2016SBC-Homeward2

As I was preparing to leave Post Falls, Idaho a gentleman who worked at the resort came over and asked where I came from and where I was headed. After telling him about the cannonball and that I was taking scenic routes home he suggested that I take I-90 until I passed “Fourth of July” which turns out to be an Idaho State Recreation area. His reason was that the “scenic” aka non-interstate route wasn’t scenic, had a lot of just straight roads and road construction going on. He also said that he found that the roads were more interesting on the other side of Fourth of July so when he went for rides on his motorcycle that’s what he did. The remark about straight roads and construction sold me on his suggestion.

grillUnfortunately, road construction was just what I saw when I went to exit where he recommended so I ended up staying on I-90 until I stopped for breakfast when I figured I’d revisit the scenic options.

huckleberrytoastThis definitely isn’t your typical hotel breakfast.

I wish I’d had someone to share it with since I ended up leaving half the huckleberry french toast though I did eat all the bacon. Winking smile

While munching decided that instead of trying random scenic routes I’d stay on I-90 and make tracks since traffic was light, road was was good and there were actually nice sweeping curves and some view. That way I could go ahead to Bozeman and be ready for an early start to Yellowstone the next day. That worked out more or less as I had planned. Though I had remembered Bozeman being closer to Yellowstone that I had though. Probably should have continued on to Livingston, MT where we stopped during the cannonball but live and learn.

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When I woke up this morning the day was another that didn’t match the weather forecast. Though it promised to be better when I reached Yellowstone.

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2016SBC-Homeward1

Left Everett yesterday morning with some clouds and the weather report promising sunny skies in about an hour down the road. Temps forecast for low 70s as I rode Washington 20 through North Cascades National Park. Then sunshine and 80s on the east side through Spokane or Coeur D’Alene Idaho. Can you guess that I started with the weather because it was not going to go as forecast?

DSCN0814That’s right, hit wet streets before I reached the north end of Everett. So pulled over and put on rain pants because while it wasn’t yet raining the spray from cars was enough to get you wet. Not much later it turned into real rain which made an espresso at my gas stop in Marbelmount seem like a good idea.

DSCN0816Onward and upwards with the rain being intermittent. Lots of clouds but fortunately high enough to be fog on the road.

DSCN0822Onward into the park. As you can tell since I’m not on a cannonball anymore I’m stopping and if DSCN0820smelling the roses enjoying the scenery.

In case you are wondering if the scoot looks any different besides the Malossi pipe on the way  home here’s a photo. I shipped the camelback and some of the other stuff ahead to Breckenridge since between team and cannonball shirts there wasn’t room for everything and the bladder in the camelback stopped working on the last day. I had a smaller water bag that I’m using now since I can stop whenever I want. Winking smile

IMG_5082Lunch was in Winthrop. As I was getting off the Sports City a gentleman asked me if I had really ridden from Texas (license plate). I said sure by way of Florida and Seattle. Then the normal next question of how fast will it go. Told him mid 80s and he said but only comfortable at 50-55 right? Seemed astonished when I said 70-75 was quite comfortable. BTW, I noticed with the Michelin City Grips my speedo is 5mph off instead of the 3 with the Hiedinaus, interesting. I’ll have to look for slightly taller rear tire next time I replace them.

IMG_5083I considered the Old Schoolhouse Brewery but didn’t want to be tempted by an adult beverage given the rain I had been riding through and the promise in the sky of more to come. So had tacos al pastor next door.

DSCN0827 I did detour over to the Grand Coulee dam viewpoint.  Frankly I think there was a better view to the west at a small pullout on the side of the road but whatever.

Headed on out with the idea of Coeur d’Alene Idaho as my stopping point for the night but I was getting pretty tired of rain though that had basically stopped and been replaced with wind. What gave me home was blue sky with fluffy white clouds ahead instead of the gray leaden skies I’d been seeing all day. When I got to Spokane I pulled into a parking lot to see what sort of hotel options would be available.DSCN0831 Hotwire came up with a 3 star resort in Post Falls Idaho for $56. So I grabbed it and found myself at a Red Lion for the night with a room overlooking the marina and lake or is it a river here? Whatever it is I was greeted with  a double rainbow. A bowl of french onion soup on the deck with a glass of red wine seemed like the perfect way to cap off the day.

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2016SBC-Return Prep

Today was doing thing that I needed to get done before heading back to Breckenridge.

IMG_5073Other than a lovely salmon omelet instead of hotel breakfast there wasn’t anything exciting.

