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Old 08-30-2008, 09:30 PM   #1
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Atlanta to Newfoundland, Nova Scotia... AdvRydrs take another ride

Hastily scrawled on a new sub-notebook at midnight

This is a three-week trip we've been planning for some time; we just finished day one. We started out today a bit later than the 4AM time we originally intended... we needed a little extra time to work out some integration issues with our Scalas, XM radios, cellphones, etc... at last, around 11:30AM(!), we headed north!




We're carrying a lot of cargo -- each of us has a waterproof bag for personal items (clothes, sleeping bag, etc), then Mr AdvRydr has another waterproof bag for the tent and campsite stuff, and Mrs AdvRydr has a big Motofizz bag for food/cookware/utensils. We made good use of the dehydrator and have several days' worth of premade meals in there.

Despite our late start, we made a little over 500 miles, to Harrisonburg, VA. We had a Cracker Barrel dinner and are staying the night at a hotel; the camping probably won't start until we get a few days into our trip. Our goal is to make at least 500 miles each travel day. Here was our route for the day:



On the way we saw the Gaffney peach... (why is SC always so much hotter than everywhere else?)



...and this guy driving a 'trash car'.



We're using Scala Q2 units, and they did great for the first 350 miles or so before they ran out of battery nearly simultaneously... I blame that on the time we spent playing with them after we had already packed the chargers, doh, lesson learned... but the sound quality on these is really great, and the integration between rider-to-rider and the FM receivers is really nice. This is our first extended use of these, so we're interested in how they hold up through the weather and miles.

To be continued tomorrow, assuming we find another hotel with wifi ;)
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Old 08-31-2008, 05:47 AM   #2
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Newfoundland's on the list...




Make sure you hit Meat Cove while in NS.
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Old 08-31-2008, 09:39 AM   #3
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stranded

stranded in Middletown VA just south of Winchester with a clutch problem... :(
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Old 08-31-2008, 05:46 PM   #4
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We've found an indy through BMWMOGA who we think can help us tomorrow, despite the holiday, and are now working on a way to get the bike from here to there... thanks for your thoughts, anyone who read this :)
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Old 08-31-2008, 05:57 PM   #5
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Let's hope you can get it fixed and on the road again soon

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Old 08-31-2008, 05:57 PM   #6
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High Hope and I will be riding into Nova Scotia and PEI for a week after CroMag next weekend. We might catch sight of you.

If you plan to be in Maine between Thursday and Sunday of this week, you might like to stop in at the best ADVrider rally in the East--CroMag.

Keep us posted--and I hope that clutch problem proves easily repaired.
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Old 08-31-2008, 09:09 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cordless
If you plan to be in Maine between Thursday and Sunday of this week, you might like to stop in at the best ADVrider rally in the East--CroMag.
I'm afraid we'll be west of Maine on our route, and going like hell to make up for lost time but I'll be looking for the photos afterwards!

We're in a hotel in Winchester, and planning on getting the bike to an independent mechanic (who has very kindly agreed to work on the bike tomorrow despite the holiday!) in Charlottesville. He suggested we ride it down without the clutch if we thought we could do it, but I'm not confident I could get it 100+ miles down there fully loaded in its current condition without incident or causing additional damage to the bike, so we've opted to have it towed. We're also gambling that what we lose in towing to Charlottesville instead of to a BMW dealer, we gain in getting the work started a day early, plus the knowledge that the parts are there in Charlottesville. BMWMOA comes through again for the first 50 miles of the tow, the overage will be charged to us but the tow company is very reasonable, as far as towing goes :eek

To step back a bit, we started out this morning in Harrisonburg, and stopped at a rest stop for a rousing roadside breakfast of granola and coffee.



Maybe 50 miles later, we were leaving the highway for our first fuel stop, and I discovered that the clutch wasn't engaging as I was decelerating up the ramp... talk about clunky downshifting! My fantastic and dedicated spouse pushed it up the rest of the rise for me , then we were able to get it into neutral and coast it downhill to a gas station.



This guy was following us on the stretch leading to that gas stop, and happened to pull off on the same exit, and he stayed with us for quite a while with his wife on the other end of a cellphone looking up numbers in the Anonymous book (ours, of course, we neglected to bring...). He had just picked up his Buell and was bringing it home, and his kindness in assisting us was the first of several really nice folks we interacted with in this smallish town. Nothing however was going to change the fact that this was Sunday morning on Labor Day weekend, and any sort of repair shop was of course closed, and most everyone is out with family.



After failing to find a magically-available mechanic after a lengthy search by cellphone , we relented and called the BMWMOA help line. They recommended a repair shop about 15 miles north of Middleton, in Winchester, and found a tow truck for us, which was great!



Then, when we arrived at the repair shop, it was even better, because there were people in the shop! It was a little less great that the shop hadn't worked on BMWs in years and were now a Harley-only shop... but what can you do? It was more funny than anything, and the tow truck operator was kind enough to run the bike to a hotel a smidge up the road and drop it off there for us, while we regrouped.



