Sunday, July 27, 2008

No Sturgis This Year

It appears that some higher authority decided I wasn't going to Sturgis this year. A 75 MPH blowout, on the freeway, on a rear tire with only 126 miles on it will cause me to not make the trip.

The Good: I felt something odd just before the tire let go and had moved to the curb lane and was already slowing down trying to decide what that feeling was. I really thought the front tire was going down. Somehow the bike stayed up on two wheels. Or at least one wheel and a rim. HOG road service is as advertised. One phone call and a tow truck was there in 45 minutes to take Petunia to a location of my choice - free and without any hassle. Jeane and Jim came out in the rain at 11:30 to pick us up and take us to the house.

The Bad: Being called to say the bike was ready, but it wasn't ridable. It wobbled all over the road at 25 MPH. A complaint and a check showed that somehow the new tire was lopsided and had a half inch difference in the shoulder height on one side. Of course there wasn't another tire in stock and because it is Saturday it can't be ordered until Monday. Petunia won't be ready until Wednesday. I was leaving Tuesday and waiting until Thursday would only leave two days in Sturgis. That just doesn't make sense to go that far for two days and miss out on the planned side rides.

So, with mega dissapointment I won't make Sturgis this year. I will resist the urge to leave Wednesday and ride all night to get there on Thursday. That just isn't safe and I was lucky once this week already. So I will have to wait until next year to go to Sturgis. Next year is almost like tomorrow. Tomorrow - the day that is always coming, but never gets here.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Hi HO, Hi Ho, It's Off To Sturgis I Go

Yep, I've been missing in action. Life has gotten in the way of blogging after returning from Alaska. In the past three weeks I have talked myself into and out of going to Sturgis ten times. This morning I woke up to the final answer.........I leave Tuesday morning. I just can't pass on the opportunity, since it is here.

Yesterday I tracked down some ABS plastic rod and sheet plastic to make repairs to Piggy. I used a soldering iron to weld the broken part of Piggy's rear end back together. The rod was too thick, but the sheet plastic was just perfect and made the repair. The repair doesn't look bad and more importantly it seems to be stronger than the original product. The road will tell the final story.

The swivel ball that broke on the way to Alaska and was recalled still hasn't been replaced. I wrote to them Monday and they said I must not have written because they had all been sent out. Well, I did write and it never arrived. I'm waiting to hear back. In the mean time I went and purchased a 7/16 x 2 1/2 case hardened bolt, lock washer, and a nylon insert jam nut to make it usable. I will take the regular ball again just in case.

Tomorrow I will wash Petunia, have a new set of tires put on, and go on a ride to break them in. I have ridden several short, 100 mile, rides in the past three weeks. But, with the thunderstorms, school, and a mix of other excuses I didn't have anything to write about. Hopefully that will change next week as I venture into the Sturgis experience. I have heard the stories and seen how the Discovery Channel has portrayed Sturgis. I look forward to having my own experiences to tell about.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Summer Time Blahs

It is that time of the year. The summer ride to Alaska is safely in the books. Life slowly tries to return to normal. It is hot and most folks don't want any part in riding after 9:00 AM. Yea, you get a bit wet and maybe even a little stinky, but what the hell you can always shower later.

Petunia has decided that she doesn't like the heat and started acting up. The dealer checked the battery just before I left for Alaska and assured me it was OK. Maybe it was then, but it isn't now. The good news is I was home for a few days before this became a problem. So, after checking options I ordered an AGM battery online. I have to wait until Tuesday to get it, but saved $65.

Next week I get to spend four days in a classroom learning how to integrate an ActiView video screen into my classroom. This allows students to work on a 5 X 4 white board that is computer activated. Once I learn how to use it properly it really should make learning fun for the students and me.

After computer school I need to make the decision on going to Sturgis. On one hand I think I already spent too much this summer. But, on the other hand this summer might be the only opportunity I get to make the trip. There is the possibility of kicking myself if I don't go and wondering what I missed. As the death of another friend has shown life is uncertain and we don't know how many tomorrows we have. Sometimes being so damn independent isn't all that much fun.