What a day!
Started well enough - I got a cab over to the warehouse where I managed to successfully cable-tie the screen into place, to compensate for being unable to undo the 2 rear screen mounting bolts (I expect I'll drill them out tomorrow morning).
Then rode the bike over to the hotel to load it. Remarkably, nearly everything fitted - just a few bits in the holdall, which I strapped to the rack.
I notice a nail in the rear tyre :(. It was holding air, so I decide to go with it and repair en-route if necessary (it wasn't). Got the hire car back to the airport & set off.
On Manny's advice, I went up the Florida Turnpike, rather than Interstate 95, which was far more direct. Unfortunately this added about 75 miles to the journey and put me through Orlando in the rush hour. Whilst filtering through nearly stationary traffic, a member of the Orange County Sheriff's department made it clear he'd like a chat..... :(
Apparently, you are not allowed to 'Lane Split' (filter) in Florida. I took my telling off like a man and climbed back aboard with no more than a slight tremble of the lower lip.
Moving in pace with all the traffic now, I continue to South Daytona. On arrival, I find that Keri Smith is home (with baby Jacob, 2 cats & 3 dogs) and that Jeff is expected in about an hour.
I unpack and receive the nastiest shock of the day. The left pannier has got hot - VERY hot.
Hot enough to warp the aluminium it's made of.
It has melted the bag liner, destroyed my heated jacket and the mouse for my laptop.
The interior of the bag is scorched and I have no doubt that, if there had been a source of oxygen, I would've had a fire. Shit. :(
Jeff comes back and I find him immediately likeable, enthusiastic and helpful. He knows a local guy who custom makes exhausts for cars and feels sure he could make up a pipe to fit in the rear of the silencer which will duct the heat away from the pannier.
Still need to buy a new heated jacket, though....:( I'll try to sort the pipe tomorrow, as well as buying a new mouse (and washing everything that was in that side of the bag - it all stinks of scorched plastic).
On the up-side, Jeff removes the nail from my tyre and repairs it with an amazing bit of kit, called the Tyre Plugger. It puts a mushroom shaped plug into the tyre in about 5 minutes, with no need to remove the wheel - I'm buying one tomorrow :)
We have a chat & a beer, after which Jeff & Keri go to bed (Jacob has a cold & is teething and sharing their bedroom tonight, as I'm sleeping in the nursery).
This leaves me to unwrap the Tiger Angel suit - a custom made Goretex bike suit from Australia which has to be shipped to me here despite having initially being ordered last August.....
Don't ask, it's too complicated.......
Anyway, it's here now & fits fine! Looks like I'll have to ship the other stuff back to the UK.
Right, busy day tomorrow - fix the screen, get the exhaust repaired and - oh yes - have lunch