Overland Expo West 2016 Part Two – Wherein I drive a lot


So Rabbit was dead. With the end of the spark plug smashed that meant something, probably a valve, had broken. That meant a top end rebuild. I certainly wasn’t going to do that on the side of the road.

I have AAA, and Oklahoma City was within the towing distance. I asked CSC if they knew of a mechanic there who’d worked on RX3s, and Gerry said he’d call back. In the mean time, someone offered to come and collect me and the bike and bring us to his house. He said he had a garage with tools and a place for me to sleep until the bike was running again.

The motorcycle community is awesome.

Gerry called back with an amazing offer from CSC. If I could rent a U-Haul to get to Flagstaff, they would re-emburse me. They would send Gerry and a new engine there, and they would swap out the engine while I was at Overland Expo.

Whoa.

So I found a U-Haul and arranged for AAA to tow me there. I’d expected a flatbed, but a regular tow truck showed up (very, very quickly), and the guy loaded up Rabbit like he did it all the time. I guess he probably does.

With Rabbit secure we headed into Oklahoma City. They had the truck waiting.

I hadn’t planned on this sort of event, so I also had to buy some ratchet straps. With Curiosity having almost two years of top end issues, I was starting to get quite a pile at home.

Then I was mobile again. The next thing I did was get something to eat. It was now 4pm and I hadn’t had anything since breakfast, and that had been light. I also changed out of my riding gear, since that wasn’t the most  comfortable for driving. Then I started south and west again (now mostly west). I had visions of making huge miles now that I had a truck, but U-Hauls aren’t very comfortable. The fuel costs were – much higher – as well. It also had manual window cranks.

I honestly don’t remember the last time I’d seen one of those.

With the truck I decided I would just sleep in rest areas – I do that sometimes with the motorcycle too but not that much – both to spend more time moving and save money. BLM land is better, and Texas keeps it’s rest areas painfully well lit. It got chilly too, and the U-Haul also didn’t have a bench front seat. Three buckets, not all that great to try and stretch out on.

Morning came and I was back on the road, west and west and west. It was cold and there were patches of rain, but it matter a little less now.

I really like motorcycle travel, but there is no denying how nice it is to roll up a window and turn up the heat.

I reached Flagstaff and the hotel the CSC people were going to be staying at. There I dropped Rabbit, almost dumping it off the ramp as I was unloading. Perhaps I should have gotten some help. But, it got done and nothing actually went wrong, so it’s all good.

The bike looked different without the luggage, but I was still going to be camping for the weekend and would need all my gear.

After that, I headed to Mormon Lake. I was tired, needed a shower and shave, and was ready to not be driving a U-Haul anymore, but everything was set for Rabbit to be fixed and I was at the Overland Expo.

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