Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Detour on the Road to Success (revised)

We departed Dodge City with the bike in the back of the truck at 5:00PM on Tuesday just as planned (that itself is amazing!) and headed to Columbia, Missouri where we planned to spend the night on our way to Ohio. As we passed into Missouri, we approached Exit 6 in Kansas City where I spent two hours at a McDonalds waiting out a storm on the trip west. Ahead of us the traffic stopped due to an accident. As I backed off the gas pedal and applied the brake, my foot pressed on the clutch pedal and it did not go down.
The pressure plate of the clutch had a broken finger that, in turn, popped a spring out of the clutch disk center or vice-versa. If you know what a clutch disk looks like you will understand and see it in the picture. In addition, the pilot bushing was worn and had been a little sticky for a long time. It all combined to result in no shifting and no stopping without stalling the motor. Not so nice at midnight but at least as I ran down the ramp I saw a familiar neighborhood.

Long story short, we ended up doing to another exit by magic driving (only can be done after midnight) and found a hotel. In the morning we were referred to a great tranny place, Certified Transmission, who arranged for a tow truck and did an incredible job getting the truck back to us by 6:00pm good as new for a good price. It is not what you expect to do on your vacation, but I am so glad it happened while I was driving the truck and not to Ann on her way out last week.

With the help of the tow truck driver I unloaded the bike so I could run around and arrange money and whatever. The great folks at certified helped me get the bike back in the truck and ready to travel. I got to use the internet access at another public library, and again it was a good experience. BTW, this library in Independence, MO was really busy, lots of people of all ages using the facilities. So I guess the rumors of everyone forgetting how to use books is exaggerated.

Early Thursday morning we are once again leaving for Ohio, and expect to arrive Thursday night before 10PM at the Malabar Farm Hostel. This year I will not get a haircut in Newark and we will not eat the Walleye special at the bar and grill.

We ate at a great bar-b-cue place recommended by the tranny guys, Smokehouse Bar-B-Que. No photos, never got the camera out today. The clutch part photo is courtesy of Scott at Certified who sent them to me after the fact (read as: got them out of the recycle bin). Thanks Scott and others!

Nice restful day sitting in the motel room watching the Tour de France and napping. Those bicycle guys tire us out.

The truck is very nice to drive with the new clutch and pilot bearing.

Lessons learned:
  • Great bar-b-Que can be found in lots of places
  • Good people are everywhere just waiting to be discovered, even at transmission repair places! (yeah, I already knew that)
  • Libraries are alive and hopefully well
  • An unplanned day off during a vacation is nice

More exciting stuff tomorrow!

No comments: