After filling both the regular fuel tank and the axillary fuel cell it was time to head to WalMart for a bit of last minute shopping (leader line to attach to my receipt bag to lessen the chance of losing it, SeaFoam in case I get a batch of bad gas, and a grease pencil to be able to write notes anywhere on the bike). It's a good thing the shopping was so close to the gas stop because I pulled in, put down the kickstand, got off and immediately wondered where all the liquid spilling onto the ground was coming from. My cell was spewing gasoline! Quickly, I cranked the petcock valve back and forth trying to stem the flow, no luck. Fuel was still draining from the fuel filter. Luckily (?) I had experienced this before and knew the filter is the kind you can take apart and clean. Pop, out comes the leatherman and vice grips and a couple of twists later... no leak. So, NOW I can head to Canada! (tomorrow I wrap the filter with the clear "rescue tape" I brought with me)
A couple of hours later I was using my Nexus card for the first time and rolling into Canada!
Back at IBR HQ I began troubleshooting the issue. Oddly, a fuse had not blown, but the fuse box was acting "funny" - and that ain't a laughing matter. The two hour drive back had drained the GPS so losing this system is not okay. I still have to decide if I'm going to try to wrap the system to help it function or if this was just part of the shakedown and won't happen again.
With that, my Friday adventures dwindled and the socializing began. If you are someone who is a "star" watcher and gets even a wee bit excited at seeing a celebrity, you'd be falling over yourself here. Most of the biggest stars in long distance (LD) riding are here and I'm here with them. I know, it sounds kind of nerdy, but I can't help it. These people are the top motorcycle riders in the world, no kidding. I find myself wondering what the heck I'm doing, but I know it's partly just nerves. I am a LD rider. Soon I'll find out if I'm one of the "World's Toughest Riders."
Saturday is all about registration and tech checks. Read the first offering by Tom Austin as part of the IBR story postings (2011 IBR Day -3) to get a full picture of the day's events. I must admit to not partaking of the mani-pedi portion of the day. The morning was over in no time. I passed and got done all the items I could as a rookie. Last year's #2 winner, Jeff Earls checked over my bike - very cool! And I even got the odometer check on the first try (yes, some people can't follow the directions and have to do it multiple times).
One thing I discovered during my ODO check ride was my right HID light AND MotoLight were out. Since we can't have a cyclops deity (I call my HIDs the eyes of God) I called Roger Sinclar. Roger not only installed them, but is here in Seattle and is a rider. If a ballast was out, I'd be winking my way across country, so we hoped it was something else. The missing right MotoLight (small fog/conspicuity light) was no big deal as you can get a bulb at the hardware store. Let's just say I was glad there were not too many people around because there were a few "choice" words spoken. In the end, pulling the rubber boot around the light found the issue, the connection had come undone. Good news and something that a few zip ties later had secured into place.
So, I've had sound issues (fuse box), spewing fuel (filter), and lights out (connection & bulb). That's three right? I'm done, right?! Not likely, but at least I'm good to go for now.
Tonight's the mandatory Rookie Rider meeting. I'll be going to that before I can finish the final steps of my paperwork. Funny, a number of veteran riders have asked me to tell them about the meeting. Um..., I wonder how I might be able to mess with them ;)
One of the things I have not been doing right is drinking enough water. So, a few of us walked to the 7-Eleven and got some provisions. With so much on the line, I don't want to drink unfiltered, unfamiliar water. Here's a picture of the rest of my "breakfast of champions."
One more day of writing and then Jennifer is going to have to take over. I'm reading your comments and REALLY appreciate the well wishes.
Tomorrow I'll share a few shots of my bike and you'll see the sort of "modifications" I've made to help me through this event.