12 September 2010


First off, I do have to give another huge thanks to my friends Brice & Patti for taking time out to help me last Sunday with my motorcycle tire issues.  I ended up running over a nail with my rear tire somewhere between Tupelo and New Albany, MS.  A stop at the Pilot to check the tire pressure (no doubt the tire was low, my entire bike was vibrating like most people mistakenly believe all Harleys do), a quick airing up and cursory inspection that I somehow missed the nail on, a bit of fuel splashed in and I was off again.  Only to have the bike start shaking violently again within 5 miles.  I pulled off on an exit ramp and this time examined the tire much more closely.....yep, found the culprit that time.  Brice and Patti had stopped at the same Pilot so I gave them a quick call to find out if they'd already left out....they had but hadn't passed the ramp where I was parked.  They very kindly agreed to go back to New Albany Wal-Mart to grab some cans of tire sealant whereupon they were guided to get the cans that had the fixed nozzle rather than the flexible hose type by an old guy who said those were the kind for "motorsickles".  Yep, that's how he pronounced it, ugh...... Unfortunately that type of can will not work on my bike because the brake rotor prevents a solid connection.....  Brice & Patti drove back then when we discovered the other problem, Brice very kindly offered to stay with my bike while Patti drove me back to Wal-Mart so I could get the other type and a cigarette lighter powered inflator.

After that they stayed with me, following me to West Memphis (with 3 more stops to check the air pressure)where James met me in the pickup just in case it had to be hauled in rather than riding on home.  I owe them big time!!!!!!!!!  No doubt that they are a couple of my best friends.  So why didn't I get it repaired out on the road?  First off, most places will NOT touch motorcycle tires, not near as easy to get on & off as car tires.  Second, this was Mississippi on a Sunday of a holiday weekend so absolutely no motorcycle repair shops are open.  I would have just been towed somewhere to sit until Tuesday so while the sealant stuff isn't the ideal way to treat a motorcycle tire flat it did get me home eventually.  And what a rough ride it was......the green slime stuff unbalanced the tire so much that the ride was miserable, it's not like my bike is comfortable to begin with.  I made it all the way home on it though, quite proud of that.

Monday I had a 70 mile training ride planned that I ended up skipping because during the ordeal of Sunday my period started........and it decided to be one of those that make me violently ill.  As noted in previous post, I spent most of Monday throwing up......and ending up with a nosebleed that I didn't think was ever going to quit.  Bad part of it was I still had to leave for Tennessee that afternoon, ugggghhhhhh.  Sometimes I wish I had a normal job where I could call in sick and stay home to loll about in bed feeling sorry for myself.  Instead I have to hold a steering wheel and feel sorry for myself, lol........

Tuesday, felt much better but like I've already written, I mucked up my right knee, which is still twinging a bit.  No running since then and I'm feeling damned cranky about it.  Didn't help that Mexico wanted my load asap on Wednesday & a tiny little tropical storm named Hermine was throwing some major rain, wind, and flooding into my path.  Despite H's best efforts I made it to Laredo by 1700 Wednesday afternoon and was hooked up to my return trailer by 1800......thought I was gonna be back up to Pearsall or Von Ormy before bedtime, yep, "thought".

My usual walkaround revealed decent tires and all lights working but the permit box on the nose of trailer was missing and a MAJOR air leak on one of the hoses leading to a brake chamber.  Oh joy......our Laredo shop used to be awesome about getting the trailers repaired quickly and properly but those days are long gone.  Got in line (only one in bay ahead of me), wrote up what needed repairing and settled in for a 2 hour wait.....

Finally it's my turn, knowing that a written account of the issues isn't enough, I pull down the trailer hand valve and walk back with the mechanic to show him EXACTLY where the air leak was.  You can hear the damn thing hissing  from the cab so I shouldn't have had to do that even but I know from experience that yes, I do, grrrr.  Truck & trailer is pulled into the shop and I have a choice, stand around outside getting eaten up by the mosquitos or sit inside our dungeon of a drivers lounge that has absolutely no ventilation.  Opted for the bloodsuckers, lol. 

1.5 hours later I'm out of the bay and I notice while at the exit to our yard that my brakes don't seem to be working as well as they should............stop, pull down the handvalve, step out of the truck and yeah, the airline has NOT been repaired.  They replaced 2 tires in 1.5 hours but didn't touch the 2 items I'd written up!!!!!  Do I need to tell y'all that I was highly peeved???????  I'm literally cussing but not very coherently because I'm that angry.  Turn around and find the shop foreman, who then tells me that they'd already pulled somebody else into the trailer bay and I would have to wait because they didn't want to ask that guy to wait any longer.  He even asked couldn't I go park in the back to sleep 2-3 hours then wake up to check back in.  NOOOOOOOO! I can't and won't do that.  This is a 5 minute job, I have 2 fucking crescent wrenches and if they would just give me the damn hose I can replace it, of course they wouldn't do that.......I knew that if I listened to him a second longer I was going to say something that would probably cost me my job so just turned and walked off.  He then realized just how angry I was and told me to pull up to the bay and he'd replace it in the parking lot. 

Oh, and Lola the truck had been making my life miserable this past week too.......The new thing was the Stop Engine light & buzzer going off several times a day starting on Wednesday.  Gauges read perfectly normal, a look under the hood revealed no issues, all fluid levels exactly where they should be and no billows of smoke pouring out of the exhaust stack.  After the first 5-6 times of popping the hood and discovering no issues, I just got to where when the warning would sound I'd find a safe ramp to pull off on and shut the truck off then immediately restart it.  Since there were no outward signs of problems I just assumed that a sensor had gotten moisture in it while being washed Tuesday, however, it was getting very irritating very quickly......The truck is now at the International dealer again.....The issue? Engine fault codes are indicating a problem with the XY shifter that was just replaced last month at Temple.  Sigh........

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