Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Huge Thanks To Viking Dave

The brake report is in and it is exactly what Dave warned me about on Sunday morning.  The clutch cable wears against the brake line and wears a hole in it.  While I couldn't get a good picture of the hole, you can clearly see the worn area that blew out.  Yes, it had a plastic wire protector over the area and it is worn through as well. 

Ladies and gentlemen, this hole was impossible to see and I found it by putting fluid in the master cylinder, pumping the brakes with one hand and tracing the line with the other hand. The damages are about $60 and waiting for 5 - 7 days for the special order to arrive at my local Harley Dealer. Well, not exactly MY LOCAL dealer as he wanted $157 for the brake line and the one 28 miles away only wanted $57. I don't know why the difference, but in both cases it had to be ordered.

How fortunate am I that this happened at the end of a 450 mile weekend of all highway speed riding, two up, and pulling a trailer?  This again speaks to that little voice that we all seem to have.  I've met Dave on two rides and he mentioned this possibility both times. This time Dave seemed more insistent and less than six hours later you can see the result. The evasive actions needed weren’t all that drastic, but no response to your brake peddle at 75 mph is a puckering experience.

So, a hearty THANKS to Viking Dave for planting the thought into my head. I owe you Brother and am thankful for your persistence. Now the rest of you get out there and check your brake lines.

UPDATE 4/28/10  Stubbs Harley called this afternoon to say the part they ordered and I paid for was an obsolete number and the right part was a hundred dollars higher.  Then he asked if I wanted to cancel or pay the hundred when I pick it up.  Well, you can't ride without brakes so I didn't get a smoking deal afterall.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Can't Stop, Only Time For A Quickie

Sunday morning on a cool, sun drenched start to the day I'm having this conversation with Viking Dave from the Roads Grit Cafe.

VD, "Have I told you about my brake discovery?"

AHD, "No, I don't think so."

VD,  "I was cleaning my bike and found my clutch cable rubbing my brake line."

AHD, "Wait a minute, isn't that when you put that tubing around the brake line?"  I'm old and forgetful at times.

VD, "Yea, have you ever checked your clutch cable?"

AHD, "No, I haven't done that."

VD, " You should check it out."

AHD, "I should because if it is wearing and you need to hit the brakes really hard it could blow out and then you wouldn't be able to stop."

Well, arriving back in Peoria and dropping off Piggy at Linda's, cleaning up the mess the dogs made, enjoying a cold beverage, and talking about the great time we had just had,  I was off to my house to get the truck so I could retrieve Pongo.  Hitting the freeway at 74 I floated over to the high speed lane and was sorry the weekend had to end.  Just then I see the car enter the freeway and start to shoot across four lanes, right to my lane.  Of course when they get there they stomp the brakes because it isn't until that instant they see a MOTORCYCLE.  So, I slam down hard on the brakes and........nothing happens!  Quick glance, opening, evasive action, and I'm past them, but still no brakes.  Pull off the freeway and brake fluid is dripping from under Petunia.  I slowly and safely make it the 4 miles to the house.

Now, I'm not sure yet what broke, but I have to give a big thanks to Viking Dave for that conversation because maybe I was still thinking about loosing the brakes at just the right time.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

It's OK to Be Angry Now

Two weeks ago tomorrow there was a terrible accident in the Phoenix area where four Brother and Sister bikers were killed. Five others were injured, the most serious still in the hospital. I knew and have ridden with three of the victims of this accident.

I have visited the site of the crash three times. The first time was just to try and understand how it could have happened. On a perfect, sunny day, at about 1 in the afternoon, to get hit from behind. A terrible accident. I have defended the truck driver and asked folks to hold judgments, while waiting for the facts.

Judgments can now be made. The truck driver who ran down these Brothers and Sisters had drugs in his system at the time of the crash and Phoenix police arrested him on Tuesday.  Toxicology results showed that illegal drugs, believed to be methamphetamines, were present in his system at the time of the collision.  He was booked for 4 counts of manslaughter and several other charges.

So, it wasn't just a terrible accident after all.  It was much worse than that and I'm sure the victims' families wake up this morning feeling like they have just been hit again.

It is now OK to be angry with that moron who killed 4 innocent wife, husbands, mother, fathers, daughter, sons, sister, brothers, aunt, uncles, friends.