The narrator awakes from his nightmare, feeling disoriented and worried. He and Chris get back on the motorcycle, and the narrator begins a Chautauqua that equates an awareness of Quality with a sense of caring about what one does. He will illustrate the concepts he has related—that “Quality is the Buddha,” “Quality is scientific reality,” and “Quality is the goal of Art”—by showing how they come together in motorcycle maintenance.
Motorcycle maintenance is the book’s central, real-life illustration of how an individual can put Phaedrus’s philosophy of Quality into practice in a straightforward and rewarding way.
The travelers get breakfast and the narrator helps Chris write a letter to his mother. Back on the road, the narrator continues his Chautauqua, choosing to talk about the problems that impede motorcycle maintainers. The first he describes is “stuckness”—a state of being without hypotheses for solving a problem, caused by traditional reason. To combat this, the narrator advocates adopting a more flexible and dynamic—and less classic—approach to the problem at hand. From this point of stuckness, the reality of Quality will get a person unstuck from the rigid conception of the world that was stymying him, and steer him towards a viable solution.
Value rigidity is a stumbling block to solving problems in innovative ways. Moreover, and more broadly, this inability to see existing facts in new ways is part of the societal “stuckness” that Phaedrus’s philosophy of Quality is meant to solve.
The narrator and Chris have made good time on the motorcycle. They pass through Grangeville, Idaho and begin to cross a desert.
As the narrator elaborates ways to progress through work quickly and rewardingly, he also maintains a quick and rewarding pace on his motorcycle.