Last Saturday I went for a ride. South from Killeen on TX195 to Florence, Texas, then east on the farm roads back to I-35 south of Temple. I was getting buckshotted by a gravel-hauling semi, so as soon as it was safe, I made the pass and moved to merge onto the Interstate. Shen I made the shift into 3rd, the shift lever felt kinda weird, and when I went to whack 4th...nothing. No shift lever. When I looked down, I saw that the lever was dragging on the ground, hanging by the linkage. Eeek.
I pulled over on the edge of the ramp, shut it down and called for help. We got the bike home and I hit BikeBandit.com to order a new shifter bolt and a bar end weight.
Bolt arrived today, took about three minutes to install and voila! On the road again. Ate lunch, geared up, kissed the wife and rolled out!
This time took a different route, heading south, then west through rolling hills and farmland. Decent pavement, good sightlines almost everywhere, and very little traffic.
I was on my way back home when I rolled over a big sharp-edged softball sized rock. EEEEEK!!!
There was no place to pull over, and the bike seemed fine. That lasted for maybe thirty seconds before the front end got mushy, and I could see that all was not well with the front rim and tire. I pulled ove ron the side of the road, a steep grassy slope rolling down into a tangled thicket.
It slopes the wrong way so the kickstand is no good, and all of a sudden I've gotta piss BADLY. I tried hanging my helmet on my handlebar but it fell off and rolled away down the slope. Trying to catch it I almost fell myslef, which would have meant going face first downhill with the 919 between my shoulder blades.
And man, do I really have to piss!
I call the Wife to tell her what happened (my wife, Jill, is a very lovely woman, long suffering and very patient. She puts up with this kinda crap from someone who is, ostensibly, a grown-ass man with a penchant for ruining perfectly good 70+degree days in early February!) Then I call an Army buddy with a truck.
I get the bike propped precariously on the hill, but before I can relieve myself, a very friendly couple in a white SUV stop to make sure I'm okay. After assuring them that I was fine and help was on the way, and thanking them for their concern, I was as close to pissing myslef as I have ever been [sober], and I had to do something.
Not really "something": I had to piss.
Broad daylight, pissing on the side of the road.
No one stopped while I was taking care of that.
It was a bit of a wait, maybe forty minutes waiting on my wife and my buddy and his wife(and truck), but during that time, no fewer than TWENTY people stopped to make sure I was okay. Yes, TWENTY!
I LOVE TEXAS.
Anyway, we get the bike home, I hit up BikeBandit again and find that the OEM replacement for my rim is over 500 bucks....more than 10% of what I paid for the whole bike. Sticker shock!!!
So for the first time in my life, I called my insurance company to make a claim.
The lady on the phone asks a bunch of questions, but the one that made me make a face in the direction of my phone was: "Did you notify the police?"
"For a single-vehicle accident, with no injuries, where the only property damaged was my own?"
"Yes, sir, did you notify the police?"
"So there were no witnesses?"
You get the idea. Anyway, the rest of the conversation proceeded much more favorably.
The claims guy will be out Monday to take a look.
Keep the rubber side down.
Live free or die!