The Far Island Fox Hunt

Broken starter motor
An unmotivated starter typically at rest

When Mick asked if I’d like to pen some blog posts on the ARR website I jumped at the chance. You see, I’m a serial blogger (hmm, is there another kind?). I’ve been blogging about motorcycles for years, about mental health for a about a year and about both together since, well, a few moments ago.

As a blogger I’m an OK motorcycle rider, a just reasonable writer and a shamefully pitiful reader. But I’m hugely qualified in mental health. Not as a practitioner, sorry, but as a sufferer. I’ve played with my beasts pretty much my entire life. In that time I’ve been diagnosed serval times: Mood disorder, Bipolar II, Rapid Cycle Cyclothymia (yes that’s a real thing), Depression, Anxiety, Executive Function Disorder and probably some other stuff I can’t remember.

So, while I occasionally have the Black Dog on my heel I most often refer to my fox. A fox is sly, cunning, slippery, and attacks without mercy, typically when I am at my most vulnerable. And, because I live on that little island down under down under and far away from the rest of the world I call my , err, adventure The Far Island Fox Hunt’.

Readers who might identify a beast or two of their own probably also recognise the therapeutic value of motorcycling. Just the fact that there is a Black Dog Ride points to how many of us are among the motorcycling fraternity.

In fact most insights into my fox, my hunt, and myself come when I’m either out riding or working on my motorcycle. As my psychologist assures me the Far Island Fox Hunt is far from over I can assure you there remains plenty of these tales to share.

So let me bring you up to speed. I have just recently been freshly medicated: A new state of tune. Prior to I had been idling very close to a fatal stall. This called for an injection of antidepressants and it seems to have done the trick. Well, it has at least resolved the stall issue. I’m idling along fine now.

But idling is about all I’m doing. Though I’ll admit that, un-medicated I am prone to running the needle right of the tachometer. I do enjoy running at high revs, but like an engine, doing so for too long presents its own dangers. Still, I’m missing the fact that I’m not able to get excited about much at all.  No, here I am, stuck in the safe zone: Limp mode.

With my medication still ‘running in’ I’ve been four weeks now in my own personal limp mode. It’s calm at least and the change in pace offers time to reflect. But when it comes to motivation I’m having a hard time just getting started let alone seeing an idea into fruition. Hence it’s been quiet in the workshop.

Ironically, and I swear I’m not making this up, after adjusting the tune on my BMW’s Mikuni carbs with good result, the starter motor failed on its first test ride. So, although unlike me it is now performing very well, like me, getting started sounds like a meshing of gears gaining little traction.

So I pulled the starter to see if I could identify a simply fix. Sometimes on starters the ‘Bendix’ gear mechanism just needs a clean and lube. When you hit the start button the Bendix gear jumps forward and engages with your engines flywheel to ‘turn it over’ and away you go. Sometimes, the Bendix gear is slow to jump back again and sometimes it just won’t jump out at all. Neither sound brings much joy.

In the past couple of days I’m just starting to feel the new medication settle in: A tickle on my Bendix gear. It’s a sign that maybe soon I’ll kick into gear again. I guess the fact that I’m here, writing, means my little Bendix is already doing its job, so quietly and efficiently I didn’t even notice. Welcome back little guy.

Welcome to my Far Island Fox Hunt, I hope you enjoy the ride.

 Stuart King