Monday, February 7, 2011

Troop's Birthday Ride

Saturday was a long day. Actually let me back up a day and start with Friday. I dusted off the XS650 to get ready for the ride. I needed to change the oil and do a quick check. I had conveniently forgotten that the headlight switch had exploded on the last ride (cheap chinese plastic!) and I never replaced it. So no headlight. And I had conveniently forgot my brake light was hosed (cheap chinese again!). And, for some reason, the key was gone. I spent an hour going through every hiding spot with no luck. I pretty much gave up the ghost. But the boys commanded me to come so I hot-wired the ignition. Still no brake light, but she ran. So, with the help from Mittens (I will explain that shortly) the headlight and ignition are now wired to a nice metal switch and I'm keyless.

I borrowed Francisco's truck and hauled up to Grass Valley early Saturday with Mittens following me on his '78 Ironhead. We met up at Paco's Tacos. Troop rallied 30+ riders!

Crossing the dam

Things were going great. I was in the front of the pack and hit a gas station. We heard that someone had went down so we blasted back 5 miles. It was Doug, I mean, Mittens. Riding for 25 years, hardcore commuter, and he had his first wreck. It just happens. It was a bad corner. The road went up, then suddenly dropped into a decreasing radius with no birm. And gravel all over the road. He drifted over the white line and couldn't get control back. He luckily did not hit that sign. This is a nortoious turn, with an accident every week.

Because it was so warm he decided not to wear his gloves. Luckily he had a full face on. Fashion or safety? It's your decision.

The front end took the brunt of it. The triple trees just snapped, but I think that saved the frame. The front cylinder is biffed as well, the exhaust broke the spigot off. ALL repairable. It could have been so much worse.

He got hauled away in the ambulance and we called Pops to bring Francisco's truck. A couple of us stuck around and lifted the wreck into the truck and took it back to Pops'. On the way my clutch cable snapped and I rode the last 5 miles in first gear.

4 hours later we picked Mittens up. This is why he has a new nickname.

We ended the day on a higher note at Troop's bbq birthday. We then packed my XS and my Triumph up, leaving the Ironhead at Pops'. A long, exhausting drive home.

Bikes are repairable. Mittens will heal.

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