A trip to Cycle Gear to get a pair of waterproof gloves. Another to Target to replace the broken belt, the one for my pants not the scoot. Winking smile Another to Lowes for more zip ties, some teflon tape and JB Weld Metal. The teflon plumber’s tape did help take up some of the extra space from the stripped out threads but not enough to actually make the mirror tight. So I used some JB Weld around the mirror stem and windscreen support. I suspect I didn’t use enough though so I may add another layer after this one cures. Used some thicker zip ties than we had available yesterday to hold down the windshield support.

IMG_5077Yesterday John at the Andiamo Let’s Go Vroom Vroom shop noticed the supports for the DOT front turn signals that I had left bolted on when we replaced the turn signals with the OEM European version and used them to help keep the mirror from swinging around. We left them on in case we wanted to mount auxiliary lights or something. Didn’t think it would be to keep the mirrors more or less stable. After seeing how pathetic the headlight is on the Sport City if it ever going to be ridden outside of city lights at night we probably should add some extra lighting but that’s for another time.

IMG_5075I thought I’d take a photo of the scoot after service with the new exhaust before I finish weaving a web of zip ties to keep the mirror more or less stable and from swinging around in the wind. Looks pretty good for a scoot with over 44k on the odometer and having just completed a cannonball. I did notice that I’ll need to use a good vinyl cleaner on the seat when I get home and may even give it a polish.

Still trying to decide how I want to get from Everett to Breckenridge. Any suggestions for a scenic route worthy of photos and stopping for good food?

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2016SCB-Roundup

You don’t know how glad I am that when I got over to Andiamo Vroom Vroom and asked Jason to go ahead and change the belt and rollers because something didn’t feel right.

IMG_5052 This is what we found. Yes, those are pieces that came off my belt and were laying in the bottom of the case.

The belt itself looked like this:

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Not surprisingly  the rollers had flat spots on them as well. The surprise was the variator.

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Looks like I was pretty close to suffering the same fate as Bill did in the last cannonball. I had brought a new belt and new rollers with me but didn’t bring a variator. So it appears that the answer to how long a variator lasts in a Sport Cityh is 42 that is 42,000 miles which is approximately the real mileage on the scoot since while it reads 44k last cannonball the 2009 rim read miles like they were KM due to a difference in the number of speed sensors between the 2008 rim and the 2009. Once that was discovered to be the cause we removed two sensors for the 2009 wheel and now both it and the 2008 rim read 3mph high. Which for a scooter isn’t bad.

I can’t say how enough how helpful Jason and his friend John were today. Not only that he had a new variator in his workshop ready to put in. I thought I had a new sparkplug since the NIK iridium was fouled as well but didn’t so I’ll pick one of those up next auto parts store I pass that has the correct one in stock. Even I can change one in the Sport City. Smile Not only did Jason go out of his way to fit me in today, have an essential part that I needed to get home but he even gave me a discounted rate for service since I had ridden the cannonball. Turns out Ashrat had stayed with him on her way out to the 2012 Cannonball and he’s wanted to do one ever since. So she’s inspiring folks even after she’s gone to her reward.

BTW, I nominate Seattle for the worst interstate road surfaces in America. The 40 miles I did on I-5 made my teeth rattle. It wasn’t like there were a lot of potholes but the surface was just bump sort of like firm gravel. Added to the fact that I-5 was down to the HOV and one other lane for several miles around the SeaTac airport made for a nasty ride down. I saw a group of Washington plated  motorcles lane splitting which I didn’t think was legal in Washington but cars were moving over to give them room like they do in California so I followed them for a bit until I found a lane that was moving.

IMG_5065Both Jason and John agreed with my nomination and suggested I return via Vashon Highway taking the ferry to get there They escorted me with Jason riding his 2005 PX and John his 68  Sprint. While in the shop I met a woman named Dawn who was stripping down a Lambretta in preparation for a complete restoration. She reminded me of my friend Jaylin who has a few Bonneville Salt Flat awards for her scoot and home built (by Jaylin) motorcycle.

So I had my second ferry ride with a scooter.IMG_5068

Then rode a lovely curving road through the forest. The only negative is that because of the detour caused by the Strawberry Festival I missed the ferry back to Seattle by about 5 minutes and had to wait almost an hour for the next one. That meant it was getting dark by the time I departed the ferry. I had put the GPS into “curvy motorcycle” profile and should have switched it when I got back on the mainland. Took me though a bunch of Seattle and neighboring cities then onto curvy residential streets with enough trees and other raw land to be deer habitat. I can tell you that the headlight on the Sport City is pathetic and extremely easy to over run even at speeds as low as 25mph. Even with brights on I didn’t trust that I could see far enough to make the posted 35 safe in many stretches. I’ll bet some of it was pretty spectacular during daylight hours since I could catch glimpses of water now and then with elevation changes. So what could have been a straight shot up I05 for 20 miles with plenty of light turned into 32 miles and an hour to get back to the hotel. That’s my only regret about the route I took back to Everett from Tacoma. The ferry rides and island were great.

