17 March 2011

BMW Road Trip

It was raining. No, actually, it was pouring when I left home to get the rental truck.
That meant a change of plans. The initial plan was to take my bicycle along, park my car outside Bigtown, take the bike with me on the train and ride it the seven or so blocks to the rental agency. No way was I gonna do that in a "frog-strangler". Halfway along the way that decision looked even better...
The rain turned to snow.

At the desk I presented my paperwork with my confirmation number to the agent. He recorded my driver's license number and after asking the mandatory "Do you want this extra insurance? How about a few pads?" questions he said, "I'll be right back with your truck". I was shocked when he drove up with a 26-foot long diesel powered monster.
"I rented a 16-footer."
He looked at the order form and showed it to me...
Wrong-O old Greybeard breath...
I had rented a 26-foot long truck. Oh well... it was too late to change that now.
"Is there any problem leaving my car there until Wednesday?"
"No, no sweat."
Leaving the bicycle at home turned out to be a great idea.
I moved my bag into the truck, plugged in my GPS and programmed it for my destination...
Carmen said I'd be there in 9 hours. And that's another mistake I made...
When I looked at the map to see how far I'd have to drive, I mis-estimated my drive time by four hours. Too late now, I'm on my way.
In the rain.
In a 26-foot long truck that REALLY rides like a truck.

In 20 miles I was perfectly comfortable with the monster. The wipers and radio worked as advertised. All I needed was cruise control.
Diesel fuel is about 20 cents per gallon more expensive than gasoline around here. This truck used a LOT of it... I was getting about 10 mpg.
My computer-click mistake was gonna cost me several extra bucks.

It rained.
And it rained.
And when I crossed the State line the Interstate got REALLY bad.
Big trucks are hard on concrete highways...

Kathunk, kathunk, kathunk, kathunk...
And the truck rocks back and forth like a mildly bucking bronco.
Oh well, I only have another six hours of this misery before I turn around and backtrack.

Drive. Fuel. Drive. Sandwich and Diet Coke and fries. Drive. Rest stop. Drive.
I arrive at 10 P.M., load the bike, and do a 180 degree turn.
Kathunk, kathunk, kathunk, kathunk...
At 3 A.M. I've had all I can take. My eyes are getting heavy and my butt and back are sending me painful messages. I pull into a rest area, throw my bag against the passenger door for a pillow and lie down across the seat. Sleep comes instantly.
Three hours later I wake feeling better than I could imagine. I drink the remains of my Diet Coke, turn the ignition key on, wait for the glow plugs to do their thing, and fire the beast up.
Carmen says I'll be home in five hours.

Three days have passed since I started out in the rain. My back is still sending me messages, but the bike is unloaded and I've returned the truck. I've had a chance take a good look at the bike. This machine cost me very little, but it's now obvious why...
It's gonna need a LOT of TLC. I can't even test drive it... the front brake is sticking badly.
But it starts easily and sounds good, and all the parts are there. With a little soap and water, wax, polish, and some tinkering here and there, I'm hopeful it'll be a pleasure to ride.
You'll read about it here.


The Old Man said...

When you get to 6 scoots in the garage, SJ may decide to find out if your ol' butt will bounce on the sidewalk.....
Bet it will.

Timothy Frazier said...

Have you seen that show on TLC called "Hoarders"? Methinks you've now got enough blood, sweat, and tears tied up in used bikes to have got yourself a brand new super cruiser with a wheel-to-wheel warranty, Fred Sanford.

Then again, my brother said he bought a used bike, and I bought a new one, but the moment I rode mine off the lot we both owned used bikes.

He has a point.

And I am envious...wish I had at least one more in the stable.

Greybeard said...

Two of these machines will be listed on Craigslist for sale this evening, guys...
The older 'Wing and the BMW.
The BMW needs work and probably won't sell right away, but I expect to move the Honda pretty quickly.
SJ IS getting a little antsy, Old Man. But I suspect if I can sell these things and make a few $$$$ she'll be braggin' to her friends.
We'll see.

I can foresee a third relatively permanent addition to our family if the bike I now have sights on comes up for sale at a reasonable price. I'll let ya know.

the golden horse said...

I think you are secretly preparing for a hobby/occupation for retirement and just don't know it.
Can't imagine calling a ole classmate a hoarder.
I remember when Uhaul used to put on the side of their trucks, "It's an Adventure." I think you own stock, no one but you can make it sound like one.

Anonymous said...

I'm shaking my head saying, GB, GB, GB...you're "adventures" exhaust me! BUT I'm happy you're enjoying them.


Old NFO said...

I think Golden Horse got it... Prep for the NEXT career :-) Enjoy and looking forward to the pictures!

On a Wing and a Whim said...

I know you're tracking silver, but something makes me think you're also investing in steel n' chrome. :-)

Or like my Calmer Half, when asked by a clueless teenage boy, "How many guns do you have?"

Calmer Half smiled gently as the silence stretched out, and the boy started to turn red in the realization that maybe that wasn't a polite question to ask. Then he gently said, "Possibly as many as I need, but not as many as I want."

Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Okay, WHAT model and year of BMW?


Greybeard said...

@Wing and Whim-
You're right...
I'm still figuring if gasoline gets $$$$$$, motorcycles may be a "semi-precious" metal as folks trade the steel cage for two wheels to save a few ducats on their commute.

It's a '79 R100T with 43,000 miles, sporting a Windjammer fairing and Givi bags.
It's a nice "20-footer"...
Needs cleaning, touch-up, a new rear tire, and a general tweaking all over. But it sounds good and, for the price, will tell me what I want to know about BMW airheads.
It's already got a "For Sale" sign on it.

I promise there'll be pics forthcoming.