Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Fire in the Sky

The Dragon - Day 2 - Part 2

So after everyone got geared up again and got their bikes started, and Plastic got gas AGAIN, we took off for the Cherohala Skyway.  Part way up the mountain, the clouds started settling in around us and it started to sprinkle.  The ground started getting wet so we slowed down a bit.  We pulled over at an overlook to take another break.  Apparently the mexican food had already started working its magic on some of the guys.

DJElliot, Shane and POCPhil waiting for us to catch up.

Most of us arrived eventually.

After waiting awhile, we noticed that CCRider, Kanticoy, Cyclefreak and Patrick hadn't shown up yet.  Since there really is no cell phone reception around there, we couldn't call to see what happened.  We figured whatever it was, they could handle it.  When we went to leave, Plastic's bike wouldn't start.  All is electronics under his seat were exposed and we figured the rain screwed something up.  POCPhil gave him a push start using some fancy racing technique and we were off.

We made it almost to the end of the skyway before Plastic's bike finally ran out of gas.  Apparently putting knee dents in an already small gas tank doesn't leave you with much range.  I found a water bottle in my backpack and Fix pulled a fuel line off of a carburetor on his bike and filled up the bottle.  Plastic ended up putting two bottles worth of gas in, hoping that would be enough to make it to the gas station.

Plastic got another push start and everybody started to leave and then my bike wouldn't start.  I thought the wet conditions might be affecting my electronics too as I have never ridden Nixon in the rain.  I used the kickstarter, and after a few attempts, she fired up and Jewbacca (who had stayed behind with me) and I were off to catch up to the others.  We met up with them a few miles down the road at a gas station where Plastic had actually managed to make it.

At this point, after giving Plastic another push start, we turned north on Hwy 360 which was less curvy than what we had been on, so we open up the bikes and hauled ass through some beautiful farmland.  Well, we all hauled ass except for Jewbacca (AKA Captain Slow) and Fix who was following behind him.  360 makes a 90 turn and after a few miles we all stopped to let Jewbacca and Fix catch up.  They didn't.  After waiting for awhile, we figured that again, whatever happened they could handle it, and we continued on (after giving Plastic another push start).  So at the end of that trip, of the 12 guys that started together, 6 of us made it all the way together.  About half an hour later, Fix showed up alone.  Another half hour later Jewbacca finally showed up.  Apparently they had missed the turn in Hwy 360 and took a longer route back.

We were all hungry so we headed over to the other part of the campsite to get dinner and see what happened to the other guys.  Apparently CCRider's clutch cable had snapped back when we were leaving the restaurant.  They ended up buying a pair of vice grips and clamping it onto the the cable at the clutch lever.

He rode The Dragon like that!  Back at the campsite they made a torch out of a propane bottle from a gas stove and a spark plug socket and made a new solder bulb at the end of the cable.  Amazing McGyver stuff.  When we got there they were in the middle of rebuilding the carburetors off of Troybilts Goldwing.

We all ate dinner and relaxed after our long ride.  Most of the guys headed back to the other part of the camp while CCRider and I stay to help with the bike.  Well, I provided moral support anyway.  They eventually got the carburetors back in the bike and got it running again.

When we got back to our part of the campsite, the drinking was already in full swing.  And that's when the inevitable happened, the fireworks came out.  We all sat back and watched while POCPhil launched a bunch of bottlerockets and mortars.  When he got tired of that, he started blowing stuff up (including the gas bottle used by Plastic earlier).  Eventually the owner of the camp showed up.  We thought we were in trouble, but he had just come to get the money some guys owed him for their camping spot. Ha!  Not too long after that, we all fell out and went to bed.

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