Monday, March 10, 2008


I'm getting into this interviewing thing. It reminds me of my college journalism class, except it's funner. The catch is, I've been working with a borrowed tape recorder that's at least a decade old. I also have an electronics disruption field, which means that an improbable number of electronic devices go fritzy around me.

So it's not my fault that the tape recorder randomly edited out about half of my interview with Ty, a Twinline intern since October. At least, I think he said he started in October. The recorder edited out that part.

"Does it pick up 'mumble' all right?" Ty asked, eyeing said device.

"Yes," I said, "but only if I set it much closer to you than to my loud mouth."

Ty started at Twinline only a couple of months after he learned how to ride, which makes him a newbier newby at motorcycle mechanics than I am. (He did have an idea or two about why my bike has started surging and jerking, though. I think I'm gonna try a new air filter, spark plugs, and an oil change.)

"Riding is something I always wanted to do," Ty said. "I just never got around to it. My girlfriend got both of us riding lessons for my birthday, and that led to us buying a bike."

Okay, so he's a new rider. I knew what that meant for me: dumping the bike . . . a couple of times.

"I haven't dumped it," Ty said. "I guess the first time I do it is the last time."

I laughed.

Already, Ty plans to make motorcycles his career. It gets into your blood fast, it does.

"I just want to be around bikes," he said. "I haven't done much, but I want to do more. I like the creative aspect."

He started work at the Eastside Harley-Davidson the day I interviewed him.

"The first day there went good," he said, "but it was a little nerve-wracking. Those guys do things way different than they do here. The guys here just give me shit--call me 'HD Boy' and tell me to have fun pushing the big bikes around. They're great for learning."

"What would you get if you could have any bike?" I asked.

"If I had a garage and the money, I'd have a number of different bikes. There are aspects of different bikes that I like."

"Like what?"

The tape recorder deemed the answer unsuitable for publication.