Friday, August 20, 2010

Go West Old Man Go West - Prep Stage

The countdown begins. National Park Tour #3 Go West Old Man Go West, officially kicks off Monday, 8/23/10, however there is always the pre-preparation before the actual countdown.

We have come from watching how they built the Going to the Sun Road on the History Channel some 3 or 4 years ago, to hmming and hawing about doing a trip like this, researching and reading of what roads and places to visit, convincing yourself, I don't want to get to age 70 and say I should have, to plopping down the money (to make the decision irrevocable other than by death) for the plane tickets and what you are going to ride out there, rent or ship.

I remember booking the tickets sometime in May thinking this is so far off. The summer will be over by then. Well it is only 19 days to liftoff. Dang time flies when you get this age

This week the FJR went to Bill Gifford at Trinity for a change of tires and spark plugs. About 3 weeks ago and 4,500 miles ago I mounted Shinko Ravens as an experiment. They are a very reasonably priced (read cheap) alternate to Michelin Road Pilots 2 and I figured if I didn’t like em, they were going to be swapped out for the trip west. Well the Shinks have performed magnificently, so I ordered another set from BikeBandit and mounted them for the trip. I have saved the dismounted Shinks since I am convinced they have another 4,500 miles in them, but not quite the miles I may need for Tour #3. I asked Bill if he minded if I stored them there in case I need a tire out west and I could have him overnight one to me in case of Extreme need. CONTINGENCY Plan #1

Now the FJR requires valve checking every 26,000 versus the Connie every 6K. I thought this was a great benefit (but not a deciding factor on purchase) over the C10. Well if it isn’t one thing it’s another. The FJR requires (per the maintenance schedule) plugs every 8K. Go figa. So Bill put 4 new NGK CR8E plugs in. This is the second set since I obtained the FJR.

Tuesday I completed the documents necessary for the Iron Butt Association to begin the National Park Tour. The AMA is involved with the NPT and you are now required to fill out liability waivers for the AMA and IBA and pay 40.00 before you begin the tour. It used to be you sent in the money and your documents after you completed the tour. If for some reason you do not meet the qualification (25 states, 50 parks, 1 year) the 40.00 then becomes a donation to the IBA. Works for me, just one more thing to remember thou.

During our trip 1400+ mile pre-ride last week, the 2720 went into Wrinkle mode. This has been packed up and shipped off to Garmin for Refurbishing. Hopefully it will be back before we fly to Utah. Broke out the 2610 that I had refurbed earlier this year and used it to capture some NER bonii to reacquaint myself with the interface. For an old guy, it is amazing the crap you keep up in your head and can remember. Also had to check to see if the Acer had both mapsets installed for MapSource. The 2610 and 2720 take entirely different mapsets. Giff is also seeing if he can locate his 2720 to lend it to me for the trip. I'll call this CONTINGENCY Plan #2.

Today’s task was to call Mass Movers in Franklin, MA to confirm Monday’s delivery of the bike for shipping. Call Joanna (she is listed as my contact) and get a voice mail. Leave her a message. This is around 9am. No call back by 10:30, so I call again, Voice Mail again. Call the main number. Goes to voice mail. Tell my boss I am taking an early lunch and drive to Franklin to see what’s up. Just making sure the business didn’t fold up between making the plans in March and now, it could happen. Arrive at the place and it is busy. Walk into the office, looks very professional and my heart begins to calm down. Ring the bell because the sign says if you want something ring the bell. (it said something like that). Girl comes out, I tell her why I am here, she takes my paper and disappears. As I am waiting, I see a board with peoples names, dates and dots. Joanna's dot indicates out to day. That explains that.

Now I am standing around for 15 minutes or so and this guy shows up.

The Moving Guy: FRJ burgundy, not due here til Monday the 23rd, with this look on his face why are you bothering me.

Me: I know I was just making last minutes checks before I drop it off Monday.

The Moving Guy: You need identification and a Reg.

Me; What’s a Reg?

The Moving Guy: You get a paper on this?

I then pulled my paper out of his hand and

Me: Here it is.

He points to the Reg#. Now I know what a REG is and Bob Marley is not involved.

While I was there I asked any special instructions.

The Moving Guy: Come back Monday afternoon.

Me: I said I work Monday and was hoping I could drop it off in the morning.

The Moving Guy: What time?

Me: 8

The Moving Guy: OK the trucks should be out of the yard. The biket must be empty.

Me: I will be riding it here so it has to have some gas. This is not what I was told before. I was told just make sure it is not full.

The Moving Guy: Well make sure it is just reserve.

Why I said the next thing I have no idea, I should have just said ok. Reserve for most bikes is 1 to 2 gallons. I say it is fuel injected and it does not have reserve. Sigh I am such an idiot, so Monday I will say the gas is at the reserve level. I am sure he will forget by then or I will remind him what he told me

I left there satisfied I had a place to drop the bike off and reasonably certain that it will be loaded to a truck. This is ANGINA, ANTICIPATE PROBLEMS and SIGHOFRELIEF mode.


PatnWilton said...

Bill, what are you doing to me! You know my best ideas really come from you don't you? Now what am I going to tell Andy when I describe how we CAN do the Montana Ride I've been dreaming about. Let me know how these guys do with shipping the bike.

Richard said...

I wouldn't want to deal with all the stress of shipping my bike. Hell, I'd be worried if I had rented a bike. One of the reasons we didn't got out west ourselves this year was that we couldn't be guaranteed the bike we wanted. Nope, sorry, not gonna do it. Too many variables for my liking. When we went to Arizona, I reserved a soft tail classic and got a fat boy. Fine for a day but I wouldn't want to deal with it for a week. You've got big stones my man. Hope you guys have wonderful, trouble free trip. I'll be following along.