TARGET IN SIGHT

Just a picture to give you an idea of the distance

Closing in on another “near” target en-route to the planned 2018 Banner at 4000 miles. Today if this wind abates a little I should be through 3900 and its only 9/12/18.

The wind is not to my liking with a strong SW direction, gusting 25 mph, so I elect to stay in town and creep my way ever closer to the target. Well at least I’m not in the Carolinas facing Florence!! The day finishes on 3907.03 which is already 305 more than last year’s total.

Still watching the Vuelta a Espana in the mornings and two more days of mountain top finishes before arriving in Madrid. Always a bit different from the Tour de France and usually unpredictable as to who will win each day.

While I have the upmost admiration for these riders, fortunately for me I have never had any desire to ride up and down mountains as they do. I am quite happy to push myself on the distance bag and be relatively pleased with my own accomplishments knowing how hard it can be maintaining motivation.  As the 4000 challenge is now in sight time to try to get the bodyweight back down by about 12 lbs as I’m up again to 207.2 and feeling low again on energy.

The riding is still going well and here we are on Sunday morning 9/16/18 and despite those never ending winds I’m up to 3977.45 and all that is required is that little push to get there.

Not feeling at all motivated today ………, however I feel I have to do something so I reluctantly (don’t know why) push out of the house and knock off 15.36 in yet more blustery conditions ……..

Now I have the incentive “to get R’ dun” with only a smidge under 8 miles to go. A little lunch first then the Broncos Raiders game to watch and then it will be Champers Time again!!

The 1stHalf is all Raiders and its not lookin good, but a big change in the 2nd half and Broncos come back and take the win 20 to 19. Well better get on with my task and punch in 23.75  for the day and giving me a total of 4001.20 miles for 2018.

Made it !!!

Here are some distances of 4000 miles, The Nile, Great Wall of China, and for my European Friends a picture they can visualize in local terms.

Ready to dismount

Job done!

Garden time, Brenda has the Champers open

Still a couple of months to go before the snow and cold will shut my operation down so maybe just enough time to see if I can hit the distance that windy Florence travelled.

543 miles to go !

TONY DOWN

LAZARUS THE BEEMER LIVES!!

 

Hard to believe, I know, but dogged determination has finally won through and we are on the road again. Not an easy victory but one that we are pretty proud of when all seemed impossible.

The last ride on the Beemer was when we were at Napa in 2015 and it was noted that it was beginning to run a little rough on start up and could probably do with a plug change.

2016 and all resources are turned to Brenda’s return to boating and all the work that’s involved getting one serviceable for the lake.

1st attempt “Scuffy” becomes a garden ornament as she is not seaworthy!

2nd attempt, Plan B, is lovely

V nice!

The winter of 16/17 is cold and miserable………  very,  miserable!!

By the time the school bus driving comes to an end the poor Beemer is looking a real mess with rotting leather on the seats and speakers.

Depressingly sad

Severe mechanical depression sets in until I give myself an arse kicking and get into the business of sourcing the necessary parts for the resurrection.

Rear seat for Brenda’s throne

Matching front seat for me

New seats are found as a “take off” up in Canada, new speaker and backrest leather covers come from the UK, while Ebay provides the plugs and plug wires. By now the battery has died and won’t even accept a charge.

Toast I’m afraid

A good one at last

New plugs and wires …….

It all arrives, it gets fitted, ……. and all that happens is it will start, but won’t accelerate. Well clearly this is not good and I’m almost at my wits end with this issue and the electrical problem with the alarm system which blows the fuse controlling the horn and the rear lights every time the fuse is put in ?

Eventually I am forced to seek help as these modern bikes require all manner of specialist tools and knowledge that I don’t possess as its not a machine I’m familiar with.

The replacement trailer is purchased in Durango and, although needing a little work, good enough for the Beemer and the 2 remaining trials bikes. The dead 850 lb BMW is duly loaded up and strapped in and we set off for “Out West” motorcycle shop up in Montrose about 125 miles away.

Mark, the owner, is a BMW certified tech and knows what the bike will need including new fork oil seals and the 12,000 mile service but I will need to send him my internet research on the electrical problem.

About a week later Mark rings to say the bike is ready. The price is discussed and I’m off to the bank for the required cash which is not unreasonable at $1600 in my opinion.

The cause of the poor starting was not gummed up injectors caused by the dreaded ethanol ……. but something else that ethanol had decided to munch and destroy.

The power of ethanol

The BMW fuel system has the fuel pump and filter in the cavernous 5 gallon tank and ethanol had eaten through the hoses in the filter as it was sitting which only allowed “gravity feed” to the injectors!!

That was all replaced, new fork seals and the complete 12,000 mile service got the engine back up and running. The alarm circuits are jumped as per my plans and the rest of the bike is buttoned up and the test ride completed. Mark rates the exhaust system that I fitted as the best he has tried and was well impressed with the present performance.

