ask him, he’ll tell you I’m the guy who got him into turning wrenches and doing mechanical stuff. I never thought about it like that. To me we were friends fixing cars together, but I guess he learned a lot from me. If you ask me, I’ll tell you he’s one of the best dudes you’ll ever meet in your life.
He’s an incredible dude, and he made the leap to turn his long-term girlfriend into his wife. They’ve been together 7 or 8 years at this point. She’s a wonderful gal.
Dan didn’t jump on the first woman he met. He took his time. He did things right. I’d bet dollars to donuts they’re going to be together for the next 50+ years. Best of luck to those two. I felt something like genuine, unadulterated happiness watching them tie the knot. It was truly special; I’ll remember it forever.
I’ve learned a lot from Dan over the years. Little things like how to set boundaries and what it looks like to be an even-keeled, mentally stable adult. I still suck at those things, but Dan’s one of the first people who comes to mind when I’m working on those things, and I’ll be working on those things for the rest of my life I reckon. I’m stoked he’s a small, though significant, part of my life these days.
I noticed him walking by himself at his bachelor party. I was walking by myself, so I joined him. He said “There’s probably a reason we became friends all those years ago.” To which I said, in my candid-sort-of-way, “Yeah; because we’re weirdos.” One of the tricks to life is finding people who are weird in the same way you are. Not everyone’s going to like you. They don’t have to. Plenty of other people will.
With that said, it’s time to get back to work. Thanks so much for reading and please be patient with me.