Great Kid. Don’t Get Cocky!

Han said it best.

But I didn’t listen. I was doing some work on props for City Theater Company and I needed a piece of wood from the hardware store. I was behind schedule and didn’t want to go pick up my car because it was a gorgeous day out.

“I’m sure I can make it work on the bike.” I thought.

The piece of lumber in question? A 1″x2″x6′. I needed it to build up/extend the framework on a mythological creature I was working on.

Yup. I got cocky.
As you may be able to see from the photo to the left, things didn’t turn out quite the way I planned. I was fine while roaming through town. The wood rose to a maximum height of 8′ or maybe 9′ and that didn’t seem to be an issue.

Then I hit the highway.

It didn’t take long before I heard the sound of something tumbling to a stop behind me. Reaching behind myself (without taking my eyes off the road) I felt the snapped top of what was now a 3′-4′ section of lumber.

Turns out there was a knot in the wood which weakened it enough to cause it to snap in the higher winds of highway speeds.

I’m happy to report that no one was hurt and the car closest behind me was giving me a little extra room, so there was no issues there.

The downside? Pretty much a wasted trip to the hardware store when I didn’t have time to waste, and I basically thew away a couple dollars. It could have been far worse.

Lesson learned. I’ve said it before, but this little life experience refreshed the concept for me: Always use the right tool for the job.

You may think that you can save some time “because I’ve already got this tool right here” or “I’ll take this little shortcut…” but sooner or later, it will bite you in the ass.

Ever had something happen like that when you’re riding? Ever done something just a little stupid like that? Let us know in the comments. (It’s ok – you can tell us it was your buddy that did it…)

About

MrLich is a biker / geek / illustrator for hire. In his search for something a bit different/more he's decided to hit the open road and head west. It's sure to be one hell of a ride...

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2 comments on “Great Kid. Don’t Get Cocky!
  1. Jack says:

    As Clint said, “there’s nothing like a good piece of Hickory.” It’s these little life lessons that help us realize that, we ain’t all that slick. At least now you have a proper sized accessory that can come in very handy on a cross country trip. Ride softly and carry a big stick.

  2. mrlich says:

    So true! Of course, I did wind up leaving the remaining stick behind with the theater. I’m sure that they will find a better use for it than I will.

    Besides, I have a feeling that I will need every square inch of the bike for carrying necessities, since that will be my world.

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