The bike is back!
I got the call from Alan at Redwood City Honda/Suzuki/Kawasaki/KTM/blah/blah at 9:45 yesterday morning — 15 minutes before the shop opened. I’d been expecting to hear from them on Wednesday, but in all honesty, getting the bike back on a Friday ended up working out pretty well.
Andrea and our co-worker Kieca drove me over to the shop at lunchtime. Andrea picked up some Joe Rocket Atomic jeans while Kieca stood around and waited for us to be done. They took off once Andrea had paid for the pants, leaving me at the mercy of the parts and service departments.
I paid for the service ($300! Gak! I need to start collecting $75/hour for working on bikes…), geared up, and got onto the bike. It didn’t want to start up without the choke on, and I ended up draining the battery while trying to start it. Phil was pretty embarrassed. It turned out that one of my carburetor vacuum tube valves was open — closing that up solved the “needing choke” problem. Phil double-checked the battery just in case; it was just fine. We jumped the SVS from another battery that they kept around for exactly that purpose and the bike started right up, happy as anything.
It was an amazingly gorgeous Friday afternoon. Clear blue skies, around 75 degrees…
Well, geez, I just don’t know what happened, but somehow I ended up going west on Highway 84 instead of east. Silly me! Naturally, I didn’t realize my mistake until I got to Alice’s Restaurant. I was hungry anyway, so I figured I may as well eat lunch before heading back.
That lunch must have really muddled my brain, because I got back onto west 84. Now I was really lost! I ended up at Hwy 1 — how embarrassing! As long as I was there, I just had to ride along the coast for a while, you know, just to clear my head. There was very little traffic, a perfectly clear day, and a pretty calm ocean. How tragic that I’d ended up here instead of heading right back to work.
Eventually I “found” Pescadero Road, and headed to the deli for some homemade cinnamon bread. I thought that, you know, maybe a familiar sight would help me find my way back.
I went back up Pescadero Road to Hwy 84 and back to Alice’s. Whew! Now I knew where I was. Unfortunately, by now it was almost 4pm. Might as well head home. I took Hwy 35 down to Hwy 9, back down into Saratoga.
Not to toot my own horn (beep beep!) but I was really surprised at how well I was riding. I figured that, after almost three weeks off of the bike, I would need some time to get back into the swing of things. That ended up not being the case, though. It was my first twisty ride on the new tires, and I forgot how smooth that is. Yum yum yum. I wasn’t staring at my speedo, but I’d estimate that I was going at least 10mph faster than I usually do — I know I spent most of the day in 2nd/3rd gear, as opposed to 1st/2nd (though, to be fair, I didn’t go on Page Mill, which is my usual 1st gear road).
By the time I got to Hwy 9, I was riding fairly slowly. By that point, I’d done about 75 miles of twisties, and I was tired. The afternoon ended up being almost 90 miles of nearly-empty roads under crisp blue skies. It’s nice to have the bike back. 🙂