Saturday, July 2, 2011

I'm on the road ...

Not mine, but looked like this
Well, actually I'm in a tiny motel room in Champaign, Illinois.  My motorcycle history in this town goes back to about 1970 when I was in Air Force tech school for flight simulators and had a tired BSA B40 350cc single like the one to the left.  I needed a place to work on it and some riders of modified America V twins offered me their 'place' to work on the bike.  Someplace I have a black and white photo of one of them, I'll try and dig that up and post it after I get home.

Thanks for joining me on the trip, by the way.  I really am Not Alone! Breaking news is that the family I am going to visit in Oregon managed to deliver their baby a little early.  More details as I get them...

Here is the quick summary of the last week.  Warning, it is ugly!

Friday afternoon I rode the R50/2 to teach a Motorcycle Safety class about 100 miles away and it stopped running 30 miles from the school.  Happens along a guy who pulls over and yells "Ron, remember me?"  Well no, I didn't.  Turns out he was a student in one of the classes I taught some years ago and he happens to be an off-duty deputy sheriff.  He helped me push the bike to a safe place and calls in the troops.  An on-duty sheriff shows up but he is a K9 officer and it won't work for me to ride with him, so he requests another deputy who does give me that ride the last 30 miles.  It is impressive to arrive in a cop car!  A class member generously picked me up and drove me back to the hotel as well as spending an hour or two trying to make it run.  People are generous, I don't care what you say.

Rick & I using the right tools.
Note turkey baster 'gas tank'
I will spare you the details except to say that my wife came over Sunday afternoon, the site coordinator followed us out to the bike and helped load it on the trailer and the bike went home inoperative.

Rick, a friend who is a ham radio operator as well as owner of a /2 had ordered the came ignition system I have and offered to let me try all the parts to see what failed.  The answer is,so far, none.  Must be some wiring fault.  We just ran out of time for fixing and then testing before setting out on such a long ride.

Getting ready to remove that big blue thing
On Wednesday evening I decided to take my 1981 R100 that has been the tug for my sidecar rig. 

Early Thursday morning I went out and removed the sidecar and sub-frame and checked the dirty bike out.  It looked good to go.  No time for washing it, I figured I'd hit rain the first evening anyway.  Wrong, not a drop so far!

I packed (and not too well) and got on the road in time for a late dinner with dear friends in Charleston, West Virginia.  Slept in their home and left at 10AM July 1 for this location.  There was a good lesson learned there as well, but I am going to write it up in another entry.  Soapbox racers should come back to hear this good story, and also one about Korea and how we all relate in some way.

I had a portion of the day's trip on US-50, the route I will be riding on the east-bound leg of the trip.  I stopped to take a photo of the signs and after some time a State Trooper stopped to see if I needed help.  Turns out he is a rider as well and was really excited about my trip.  I gave him the blog address so he well may read this!  I should have though to ask him to take a photo of me and the bike with the signs for US-50 in the background.  Next time!

Now that the ride is underway I'd love to see some of you clicking on the Not Alone logo near the top of the left side of the blog.  Our women and men in uniform and their families need our help.  Whatever amount you feel is right for you is a help.

Tomorrow I will write up the route so far and what Robert Pirsig's home in St Paul looks like.  I am scheduled to get very wet in thunderstorms so the bike will be cleaner! And some riders consider rained on bikes 'dirty.'

LESSONS LEARNED (again): There is a reason for everything.  The newer (30 year old) bike was better for the interstate highways I chose to get to the Zen and the Art... starting point. Oh, and it has brakes.


anilia said...

Yay for brakes! Love you!

anilia said...

Yay for brakes! Love you!

Mom A said...

Second that emotion.