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Sep. 28th, 2008

GT Blurry

Some Cannonball Video

I had the intent of capturing more video, but, a funny thing happened - I ran out of memory very quickly on my camera when I was taking pictures and video. Go figure. Especially since I only had, you know, some 128MB of storage.

So, uh... d'oh.

Anyway, the footage I did get (Yosemite, and the Burr Trail) has been compiled into a video. :) Here you go!

Sep. 27th, 2008

GT Blurry

Cannonball pics posted in one gallery

All Cannonball pictures are now going to be available here:  

I have a few more to put up from my actual camera (not my iPhone), but they'll be up there in no time.

I'll also post a composite video of some footage I "shot".
GT Blurry

No, really. It's ok. I swear.

'cept it's not quite.

Well, actually, it could be worse.  It could be much worse.  So I tore apart the Cannonball bike today.

The rear wheel was wiggly and that put me on edge.  Realistically though, it wasn't just the movement but the fact that the hub could have been wearing away at the spline shaft which freaked me out, so I tore into it with Aaron.  That was an interesting experiment if only because neither of us had done that on the bike before, so there was a bit of a figuring-out-as-you-go deal.

So after we got the exhaust off, then the backing plate off, then the backing plate / swing arm, what we noticed immediately was that the nut that keeps tension on the hub and keeps it in place was...  uh...  let's just say it came off with just a little wiggle with two fingers.  It had basically broken free and left the cotter pin safety to keep the frickin' wheel in place.  Scary as hell.  I don't know how long it had been that way but it certainly explained why I had problems braking, too. 

So we looked at the splines on the shaft and everything looked "right", and not particularly worn.  Hub seemed fine too.  We replaced the rear wheel with a 130/ 70x12" Heidenau H61, and buttoned it up.

For the proverbial "shits and giggles", we took apart the transmission to check out the variator and clutch splines.  Those were potentially the most worrisome, as damage to those splines could mean a whole new engine.  The spline shaft coming into the variator is basically the crank shaft, so...  damage = broken.  Done.

After ripping it apart, though, it seems the splines were in pretty decent condition.  The spline grooves on the variator, on the other hand - and I mean both halves - were toast.  Utterly done.  Chewed up, ground down, and useless.  It was actually a bit of a pain to get the back half of the variator off. 

When it came down to it, though, the ramp on the variator was also pretty bad.  Even though it was a new one I had put on just at the start of Cannonball, it was definitely worn worse than a variator that I had put some 11,500 miles on previously.  Think about that for a minute.

So I put the old variator with perfectly good spline grooves back on, put a fresh set of rollers on, replaced the Cannonball belt with a reasonably decent-but-used belt, and then put the bike back together (after forgetting a washer once) and fired it up.  Seemed to be good.

It runs pretty decently.  Has run better but has also run worse.

I still worry about the plug.  I think what's going to need to happen is that I'm going to buy a head, then convince someone who knows how to not screw these things up help me un-do the plug that's in there.  If the threads are stripped on the head, we'll put the new one in and put in the new plug there.  

That's my theory and I'm sticking to it.

Sep. 25th, 2008

Granturismo 200L at Night

Daily Runner

I still don't know quite what to do with myself at home and at work.  Funny.

Meanwhile I ride my MP3 500 everywhere now.  it's a good deal faster than the GT, from all perspectives.  I also notice that I have no concept of how fast I'm going in city.  That's unfortunate, and something I need to keep an eye out for.  Quite a hassle.

Jess came in to town after trucking the GT back from Maryland.  We loaded it off, and I took a moment to inspect the GT's rear wheel situation.  It's bad.  Oh lord is it bad.  I'm surprised.  At the very least I think the hub's shot.  There may also be an issue with the brake.  I know I'm going to be taking the thing apart soon, and it'll be probably a solid month before I can get it rideable, assuming that the variator is just fine and there's nothing wrong with the crank shaft splines on either the clutch or the variator.  Gah.

I've got some more pictures I'm going to upload, along with some videos.  I just don't have the time at present to do these things.  Hopefully should get to it some time this weekend.

More later, of course.

