Sunday, May 23, 2004

Misery and Failure, (the artful destruction of meticulously worked artifacts, aka. the Thing)

“Charles, the Sheetiron 300 will be SOOO much fun, we simply must go.” … Rebecca

I know the Thing is not ready. I had to borrow a front wheel from Jack, the suspension is not set up, the bodywork is not where I want it, it is not safety wired, I still have tasks, chores! the whole shebang screams “Don’t Do It” to me over and over.

Do I ever listen?

We leave Friday after work, and drive 4 or 5 hours to Stonyford. The directions are somewhat vague, and we are speeding to make the 10pm sign in deadline. I am driving down country roads, pulling a trailer with 2 bikes, at very VERY bad speeds.

10:15 arrival, but they check us in anyhow. I threaten to offer to spank her till she cries, unless they let us register. They are having none of my smack, but register us anyhow, it is easier than in the morning.

We drive right to where our pals James & Jason are camping. Park the LLROL, unload the bikes, sort out the gear, get the sleeping arrangements under control, then walk to the porta-potty. Ya know, just over there. And get lost on the way back. We got LOST on the way back from the portapotty.

Find the truck, finally, no, it was not by the camp playing AC-DC. Get in sleeping bags, commence to snoring. Both of us. Snoring. Loudly.

Wake up next morning, got gear on. Got ready, waited a lot for people. Then went. We missed the turn and saw a goat farm. YAY! Rebecca likes goats.

But turn around and start over.

Apparently on the hard splits. You have a split choice, easy/hard. Easy is really easy, hard is a bitch. We took the hard splits.

First water crossing, we get across the water, THEN Rebecca falls down. It was difficult for me to pick up her bike. I am still in weak chemo boy shape.

Got up, rode more. The Thing loves this stuff. Stand up, lean forward, gas it, and it just loves to go. Up hills? Over jumps? No problem. Down hills, just use the engine braking. Woot, Woot.

Coming up one hill, James fell down. And stopped. I got to where3 he was, had to stop, and the front wheel started sliding in the loose dirt. That would be sliding, as in backwards, downhill. SHIT!

I hit something, and went ass over teakettle. I hit Rebecca, backwards. We both went down. I could not get up. Somethow, her bike was stuck on my backpack, I was turtled! Get untangled, get her bike up and out of the way, get my bike up and out of the way. Noticed my left hand bark buster Hand guard is a little bent. Did not notice the clutch ferrule adjuster on same handlever is bent.

Get by James, get to top of hill, park and wait. Whew. #1 fall, and I am shagged.

Dean, Jason & I keep going. There is a really tough uphill, but I breeze it. The bike is idling weird. Going through some narrow singletrack, it dies, and apparently, the clutch does not work. Shit. I cannot start the bike, and shift to first, there is no clutch. And I cannot turn around, and there is no good place to turn off the trail and work on it.

Aww man.

I fart with it for a while, and realize, I have a HUGE burn on my right hip. I think fuel leaked out and reacted with my synthetic pants. Dang.

Now I cannot breathe, I hurt, and I am not thinking. I think the clutch perch is bent, a guy on an XR named Jim (I forgot his last name) wearing a king crown duct taped to the top of his helmet gives me a spare perch and ferrule. YAY Jim.

Dean comes back, we get my bike turned around, we go somewhere, and swap levers, but my bolts are the wrong size. Swap back, adjust, tweak and start the bike, click to first and dies, Still no clutch.

I am not a good enough rider to not use the clutch in the dirt. I am fooked.

Dean rides the bike to the next ‘split’ location, and I will wait for the trail sweep team to come get me. As we get there, he pulls over, and the motor is barfing oil out the countershaft sprocket seal. I am out for sure.

He splits and will send help.

I take a nap.

Trail sweep comes, they discuss what to do, they do not know where I am, other than on “Goat Mountain” one guy tows me with a strap to the next downhill. I coast down a tractor road a few miles, to M-5, the trail. I coast down where I can, then push where I cannot. At times, 10 steps each, then hold the front brake, cry, and rest. Uphill.

I am not leaving the bike, cause I do not know how to get back to where it is.

Up hills, 10 steps at a time. One hill was 374 steps before I could coast. Finally finish M-5, and get on M-10. The sign says Goat Mountain Is 22 miles back. Did I push and coast my bike 22 miles?

M-10 Some downhill, some flat, not much uphill though. I push into stonyford, to the fairground. I am crying, I am tired, my whole body hurts, my bike is dead.

I meet Jim Ferguson from 77 Films. He also has an XR. He crashed. We chat. He suggests the bearing in the clutch, or throwout bearing, or something, a known weak spot on the 2000/2001 XR’s. and the seal. Shouldn’t be hard. Yeah, whatever. I blew a seal. You know the worst part about blowing a seal? they always want to cuddle and talk afterwards! ork ork ork...... :)

He is gonna drive to Ft. Bragg to meet his pals. Me too. I put the Thing on it’s trailer and drive north. We get lost, and drive fire roads into Williams, bout 45 miles. Eeek.

Then to Clear Lake.

Then towards Bragg, he pulls over and yells that he is too sore, and going home.

I make it to Bragg, but cannot find Rebecca! I leave cell messages, and JUST as I am about to give up and leave, she answers the phone. We meet, We have dinner, I am tired, we are in hotel room now. I will drive home tomorrow., I am beat.

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