Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Day one again

If I knew Olean Wal-mart has Subway I could have killed two birds with one stone. All that's left is a "Sam's Inn" with a laundromat and I'm set for travelling throug US. Kind of sad...

A lady I was waiting in line with asks me about three wheel motorcycles. I tell her 95% are not really motorcycles. Interesting how people are comfortable with striking a conversation with motorcyclists riding solo. Not so much when they are in a group, especially if they have tatoo-ed necks and skull-encrusted club patches on their back.

Real fun started in Pennsylvania, as usual. The weather was perfect with just enough clouds in the sky to make every scene idyllic. 44 and 144 are a hoot, twisties uphill, tight curves downhill, through the lush forests, by rivers ans streams... Mother nature sure did well in preventing people to lay down their favorite and incredibly boring strait line, grid system roads.

By the time I got to I85 the weather started to turn and dark grey skies in front told me it's time to get ready for rain. And rain it did, first just a drizzle and then proper rain, at tomes quite a downpour. I decided to take a beeline to Front Royal, 330km by the fastest route. It may have been the fastest, but those 330 felt like a thousand and took four hours. Severely reduced visibility combined with limited and unreliable traction (think slippery road markings and "tar snakes" with ocasional unexpected aquaplanning) made the ride quite a challenging one. Passing a truck that pushes a wall of water in front of it and showers you in the back and on the sides with it at highway speeds is, well, kind of a Russian roulette. Then, out of the blue, the poor Suzy B started to run on three cylinders, then two, then sputtered and stopped. Right in the middle of the interstate with those trucks I passed earlier having their vengeance by showering me again.

By the symptoms I thought fuel delivery problem and I was right. However, the tank was full, so there was no way it ran out of gas. After turning the petcock to "prime" and waiting a minute the bike started like nothing happened. I revved it to stratosphere a couple of times and it didn't miss a single stroke. On we go, petcock left on prime thinking the stuck vacuum valve was the issue. About 10km later the same thing, in the middle of the highway again, this time it was night already, still raining, of course. Damn, not even my cell phone works here, how am I going to call AAA!? A little wait and it started again, only to give up a few minutes later. This time it won't start like before and the battery is in danger of being drained by repeated attempts. I'm thinking pressure buildup/release now, so I opened the tank cap. Bingo! Started right away and the rest of the trip was completed with the tank partially open (under the tank bag, so no rain as coming in. I'll get some Seafoam for it, but otherwise won't worry too much.

Got to Front Royal VA at 10, thoroughly soaked and frozen. No time nor will for dinner, just a 3/4 hour hot shower. Grabbed a power gel and made a decaf...