Sep. 22nd, 2008

GT Blurry

Some more notes

First thing's first, I want to give some shout outs:
  • Patrick:  I said it on MV and I'll say it again - you've always had my endless respect.  I've known you for probably only 2.5 years or so, maybe 3 at most, but I've always respected your technical abilities along with your riding skills.  You're always helpful, always insightful, and always want people to learn.  But for the Cannonball, my respect has grown exponentially (if that's even possible).  You worked to create a route that demanded the world of us as riders, and you ran a fantastic rally.  I was amazed by your dedication and the amount of responsibility you took in over your own needs.  I saw you fret over the safety of others, their mental health, their stamina, and their ability to navigate home, all before the things you needed to do  in order to accomplish those very same things for yourself.  I consider myself lucky to have gotten to know you that much better, and you continue to provide inspiration to me as both a rider and as a person.
  • Jester:  I could not ask for a better club mate.  Seriously.  You're in many ways a brother to me - someone I can argue with but a few hours later share a beer with and be OK.  You pushed me hard this whole way - knowing full well that it would goad me into being further committed to this task and push me into giving it my all.  You always offered your help, and I'm always, always appreciative.  Your win was well deserved.  You make us all of us Quitters proud.
  • Rich:  Seriously, you showed me dedication.  You really truly could have turned it in at any moment, but you didn't.  I know you weren't thrilled with the situation you had in front of you but you made it into your own, and at that you excelled.  A good rider not only does well on a well behaved bike, but can take on a tempermental vehicle and still ride it well, and you sir, did it.  I'm glad I got a chance to get to know you better, and I'm constantly impressed by your tenancity.
  • Rolf:  All I can say is that I have the utmost respect for your knowledge and approach to life.  I have so much to learn from you, and I appreciate every word you can pass on to me.  Thank you for helping me when I needed you, it will not be forgotten.
  • Joel:  Dude, you rode like I couldn't believe.  You have such a strong spirit, and such determination.  You also happen to be a pretty frickin' cool person.  I'm glad I had an opportunity to get to know you better, and I hope to continue to do so.  Congratulations on so many things :)
I uploaded all of the images I took from my iPhone on my Facebook profile, and I'll be adding them here soon.  Any of my Facebook friends can see the galleries as Cannonball / Cannonball part 2.  There are images that are not included here.

Also, Jess noticed that, while loading my bike up on the trailer, there's something up with my rear hub.  Says there's a lot of play in it.  I won't get a chance to look at it for a while (not until it gets back that is), but it sounds pretty damned bad.  Hopefully it's just a shot hub and it's something reasonably easy to correct.  Sigh.

I'll be uploading some videos soon, along with the remainder of my pictures from DC and Yosemite soon and posting a link.

Looks like I'm fifth, by official standings...

Sep. 21st, 2008

GT Blurry

The come down

I'm sitting in Dulles International, where I've been for almost 4 hours, waiting for my flight. I got out here courtesy of Tony, Bobo's friend, to whom I am indebted, along with Kieran's friend, Collins (like the drink), who let me stow about in his truck.

Slowly, I'm starting to feel the various aches and pains that, until recently, managed to only be dull reminders of the previous day's nonsense. Instead, my lack of movement and focus on a task has given me the chance to focus instead on my tortured neck and back, along with my aggrivated carpal tunnel syndrome. My wrists will never be the same.

My thoughts bounce between two themes - wanting to see my family and not knowing what to do with myself anymore. Truly this was a life altering experience in so many ways, as ridiculous as it sounds. I never want it to end but I also know that it is unsustainable, fiscally or physically.

I'm torn about potentially doing this again. I almost would do this anyday at this point, perhaps structured differently as more of a tour. There was much I did not get a chance to see. At the same time the competitive aspect was entertaining.

My boy Aaron and I have spoken about doing such a thing at one point, something I could see doing with our significant others backing us in support vehicles. But I don't know.

There's a lot to digest that I still haven't done but will I'm sure. There is a lot to consider. To this exact second I don't even know where I egin with my day to day routine. It exists so far from me right now even though it is only a few days away.

I can't fight this confusion so I plan not to. I don't want the rush of finishing this ride to be absorbed by a sense of need to return to life. If I've learned anything at all, it's that sometimes you just have to tale things in as they come, and let life take it's course.

Patience has a new meaning when staring out into endless miles of road with nothing but your thoughts.
GT Blurry

For Lesli

You might not have been on this trip with me, but you were on the trip with me.

I thought about you constantly, in every moment I could (those where I was not distracted by tricky roads).

I missed you dearly every night, and every morning.

I brought these with me, and in a sense brought you too. So here you are, at Ocean City.

Sea life from California, meet the East Coast.

GT Blurry

Grace, meet the Atlantic

Grace, you will likely never see this beach again so enjoy the weather.

It is actually quite beautiful around here. Warm, nice sky. A bit touristy. Could be worse though. It's like Fisherman's Warf in SF, with a twentieth of the people wandering around.

They have everything you need here - mini-golf, laser tag, karaoke. It's all good.

GT Blurry

Earned it.

I was a little reticent to put the Cannonball sticker in the bike until I was done so that way I wouldn't jinx it.

Now that I'm on the other side of the country, it's on.

GT Blurry

The other side of the massacre.

The leg shield is also a horror show of mutilated bugs. The butterfly is still in the stupid radiator cents and I have no idea how I will get ten thing out of there.

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