It Shouldn’t Be This Difficult

Whenever we go off the grid we like to play, play, play and usually take another couple, or some of the kids along with us. The past few times we’ve headed out there we haven’t taken anyone with us.  We have taken advantage of not having to entertain anyone and have been very productive.

One weekend Mark was out here by himself while I took my on-line photog course and he installed bushwhackers to the front of both our bikes. I don’t know the real name for them, but his comment to me was, “I wish I’d have had these on when Ann and I hit that tree. I may not have bent my A-arm.” So, it’s like a heavy duty bumper that (for my bike) is merely decoration and makes it look tough, but for Mark’s bike, it will serve an actual purpose.

With the bumper guards on already, Mark decided to install the wench on his. Well, folks, this requires reading directions. I drive Mark crazy when I put things together because for him, the directions are a last resort in case he gets kerfluffled. For me, directions are a useful tool. I look at the parts list and then I lay each piece out to make sure everyting that was supposed to be there was actually there. Then I read through the list of instructions just to get it a little bit in my brain how things are supposed to work. It helps things make sense to me as I’m trying to put tab A into slot B.

He had already started putting some of the brackets together when he opened the door and said, “Hey, Honey. You wanna help me put my wench together?” So I walked outside and he handed me the instruction manual. So, you see, this is his was of saying, “This thing is more complicated than I thought it would be, but I don’t want to have to do an unmanly thing like read the help docs so I’m going to have you read it to me and tell me what to do then if anything goes wrong I can blame you for it instead of me taking the fall myself.” Did you catch all that?

So, I proceeded to read the help docs. He had one piece of the bracket already attached to another piece of the bracket and I came out at the point where we were supposed to be putting the wench itself inside the bracket before attaching the piece to the bike. The wench had to attach to the first bracket, while attaching to a secondary bracket with some self tapping screws. Now, I know what self tapping screws look like so I went through the pile of screws and found the four very distintive looking self tappers. I handed them to Mark and he put them in. There were about 8 holes to choose from on the bracket that connects to the bike. Remember that useful bit of information because it comes into play down the road a bit.

So, he started attaching it. But the damned thing would just not tighten down very well. The wench seemed a bit wobbly. Poor Mark was really man-handling it trying to get it tightened to where it was stable. He finally managed it, but it just seemed off. WELL, we go to attach it to the frame of the bumper and it says to use the four self tapping screws to attach the bracket to the bumper. I looked at Mark and said, “I have no idea what it’s talking about because there were only four self tapping screws and we used them to put the wench onto the bracket.” He starts rifling through the screws and pulls out four short screws that he said were self tapping, but they didn’t look like it to me. As luck would have it, the four short screws were supposed to go in where I handed him the four long screws earlier. So we had to remove the wench from the two brackets and reattach the brackets with the shorter screws. Oddly enough, it tightened right down. Weird.

We then took the long self tapping screws and began attaching the wench assembly to the frame. We got each screw started before beginning the process of tightening them down and Mark goes, “This screw here is going to be a bitch to tighten.” He couldn’t use the socket because it wouldn’t fit and had to tighten it with a traditional wrench. Finally got the thing attached and went to put the bumper back on. It wouldn’t fit. We tried everything to get the bumper to go around the wench. We pulled off the top container basket so that we had more manueverability with the bumper. That didn’t help. We thought that we could put the bumper in off centered, then shift if over once it was in the cavity of the framework. That didn’t work. I was getting to the point where I wanted to say, “Fuck it! Just cut a hole out of the bumper so the wench fits through it.” We tried everything to get the damned bumper to go back on like it was supposed to. Mark looked at me and said, “Let’s just stop for a minute and think about this before we do something rash.” I said, “Like what…cut a hole in the bumper so it’ll fit.” He burst out laughing and goes, “That is exactly what I was just thinking which is why we need to stop for a minute.” Scary! When we’re both thinking irrationally it could get dangerous. So I went back to the directions and read them, and reread them, and reread them. I don’t know how many times I read through the same paragraph trying to figure it out. I kept glancing at the illustration, reading the paragraph, glancing at the illustration, reading the paragraph. Then it happened. One of those glances at the illustration and something jumped out at me. Remember the multiple holes in the bracket that I talked about? Yeh, well..the wench assembly was supposed to be attached to the far right hole for the size of wench we bought. The middle holes were for the smaller wench (the ones that we didn’t buy). I burst out laughing and showed the picture to Mark. I was more than mildly irritated at myself for not noticing it sooner because it was my job to read the directions. I am the one with the attention to detail in our little duo. So I was kicking myself over that mishap. We unbolted the wench assembly from the frame. We unbolted the wench from the bracket assembly. We rebolted the wench into the bracket for the THIRD time. We rebolted it onto the frame again. And wouldn’t you know it! The bumper went right on. Slick as a whistle! Mark goes, “I just like doing everything twice.” He’s pretty good natured about stuff like that. I get a little wound up. Especially because the picture clearly showed which holes the larger wench was supposed to go in. It was one of the those stupid mistakes that drive me crazy. But he was fine.

The wiring part of it was a complete mess, but I’m not a wiring person so I wouldn’t even know the first thing about telling you all the craziness about that. We finally managed to get it together and working and it’s pretty awesome.

We normally carry tow ropes with us when we ride because we inevitably find someone stuck in the mud and a tow rope comes in handy. The wench will work much better. The very last instruction in the booklet said, “Now go get yourself stuck in some mud and test it out!” I guess we’d better go do that!

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