The nut slipped from my fingers and fell. The little bastard went right into the pocket near the starter motor, a deep nook where small things easily hide. It was not a terribly important nut, just one from a battery terminal, and posed no threat to the motorcycle as it sat quietly. But once the bike was barreling down the road at 70 mph, that nut could make its way into the open primary and damage a pulley or even explode the belt. To make matters worse, it was aluminum, so the magic wand with a little magnet on the end for removing steel bits from tight places was worthless.

God damn nut.

But the real issue was not a rogue nut. It was the sloppiness that came from feeling rushed. Since my son had been born, time spent working on bikes grew scarce. Riding too. Being a father occupied the bulk of my time, leaving little room for tinkering on two-wheeled joy. So when I did manage to get into my shop, everything was done at a fevered pace. The pressure was on. The clock was ticking.

And nuts were dropped.

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