Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Ride Report Saddle Sore 1000

Well. You've read the hard work I put into the bike the last few weeks. The bike was repaired, the carbs were adjusted and sync'd and other work was done. I even gave the bike 400kms of exercise before leaving on the saddlesore to ensure that all would work a-okay.

On Friday, the bike was running sweet. A little lean on the main jets, but quite well on the pilots and needle jet as both were richened up with the addition of the K&N intakes.

Richard came over after work for dinner, we discussed the next day and around 11pm we went to bed.

Saturday we woke up at 6am and prepared for the ride. A cup of coffee, some breakfast and off to load the bikes and go. My neighbour came outside to greet and witness the start and said, "Tobi, hand me the keys to your truck incase you need a hand," I listened.

Our route let us out of Oakbank across the the North Perimeter to Hwy 6 where we turned North toward the Lake Manitoba Narrows. I had what felt like a wet arse, so we pulled over to check my backpack. All was good. COntinue on. We travelled a decent pace to the Narrows, where we stopped for a photo opp, and came across some curious, yet naive kids. After a pee break we pushed the earplugs back in and pressed on. Near Rose du Lac we started to face a horrible head wind of about 50km/h. The sky turned gloomy and it started to pelt rain. Did I mention that my saddlebags were stolen, and as a result I forgot to repack rain gear. Within moments I was soaked.

Next Stop was in Yorkton, Saskatchewan where the weather was sunny again. I was dry and lunch at Tim Horton's was yummy. The day was looking up. A missed call on my cellphone was from the bike shop to tell me some parts I ordered were in. SWEET.

On we pressed to Wynyard. Still with the strong headwind. The bike could barely hold 110km/h with such a strong head wind. Richards bike was blowing so hard that I saw his rear wheel skate across the pavement on more than one occassion.

Fuel Stop in Wynyard I noticed that my house keys, and my entire keyfob had gone missing. The key for the bike was still in the ignition, but everything else was gone. I filled up and paid for my fuel. I noticed that 6/49 was at 16 million, so I played$8.00 on lotto. When I got back on the bike I noticed that my trip odometer was at exactly 666KM, and all of a sudden it started to rain.

We stopped for a photo opp at the kandahar, Sask. sign, simply since, well ... If you come to Kandahar, you need a photo... Skies were still dark, and the insane head wind still persisted.

20 KM to Saskatoon, my trusty steed finally decided to pack it in. A loud pop and rattle, and all power was lost. The bike was doomed. At 70Km/h, we crippled the bike into Saskatoon. I was cold, and wet, and on a broken bike. A stop at Zeller's for warm, dry clothes and oil was necessary. We skipped our scheduled stop for Vern's Pizza and decided we needed to get home asap, slow and steady and hopefully the bike will hold.

We drove down hwy 11 toward regina, not pushing the bike, I drove the bike a pace it seemed to like. steady but not hard. This strategy proved, for 200 KMs, to be successful, but with just a few kms to Regina, Richard, frantically beeped his horn to tell me that the tailpipe of my bike was now spewing oil en-mass. We pul over and the bike dies instantly.

We discuss contingency plans. We realize for the first time, that the Iron Butt may not be a success. The plan is to get my bike into Regina and double back to Winnipeg. With a running push, my gpz stumbles back to life and I start down the hiway... Richard disappears behind me... Where is he? "Richard, Dammit, where are you. I can't turn back.... DAMN DAMN DAMN.. I turn around and drive against traffic to find my friend. He's driving slowly down the highway and hand signals to his clutch. His cable has snapped.

We limp our bikes into Regina, and fll up with fuel (and I with oil). A phonecall home dispatches my neighbor who offered to meet us. We decided to stay in Regina, but my obsession to press on and I convince richard we must keep on as long as the GPz allows it.

BIG Mistake. 40km later, it's pelting rain again. we're doing 70km/h down the highway, and there's next to no wind as the at speed as we're now getting the free ride from the wind. My oil light flashes and we pull over to add more oil. My pant leg and my bike are covered in oil. We press on.

Indian Head Saskatchewan, approx. 80KM East of Regina, we stop for oil, and Richard says, "Tobi, stop, we're done." I can't take it, I'm in denial, but alas, I conceed that this is getting too dangerous. Heavy rain, two broken bikes, pitch black darkness, and other vehicles not prepared to give us room or slow down a little as they pass.... Richard.. Thank you, you did the right thing by putting me straight.

I parked my bike on the side of the highway for the rescue vehicle to see, and we entered the tavern. A sketched sign said, "Private Party" ... We entered.

A staggette was taking place and the girl joked as we removed our jackets that we were the male entertainment. We closed the bar down and waited another 2 hours for our rescue.

When the rescue came, we loaded the bikes into the truck and got the truck stuck in the mud. An hour of persistence got the truck unstuck. Homeward bound.

I left on this ride with a motorcycle and dreams of success... I came home with neither. The bike will not be fixed by me as I just don't have the time ... ... The bike will either be parted out on ebay or sold as a mechanics special.

The lottery ticket didn't pay off...


gfroese said...

Wow, sounds like quite an adventure.
Main thing is you returned home safely. I'm still not sure why anyone would want to ride 1000km on their bike, but kudos for trying.

Anonymous said...

No kidding...1000kms is worthless (you have to ride 1610km to get the certificate) :-) Ride on Tobi

Friendly Giant said...

Hey Tob, sorry to hear that the dreams were shattered. I must say I really enjoyed reading your progress. Definitely sounds like the ride was nothing short of eventful.