07-30-2013, 06:04 AM
Hero of the Stupid
Joined: Nov 2006
Location: Adams, MA
DAY 4 – Monday
I woke bright and early to a perfect Colorado day…sun shining…birds singing…twisty mountain roads beckoning. I was energized and eager to hit the road immediately. Mike was hiding under a mountain of pillows and, I suspect, hoping for a couple more hours of sleep. Sucker! I was up, showered, and packing my bags inside of 15 minutes. Then, as was our daily ritual, I woke Mike in the gentlest way I could think of…the delicate melody of the Braun Model 5610 XP Electric Shaver/Alarm Clock with a full charge…a sound that Mike may have later described as a 2-stroke weed whacker against a chain link fence…it’s important for one to look his best before heading to breakfast; no?
Mike was up and moving…begrudgingly, but moving nonetheless. I suspect that he was excited to finally see the Rockies today so he didn’t complain nearly as much as I was expecting. It was probably 6:00AM at this point. I consulted the map while he got ready. I’d really like to ride up Pike’s Peak today, but I-25 to Colorado Springs blows and the route through the mountains to the west is fairly time consuming so we’d probably end the day somewhere south or west of Denver. That’s OK, but I had promised Mike we would take a full day off from riding on Day 5 and I didn’t see an ideal spot for that to the south; not without going way down to the southwest corner of the state to Ouray or Pagosa Springs. I love those places as base camps, but we didn’t have enough time for that on this trip. Instead, I thought we might ride up Mt. Evans this morning instead and then head north to Rocky Mountain National Park and the mountain town of Estes Park; one of my favorite places for the past 20+ years and a good spot to take the day off from riding.
We cruised down to our complimentary breakfast and watched the weather forecast. Record high temperatures slated for the Front Range today, 100 degrees, but we’re heading west and up to higher elevations. Perfect!
We packed the bikes and prepared to hit the road. My clutch was still suspect, but there was feel in the lever once again and I had convinced myself that it was most likely a heat issue related to our long charge on the super slab. Maybe it would be better in the mountains with cooler temps and much more frequent shifting. I topped off my oil, having burned about ¼ quart on the ride out. Mike decided to check his oil level for the first time of the trip, noting that the bike was sounding a little “clunky” when we pulled into Denver the afternoon before. He pulled the dipstick to find that there was no oil – at least none detectable by the dipstick – bone dry.
Now here’s the part where I get a little irritated. Back when we were still sitting in an office somewhere, I told Mike that he needed to bring a quart of oil on the trip. This was a lesson that I learned on a previous trip when I found myself in Tennessee with an empty sight glass, no spare oil, and no place to buy it. ON that trip, I hadn’t even checked for oil consumption up to that point as most bikes I’ve owned never lost a drop between oil changes. When I did finally look, it was already a little late and I was down at least a quart. Now I always carry a quart on a long trip and I check my level daily. I had insisted that Mike bring a quart – especially since his dealer had convinced him that Victories only run on a magic blend of synthetic oil, ground unicorn eyelashes, and leprechaun sweat – bottled and certified by Victory Motorcycles Inc. Anything else would certainly mean catastrophic failure.
Guess what? He didn’t bring any.
Clearly, while he was taking time out of each day prior to the trip to make fun of my packing list and ridicule my obsessive over packing, he missed the quart of oil in the left pannier. He was probably giggling about the word “pannier”. Slacker!
So, here we were at 7:00AM…sun shining…birds chirping…mountains beckoning…temperature rising quickly…and we can’t go anywhere. There’s a dealer in Lakewood, but they don’t open until 9:00. We could be sitting here for a while.
Perhaps sensing my irritation at the notion of standing around for 2 hours to address an issue that he could have easily prevented, we opted to do what all Americans do when they need something, we went to WalMArt. There was one a mile or so down the road. I suspect this may be the case no matter where you find yourself in America. I’d like to despise WalMart for their crappy Chinese products and Borg-like domination of the marketplace, but when I need something, I always end up back there. Curse your extended business hours and total disregard for your employees – you’ve seduced me with convenience!
Anyhow, we find some motorcycle-specific oil with an appropriate viscosity. It’s not officially authorized and it doesn’t contain any magic pixie dust, but I’m pretty sure it will do the trick and we’ll be able to get back on the road. I suggest Mike buy 2 quarts…one to put in the bike now and one for the ride home…he resists the idea and opts to buy only 1 quart…I’m confident that I’ll be annoyed by this decision later in the trip.
Here's Mike dumping in the first quart of oil for this trip. He looks confident that this should be the last time. Doesn't he? It looks top me like that tank bag can easily hold a spare quart or two, but he must be trying to save $10.
That's a good shot of the windshield he finally went with. Its from Memphis Shades and it seemed to work pretty good. Certainly a lot more coverage than the "visor" he originally purchased.
Hondarider screwed with this post 07-30-2013 at 06:43 AM