why i love my boyfriend.
December 13, 2002
Well, it looks like winter is finally here in the Bay Area, at least for the next week or so. We're supposed to get a few inches of rain, which isn't that big a deal except for the fact that CalTrans can't seem to build a level road around here. So there's lots of flooding, which means that I'm cage-bound for the forseeable future.
Tony, who is braver than I, rode in today. Apparently he finally got recognition from a BMW rider that he often sees on the Dumbarton Bridge but who never returns his waves. There must be a special comraderie for those with the cojones to cross the Dumbarton amidst heavy rains and gusts of wind.
Me, I'm wussing out, at least until I get my rain suit. Included in my list of "things I'm too lazy to do" (which is growing disturbingly longer) is "waterproof my leathers". Stinky stiff wet leather isn't really on my short list of things I want to deal with.
last weekend's adventures.
Last Saturday, I got up relatively early and headed down to Helimot for their Winter Sale/charity raffle/suspension clinic. I bought four raffle tickets so that I could get the free suspension clinic. I'm not holding out any hope that I'll win any of the big prizes (in fact, I have no idea when the actual drawing is, or was), but hey, $20 to a good charity is never a loss. I lined the SVS up in the line for the suspension tune-up and ogled the other bikes.
I eventually went inside and did some shopping. They had all of their Held luggage at 50% off, so I bought a tankbag for my co-worker Justin (he paid me back; I'm not that nice). There was a good crowd at the store; I met some fellow BARF members, talked to Helmut, Els, and Elissa (some of the Helimot crew), and made Tony socialize with me when he showed up. I think Tony is probably starting to wish that he could go somewhere just once without running into me.
About an hour later, it was my bike's turn for the suspension tune-up. They basically had me sit on the bike while they took some measurements, and then declared that I was just about perfect for my bike. I told them that they needed to at least pretend to change something, since I'd been waiting for an hour, so they humored me and stiffened the rear shock by one click.
I can't honestly say whether it makes that much of a difference or not, but, hey, it just gives me an excuse to go riding more often ("no, really, I have to test the new suspension setup").
mmmm cinnamon bread.
We did our usual quick zip up 9 to the vista point that's just on the other side of 35 (Here's a useless map for those of you not in NorCal). Apparently last Sunday was "let's go get our Christmas trees and then drive really slowly with a big ass tree sticking out of the back of our cars!" day in the foothills, so it was a more annoying ride than usual. While we were hanging out at the vista point, a few riders pulled up. One of them was riding a brand new 999 (I found out later that it was one of the local dealership owners on a test bike), so that was neat, to see one on the streets. Another guy was showing off doing burnouts and endos in the parking lot, but, really, the 999 was about a million times more impressive.
We left the vista point and headed up to Alice's, where everyone else on the planet was hanging out. The 999 guy and the squid eventually showed up, which was marginally entertaining. Helmut from Helimot showed up on his SV, which was mildly embarassing, since I didn't recognize him with his helmet on despite him waving at me and trying to say hello. I eventually figured it out, and we chatted about Helimot's new gloves for a while.
Dave and Chris headed out to run errands, and Paul, Peter, and I headed down 84 to the coast. It was really beautiful weather -- I figured that the coast would be really cold, but it wasn't that bad. We passed the San Gregorio post office and headed towards Pescadero.
Sadly, there was no cinnamon bread that day, so I was forced to make do with freshly-baked cinnamon rolls. Somehow, I survived. It was close, though. We loitered around Pescadero for a while, making friends with a cute little old man who was really obsessed with talking to us, despite the protests of his daughter, who was trying unsuccessfully to herd him into a station wagon. A self-described "lecherous old grandpa" (he was asking for a ride on my bike at the time), he brought his little pug dog over to see us, much to the merriment of Paul, who is, to this day, making pug jokes. I should have taken his picture (the grandpa's, I mean. Or the dog's.).
We headed back up to Alice's, and then split off to go our separate ways. Peter and I headed down Page Mill to go back into Palo Alto. I'm neglecting to mention every single car-with-xmas-tree that was in front of us, going about 10mph, during our travels, but please keep them in mind. They were consistent, at least.
Going down Page Mill, we managed to get behind a car that was going so amazingly slowly that my bike actually almost stalled going around a corner. It was the only time in my life that I've actually gestured widly and flashed my brights to get the asshole to pull over. The driver finally pulled into a turnout (like, the 10th we'd passed) after Peter basically laid on his horn throughout every single turn. The really obnoxious thing is that the driver was probably cussing us out for being hooligan motorcyclists on his/her tail. Grrrr. I really really really hate people who won't use turnouts.
I was talking to Cat last week about lines through corners, and how I seem to use a much later line than most of the diagrams I see in magazines etc. After talking to her and hearing her racing experiences with different lines, I decided to try and enter my turns earlier. This, combined with Ceej's new track-day wisdom about keeping the RPMs up above 7000rpm really made an enormous difference. I swear, by the end of the day, I was taking turns around 5mph (on average) faster than I had been in the morning. It was really encouraging. I wouldn't want to cruise around on the SVS at 9000rpm, but keeping it up beween 6500rpm and redline (10,500) felt amazingly stable. I was even comfortable going around 30mph around some of the tighter turns on Page Mill (well, after finally being able to get past Asshole, I mean). Very encouraging.
longest. entry. ever.
So, this weekend is going to be a maintenance weekend due to the rain. Hopefully it won't be too cold in my garage -- the thought of putting a space heater in there gives me mental images of fires and explosions. I guess I do have a fire extinguisher.... (just kidding, mom!). Anyway, I'm almost done with the master cylinder rebuild for the Nighthawk, so I'm hoping to get that done tomorrow. I'm having the damndest time getting the new rubber cap over the master cylinder piston, but other than that, things have been going well.
Peter brought the Superhawk over last night, too, for its fuel system evisceration ("it's a good thing I know you're a good mechanic", said Peter when I first described it as such to him). I still have some service items to do from the 12k service (replacing the plugs and air filter, doing a carb sync, etc). While on vacation, I also read something in a tech column about Superhawks stalling under heavy braking or low idling. The deal is that since the carb throats are pretty big, under certain conditions, there isn't enough velocity to pull enough mixture from the carbs into the engine, and the bike stalls out. Honda fixed this in '99 by putting 5mm restrictor rings in the intake manifolds -- Peter has a '98, but apparently the '99 manifolds will fit the '98 bike, so I'm going to swap them in and see how it runs.
Incidentally, if any of you are ever in the position of needing to order intake manifolds from Honda's microfiche, let me let you in on a little secret: they don't call them "intake manifolds". They call them "insulators". Why? Who knows! That took Cat and I a disproportionate amount of IMing while looking at online fiches to figure out. Someday, I'm going to make a parts fiche and label everything with random words, like "grape" or "rutabaga". Why not just call the damn intake manifold an "intake manifold"? I mean, really.
I have nothing else interesting to talk about, and y'all probably gave up reading this a few paragraphs ago. So, I dunno, let's all go do something else now.