Salt, rust, and four-letter words

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The angst I feel for oxidation abounds. My motorbike, nearly a year in Florida, looks blotchy with a rash of iron-oxide. Its skinned knees are a bloody brown, its underbody a mix of gray and the signs of metallic decay. I can't bear to look at the result of my neglect without strong curses to my thoughtlessness. This lesson is a more a setback to my ego than anything else, though the financial toll is in the hundreds. Dismantling the bike for a scheduled 36-thousand mile service uncovers new problems. A hex-cap screw twists off inside a brake caliper. A pile of rusty dust follows the threads out of one handlebar brush guard. Flakes of black paint on the pannier racks chip away with the brush of my hand. Everywhere I look, steel that was once gray is now red. The black parts are brown. Earth-tone flower shapes sprawl across the shiny silver of the tailpipe. I could cry. These fasteners from the Touratech Zega Top Case are rusted. Rust penetrated the paint of the Touratech Zega Pannier mounting system and rust…

Brian

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