About this blog

The original intention of this blog was to help promote my handcrafted jewelry and beading supplies. However, I believe I lead an interesting life (which Dave gets a lot of credit for), so you will often find ramblings about things other than beads and jewelry! Hope you enjoy reading about it as much as I enjoy living it!!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

What the Heck!!!

First off...you may want to grab your favorite beverage...this is kind of a long story!!!

As I alluded to in a previous post, Dave and I had taken the bikes out for a ride on the Sunday of Labor Day weekend. We had stopped at the gas station (which is a regular gathering spot for bikes on Sundays) and filled up, then headed to what's becoming our regular breakfast spot. About 4 or 5 miles from the restaurant we came up on a slow moving truck. The driver was doing about 50mph...the speed limit on this road (it's a rural highway, one lane in each direction surrounded by...well...nothing) is 60mph and we were happily cruising at about 70mph. We were riding in our normal spots with me on the left and Dave on the right. Because of where I ride, I'm the one who decides if oncoming traffic is clear and we can safely pass. Looking ahead, I determined that it was clear (there wasn't another vehicle coming as far as I could see), so I gave the throttle a twist, passed the truck and started to ease back into the lane (while I ease back into the lane, Dave cuts it a little sharper behind me so he can resume his position on the right). When we pass other vehicles on this particular highway, we normally get up to about 80-85mph (the speed isn't really necessary, but we want to make the pass as quick as possible so we can get back to our lane...and...it just feels good). So, here I am easing back into the lane, and I hear a whooshing sound and realize my bike is slowing down. What the heck!? I give the throttle a twist and I can hear the engine rev, but I'm not picking up any speed...the bike is still slowing down. I look at the rpm gauge, and it's responding to the throttle so I'm a little confused. Then I look at my digital speedometer and it's going from 85mph to 46mph to 60mph and then down into the 30's. At this point I realize something's not quite right (ya' think?), pull in the clutch, give Dave, who is now a bit ahead of me a signal that I've got a problem and ease on over to the very narrow shoulder (luckily we had made it past the county line...the previous county we had travelled through has no shoulder at all on this highway...not good when you have to pull over on a motorcycle). While it seems like there was a lot going on, this all happened in a matter of seconds. Once I got to the shoulder, I put it in neutral, but kept the clutch pulled in just in case (just in case it decided it wanted to jump into gear and take off!!!). Dave had made his way back to me at this point and asked me about what happened. I explained to him in detail (making a short story long again) and he had kind of a puzzled look. He asked me if I had heard any "bad" sounds or noise, bad meaning like something metallic or clunky (or expensive!), indicating a possible breakdown in the engine or transmission, to which I said no...nothing but the whooshing sound. He asked me to give the throttle a little twist and the engine responded as did the rpm gauge. We decided to go ahead and try to make our way to the restaurant with the thought that it was possibly just a temporary electrical short (this happened once before only the bike kept moving at speed, but my gauges went crazy). So, I put the bike in gear, gave the throttle a little twist and simultaneously let out the clutch...but nothing. Again, the engine revved, but I wasn't going anywhere. Great!!! We're 40 miles from home on a fairly busy two lane highway with narrow shoulders and my bike doesn't want to go! There were 3 options: (1) I ride Dave's bike back to the house and hook up the trailer while he waits with my bike., (2) I ride on the back of Dave's bike and we both go back to get the trailer leaving my bike unattended or (3) Dave rides back alone and I wait with the bike. I decided #1 wasn't a good option since I can only touch my tippy toes to the ground when I sit on Dave's bike (my bike had to be lowered 2 inches so I can ride it) and I had this dreadful image of me dumping his bike at a stop sign cause I put my toes down in sand or gravel and lost my footing. Plus, I'd have to hook up to the trailer and find all the straps...Dave would have been waiting a long time. As far as I was concerned #2 was also out because I really didn't want to leave my bike unattended. It's 10 years old and paid off so it's not insured. It's not that its worth a lot (other than a lot of sentimental value...it was Dave's before mine), but replacing it would be expensive. Just too many trucks with trailers going up and down this highway...real easy to snatch the bike. So, I chose #3. Dave handed me his pocket knife (just in case...you can never be too safe) and headed off for home. I set my stopwatch when he left just so I would have an idea of how long he was gone. I figured he would be back within 1 1/2 hours. Well, it got really lonely, really quick, but I tried real hard not to look at my stopwatch as I didn't want to be disappointed in how little time had passed. Then came the distraction, which also scared me...a little. I could hear hogs (like wild hogs...the ones that have big sharp tusks) on the opposite side of the highway. Isn't this turning into an interesting little adventure? So, I wasted time gathering sticks and rocks that I could throw at them if they broke the brush line! Once Dave got back to the house (he made it back home in less than 30 minutes) he called me to make sure I was okay and let me know he was had the trailer and was on the way. I told him about the hogs and he laughed, instructing me not to make pig noises so they wouldn't come over to investigate!!! Needless to say, Dave made the entire trip in about 70 minutes. We loaded up the bike, went on to breakfast and then home. Once home, Dave had the problem diagnosed in minutes. The washer that goes between the nut and the front sprocket has a small tab that folds over the nut so if vibrations cause the nut to loosen, it won't be able to come unscrewed to the point where it can't keep the sprocket in place. This tab had somehow broken off and allowed the nut to become unscrewed and the sprocket stopped moving. Dave fixed it, and we had a nice ride the next morning. I'm so glad he's so good with the bikes 'cause taking them to a shop means lots of $!

My poor bike! Such a sad site!

Why am I smiling you ask considering the situation? Well, its not raining, the sun isn't blazing, and the hogs are staying on the other side of the road!

Dave checking to make sure all the straps are tight!

All loaded up and ready to go...to breakfast!

On the road again...just not the way we expected!

1 comment:

  1. Yikes! Sure glad you could pull over somewhere safe and tht it turned out to be a relatively easy fix! And without a trip to the shop...even better!