Working On It Yourself (Post #472) 3/20/2014

I was reading the Roadtrippers blog and saw a post on “The Greasy Hands Preachers”. The Greasy Hands Preachers is a feature film documentary shot in 16mm in June August and October 2013. To be completed early 2014. The film explores the values and the benefits of manual work amongst motorcycle enthusiasts. They have a nice teaser video.

I totally get what he’s saying at 2:05 in the video.

“There is a great satisfaction when you know how to work on your motorcycle even a little bit….I find some paper clip and some gum and I’ll get home.”

That’s a great attitude and if you love your automobile, like many of us do, you have to have that kind of passion. Working with your hands has not always had the respect it had in the old days. Today there seems to be a resurgence in the art of working with your hands. Maybe I see the resurgence because I love to work with my hands and read blogs where the skill is touted.

From their Facebook page.

How did this generalized devaluation of manual labour create the image of a man in his garage as a prisoner of his own intellectual and financial misery? We can often recall hearing this saying at school: “if you don’t work you’ll end up a mechanic”. As if our good report cards would forever prevent us from becoming poor and stupid.

However, recently, the media has taken a liking to this new wave of handymen who seem to have deliberately chosen their track: from vintage motorcycle customizers to bakers, the fact that they are good with their hands hasn’t been a cause for lack of respect. It’s actually quite the opposite.

Yeah these are motorcycle guys. But driving an old motorcycle and driving a classic vehicle are very similar. Both require a healthy respect for sorting out problems, finding rare parts, and wrenching them on to the vehicle.

I ran across this post from Overland Live and I’ve blogged about Ben Coombs before and his adventures in uncommon overlanding vehicles, but I felt like it need to be brought up again.

“Without problems, there is no adventure.”
Ben Coombs – Survival of the Quickest

So if you combine the great feeling of fixing it yourself and the fact that you expect to have problems. In fact perhaps you HOPE there are problems. How do we grow if we are not challenged. The Marine Corps challenged me and I’ve never been sharper than those days when I was expected to do much with little, to defeat what ever came at me with only my wits and my weapon and my fellow Marines.

Being challenged is part of the task yet I have a special kind of apprehension in my upcoming trip to the South Central Area Rover Rally. I am taking a friend along I have never traveled with. Mr. Fisher have done much and more together. He and I have played softball together, coached youth sports together, called high school softball games, dined together, celebrated holidays together, and lived less than 50 yards apart for more than a decade. But we have never been adventuring together.

So I am confident I can fix a good part of the problems we might encounter should something go dreadfully wrong on our trip. The fall back is at least two Land Rover repair shops are sponsoring the event. At the minimum I can have Mr. Fisher in an auto and home in 10 hours. Not that it matters, he’s already said he’s “all in” and doesn’t care if we wind up sitting on the side of the trail or road during this adventure. That takes a lot of pressure off me.

Thanks for reading and Happy Adventuring, Happy Wrenching, and Happy Rovering.