KDW (Regular) View all posts in this topic  
Sat Oct 08, 2016 10:39 am
Day 3        

Day 3

7:45 AM on ready to go and head out, with a slight tick coming from the front wheel. I?m crossing the peninsula south of San Francisco to CA-1. Even at 8 AM on a Sunday morning traffic was backed up going to the coast, but at least it is moving. The first bonus was an old caboose turned BBQ restaurant in Half-Moon Bay, an easy fun bonus. The next bonus is 15 miles south, the post office in Pescadaro. This is another quick in an out bonus. Having decided to skip Yosemite I?d head south to Porterville and the Bonus at ?Norris Furniture.? I had two options leaving Pescadaro back track on CA-1 to take I-205 to CA-99 or wind my way south on CA-1 and take CA-152 to CA-99. Once again having ridden both routes previously was a good advantage. I opted for the longer but easier and faster route on I-205. I really dislike back tracking but it seemed to be the wiser choice this time.

While riding South of Fresno on CA-99 a Honda Odyssey immediately in front of me plowed into a retread that was in the lane. Traffic was heavy at this point and there was no shoulder to my left and traffic to my right and behind me. Not a lot I could do other than ride it out, as bits of rubber and steel thread were bouncing up around me. A large chuck of it hit the bike low bouncing off my boot as I continued forward. Several small pieces bounced off my helmet. After I passed through the debris field I assessed how the bike was riding ? it was fine. I continued on with just a bit of excitement to make an otherwise quiet ride more interesting.

I reached Porterville at 1:30 PM after the mostly quiet ride. Downtown Porterville on a Sunday afternoon was quite empty. Norris Furniture was a bit of a tricky bonus. It sat right in front of a crosswalk with no shoulder. I made my first pass slowly assessing my photo opportunities, made a U-turn on the empty street shut the engine off and rolled the bike on to the sidewalk. Several folks walking wished me a good day as they strolled by. I rolled the bike back into the street to head to my next bonus the city jail in Randsburg.

Randsburg wasn?t that far about two and a half hours. I was doing well a bit ahead of schedule. After some quick figuring I determined that I would be able to get a set of optional bonuses at Big Bear Lake. Getting these bonuses would make up for dropping the Yosemite and CA-41 bonuses. While traveling up the Tehachapi grade on CA-58, about seven miles west of Tehachapi, I experienced a significant power loss. A quick down shift ? still no power, my speed had dropped to 40, downshift again no power, speed 35, again speed 30. I reached a slight downhill and my speed picked up to 50. Another quick glance at the gauges and the coolant temperature was well past really hot and into over heating. Crap, last time this happened I was climbing out of White Sands New Mexico and melted an exhaust valve. I had been running the Intel-A-Jet mostly lean and jumped to the conclusion that I had melted another valve. I called my lovely wife to discuss options of having her meet me somewhere, she?s great and dropped what she was doing to pack the truck and come to my rescue. I called the rally master to let him know that I was having issues. After speaking with him I made the decision to attempt to finish the rally the bike was running but without a lot power it?d be slow going and the fuel mileage would be bad. I needed fuel soon or I?d be in the Mojave with a wounded engine and no fuel. I exited the freeway at Tehachapi and made my way to a gas station. The bike felt a bit odd as I put the side stand down, but I didn?t think much of it as I had been recalculating the shortest route to Blythe. I filled up on gas and water and pushed the bike off the center stand for the long slow ride to Blythe, it?d be close but mostly down hill I should be able to finish the rally. The bike sank well beyond where it should have, something was defiantly not right. I looked at my rear tire. It was flat as a pancake. Super I have a flat, I feel a bit foolish but this is something that I can fix. I?ve got gummy worms and my pump, better yet I?m at a gas station and they have a pump. I pushed the bike over to the curb and set up to fix the tire. It took several rotations to find the culprit, a piece of steel about a half inch long right in the center of the tread. The location for a repair, gummy worm in place I inflated the tire and hoped it would hold pressure. It did for the most part a slow leak. I didn?t do a great job with the worm and choose to replace it with a second. Much better, no leak and I was off. I sent a text to the Rally Master to let him know I was back on the road. I recalculated my timing. I still had plenty of time to make Randsburg but the 90 minutes I lost meant that I would need to drop the Big Bear Lake bonuses.

The trip to Randsburg went quickly, more quickly than I remember, arriving via the back road. It may have something to do with my watching my tire pressure monitors and wondering way I didn?t get a low pressure alert even though it read 0 PSI when the tire was flat. Randsburg is a semi-ghost town it?s an interesting desert town with interesting desert residents. Today a group of residents had purchased a small fleet of surplus Army Humvees and were making some plans at a garage as I rolled past toward the jail. I got the bonus at 5 PM. Blythe was three and a half hours and a gas stop away. I had some margin, but I also had to traverse I-15 and the Las Vegas traffic returning to Los Angles. Turning south on US-395 in Mojave the traffic is light until you reach the intersection with CA-58. From that point until I-15 you?ll only move as quickly as the line of traffic ahead you. Attempting to pass is pretty useless as the line is continuous. The sun was set and twilight in its last few minutes as I merged onto I-15 at the top of the Cajon summit. Traffic here was also a mess. Speeds were between 30 and 0 mph fortunately this is an area where drivers expect to lane share and I was able to maintain decent forward progress. Traffic thinned when I reached I-215 and was moderate by the time I merged onto I-10 East. At this point it was a straight uneventful shot back to Blythe to for the final bonus. I arrived with one hour to spare. Right on my planned schedule through I defiantly didn?t follow my planned route. Still I was satisfied with the my riding of the rally, best of all my lovely wife was at the end to meet me, even if I hadn?t finished seeing her made the whole ride great.

BMRx is a fun, fantastic event, with a great group of riders and a ton of work behind the scenes and I?m lucky and grateful for everyone?s efforts in making my ride a fun one.

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