Sunday, July 6, 2008

Pre-trip weekend prep

The 4th of July weekend was a greatly appreciated 3 day weekend. Last weekend was our big bar-b-q and next weekend we are heading to Gillette, WY for the rally. So this weekend I wanted to get the bike prepped and of course do a little riding.

Since we didn't have to go to work we slept late before getting up and walking. But once done with our morning walk I got outside and started on a 12K mile service interval routine. It was about 9:30 when I finally got started. First the oil was drained then the transmission and final drive fluids. Then it was time to start filling things up. The final drive was easy enough thanks to the little bottle I got from a beauty supply shop. Then I filled the transmission without much of an issue. Since this was a 12K service interval I needed to adjust the valves before filling with oil. So I pulled the valve covers, refreshed my memory on the procedure using Jim Von Baden's maintenance video, and then proceeded to complete the adjustments. At this point things were just going too well...

As I was putting the valve covers back on I looked for my ratchet and torx bit that I used to loosen the bolts but couldn't find it. At first I assumed I picked it up and carried it inside with me. Nope! I start looking all around the garage. Nothing. Another check inside at my desk, still nothing. Finally I drag Reagan outside to help look. We are both looking and not finding anything. Finally I'm standing near the bike when I glance down at the bike and notice the ratchet resting on the foot peg. Genius!!! I resume my work and finish things up with a throttle body sync. In the end it took me about 4 hours plus another 1.5 hours of searching for a stupid ratchet.

While I was oily I changed the oil in Reagan's bike. It was pretty dirty, much worse than mine. I think I'll start changing it every time I do a 12K service on the BMW.

We got up later than normal but still early enough to enjoy the cool morning. The plan was to ride up to Belleville for breakfast at Neumans. Reagan had some new iPlugz in-ear monitors from Ear Inc to try out. And of course, I never pass up to ride, especially since I didn't do any riding the weekend before. The ride was uneventful, 99 to 1093 to Simonton. Then north to Brookshire and up to Bellville via 359 and 529. We got to Neumans just a few minutes before it got busy. After some coffee and pastries we headed over to the Bellville Meat Market to get some sausage. I tried their dried Jalepeno sausage and will get more the next time I go through there. We head back down 36 to Seally and then cut over to ride Racer's Road before getting on I-10 at Brookshire. The plan was to run over to 99 and get home a little quicker so we could run some errands on our way to a party.

However as we passed the Katy Mills Outlet mall, Reagan decided we should stop to get her a shirt for the party. No problem, we loop around and go to the mall. Then it's back on the road and headed home. Quick showers and we are headed out the door in the truck.

Since the party we were headed to was over in Clear Lake I figured it'd be a good time to stop off at Gulf Coast BMW to look at the new Olympia riding gear. They didn't have the new Recon 2 transformer pants that I was hoping for, but they did have the Stealth one-peice suit I was also interrested in. I thought the suit would be nice for riding around Houston in traffic when I have appointments to go to. I can wear my microfiber pants and shirt underneath and step out of the suit when I get on-site. And the mesh should be a little more comfortable in Houston traffic. Since they had the suit in a medium and it seemed to just fit me, I figured what the heck. At $299 it seemed like a decent deal. With the purchase complete we headed over to the party to learn about home brewing beer.

Sundays we normally go to breakfast with the Fort Bend Riders and this day was no different. Reagan decided to ride her bike so she could go see her mom while I went riding with the guys. After breakfast only Gary wanted to go ride so we took off. At first I wasn't really sure where I was headed but when I got to Fulshear I had a plan. I was heading to Fayetteville, Tx. So we did Racer's Road and then cut over to Seally, headed north to 949 and went west until it met up with 1094. Then right on 109 and onto 1291. FM1291 is still one of my most favortite local roads. This day though presented a little extra excitement. As I came around one of the right handers there were large birds all over the road. I squeezed the brakes and then got on the radio to make sure Gary would slow down behind.

Those birds definitely raised the pucker factor. We roll on into town and stop at the gas station for a break. After some visiting it was time to head home. I was hoping to checkout a gravel road that I hadn't been on since getting the GS. At Frelsburg we turned south on to 109 to Columbus. The sky was looking dark and it was starting to rain, so we decided to skip the gravel road for the day. Once in Columbus we turned east onto 90 and then cut over to 102 to head south to Eagle Lake. Then it was east on 90A until we got to Gary's turn off. Then he peeled off and I continued on until spur 10. A quick ride up 59 to Frys then it was time to go home and get a nap. Another great quick day ride.

In the evening Reagan and I get out the side cases and the top case and figure out how we're going to fit 12 days of gear on the bike. I tried to be the chivalrous and give her the larger case. But in the end I used up 1/3 of her side to pack tools and stuff. The prepacking showed that we should be OK with a little extra space for things we might find along the way.

Now it's just a matter of waiting until next Saturday morning when we pull out. T minus 5 days 7 hours and 50 minutes until our Saturday 6:30 am departure.

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