After almost a month straight of endless preparations, adjustments, fine tuning and restless nights I hopped on my bike this morning to ride north with Bagel to our overnight stop in Lac La Hache. I made it to the next town over before I holed my piston. This bike has been a nightmare, maybe you aren't supposed to take the sign off the roof of a building and try to race it across a continent. I had hoped that after spending countless hours building this thing I'd at least get to start the adventure but it was not to be. It's true, I had a spare piston and might have been able to get on the road again today, but I didn't like the idea of travelling 6500km on my backup with no spares.
I need to step away from the bike for a few days to keep from screaming at it and then disposing of it in some creatively destructive way.
My hands are stained grey from endless tinkering and adjusting and tightening and fixing, but I *think* it's done. Is it perfect? No. Could I keep working away at it endless hours and making minor adjustments? Of course. Do I think I can do it with this setup? Yes. But I'll likely be turning a few wrenches along the way. I've got tomorrow to sort out a few loose ends and finish packing, then Friday Bagel and I ride to visit Mr. George Lee, former president of the Vancouver Ruckus Club and current proprietor of the Rangeland Motel and Skookum Scoops of Lac La Hache, BC. If the day goes well, I go to Skookum Scoops for creamery ice cream, if it goes poorly...well, George has a small engine repair side business too and a fully equipped shop at the other end of the motel.
Cannonball starts for me on Friday May 30th when I leave town with Tom (Bagel) Donahue to ride to Hyder. Most of the preparations for the bike and the rider are done. Getting nervous and excited. Need to put more mileage on the bike before Friday. Looks like I'll be doing some riding this week.