A long time ago, I read about a guy named Bob Higdon attending a motorcycle mechanic school in Florida. Bob is an excellent writer who employs the wit of a smart-ass lawyer, so it makes for a good read if you’ve got the time. Apart from the story being entertaining, I found myself thinking it would be fun to attend the same program someday.

Fast forward 10-15 years and here I am, one day into a one-year program. The school is DeKalb Technical College, the program is called Motorcycle Service Technology, and the instructor is Mike Sachs, a guy I’ve known and liked for roughly 13 years. So it’s only four hours from home (I’m splitting an Atlanta house with a classmate for the year), it costs a whole lot less than the Florida guys, and I know the instructor is good.

This isn’t a hare-brained scheme to get rich quick by becoming a $10/hr mechanic, for hopefully obvious reasons. And while it will eventually pay substantially more than $10/hr, the real goal is to bring myself back to mechanical things and solving problems. I’m a guy who has fun in hotel rooms figuring out what’s broken and trying to improve it. This way, I get to do that sort of thing, only I’ll get paid, and it will lets me play with vehicles all day long.

So why not learn to repair cars? There’s more of them, after all, and there are automotive repair programs in every large city in the country. One difference I perceive between cars and motorcycles is their typical purpose. In a town like Nashville, nearly everyone has a car, and nearly everyone gets upset when it breaks. It’s a huge stressor for many people: “Oh great, here goes $300 down the drain, and it’s all for nothing.” They don’t budget car repairs, so they hate getting them done, and they hate it even more if it takes more than a day, since their routine is upset by the loss of the car.

Now motorcycles: almost no one uses them as their only form of transportation, and most riders only use them for recreational riding. So there’s a lot less stress, or even no stress, associated with the vehicle, which means, I surmise, that there’s less on the person repairing it. That person would be me (or will be), and I’ve found that avoiding stress makes it easier to be happy.

Class doesn’t start until 11am tomorrow, but I’ve got homework to do in the morning: disassemble the vacuum cleaner to see how it works. (This is convenient, since it needed to be cleaned anyway.) Should be fun.

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