8 Ball In The Wind

Friday, October 18, 2013

ABATE of Washington Has Grown PT3

As I get back to the story I have been relating to you all, I think I left off after falling asleep watching TV in the motel room.  Yeah, I know, call me a lightweight, whatever.  I was just mentally burned out from a long day of seminars, and sitting in the same position for hours.  After about eight hours sitting, my body was numb, and my mind was just burned out.  I didn't even have the pleasure of changing scenery as I sat.  It was all the same room, all day long.

Anyway, when I got up, and finally went outside as it was starting to get light out.  I checked on Gypsy.  She was covered in ice.  Hell, it was below 30 degrees out, so I would have been more surprised if she hadn't.  I dug a bar rag out of the saddle bags, and wiped her down.  Getting all the ice off her seat and dash probably took about five or ten minutes.  A couple of other ABATE members came out to smoke a cigarette (Washington is one of those places you cant smoke in a "public" building...like a bar, or a motel, or within 25 feet of a exterior door or window) and as they finished their smoke I was just finishing her up.

About 7:00 AM, I figured I'd fire her up and let Gypsy have a chance to warm up.  It was going to be a beautiful day,  and there was time to make a quick, but cold ride through the Canyon and back before the meeting started.  But the cold had thickened up the 50 wt oil in the crankcase.  The starter was struggling to crank over the motor.  She'd cough, and spit, but never caught.  Even when I kicked her, I could feel how thick the oil was, as the resistance was way more than usual.  After trying to get her to fire for a few minutes, I figured I'd wait a bit.  So I loaded the gear on her for the ride home, and rolled her out into the sunlight, and parked her next to a curb so the sun could warm her up a bit.

About 8:00 or so, I went back out, and tried to fire Gypsy up.  She fired right up without hesitation.  The trick was to keep the cold blooded old girl running until she warmed up a bit.  It was really kind of strange to look down at the temperature gauge on the top of the dipstick, and see the needle about a 1/4 inch below the lowest temperature mark of 50 degrees.  I dont think I had ever seen it that low, outside of winter here in Morton.  Uusally when it gets down around freezing, I'm thinking twice about whether I REALLY want to go for a ride.

After about 5 minutes or so, the oil finally got up above 50F, and I took her for an easy little loop around the motel parking area.  Since I knew we'd be taking off roght after the Board of Directors meeting, I parked Gypsy in front of the conference room building so she could soak up the sun for the rest of the time there.

At the start of the meeting, there was a motion to suspend the agenda, and vote in two new chapters.  So right from the start, we were involved in the decision making.  What didn't hit me until I was almost home again, was the realization that I was now a part of the Board of Directors of a large Non-profit organization.  But it is something good I can help to grow and build upon.  And we neeed it in this part fo the state.
Elk Country Chapters Charter

The meeting lasted a couple more hours, and finally ended around 2:00 PM.  We heading outside, and a group of us got ready to head back through the Yakima River Canyon, and stop for lunch at Walkabout Creek Saloon in Naches. Robin and I had rode over with one other bike, but we were heading home with four others.

Walkabout Creek Saloon

After eating some great food at the Walkabout Creek Saloon, we headed outside to hit the road and head home.  A couple of us had to top off before we headed all the way over White Pass.  So I  went to fire Gypsy up to ride down the street to the Circle K and top off my tank.  But, when I hit the start button, nothing happened.  With traffic going by, I couldn't tell if the relay was closing as I tried the button three of four more times.  When I went to kick her over, she fired up on the second kick, wiht no trouble at all.

I shot down the street, filled the tank, and she did the same thing.  No electric start, and as I kicked she would only sputter and cough.  After kicking about ten or fifteen times, and everyone waiting on me to get going, when Mo asked if I needed a push I just hung my head and said "yea".  Once we started pushing, I rolled about ten feet and popped the clutch.  Gypsy fired right up like it was nobody's business.  I was just a wee bit ticked off that she was acting up, and probably doing 70 mph by the time we got out of town.  I made the turn at the junction with Highway 410, and was a good quarter mile down the road before I realized everyone else was having to wait for traffic.  I slowed down, and calmed down, and let them catch up.  I just didn't want to have to shut the bike off again.  

So I didn't.

We headed up White Pass; and even at the construction site, we lucked out and didn't have to stop.  It wasn't until we rolled into the driveway that I shut her down.  It wasn't ntil the next day that I checked her out with a clear head and figured out what the problem was.

When I checked her out in the quiet, I could hear the relay click.  But the solenoid wasn't making a sound.  So I figured it was either the solenoiad went out, or the circuit breaker between the relay and the solenoid.  I checked it again a bit later, after making sure all the connections were good and tight.  She fired right up when I hit the button.  I let her warm up, then shut her down.  When I hit the button again, it was just the relay clicking.  Nothing else was happening.  That told me, right there.  It was the circuit breaker.  

Yesterday after work was th first chance I had to pick one up and replace it.  Afterwards, Gypsy fired right up.  Since then, she has fired up every time I hit the switch. No trouble at all.  I think it was just paybacks for leaving her out in the rain and cold weather.  At least she will be inside the house this winter when I regasket the top end, and do some other needed maintenance.  Who knows, she might end up rolling out wiht struts and a sprung seat instead of shocks...but who knows.

Anyway, A.B.A.T.E. of Washington has grown by two new chapters.  One is out where I grew up, and went to High School.  The other is the chapter I was voted in as Coordinator for.  So I thought that was cool.  Anyway, it's late, and I have to get some stuff together tomorrow, and round some folks up to go riding in a poker run in Kelso on Sunday morning.  So, have a good one, and as always,

I'll catch you on the road sometime...

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