that you just want to end? I never thought I'd say it, but I just had one.
It started out really good. Slept in, hung out with Mrs Slaq, and picked up a larger motorcycle (1994 Moto Guzzi California 1100i) and decided to go on a shakedown ride. The Mrs. and I ride down the interstate to the exit I use to go to work, and grab a small lunch there and discuss the ride, while only about 40 miles, is enough for me to figure out if it'll work as a daily. It does this admirably.
Well, it's only noon, so hey, we have passes, lets ride down to Orlando and ride a few roller coasters at Disney. We jump back on and before we realize it, we're in Orlando. I take a wrong exit, and notice that the bike is handling like crap for some reason. I pull off and notice, hey, I have a flat tire. No problem, it's supposed to be tubeless (at least I thought it's supposed to be, more on this later), and there's an auto parts store around the corner. I'll pick up a plug kit, and we'll be back on the road...
Hmm.... The valve stem appears to be leaking... well, there's a motorcycle shop around the corner, they'll help me, right...?
Ooookay... so if you don't have the right valve stem for the wheel (there's apparently a difference?), can you at least put a tube in it for me? You won't do that either huh... Well, I would take it to the Harley shop in town if it wasn't 45 minutes away and I wasn't on a flat tire. No, I can't afford that kind of tow. Ok... I'll get it out of your parking lot.
So after the above interchange with their service personnel, I break down and call dad. As a side note, my dad is one of the coolest people I know. He'd give you his shirt if you needed it. This time was no exception, but with a hitch: It's too late to do it on Saturday. He offers a few more suggestions to get it home and says call him Sunday morning if they don't work. Crap.
Well, we limp the bike to the nearest motel and ask for a night. Security Inn in Orlando is one of those places that you only stay it if you have *no* other choice. Quite the rip off at $44/night with no AC, loud tenants (It appears to have some long term tenants), a room that reeks of smoke and bad air freshener, has mildew on the walls, insects crawling around, and a door that's attached to a wall that flexes when you breathe on it. The only advantage of staying at this motel was that we got a ground floor room, and the carpet was grungy enough that I didn't mind rolling the bike in the room with us. Thanks to Mrs. Slaq for the suggestion.
As a side note, the insurance company we're with (State Farm) won't add a motorcycle over the phone. You have to do that with your agent in their office. Annoying when you want to add theft insurance on a Saturday.
Sunday morning rolls around after a terrible night's sleep for me (was that fireworks, or small caliber weapon fire? No, I'm serious...) we walk up to the auto parts store and get some more stuff for a last ditch effort to get the tire to hold air. Again, no dice. Bummer.
Around 1430, dad rolls up in a van borrowed from his sister (thanks to her too. Getting the bike in and out of a truck would have been difficult) with a small ramp. We roll it up and get out of town.
The small upside to this is that we did get to hit Lakeridge Winery. I never knew that places like that would be open to the public, much less actually give samples of their product. It makes sense on further thought, tho. :D
The bike's been patiently waiting for a tube to come in and has finally been finished by the (exceptionally nice) guys at Alaucha County Choppers (Stan's been out of town this week, driving back from California), and I get to pick it up tomorrow.
Stan called me today (I left him some messages when I was in Orlando asking his assistant that I thought was in the shop for some assistance on locating someone who'd wrench on the bike) to make shure I and the bike was kosher. That's one of the reasons why I like dealing with Stan. :) He's also going to walk me through the process of removing/reinstalling the back wheel so I can do it myself should this situation occur again. He also informed me that the bike does *not* have tubeless wheels on it, which is a very handy piece of data to have.
I think I might have found a company that will convert them to tubeless wheels (they seal the places where the spokes come into/go out of the wheel) for me at a reasonable price. That's a few months down the road, tho. Tubeless tires are so much nicer than tubes, for the sole reason that 99% of the time it's a puncture that causes the tire to go down, which can be repaired by a simple plug kit. Valve stem leaks are *extremely* rare, which is why I was confused about the valve stem leaking.
Work is great. I love the team I'm working with. More on that later.
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