Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Drunk Horse Tour - Day 8

The day it all goes 'pear-shaped' (Mom, you should skip this one :) ).

Having had a decent nights rest in Yakima (including dinner & some beers at Outback) I headed out.

The plan was to start to slowly work my way North, stopping wherever I feel to explore offroad.

Of course first, back through the Yakima Canyon. I really do enjoy it.

I kept scanning the hills to see if I might spot the sheep. But no such luck. Still, I had to stop again for another photo op, this time with KLR.

I swung through Ellensburg and continued North on 97. I kept my eye on the GPS to see what trails might lead somewhere. As I crested Blewett pass I spotted a friendly looking forest road on the right and swung in.

The road was in good shape and I was setting a nice comfortable pace when BAM. A large crunching noise and the bike was silent. Two of my bungee cords had ripped off a part of the old saddle bag and wrapped themselves around my chain.

The back tire was off centre (I still don't know what caused this) and cord and hooks were all wrapped in the drivetrain.

You can see the offending loop and bungees here:

Having fished all the carp I could find out of the chain, sprocket and spokes I tried to start the bike again. No joy.

I pointed it downhill and tried to jump start it, that when I noticed the chain being way to tight due to the wheel having gone off centre.

Of course, the KLR tools are right behind the seat, so of with the luggage.

Some solid boots to the rear wheel once everything was loosened up and the wheel was back in position.

At this point I was starting to do some rough math to see how long it would take me to walk back to the highway. I figured it'd be an hour or so. Not too bad when you think about it (I had sneakers after all :) ). But I tell you, the whole thing was not a comfortable experience.

Well I tried to start the bike again and she fired up ... but didn't run well. Some lights were flickering on & off on the dash, the neutral light seemed to have a mind of it's own ... shit.

Well I hopped on and rode back to the highway. Still with flickering lights. Still with a running bike.

Decision time. Back over the Cascades & the shortest path to Vancouver? Or over to Wenatchee and try to find a bike shop to fix the KLR and continue the trip?

As most of the road was downhill to the intersection of Hwy 97 & Hwy 2 I thought I'd see how things go.

The bike kept running, I headed West over the Cascades and towards Vancouver. I started calculating how far I'd need to get to have Michelle come and pick me up if the bike died. I kept riding and was trying to get as far as possible before stopping and turning the bike off to get gas.

But, she kept hanging in there, even after topping up. And the neutral light kept flickering, but the other lights behaved.

Finally I reached I-5 and stopped at a rest stop to have some snacks, I really needed a bit of food. I also texted Michelle and let here know I had bike problems but was still running and I was trying to make it home.

Not smiling at this point. I think the face does a good job to describe how I felt.

Well, long story short. I made it home.

Not many other pictures. Except for a couple from the shop.

The day after returning, I took the bike to EMS and this is what Ted and I found when we pulled the front sprocket cover:

Sorry for the poor quality, cellphone camera.

Well if you go back, you'll see that I'd only found three hooks in the photo above. Well the fourth had wedged itself by the crank case, partially cut and shortened some of the control wires.

Quick enough fix. Here is the offending bit of metal removed.

Well, all ends well that gets you back home :)

I certainly had a great trip with some adventure thrown in for good measure :)

And a very timely completion of my ride report from last year. As I'm leaving for another trip, on another bike, tomorrow :)

Thanks for reading along.


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