Apple Pickin' and Motorcyclin'
This was a wonderful Saturday. I had planned on going to Oak Glen
last weekend for apple picking with some co-workers, but eveyone bailed on me at the last minute. So last weekend was spent at Magic Mountain!
I still wanted to go to Oak Glen, so I called up Uncle S on Thursday and asked if he felt like a bike ride. Three missed calles and 2 neglected emails later he said yes. I told T about it and he was also up for a ride. We had planned on meeting up at S's at 9:00 AM, but (not surprisingly) that somehow turned into almost 10:00. We jumped on the 91E to the 215N to the 10E. There was a little confusion over directions, but we finally made it into Beaumont for a quick soda break. A fire truck pulled in next to us in the parking lot, so we had a quick discussion about the local Esparanza fire. I was expecting to smell the smoke and see some ash in Oak Glen, but we were told that the fire was pretty much contained, and two ridges over.
We finished off our drinks and headed up the canyon to Oak Glen. We stopped at Rio Los Rancheros for some really good BBQ Pulled Port and Tri Tip. I have to say the Tri Tip was better than the Pulled Pork this trip. T and S also got a apple turnover. We headed out to the trails to walk off lunch. S was a little put off that there might be rattle snakes inthe area, so the rest of the walk was discussions on rattle snakes, other snakes, and encounters there-of concerning them or others they knew.
After the walk we headed back to the ranch and took a gander through their Store. I wanted to get some pick-your-own apples so we headed down the road to Winebrook farm. On the way in I spotted an apple press and talked S into helping me press some Apple Cider. T and S were then distracted with the horse pinned up near by, so I didn't actually get to pick any apples. We went back to the Ranch to buy some, along with some Apple Butter, Pumpkin Butter, Jalapeno Preserves and dried apples. I got some really yummy Winesap apples to eat. They also had Apple Syrup, Apple Preserves, and Tomato Preserves! I wanted to try that on a Grilled Cheese Sandwich, but forgot to go back and get some.
Once we had reached S's again he invited me and T to the Orange County Police Canine Association 2006 Benefit Show that was taking place that night at the Fullerton University football field. T and I went home to shower (it was 89* in Oak Glen!!) and then went over to the stadium. Uncle KR and his kids were also there.
It was a really cool show! They had guys in trucks drive onto the field chased by 4 or 5 cruisers. The guys would jump out of the truck in full padded suits and be chased down by the K-9's and tackled! The did different stunts like this for about 2 hours, even threw some flash bombs at the vehicles. One didn't go off, so they had to call in the bomb squad to detionate the flashbomb so the helicoptors could land. That's right, helicoptors! They flew in all 6 OC helicoptors into the stadium one at a time. and they would fly to the center of the field, hover 1 - 2 meters off the ground, and do a full 360 revolution in the center, then take off. They even did a stunt where one of the "badguys" was running from a truck and a helicoptor landed in the field and a dog jumped from the coptor and ran after the guy! It was very exciting. The finished off the show with fireworks while playing the Cops song.
Afterward T and I met up with S and S at Chilies for a (very) late dinner. It was a very cold ride home. I saw a bank thermometer on the way and it said the temp was 55*! Add in windchill and things get VERY chilly.
As Tight As A...
(insert proper analogy here)
No more loose chain! I took Alexia over to Mach 1 and told him my chain was loose again. Long had a look at it and suggested just getting a new chain since it had streched so much, so often. I asked about the sprockets, and he recommended changing those out as well. I had intended to have this done in addition to my 12k mile service, but had a $300 price limit. The chain, sprockets, and hourly came to $250. However, I also mentioned to Long that my bike was slipping out of gear. He said it could be a transmission problem. I told him that I had read on the Honda Shadow forum
(hey guys!) that a simple solution to the slippage was to just move the shift lever back to increase the leverage when shifting with your toe. Long said no problem, and when I got me bill I discovered he had not charged me the labor to move back my shift lever! What a guy!
While my bike does still fall out of gear, it only does it about 10 - 20% of the time now, verses almost 50% before.
So I now have 12446 miles on Alexia, 448 since the new chain, and have not felt any slack in the chain yet. Good news, but my other chain started to slack after 800 - 1000 miles. Alexia also needs new tires soon, like real soon. I noticed a small bald spot on my rear tire. So I now need to save up for new tires and 12k mile service. After this, I should be able to enjoy my bike for a few months without blowing $200 or more every other month on maintenance.
Alexia also needs a bath. A plastic bag on the freeway managed to land on my hot pipe, and now my motorcycle smells of burnt plastic. I tried to wash the plastic off, but it had become a solid piece of plastic that wasn't budging. I finally wised up and after riding into work the other morning, I got out my old pair of leather gloves and just wiped off the now hot, melty plastic off of my hot pipes. While this removed a lot of it, there is still some nasty stuff left.
Any suggestions for removing melted-on plastic?
As loose as a (insert funny analogy here)
Damn chain is loose again. WTF?!? I don't know what is up with it now, but since I have reached 12000 miles on Alexia (yea me!) and she needs to go in for service now anyway, I am just going to have Long Mach put on a new chain. Oh I'll ask as to why it is getting so slack so quickly, but I am insisting on a new chain. (please leave your analogies in a comment!)
The chain is so loose that the top position is resting on the frame when not moving. I can also hear it rub against the frame as I slow down. Yeah, not good.
Have I mentioned before how much I HATE chain drive?!!
In retaliation for Alexia misbehaving, I have started drooling over this beauty.
This is the 2006 Yamaha Road Star Warrior
. This sucker is 1607 CCs and is about 600 lbs! It also has a 28 inch seat height, which my long legs love. Oh, and the best thing, its a belt drive! So far my favorite of all drives. And I love the exhaust on this thing. I test fit one a few weeks ago at Mission Motorsport and loved it. Alas, I may have to drool on this one for a while more. I think the jump from a 750 to a 1600! is a bit extream. Also, I need to build up my strength a bit to handel the additional 100 lbs. What do you all think?
On a slightly different note, I figured out this weekend that I have about 26,000 miles of motorcycle experience. 15k or so on my Vulcan, and now 9k on the Shadow. I have had a few minor, hairy moments, and hope that those experience are the extent and extream of what I have to face in the future. I was reflecting on what I have learned, and what I need to work on. I also committed to re-reading Proficient Motorcycling
. I think I still have a lot to learn, especially about handeling turns. I want to work on slow speed manuvers as well.