Brenda has reupholstered the speakers

Back home and time to refit speakers, back rest, top box, aerial,  and glass in the left rear view mirror. Brenda has been working hard on the upholstery for the backrest and the two speakers. These little devils take a full team effort to get on with their 10 mini screws!

Better to do speakers first

Seems we must fit the top box, then the speakers, and finally the back rest, getting all the wiring carefully in place.

Top box and speakers on …… tags 6/16

Mirror is the easy job at this stage, just some glue and a clean

Now I see you !

Lets see what else we need to do starting with some major cleaning

Not bad ……..

Oh dear, that’s only a model

By dawn’s early light

Next step is a visit to MVD and attempt to retag it as it expired in 6/16. Colorado is pretty good on tags but there is no escaping the penalty of $100 for 2 missed years!

Another week rumbles by with Brenda away in LA visiting Phil and having a great time at Band venues, bars, restaurants, and generous wine tastings. The return flight is on time but she is well tired after a week of non stop entertainment. During her week away I’ve been suffering the afternoon thunderstorms and downpours limiting my bike time and Beemer polishing. Today its Friday and the forecast afternoon weather is beer drinking and Beemer detailing!

The all new leatherwork

Very nice

It gleams!

The Blackcat is back

All the “splash” debris from the rain is removed once more and generous coatings of leather and wax polish sprays are given and buffed. NEW stickers replace all the first sets that were applied back in 2005 and she is back to near “Showroom”.

I’m back !

I’ll be test riding soon, thanks to all my helpers

 

TONY DOWN

 

ALL THOSE MILES

 

Approaching the end of August its time to reflect on the cycling miles covered and where this is all going? You may remember that after the pneumonia deal back in Sep/Oct 2015 I found myself a new Doctor in Durango who told me the “good news” that the vicious bout of pneumonia was over, but I had COPD Stage 3 and needed nighttime oxygen and the daily inhaler.

Smoking ends!

Stopping smoking IMMEDIATELY was the first step on 11/11/15 and about one month later he told me I was back to COPD Stage1 but I was still on nighttime oxygen and the inhaler ……what fun!

My bedtime companion the “Iron Lung”

…. and the $25 a month puffer

2016 saw the beginning of getting the lungs back to work and the Giant Mountain Bike was pushed to 2031.22 on the roads around Dolores at 7000′ before the snow shut me down.

First time out …… a dismal 3.39 miles

2017 and the riding begins again on Superbowl Sunday (5th Feb). The arrival of the Specialized S Works Roubaix in March expands my horizons and daily distance totals, such that I finish the year on a respectable total of 3602.09, and I’m also done with the oxygen tank and $25 a month of inhalers.

 

IT  tastes VERY Good!

Having exceeded the 2017 plan of 3000 miles I decided that 4000 might be on the cards for 2018 and looking further ahead maybe I can pedal around the Equator of the 3rd Rock from the Sun, a distance of 24,902 miles, in my lifetime?

Every passing milestone is a good excuse for another bottle of Champers and at the end of August the yearly odometer stood at 3694.12 compared to 2017’s numbers of 2802.39

Here is a pictorial presentation of approximately how far I have cycled since I started this mission and I can safely say I would not wish to either WALK or RUN the same distance!!!

DISTSNCE FROM PERTH AUSTRSALIA TO HEATHROW LONDON
MAIL ONLINE GRAPHIC

 

TONY DOWN

 

“IN A WORLD OF STRIFE ……………. “

This summer has certainly been full of problems and generally a lack of get up and go to fix them! Must be old age and the general loss of energy and willpower.

First there was my trailer that the lady ran into and destroyed, and the ongoing problems of  trying to get the new title.  Then along comes a 70 mph wind and takes down the sign that we had only just got the electrics  renewed on!

Trying to get a NEW sign is not easy, and just like plumbers who don’t dig trenches, sign makers don’t erect their product!!

Next we have this ridiculous lunacy of the  “water backwash valve” which is state or federal law and requires us to dig an enormous trench 6′ deep and connect to main water. So absurd that we have to have this valve in case WE can generate MORE PSI than the Mains system of 120 psi and therefore push OUR water back into the Town’s system???

Trench digging Round2

Six feet down!

During all this, Mercury is retrograde, and what is making life worse is that our local restaurant/pool hall is continually OVER pouring my Gin & Tonic and Brenda’s Vodka Soda ……. the results of this are AWFUL, with a lot of drunkenness and falling down and well as the brain and mouth getting into gear and saying things that should never be said!!!

The results of all this alcohol abuse is that I’ve switched to BEER and Brenda has changed her tipple to something equally less fierce and with a lot less sugar.

Yes, there is “Peace in Beer”

The change in refreshments have done nothing for the “pool” but the social life has returned to acceptable standards, the bashed trailer has been replaced, the Beemer returned to her former glory, and the backwash nonsense is in place, and the trench backfilled.

 

TONY DOWN