Ah, morning in Vegas. It doesn't quite have the same flair as the night view. On the way out of town Frank Sinatra came on with "The Best is Yet to Come." Quite a beautiful sign if you believe in the god of the iPod shuffle. Either that or I have to much Sinatra on my playlist. At any rate it put a smile on my face to start the day. And Frank and Vegas just go hand in hand.
Heading over the damn dam was tedious with a line of possible terrorists waiting to go through security. The route was mostly downhill so I was able to coast on the bike powered off saving some gas and the added heat of the engine.
I was starving and this was my last option for food for awhile. So I parked at the dam tourist center and picked up a light breakfast while marveling at the engineering feats. The new bridge going in is quite incredible. I come through at least once a year and it's interesting marking the progress.
After past the dam and the tourist trap that it is and back into Arizona I headed off road. I've always wondered about the trails to the west of the road to Vegas. I made a short loop back to 93. It was hot hot hot and I couldn't stay out of the trails for long. I'd like to come back to do more exploring. Now there was some sand and I did tip over once... on the left.
I took a heat break at a gas station to cool off, I could feel the starts of dehydration and heat stroke. Frozen sugar water (aka ice cream), gatorade and some air conditioning were what the doctor ordered. I also had to tighen up the bolts clamping down the handlebars which were completely adjustable by this point. The vibrations of the bike just affect everything. I need to go through with some locktite when I get though.
Well, queue the begining of the drama of the day. My bike died along the side of the road. This would be the part that I keep thinking about the horrible fuel pump issues but of course it seems really early. The fuel light was on and we need to get into the workings of the tanks on the bike. The stock tank, under the seat is what feeds the infamous fuel pump. Now the Safari tank in the front has a higher level than the stock tank so if all the tanks are full, and all the lines are open the stock tank will overflow. So the procedure that the former owner walked me though involves opening the petcocks for the lobes of the front tank as required. Hypothetically each time you open up a lobe of the front tank you would get another 100 to 150 miles of range. I was keeping track of it at the start of the trip but the odo fogged over on the humid coast so I couldn't keep track of mileage. That's my excuse anyway. So when I opened up the last petcock for the lobe and expected at least a hundred miles, logically. Well, remember I said I crashed on the desert trails? That will transfer gas between the lobes on the front tank and screw up my assumptions.
Initially I thought that there was a blockage of some sort from the right lobe and that's why I was having this fuel problem. So I finally got to make use of my Starbucks coffee bladder to transfer fuel. There was about a quarter of a gallon hiding in the front tank so I drained it and pored it into the rear tank and crossed my fingers that it would be enought to get me to a gas station.
Putting along at just bellow the speed limit (and pissing off all of the vehicles behind me on the two lane road) I managed to coax my bike to the edge of Wikiup, AZ and Joe's BBQ. Inside I asked about a gas station and the lady working there said it was about a mile down the road but she would give me a ride. A much better alternative than hiking around at 100+ degrees! I've been really impressed with the people I've run into along the way that have been willing to lend a hand or a ride. I'm going to have to pass it along now, knowing how much of a difference it makes.
So with a minimum of drama from running out of gas in the middle of the desert I was off again! I was just ready to be home. I played around with stopping over in the Flagstaff area for the night but it was just time to get home.
So I was within a hundred miles from home so all the drama should have been over. I saw a rainbow on the horizon and pulled out my camera while riding to get a picture. Well this was the one time that my fears came through, I dropped it. I pulled off, dropped my backpack and started running back to save my camera from the 65+ traffic. At least I wanted to try to recover my memory card that had all my pictures from the day. I saw the camera bounce off to the side of the road and found it slightly mangled but better than I could have expected. The battery and memory card were missing so the scavenger hunt begin. I figured it was worth the effort to try to find the memory card.
As I found the battery a Sheriff's department SUV pulled up at my bike. Oh, boy. I kept looking for the card and one of the officers came up and joined the search. The second started asking me about the ownership of the bike, the tag of course was the old owners and apparently their system showed that the tag was expired. Then I heard "You owe me a beer!" The first officer had found my memory card! I take back at least some of the things I've thought about cops. We went back to my bike and I handed over the bill of sale and title that wasn't yet transfered to my name. Eventually, the officer came back and wished me luck, told me to be careful and I was back on my way. An amazing event. And best yet, the camera still works! It's no longer waterproof but what can you expect dropping the camera at 65+?
I took it really easy riding back into town after all the incidents I'd already had. Dinner and conversation with a friend on the way home was a perfect way to wrap up the day. I headed home and passed out in my own bed. Always a wonderful feeling after two weeks on the rode.


Post a Comment