So, wow, after a shower and some dinner, we got a couple of calls from helpful folks in the Georgia chapter of the BMWMOA, one of which pointed us to an independent mechanic in Charlottesville, who would actually work on our bike Monday if we can get it down there! I'm still amazed at the kindness of someone who would work on a holiday to get a stranger back on the road... plus, that same poor tow truck driver is picking up the bike at 0-dark-hundred! So the good news is, it's looking like we may be back on the road sooner than we thought we might be, depending on the diagnosis of course. Will I jinx it if I hope we'll be up and running tomorrow sometime?
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Old 08-31-2008, 09:12 PM   #8
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Good luck. Hoping you still get a good ride in.

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Old 08-31-2008, 09:25 PM   #9
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Thanks Wherever we are (or aren't), we'll have a good ride as long as we're riding :2drink
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Old 08-31-2008, 09:27 PM   #10
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Ready for a ride!



Hey, I'm along for your ride! This is looking good! :envy :envy :envy

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Old 09-01-2008, 04:18 AM   #11
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Subscribed! And best of luck with the clutch....

BTW, I see that you two are the "Traveling Penguins" folks I met at a Starbucks in Charlotte a couple of months ago. I'll be reading this RR with great interest! After all, it was our discussion that day that led me to find and join ADVrider....

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Old 09-01-2008, 10:41 AM   #12
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Best of Luck and hope alls well. If worst comes to needing a BMW dealer; I'd recommend Mortons BMW in Fredricksburg, Va. They're top notch.
Will be following your travels...Cheers
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Old 09-01-2008, 02:43 PM   #13
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That's bet that's Anton Largiader, anton@largiader.com , who was also recommended to me when I was having a little problem awhile back while down in VA. We chatted about batteries a little online but I ended up getting things sorted out myself. Small world.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AdvRydr
...independent mechanic in Charlottesville, who would actually work on our bike Monday if we can get it down there! I'm still amazed at the kindness of someone who would work on a holiday to get a stranger back on the road... plus, that same poor tow truck driver is picking up the bike at 0-dark-hundred! So the good news is, it's looking like we may be back on the road sooner than we thought we might be, depending on the diagnosis of course. Will I jinx it if I hope we'll be up and running tomorrow sometime?
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Old 09-01-2008, 09:54 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by llahbocaj
That's bet that's Anton Largiader, anton@largiader.com , who was also recommended to me when I was having a little problem awhile back while down in VA.
You win your bet! Read on...

There's my 1150GS



The bad news... the bike suffered a slave cylinder blowout, possibly exacerbated by a worn clutch. We're getting new clutch plates & friction plate, plus of course the slave cylinder.

The good news:
  • We were able to get the bike towed up here from Winchester for a great price after invoking the BMWMOA tow benefits a second time. That 50-mile free towing allowance saved us a lot of the cost of today's 80-mile tow.
  • After meeting Anton today and seeing his level of knowledge about these bikes and these kinds of problems, we are incredibly impressed and optimistic about the success of the repair. He even had most of the parts on hand and found a local (who I believe is also on the forums here) who had ordered the parts for his own bike but was willing to do us the favor of selling them to us at cost today!
  • Best of all, it appears the bike may be back together and on the road sometime tomorrow (Tuesday)!

I can't say enough about BMWMOA benefits at this point, the membership cost has been more than recovered with these two tows. I also can't say enough about Anton's hospitality and willingness to do this work on this bike on a holiday like this with basically no notice. To add to that, the hospitality and assistance we've been offered over the past two days by Chris the Buell rider who followed us to the gas station after the initial failure, several Middletown locals who offered assistance and advice when discovering us broken down at the gas station, Chris the tow truck driver who twice got us where we needed to go with great cheer and efficiency, Jim who so kindly offered up his clutch parts for us... each time I've told this story to someone, I get all teary about it... sheesh, what a girl.

I also have to thank my loving spouse who has shuttled me all over creation these last two days and has always been a lifesaver to me

OK, a few photos...

We saw these partiers at 7:30 this morning as we trailed the tow truck to Charlottesville...



We also saw the rural Virginia countryside that's probably no great shakes to locals, but to our eyes it's a beautiful area of the country:







Finally, we traveled through Virginia horse country this afternoon on the way to retrieve parts, crossed the Potomac river, and enjoyed some fine barbecue on the other side... too bad I forgot the camera, I'll never hear the end of it and rightfully so :(

Hoping to be on the road tomorrow, but today we're just happy to be in Virginia...
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Old 09-01-2008, 10:06 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abendteuerfahrer
Best of Luck and hope alls well. If worst comes to needing a BMW dealer; I'd recommend Mortons BMW in Fredricksburg, Va. They're top notch.
Will be following your travels...Cheers
Thank you for that recommendation, we've heard good things from several people up here about Mortons.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeyBones
Subscribed! And best of luck with the clutch....

BTW, I see that you two are the "Traveling Penguins" folks I met at a Starbucks in Charlotte a couple of months ago. I'll be reading this RR with great interest! After all, it was our discussion that day that led me to find and join ADVrider....

How cool, we remember meeting you! Glad you joined up, this place is a great resource.
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