Day 34 – Doing it all for my baby
Date: 07/05/2016 Tuesday
Starting Location: Shelton, CT
Ending Location: Brookfield, CT (Max BMW)
Starting Odometer: 13,322
Ending Odometer: 13,387
Mileage Today: 65 Miles
Mileage Total: 6549 miles
Today’s MPG: 41 mpg
Total Average MPG: 41 mpg
States Visited: CA, NV, AZ, UT, NM, CO, UT, WY, ID, WY, MT, WY, SD, MN, WI, MI, WI, IL, IN, OH, PA, NY, CT (19 States so far)
An early start?
Max’s BMW is about 25 miles from Carl’s house, and I had been told that they open at 8AM. Experience from taking my bike in for service at Cal-moto (The BMW Dealer in Mountain View, CA) made me want to arrive at Max BMW so that I was the first one in line for service. It turns out, that my expectations were wrong in a number of different ways.
But, before I got on the road to see Max, I needed to get some breakfast. So, I visited one my favorite places on Earth… Dunkin Donuts. Call me a fool, call me crazy, call me a sissy, but I love their Hazelnut coffee. So, there it was, 6:50 AM, and I left the safety of the garage, and headed out into the dreary, rainy, wet morning. 5 minutes later, there I was, at Dunkin Donuts, getting breakfast, and filling the bike with Gas. As I expected, the coffee was perfect!
I’ve tried to integrate Rock lyrics into my posts, and titles whenever possible. So, when I thought about the title for this post, I thought about how the bike has treated me so well, and been very reliable so far. I thought about how this bike has been my companion, and trusty steed for 6500 miles. I thought about how this bike is my little baby (although, the damn thing is pretty darn big), and I thought that Huey Lewis captured the right feelings in the lyrics to “Doing it all for my baby”. And so, that’s how the post got it’s name/title.
So, what time do you open?
I arrived at 7:56, and was surprised the see the parking lot completely void of any indications that the place was going to open today. I was not only the first customer, but I seemed to be the first one at the dealership, period.
So, at about 8:10, I tapped on the window and saw the service manager getting organized. He indicated to me that they open at 8:30, not at 8:00. So, I figured that this was likely my fault for figuring that they would open the same time as Cal-moto. In any case, Michael, the Service manager came outside to talk to me at about 8:20, and when we were done, he took my bike away, and prepared to have the technicians have a look at it.
A funny thing happened
I had been at the dealer for about 2 hours when a couple rode in on a new R 1200 GS. Essentially, a bike much like mine, but with a smaller gas tank, and about 2″ less height. The couple is from Australia, and they go by David and Rose. As it turns out, David had brought the bike in for a 6K mile service, and was also having the brakes looked at for what felt like air in the system. Technically, when it feels like there is air in the system, it’s actually that there is water in the brake lines, and that water can be compressed, which creates the mushy feel for the brakes.
So, we got to talking. David and Rose are here from Australia for about 60 days, riding across the US, exploring at they go. Their approach is to take things one day at a time, while my plan is to extract every bit of adventure from each day as possible. We spent a little while talking about the differences in our styles, and what they had done in the US so far.
It seemed like they were enjoying their time here, but they wanted to find a way to explore New York City so, I helped them sort through the various options, ultimately settling on taking a cruise around the Island of Manhattan, and having a huge pastrami sandwich at the Carnegie deli in midtown.
I’m a carnivore from way back, and the thought of that pastrami sandwich had me a bit jealous, but I’ll just have to suffer.
I mentioned to them that I was hoping to get to Australia, and if I did, I promised to stop in and say hello. David didn’t seem satisfied that my proposal was sufficient, and he went on to say that I could just ride one of his many GS bikes. In either case, I look forward to a trip to the world down under, and to saying hi to some new friends.
The damn thing is just about perfect
I’ve really enjoyed riding this motorcycle across the US. The bike has been very reliable, and it handles great on both the asphalt, as well as the dirt roads that are within the National Parks, or anywhere else for that matter. So, when I brought the bike in for service, it was for a scheduled service, not to have anything in particular addressed, with one small exception.
Max BMW is also going to put on a new front tire, which should help the bike ride smoother, and handle better both in the dirt, and on the road.
So, how does the bike feel now
The bike runs like a top. The new Michelin Anakee Wild tire certainly provides more grip, but the big blocks on the tread pattern seem to move around quite a bit, so it’s going to take a few days to get used to the feel of the tire, so that I’m confident enough to pitch it into the turn. I’m pretty sure that it will all work out in the end, but it’ll take some getting used to.
What’s in store for tomorrow?
Tomorrow morning, I head to New Hampshire to visit Marcello and his family. I’m looking forward to the ride, and to enjoying a day on the boat, and a glass of wine or two.