Sunday, July 8, 2012

A Day's Ride From a Bolt

A few days ago, I discovered that the vibration from riding 3000 miles apparently worked loose one of my foot peg bolts. I reached down with my foot to rest it on the peg and found it dangling, upside down, swinging on the 1 remaining bolt. I caught this in the middle of our ride from Dawson Creek to Muncho Lake. I made it work for the ride. The morning after camping at Muncho Lake, I inspected it further to realize I needed a new bolt.

To give you an idea of where we were, Muncho Lake has campsites, and a hotel/restaurant. The facility is powered by a diesel generator that burns some 10,000 gallons a month to provide the electricity. Food is shipped in twice a week from a city 600 miles away. They said that a sack of flower costs 60% more by the time it gets there (it really helped us appreciate the delicious, and expensive, meal we had in their restaurant).

Anyway, I realized that I was at least a full day's ride from anywhere that would sell me a single bolt. Luckily it wasn't too critical a bolt.

And thank you, Whitehorse (our next camp), for having a hardware store.

Muncho lake is also where my bike fell over. All the weight makes it hard to lean the bike over, because it sits low and the kickstand is so long. So I have to make sure I park on an angle. I parked next to the gas pump on a subtle angle that barely kept my bike from teetering over. Well I didn't think about it until after this incident, but I realized that my bike gains and loses 30 lbs every day... in fuel. So I filled up, walked inside to pay, and when I came back out, there was my bike, on the ground, right side luggage busted off.

My best theory is that the extra 18 lbs or so I put in the bike made it lower more, but the shock slowed it enough for me to walk inside before it got low enough to fall over. We bandaged the luggage latch (what broke), and went on our way. I realized how lucky we were for it to fall like it did. Our bikes were on opposite sides of the fuel pump. My dad was facing his bike, and without acute hearing he didn't reailze it had fallen until he turned around and saw it. Hide our bikes been next to each other, mine could have knocked him and his KLR to the ground, pinning him in between before he realized what was going on. I made it a point to not park too close anymore.

We were still a day's ride from any kind of hardware necessary for a good fix... but a pipe clamp and duct tape worked so well that I'm still using it.


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