Sunday, May 19, 2013

Day 13

Well, day 13 is a write-off as far as riding is concerned. But...

I woke up to find out it was raining all night. Suzi is all wet (you dirty...) but it's not raining now. A cursory examination of the bike revealed a startling and disturbing anomaly - a broken chain link (pictures will be in the album later). I've seen a lot of busted, worn, rusted and abused chains but never anything like this. On top of it all it's the best and most expensive chain in the DID lineup - the $200+ ZVM2. Well, they'll hear from me for sure because this is bloody dangerous.

So, my plan to go to Bonneville, open her up on the salt flats and spend the night in Salt Lake city is out. The question is what to do? After some deliberation and risk weighing decided to go straight to Salt Lake City in the fastest possible route (150mi). Why fastest? Because it will allow me to keep the chain at the more-less constant and moderate tension and not subject it to frequent acceleration.

So, up on the highway I go, keeping her at around 80mph, just so I don't get passed by every redneck in a pickup truck.

Just so you know, there are roughly three possible scenarios with catastrophic drive chain failure:

1. The chain just flies off the bike, usually catapulted high in the air and possibly hitting a fef parts at the rear of the bike along the way. The engine suddenly revs to the stratosphere, which won't generally damage it if you roll off the throttle fast enough. Then you just coast to a stop with a bike that does everything OK except propelling itself :).

2. The broken chain gets wrapped around the front sprocket like a boa constrictor, abruptly and quickly stopping the engine. The damage to the engine, especially sprocket cover, can be from relatively mild to quite severe. Again, you just coast to a stop.

3. The chain wraps around the rear sprocket, blocking the rear wqheel in the process and sending the bike in a mostly uncontrollable rear wheel slide. Depending on the speed, lean angle and rider's skill this can end up in various ways - from just a lot of tire smoke and a well executed stop to a slide down a canyon cliff. Damage to the bike? Who gives a rat's ass?!

The first two I can deal with (#1 happened to me before), but I was hoping the third scenario won't happen. That's why I kept it on the straight highway and at moderate speed.

I'm sorry to disappoint anyone, but nothing at all happened. It was a very gentle ride that ended without incidents, apart from a rain scare from a couple of thunderstorms that I narrowly missed.

Booked a motel close to a bike shop I'm hoping will be able to sort things out for me tomorrow. The rear tire needs changing too, so I'll hopefully kill two birds. The thread is almost gone and there's a plug in the middle of it.

Went for a ride to the Temple Square but didn't hang around because another rain front came in. Looks impressive, maybe tomorrow. As far as I could see everything out of downtown is unimpressive, to say the least. Typical American everywhere/nowhere town with strip malls, car dealerships, etc.

This Days Inn has a laundry, time to wash/dry. Eaier said then done becaus I don't have enough quarters and the front desk doesn't offer change (very unprofessional). Managed to beg my way into some change from the reception lady that just pretends to understand English and off to washing I go, happy that I have a place to sit and surf on the tablet while I'm waiting.

Half into the wash cycle I check the dryers. Both coin drawers are stuck. Get a hold of the maintenance guy, he tries to un-jam it and then calls the manager. They tell him that dryers have been out of order for a while, but someone took off the notice they left. What a bunch of bozos!

Stuff the wet clothes into a dry bag that I thankfully have, hop on the bike to the closest laundromat (about a mile away) and do some thumb-typing for the blog while I wait. That restaurant across the street looks mighty alluring right now.

New Ho Ho Gourmet, Hong Kong steak with a side of flied noodles :).
A side note from yesterday: Somewhere North of Zion NP on a gentle winding road I was passing a red Mustang in the usual manner, which means with plenty of room for error, both his and mine. We were both going pretty fast, his pace faster than most cars I encounter. The pass was quite routine until when I was about half the bike ahead of him when he started to accelerate practically initiating a "flying start" drag race and blocking my return to the right lane. There was plenty of straifgr and emty road in front so I decided to take the challenge. What he didn't know is that I have an ace up my sleeve - the famous "Bandit downshift" :). See, Bandit 1200 can never achieve it's top speed in the top gear. Consequently, no matter how fast I go in fifth I can always get an extra boost (like a kick in the butt at most speeds) by shifting down to fourth and wringing her neck. When are those guys with small penises going to learn that racing a motorcycle is a loosing game 90% of the time (those 10% for motorcyclists not being in the mood to race and/or having nothing to prove)? It is fun showing them that theirs is smaller every once in a while though :).