Day 0 is getting me and the bike to the start.
With the bike somewhat ready I gave the wife a kiss and headed down the road. I thought I had planned for every problem, every issue, every contingency. As I was just about to reach the freeway, just a few miles away, I realized I had forgotten my backpack! Not only did it have goggles, water, and other essentials, it also carries my Gamin Inreach on the shoulder!
So the big send off was kind of deflated when I pulled back into the driveway just a few minutes later. Doh!
I took a pic of the odometer at the start. It was 14,386.
(and no, it was not 3:22 – I’ve never used the clock on the bike)
The plan was to head down the highway and make it to the hotel in Palmdale before evening. I can sometimes get a range of around 160 miles on a tankful. The shortest route was down Hwy 5 but I thought since I had plenty of time and to break it up I’d go down Hwy 101 instead of Hwy 5. In Paso Robles I’d head SE on Hwy 46, then Hwy 5 for a short while, to Hwy 138 and then 14 into Lancaster and finally Palmdale.
As I was passing through Prunedale, just around 100 miles, my fuel light turned on. I could make it to next gas in Salinas but something was different. It shouldn’t have turned on that soon.
I stopped in Salinas for gas and food. I filled up my extra fuel bottles too. While I was there I was being watched by a sketchy couple of dudes so I skipped the food part. I texted Kyle who I knew was heading of Monterey Bay sometime and told him to wave at me as he drove by. I got back on the bike and headed down the freeway.
Somewhere just past Soledad I saw an exit with a McDonalds. I was at 25 miles away from the sketchy guys and still hungry. As I got off the exit, there was Kyle and D2, waiting for me! By chance they were watching my map and knew I’d be close. We all popped into McD and had a bite to eat. Texts on my phone don’t always pop up and I don’t have speech to text so I’m usually oblivious to texting while I am riding. D2 might have been texting me but I didn’t see it till later.
Back on the freeway we headed south. Along the freeway, around Nacimiento, I saw a big Elk buck and doe, just grazing on the shoulder. That’s the first time I’ve seen elk down here.
I got off the freeway for gas in Paso Robles. Mileage was around 200 miles and a 100 from last gas. As I’m getting off the freeway I notice I’m overheating. My dash is flashing and all the alerts are going off! UGH! The first problem!
Kyle and I pulled the side covers off. We looked at the fluid reservoir, the fluid in the radiator, the thermo switch. We couldn’t find anything that was obvious. At one point I started down Hwy 46 but almost immediately it started overheating again. So we sat and waited for it to cool down and finally decided that I’d just keep an eye on it and see if I could just do 65 mph. It did, and as we headed into dark and higher elevation the weather got very much cooler. I kept an eye on the gauge and it was fine all the way into Palmdale.
Looking at my tracking we pulled into Paso Robles around 2:30 PM and didn’t get back on the road till 4 PM – that was a lot of wasted time.
Hwy 46 took us to Hwy 5. We stopped for gas at the bottom of the Grapevine. It was now fully dark and 6 pm. Lot’s of wind, speeding cars and trucks. My poor little bike was getting blasted around but it did make it up. High stress riding for sure!
At around 350 miles in, we got off Hwy 5 at Hwy 138 heading east towards Lancaster and that was a blessing. It was pretty much just us for miles and miles. I was cold, it was dark, and I was road weary for sure.
Hitting Hwy 14 we headed south down to Palmdale. We pulled into the Embassy Suites somewhere around 7:30 PM.
I parked the bike alongside all the other bikes. There’s a lot of Moto Eye Candy to see but I was also tired and beat from the ride so I only got to see a few.
We went in and found race registration, got our packets, then I got the GPS tracks loaded on my sd card, and then finally we got our rooms. A quick shower, then we headed down to the lobby bar for a few beers and food.
All along the way I was worried about my overheating problem. The general plan was to see what happened in the morning and if need be, I could always bail out. Sag would get me to the nearest road and AAA could always pick it up from there.
Somewhere around 3 o’clock in the morning I’m tossing around in bed and I happen to think. I know I removed the radiator from the bike. I flushed it, cleaned the fins, pulled the fan off of it and cleaned it too.
Did I install the radiator and fan back on the bike and not plug the fan back in?
Could that be it? The whole issue? We’ll find out in the morning…