Speaking of the ferry ride on the second one to West Seattle there were two couples riding two up on a Motto Guzzi and cruiser I didn’t see clearly enough to identify since it was behind the Guzzi. The Brittish gentleman riding the Guzzi complimented me on the sleek look of the Malossi exhaust that we put on to replace the one with the weld when the rear tire was change.IMG_5053 He’s right it does look good. When I started the scoot to get off the ferry he even liked the sound of it. A bit louder than I prefer but I’ll admit it has a lovely tone to it. I suspect my son will really like it when the scoot is returned to him. Time to call it a night and figure out tomorrow how I’m getting back to Breckenridge.

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2016SCB-Finish

Note this is going to be a longish post since it is the last official day of the 2016 Scooter Cannonball. If you just want to see the photos and day end comments you can scroll on down.

This morning we left Walla Walla, WA on a cool morning. I don’t know about  others but I debated what to wear since while it was in the upper 50s when I left it was supposed to be in the upper 80s for part of the ride an finish at the water in Mukilteo, WA with temps in the mid 70s. Decided on the official Scooter Cannonball t-shirt, kevelar riding jeans and the liner in my mesh jacket.  This proved to be both too light for the colder sections and too warm for the hotter ones, sigh. I suspect unless you were willing to stop and add/remove layers that was pretty much how it was going to be no matter how you dressed today.

I had already decided that since I had a virtual lock on sixth place there was no need to hurry since unless George, aka Motovista had two DNF legs I couldn’t catch him and unless I had a DNF for the entire day Kevin, aka Z50 couldn’t catch me why not take it a bit easy. Good thing since despite directions from the clerk at the hotel I couldn’t find a gas station nearby but I had about a third of a tank so said screw it and took my check point 1 photo and hit the road. About 20 miles down the road I saw a station and filled up.

Even though I wasn’t in a particular hurry I opted to take an alternate route to checkpoint 1 that didn’t involve passing through a bunch of small towns that folks on the cannonball who regularly ride in Washington state said were notorious for speed traps. Even if you aren’t in a hurry who wants to deal with that? I wasn’t the only one since I passed ScooterRaton and another rider the way I went.

That took me to checkpoint one where I saw Ken, aka Lostboater with his tools out at the checkpoint. He was just about finished with a spark plug problem so waived me on. I told Ken I was going to get gas before taking my check point 1 photo.

That was a bit of an adventure because although there were signs entering the town that there was a 24 hour credit card station the only station I saw was clearly defunct. A guy was walking out of the grocery so I asked him about gas and he said it was further down the street and he even walked across to show me which direction to head. Well after a couple of loops I finally found it behind some big tanks across half a block of gravel and around the side of a small building, geeze. If I hadn’t been assured by a local it was there I’d have never found it. This is what it looked like.DSCN0795

 

TDSCN0794ook me a bit to locate the credit card reader which turned out to be like the ones at Arco stations in California. Something I hadn’t previously seen with these sort of old pumps.

Filled up and rode the 3 blocks back to the checkpoint. So I ended up on gravel roads today after all. Smile In retrospect I should have taken my checkpoint 1 photo when I first got there with Ken in it. He was back on the road by the time I finally made it back to the checkpoint. Good thing I wasn’t trying to make real time today.

Now we had fields of wheat or some grain and I got to pass next to a big ass piece of farm machinery that was cutting it to an even height. I couldn’t identify what it was in part because the cloud of chaff that was thrown up obscured part of the beast and in part because I needed to keep focused on the road since that cloud of chaff was covering it. I was never so glad to be basically sealed from the elements as bits of straw and who knows what were blown around me. Sorry, no photos as I needed to concentrate on seeing the road while riding through it. Definitely worse than being behind an 18 wheeler hauling hay bales or a lumber truck with both of them spewing shrapnel in the form of slivers and sections of their contents (hay or bark/twigs).

Next checkpoint was a T intersection. Just before it I noticed a gentleman with a camera on the side of the hill. As I passed the road at the checkpoint I noticed a Sienna Ivory GTV so figured he must be one of the local scooter riders. Turned out he was an I met  him at the party to welcome Cannonball riders and in particular the return of the Scooters of Destiny Zumo riders to Seattle but I’m getting ahead of myself.

