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Maintenance Days

May 28, 2010

The bikes are performing well basically. But lots of little things are failing and we are needing to do more maintenance than we expected. We took a day off in Pittsburgh and visited my sister Marty and her family, and while they were at work and school, I looked into an oil leak. I was unable to correct it by tightening some internal bolts, but I didn’t make it any worse either, and may, in fact, have improved it. I’m hoping it won’t develop into something serious. My handlebar camera mount failed to supply power to the camera, but that turned out to be the cord pulling too hard on the camera. I made more slack for the cord, and so that’s fixed. My custom made LED turn signals developed faults on both sides that reduced their visibility, so I removed the LED boards and installed some regular signal bulb holders into the bike’s signal light cases. They don’t look great, but they’re more visible than 5% functioning LED equivalents. After getting things going back together, my starter button began acting a little flaky and so I since it would be easier to fix there than out on the highway, I took the handlebar switch control apart to fix the starter button. We also properly fixed Sebastian’s exhaust system which had come unanchored from its moorings the day before. After leaving Pittsburgh, Seb began to notice a vibration in his front wheel, and today we took a little time to remove the wheel and run it over to a nearby Honda dealer to have it rebalanced on the theory that one of the balancing weights might have fallen off. The shop let him know that the rim is slightly bent and is probably accounting for the vibration. We may decide to replace the wheel when we get to Seattle. We also fixed a problem with his master fuse which would not let his bike power up or start last night at dinner. The throttle lock on my bike came apart and shed a part out on highway 22 somewhere in Ohio, so I am doing without one until I can replace it.

I know what you’re thinking. The twentieth century version of Holmes’ Wonderful One-Horse Shay. But we are not discouraged. After all, we’ve put on about 1500 miles in a few days. That’s about 1/4 the mileage that I put on in a year, and over the course of those three months I might make a half dozen such repairs. So, it’s just all happening in a collapsed timeframe. That’s all, you see?

The problem I was expecting has not yet materialized. I had been concerned that my back would be getting sore, and that that would be a show stopper. Knock on wood, the back brace I wear is doing a wonderful job. I am ending each day with not the slightest hint of a problem. My bottom end is getting sore, but it recovers overnight. The pain mounts during the day, so I’m pretty glad when we pull up for the night, and each fuel stop is welcome. So far, however, this does not seem to be accumulating. Sebastian’s main complaint is of shoulder pain which also goes away ovewrnight. So, we’re in pretty good shape.

Have not hit any real rain yet, so I have no report on our rain gear. The soles of my hiking boots have all of a sudden begun to separate from the boot. Perhaps I’ll get in to REI Chicago tonight to replace them. Yes, I did. Seb took off on a toot of his own and left me alone, so I treated myself to a nice solo dinner at a little trattoria in Chicago’s North Side.

When I got back to the hotel to post, the Internet in the room wasn’t working, nor was it working in the lobby. I offered to fix it for the night manager, but he countered by inviting me behind the front desk to use his machine. I’m encountering lots of nice people on this trip!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Rob permalink
    May 28, 2010 4:05 pm

    Ride, men! Ride like the wind!

  2. CDN1100F (Chris) permalink
    May 29, 2010 5:08 am

    Good to hear you guys are taking this all in stride. The fact that you guys know these bikes and can work on them is a bonus. I’m sure if you need anything replaced along the way, there will be a CB’Fr ready to help out!! We all want to see you guys have a good time and succeed in your adventure!!


  3. victoria permalink
    June 1, 2010 10:13 am

    I wasn’t really thinking after that first paragraph, just wondering… But you guys seem to have it under control, so I will wholeheartedly wish you dry, smooth roads all the way!

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