Sunday, August 26, 2012

I rode through the desert on a horse with no name...

Actually her name is Vanessa, but it would have really screwed up the lyrics... The other name for today was going to be "A day of poor decisions"... more on that in a bit..

Today started off with a wonderful breakfast (waffle!!) and then packed the bike and got ready to go.

So this is where I see if you are paying attention... Last post had me performing some maintenance in the evening. Part of that maintenance was searching for an apparent oil leak (this is new!) I took off the front sprocket cover as that is where it appeared to be coming from, nothing, nada. All I could rationalize was that because of the heat (+37C) perhaps the chain wax was literally melting on the inside of the chain cover and dripping out. I cleaned it out, put everything back together and thought I had solved my problem.

Nope!! This morning after packing Vanessa, all geared up to get going, start the bike on the center sstand and then rock it off, pull in the clutch and put it in gear, she jumps forward and stalls. I check the side stand, nope it's up... pull in the clutch and press the starter button... she wants to go forward... oh,no... No clutch.

So I push the bike down the incline and start her with what little clutch movement I have and get underway, I know there is a truck stop about 3 blocks down, they should have some brake fluid.

They did!! in the easy to manage 2 quart size!! So I added some, then bled the line and I now had a working clutch again... I monitored the leakage all day.. looks like it will be an every other day maintenance item, unless I can find a rebuild kit along the way. I am chalking it up to, Vanessa just wanted some attention....

Ok, we are now underway, rode from Ontario, Oregon through to Mountain Home, Idaho on the interstate. Seriously dull, but turned off, got fuel and some water, then rode south to Elko, Nevada. A pretty cool road with lots of 25mph canyon riding, up to the dam. It also included about 150 miles of straight desert riding.

From this point on, it got dull. I got really frustrated with myself. The roads south were all mostly gravel according to the map, the locals at the gas stations were clueless, and I realized that this making decisions and plans on spur of the moment had just painted me into a corner, I was now forced to ride the interstate towards Salt Lake City. I hate Salt Lake City, I wanted to avoid it..... frick.

So I rode the interstate to Wells, stopped at a rest stop and purchased a better map. It looked as though I could head south to Ely, Nevada and possibly save tomorrows ride, by not having to ride through SLC.

150 miles in the desert.... straight.... no fuel, no fun, lots of time to reflect on some poor decisions earlier in the day. More thinking, worrying about Vanessa, it's hot (+38C or better) and I am pushing her, we are miles from any kind of assistance... still thinking, still worrying... trying to plan where to stop for the evening, no idea what the community of Ely, Nevada will have.... Still thinking... Still mad at myself....frick.

I arrived at Ely, to find it is a reasonably sized community, got some fuel at the Shell, asked buddy about local campsites, and eating establishments. Check and check... got a plan.

As I am getting ready to grab some supper, about to start the bike a young fellow also riding a bike walks over, he asks if I have a chain tool, yup, but not with me, sorry... His chain is in a very sorry state of affair. He decided to tag along for supper, we meet a fellow rider at the diner. Nice guy (did not get his name...darn) he took some time to chat with us and point out some decent roads for tomorrow. I parted ways with Alex the kid with the KLR and decided to get a hotel... $40.00/night and even sorta clean, and the WIFI sorta works...not so much.

So, my nagging thought today was about a lack of planning, which if you know me, is completely out of character. Perhaps I thought I would live closer to the edge, for this part of the trip. You know, let life happen, take it as it comes.... which would probably work better if I did not have hours and hours of time in the seat with nothing to do but think and stare at the straight road ahead. How can I change this? I spoke with the fellow at the diner (riding a KTM supermoto) he provided some educated choices about roads to ride in Southern Utah. So I feel a little better, I have a bit of a plan... it makes Carl feel a bit more at ease.

Some photo's from the day.... and hey, thanks for listening....



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