The sun was out and the rolling fields were getting pretty darned warm. Then traffic through Leavenworth before climbing out last pass of the trip. Went from being too warm to being glad I still had my liner in and wishing I’d work long sleeves under it. Cold and damp with just a tiny bit of rain on my windshield. Not enough to really even call rain. Climbing up the mountain I caught up with Leigh. Surprised me that I was able to catch her going up the mountain since she was on a GTS 300 which usually has more torque than the 250 engine in my Sport City. Checkpoint 3 I stopped and chatted for a moment with Chris Smith. I told you I was taking it easy today. When I left I realized as with checkpoint 1 I should have included a fellow rider in my checkpoint photo. I missed so many opportunities to do that, grr. I did take a few of riders in front of me as I reached them but sadly it seems my big fat gloved finger makes them not worth posting.

A few miles futher along there was Ken on the side of the road again in a turnout. I didn’t see him in time (downhill with trees blocking the turnout) in time to stop but I pulled up maybe 40’ ahead of him and looked back. Ken waived me on so I figured he had things in hand as at checkpoint 1.

Not too long after that it was bumper to bumper traffic all the rest of the way to the interstate. Which I hopped on for about 3 exits before getting off for Mukilteo. My GPS took me down one street where I had a lovely view of the bay with a ferry ship framed by the bushes. A photo that for some reason I didn’t transfer from the camera to the computer this morning – must still be tired. Then it told me to make a u-turn, grrr. Said screw it and continued on where eventually it told me to turn right. The folks who live on that street Mukilteo something or other have lovely views for certain.

Anyway, finally made it down to the ferry terminal area and the other scooters who had arrived earlier than I did.

IMG_5016

Family and friends of some of the cannonball riders were there to greet us as well. Skwirly’s parents even had a pizza they were sharing. Thumbs up Something that was very welcome.

IMG_5027

Yes we were all illegally parked near the boat ramp on a red curb. But figured we’d move when more folks go in.

IMG_5022

We ended up with a pretty long line of scooters.

IMG_5021Ken, Lostboater rolled in and was met by his wife Vicki seen here with Bill, Wleuthold and Walt, Flyguy2 which make up the other riders of Squadra Lumica aka Team Snail. Nothing snail like about the second (Walt) and third (Bill) finish of two of our team members. While I don’t have the official final standings I finished in sixth and Ken was in tenth at the end of Day 10. But unless Ken’s spark plug troubles caused him to be more than 40 points down from ctoper, aka Chris Smith today he should still be a top 10 finisher. Which means the entire team ended up in the top 10. Not too shabby for snails. Smile

Classic Rider who I know I took a photo of with his vintage scoot but can’t find right now and Motovista round out the top 5.

IMG_5025

Not a bad place to hang out while waiting for other riders to appear. Especially once we discovered the ice cream shop on the other side of the parking lot, Winking smile

Got a call from my husband when he got the ping that I had arrived at the finish. Seems he’s going to be able to meet me in Breckenridge. Not only will I be happy to see him but our trailer is in Breckenridge and he’ll be driving up which means that I can put the scoot on the trailer from there and won’t have to ride through Kansas or West Texas which would be the worst part about riding it all the way back to Houston, happy dance.

A nice female police officer came by and suggested that we move our scoots to a paid slot after we finished with a few more photos. She asked why we were all there and we told her about the Cannonball as a charity fund raiser and we were waiting on some Seattle riders who had ridden in it. She pulled out a slap koosie with Highway to Heal, the name the SOD guys gave to their ride asking if it was the same ride. Apparently she had met them at the same place a couple months ago and they had told her of their upcoming ride and that they were they to checkout the finish. She then told us when we moved to the scoots to take up as few slots as possible and she’d comp our parking fees. See, I told you she was nice. Frank, febrail who was one of the three red Helix riders who rode to the start from California and will be riding back from the finish took this panorama.

franksfinishphoto

Since it was now after 3:30 most of us decided to just head to the hotel since we didn’t know how much longer it would be before the others showed up.

IMG_5041According to Kerri, a friend and fellow member of the TPF club the SOD boys arrived at 5:50 pm. The local Seattle/Everett area riders hosted a get together at the Cask & Trotter pub later that evening. Where I had a chance to chat with the gentleman who was taking the photos at checkpoint 2. He’s promised to send me the one that he took of me if it turns out. If it does I’ll put it here in a later post with his permission.

Tomorrow I’ll strap the spare tire and replacement exhaust on the scoot and head down to Tacoma for service. Then a day possibly two of rest and recovery before heading back home.

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