Day 15 CCR: Steve Gets Tired
A trip featuring 11,000 miles or so means certain motorcycle-related things need to be replaced. Oil for example. And sometimes tires. And sometimes rain gear.
I have planned a stop in Winnipeg at the Harley Dealer next week for a three-hole fluid change (engine, primary and transmission) and Steve has also booked the same. I will have ridden about 5,000 miles since I replaced all the fluids in my bike three weeks ago, and replacing oil in an engine primarily air cooled is crucial. I’ve done fluid changes myself in parking lots on extended rides, but the last time was seven years ago when I was much younger. Now it’s easier to pay Harley to do it for me.
Steve expected to replace his rear tire somewhere on this trip and had planned to do it in Winnipeg next week. But an inquiry to their service department revealed they didn’t have his tire size (it’s a special size) and wouldn’t be able to get one until the end of June. As we go further west, Harley dealers are harder to find, and the possibility of blowing a tire on the windy plains of Manitoba or Saskatchewan with no replacement in sight was not a chance he wanted to take. So he phoned several Harley dealers in Quebec (pronounced KayBek, by the way) and located his specific tire in stock at Victoriaville Harley Davidson, about 100 miles east of Montreal. As they say, a tire in hand is worth two in the bush (I don’t think anyone actually says that but you get my point). He would have liked to get another 1,000 miles out of the one on his bike, but needed to replace it when he had the opportunity.
Although the Victoriaville Harley-Davidson service department was booked solid when he first contacted them, they understood the need of aging road warriors to keep moving and graciously agreed to work him in between a couple other jobs. So we left Edmonton early this morning in the rain (of course) and sped toward Victoriaville, crossing into Quebec, our fifth of ten provinces, through light rain which became a downpour just before we reached Victoriaville about 11:00 a.m.. (The rain becomes important in the next paragraph.)
A couple bikes were already on the rack and the techs were hard at work on those, but they got Steve’s bike in within an hour and went to work changing the tire. Meanwhile, as the service department worked on his bike, we removed our heated gear and rain gear to settle in and wait. It was at that point that I and several other sharp-eyed folks at the dealership noticed that it appeared I had a serious incontinence problem. My crotch was soaking wet and the dark brown water stain on my light brown pants couldn’t be missed. It was not incontinence, however, despite my age, but rather my 12-year old rain pants that had shed most of the seam tape designed to make them waterproof, allowing rain to enter as if through a funnel and stigmatize my nether region. I went to the store’s rain gear section and began a desperate search for a waterproof replacement. Unfortunately, after modeling several different sets of rain gear, with the aid of the extremely helpful clothing manager, nothing fit like it needed to, and I left the store wearing the same leaking rain pants I came in with. But tomorrow the search for waterproofness continues, as we use a non-riding day in Montreal to explore the island city.
Within three hours of our arrival at the dealership, Steve had been properly tired with fresh tread that will actually expel water on a wet road, and we said goodbye to the immeasurably hospitable folks at Victoriaville Harley Davidson. An hour and a half later and only a little wetter, we arrived in Boucherville (French pronunciation Boosheeville) checked into our hotel and happily rid ourselves of anything not completely dry.
Tomorrow, in surprisingly good weather, we’re set to do a walking tour of historic Montreal, followed by my continued quest for new rain gear, just in case it rains on us again during the next four weeks.