27 September 2013

From Summer to Winter: Going Back To Colorado

It didn't seem like it would be a particularly difficult thing to do, especially considering the number of times I have done it in the past. Going back to Colorado at the end of my San Diego summer gig would involve me packing my place, loading my truck, and driving home. The packing would happen on my last Monday off before leaving, and I would live out of my suitcases for a week, slowly consuming what food I had left in the kitchen. Loading the truck would happen the night before leaving, with a little apartment cleaning that night. The last thing would be getting on the road and driving for two days. That's it. That's all it typically takes to get home. But this year, things were considerably more difficult.

Monday before I left, I did indeed pack most of my things, but only after spending most of the day dealing with truck problems, and eventually leaving my truck at the mechanic's shop to be worked on for the next two days. On Wednesday at lunch, as I rode my motorcycle to the shop to get the truck, oil was leaking from somewhere up near the reservoir tank. I bought oil at the truck place, refilled my tank--thanks to the curious and flirty mechanic who fetched me channel locks so I could remove the oil tank cap (sometimes it pays to be a GIRL on a motorbike)--and got the bike back to work. After being told not to ride it by Dave at DCMW in Santee, I left the bike at work until I could come back at 9:30 that night with muscle to help load it up.

In the Botanical Lot of Balboa Park. Wednesday at lunch was the last ride I would be able to take on her in San Diego. A little anti-climactic if you ask me.


The next morning, I dropped the bike off at DCMW and slid the keys into the mail slot. Later that afternoon I got a call from Dave and he said there had been a mis-seated gasket, and they also tightened a hose clamp. They had done some work--a lot of work--on my bike in June, and charged me nothing for taking care of this. He told me it would be ready anytime for pick-up, and asked if there was anything else I needed. He had mentioned my nearly-bald tire, and I thought "why not?" It was already there, why not have him put a new tire on. So I told him that if he could get a Hidenau Scout and get it on before the next day at lunch, he could go ahead and do that.

That night I had dinner with a girl friend of mine, and when I got back into my truck to drive home, I realized something was very wrong. So...back to the mechanic IT went. I called DCMW and told Dave he actually had until the next afternoon to get the tire on, as I would be once again dealing with my truck that day at lunch.

Saturday was a crazy hectic day! I worked half of the day. When I left work with all my tools and books tossed into the truck, I headed to Santee to get the bike. We loaded it onto the truck and tied it down. I thought back, once again, to loading the bikes onto the ferry in Sitka, and one of the crew members offering me assistance with the ratchet straps, completely certain that I would have no idea what I was doing. (Sometimes its difficult having to prove oneself when one is a GIRL on a motorbike)

Look at that new tire! Holy crap--my knobbies have knobbies!
Once the bike was loaded, I headed to the tire store. I had been there Monday morning and had my tires rotated, but the guys who did my alignment--and the other $1500.00 worth of work--informed me that the tread was starting to separate on one of the tires they looked at. Knowing I was making the trip back to Denver, with a load in the back, they were concerned that I have that tire replaced immediately. I told them I had just had them rotated two hours before, and asked if they didn't think that was a little strange. You know--the TIRE place not telling me about that.
So now, on Saturday afternoon, the day before I leave, I pull into the tire store, bike tied down in the bed, and get out my pissy attitude to deal with them. I did think of going to a better store, but that would have deprived me of two things: 1--I couldn't point out their mistake and make them feel shame for putting a poor little woman in danger during a long road trip, and 2--I wouldn't have gotten a free tire out of their dangerous mistake.
Oh yeah, that tire was free!
So I load up Saturday night, and drive out of town Sunday morning, taking time to pick up a new set of ratchet straps first. Two were slightly fraying, and I knew what they would look like after several hours at 80 mph on the freeway. I replaced the bad ones and set out. The drive was the same old drive it always was. I had to use the AC through the California and Nevada deserts, and the heater through Utah and the Rockies. In fact, there were several feet of fresh snow over Vail Pass as I drove through, and then again on each side of the Eisenhower/Johnson tunnels.
If you look closely you'll see that's not a bicycle, its a stadium bike. All you need for that kind of bike is a little rack on the back of your Nissan!

Getting coffee, donuts, and beef jerky in the morning before starting off on my second day of driving. Cedar City was really cold that morning, and it was a harsh contrast to the lovely, warm, still summer days of California I had left behind the morning before.

Once I got home to Denver, the weather was sunny and mild during the day, though quite chilly at night and in the mornings. Nalla was ridiculously happy to have me home, following me everywhere and keeping a close eye on me. The ride to work in the morning would have me putting one liner into my jacket Wednesday, and adding the quilted liner on Friday. That was this morning, and halfway to work I realized I should have worn, or at least taken, my riding pants. It will be raining when I leave work to ride home this evening, and it will be cold. Epic fail on my part! I just can't believe that summer came to such a screeching halt. I have a feeling I will soon be pulling out my heavy hi-viz jacket for those cold early morning rides.

Miss Nalla, now at 123 lbs., is supervising. This is how we do it in Denver!

No comments:

Post a Comment