Our plan for the day was to ride from Saskatoon to Calgary. If you don't know it is about 600km of straight and flat prairie driving. When you live in the prairies it is a rather boring ride. When that is combined with the jitters and stress of starting an 8 month ride and multiple breakdowns along the way it turns into a stressful and tiring day. We ended up taking 11 hours to ride a 7 hour drive which was not good time.
We started the day by meeting at a central location and having a farewell gathering with the families. The pictures of the whole group will be added later as I have yet to receive them.
When we left the family gathering our first stop was to a gas station to check out tire pressure and to get gas. The first mishap of the trip happened early, as we were checking the tire pressure Billy's bike fell over twice, what a good start. As it turns out when his bike is fully loaded the bike is too low for the kickstand to work properly. After getting the bike upright for the second time and making sure the bikes were ready we headed out.
We got about 20km outside the city before Patrick’s bike started to stutter and then died; we were irritated to say the least. We thought that the recently installed fuel filter was choking out the fuel line, so we removed it and kept going. However after another 20km his bike died again we were actually worried. This picture sums up how we were feeling.
It turns out it was a pinched fuel tank vent hose, which was easily fixed by moving his tank bag, however that solution came after 130km and 4 stops. Great. Doing a dry run on a packed bike before you leave on an 8 month adventure has many benefits. Guess who didn't do a dry run?
Oh well, after fixing his bike we continued on and had a quick bite at Tim Horton’s. Guess who is happy his bike is working again?
So after eating, we tried to cover some distance, however yet another failure on the first day, great. Billy had mounted a GOPRO camera on his bike and as we were riding he felt something hit his foot. Braydon, who was riding behind, saw something silver fall past his bike and Billy let us know over the radio that his camera had fallen off. We then spent the next 10 minutes hunting on the side of the road for it. This is what we found.
This is the Camera
Here is the sheared off mount. He is getting the camera and the mount fully replaced by GOPRO, so not a loss, but not a good addition to the first day.
While parking my bike to look for the camera I dropped my bike. My bike also has an issue with the kickstand, when the shortened KLR is combined with being fully loaded it is slightly unstable. Nothing happened to the bike, however I am now aware of the problem and it hasn't happened since.
After all the small problems we really had to try and make up some time, however being on fully loaded KLR's and not used to the weight yet we were still going under the speed limit. Going that slow left us getting passed on the highway by at truck hauling a house, this was rather entertaining. Since we had so many small issues we ended up taking 11 hours to get to Calgary. This made it dusk when we arrived at the city limits and left us riding into the sun for the last hour of our ride, which was blinding. When we finally arrived in Calgary, we arrived at walked into Billy's condo and immediately left again to go have a late supper with a friend. She took us to an awesome Mexican restaurant. We then spent the night hanging out in the condo and enjoying the company before turning in for the night.
It comes to my attention that this post was rife with spelling and other errors. It was totally my fault as I tried to update after I had had a couple drinks, all is well now however, enjoy.
P.S. It might happen again at some point.