Friday, October 17, 2008

Trip Preparation

If anyone is interested I'm starting to think about what to pack for our trip to Mexico. It's still three months away but Ward will be taking the bike and gear down with him so I have to get everything together and down to his place in just a couple of weeks.

We'll of course take all of our own personal gear, riding equipt. and rain gear but here's what we have to take from a maintenance/repair stand point;

Tools - what I did was start with the factory kit as a baseline. The tools in it are crap but its a good indication of sizes etc. With this in mind I swapped out everything I could for store bought tools with the exception of the few specialty items that are specific to the bike. My kit now includes:

Wrenches / Basic Socket Set / Screw Driver Set / Vice Grips / Pliers / Special Allen head for the front axle / Crescent Wrench / Spark Plug Socket / Leatherman Tool / Allen Wrench pocket kit

Misc items include; tire repair kit (plugs, worms, patches, glue, reamer tools etc) / CO2 canisters as an emergency fill / slime brand air pump / as a last resort a tube to use in an emergency (only the larger rear size is necessary because in a pinch it will work in both tires) / electrical tape / duct tape / WD40 / epoxy / lock tight / fuses / jumper cables / small size tire irons / air pressure gauge / supply of misc metric sized nuts, bolts and fasteners / zip ties and wire / flashlight and batteries / first aid kit / siphon hose / jumper cables

What's not shown is the tool tube I installed on the bike; inside this I carry POL items that I want to keep separate from my luggage: chain lube / oil / kerosene to clean the chain / rags , rubber gloves and handy wipes.

We're lucky - the storage room under the seat is huge and I can store just about all the actual tools there. The larger bulky items like the spare tube, jumper cables and pump can all go in two tank pannier's I install for long trips. This leaves the larger pannier's and the top box for our actual luggage.

The irony of course is I don't know what to do with half of this stuff but better safe than sorry. I'll have a laptop with a downloaded PDF of an entire DL650 repair manual and necessity is the mother of invention so I'm sure we'll be fine.

More to come as we continue to prepare

Ride Report

Well, it's been a full week since I rode back and I'm pretty much recovered. It was a long, tiring and cold trip.

I flew out to Victoria on Friday evening and picked up the bike at Jef'f''s as soon as arrived. From there it was a short ride to Brad's - he, Joyce and I had a lovely dinner but the night was a little rough because I slept on his couch - VERY comfortable for sitting and entertaining - not so much for sleeping. Oh well, beggars can't be choosers.

The next morning after a hearty breakfast at a cool funky place they know - and I had to buy because I'm a man of my word and I lost a legitimate bet to Joyce the evening before - I hit the road around 10:00. I rode up Island to Nanaimo, where I joined Kevan and we continued on to Courtenay and then across to Powell River. The forecast was for clear and sunny but by the time I hit Duncan it was heavy overcast and cold - no rain but really dark and cold.

We spent the night in Powell River and had dinner at the pub attached to the hotel. After several double scotches,' sambucca with my coffee and a few beer we were able to solve all the world's problems before I went to sleep early - AKA passed out - no later than 9:30.

We're both early risers so we were up the next morning by 5:45 and on the road at 6:30. It was still dark but even then we could tell it was a fantastic road. We had to take it a little easy because of the fear of hitting a deer but it was still a great ride to the Ferry terminal. We caught the 7:25 boat to Earl's Cove and continued on down the Sunshine Coast. And true to it's name the sun came out in full force and we had a great ride down all the way to Horseshoe Bay.

Once there, Kevan pulled a u-turn to catch the Ferry back to Nanaimo and I headed on home. I was in Hope by 3:00, Merritt by 4:30 and I pulled into home just before 6:00. It was a cold ride but no rain and little traffic so all it all it was a great week-end.

Two pictures attached - before and after 800 klm in two days

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Tickets to Phoenix!!

Some good news; Ward has agreed to trailer my bike down to Phoenix and back so our trip to Mexico - albeit, a little shorter with Brad's news - is definitely on for January. Ward & Bonnie, thanks VERY much!.
So, my vacation time at work is approved for the last week of Jan and the first two weeks of Feb and last night I bought tickets on-line through US Airways. Not the greatest airline but no worse than most. They're a discount carrier affiliated with Northwest and part of the Star Alliance so I can collect aeromiles as well. Return tickets from Spokane to Phoenix - all taxes in - were only $279 each. Not too bad!
I'd normally say there's now lots of planning to do now but after getting ready for a much longer trip last year this will be a breeze. I'll post updates as we go along but it won't be the all consuming obsession it was last time.
Before that though, I have to get through this week-end which is flying down to Victoria tomorrow evening and picking up Flurry II and riding her with Kevan up to Courtenay, over to Powell River and down the Sunshine Coast, before heading home. According to Google Maps it's 850 klm so it'll be another great week-end ride. The forecast is for good weather so it should be smooth sailing, but things can change fast this time of year so my fingers are crossed. If I run into snow I'm screwed!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Great News!!

We received a call last night from Brad letting us know that he and Joyce have decided to get married! Excellent news and we couldn't be happier for them both.
He popped the question last night so it's all fairly new and way too early for them to have any real plans. They're tentatively looking at Sept next year as a date though, so our plans may have to change as far as a trip to Mexico this winter. And given a choice we'd much sooner have lots of vacation time saved up to be able to spend time on the Island before the wedding anyway. Viva la amour!