for in determining damage, or explaining how to install them.
I spend a fair amount of time on the Valkyrie tech board. Any time I plan to work on my bike, I check the tech board to see if somebody else has done something similar. I’m looking for tips, tricks and warnings about potential problems. It’s also easy to wind up chasing rabbits. I’ll be scouring the board looking for something about a planned project when something interesting will catch my eye. Before I know it, I’ll have spent hours reading about something completely unrelated to my original subject.
Another thing about the tech board is the disembodied nature of the sages from whom I seek knowledge. Many of them live in different regions of the country. I know them first by their screen names and the avatar they select for their account. As time goes on, I begin to build up a nebulous image in my mind based on their postings, and the response to them by other board members. Some folks are like me, more prone to ask questions than offer opinions. Others are more likely to answer questions. A select few become the go-to people on the board. They will be the ones others address questions to. These members are quickly vetted by the accuracy of their suggestions. Blowhards are swiftly identified by the value of their advice. If somebody gives bad information, usually a more knowledgeable member will be quick to point it out. The ensuing discussion gives those of us seeking knowledge a good idea of who to listen to.
Many of the good wrenchers will post photos or video of their projects. And this is where I can wind up wasting so much time. I’m fascinated by those bold characters with the courage to tear that deeply into their Fat Ladies.
I was perusing a set of photos showing parts from the deep innards of a Valkyrie one day. This was deep enough in the machine that I hope to never see those parts of my motorcycle. The mechanic was holding parts and taking closeup photos showing various aspects of how they were mounted or what a particular sort of damage looked like. This guy obviously knew his stuff, boldly digging into the deepest recess of the injured machine.
Looking at more images, something began to catch my eye. I noticed that the slightly greasy hand holding the parts and tools had red fingernails. Honestly, my first thought was to wonder how the heck he could hit every finger bad enough to discolor them all. Of course what I was looking at was actually red fingernail polish.
My curiosity peeked, I did a little research and found that this board member going by the screen name, “Ladydraco,” was, in fact, a woman. Any other preconceived notions quickly died as I checked her other galleries and discovered her to be a very feminine woman, not at all hard on the eyes. I almost felt cheated. Where was the grizzly bearded, beer-gutted mechanical genius I had been following in my mind’s eye? Imagine, all of this technical prowess, and not a Y chromosome in sight.
I guess Ladydraco taught me about more than just motorcycles.
－ Guy Wheatley