Tuesday, May 31, 2011

25000 Mile Milestone

On Saturday May 28th I hit 25,000 miles on Gigolo somewhere north of Garberville, CA on my way to Eureka for the weekend. June 4th is my 1 year anniversary of owning Gigolo. Not too bad. The last 2 cars I owned (one after the other) I traded in or sold at 2 years ownership only had 10,600 miles and 6,624 miles...

I totally forgot about paying attention and missed the photo opp... I took this one when I got to my hotel in Eureka. It's hard to see because of the dashboard glare and all the rain spots from the trip up there.

I will do a little trip report later... This is just to brag :)

Friday, May 27, 2011

Darn, there is a leak...

Looks like there is a coolant leak that we did not see during the 24000 mile service, which would explain why the coolant was so low. DUH! The good news is that it appears to be a loose clamp. There is nothing coming out of the weep hole, it looks like it is coming from the "V"... 

I will have to keep an eye on it until I get a chance to pull off the tupperware and track it down, probably next weekend as I am hitting the road tomorrow for Eureka and the Kinetic Grand Championship race. Just in case I have a quart of coolant and some stop leak packed in the saddlebag.

This is almost as fun as owning a house. Well, actually it is lots more fun :)

24000 Maintenance Completed 05/22

Sunday the 22nd, with a lot of help from Larry the 24000 mile maintenance was completed on Gigolo. To be fair, Larry did most of the work and I was his assistant... with him taking the time to show me how the various tasks needed to be performed. And it was his garage and his tools that we used, not to mention using up several hours of his time on a day off when he could have been out riding instead. So, major thanks are in order!

I told myself in advance that I would take a lot of pictures and do a good job of documenting everything... Unfortunately, I kept finding myself wrapped up in the job and forgetting about the camera and now I only have a few pictures to show for it. That seems to be what happens when I go out riding too, I get wrapped up in the ride and forget to stop for pictures. Ah, well, maybe I will do better next time. Or not.

Parts of the service we (mostly Larry) had already done over the last few weeks after finding out that certain things were either not being done or not being done properly at the shop that I used to go to. The brake and clutch fluid had already been replaced and the lines bled as well as the final drive oil being replaced. The brake pads were inspected and replaced just a couple of weeks ago. Having already taken care of these things left us with a much shorter list of tasks to perform.

The first thing we did was change the air filter, which is supposed to be replaced every 12000 miles.  Call me skeptical... but I'm thinking maybe it wasn't really replaced.

Next we changed the oil and oil filter. I should say Larry did it... this oil change I mostly just poured in the new oil - the one at 20000 miles he had me do while he supervised.

There's the cheap cheesy non-oem oil filter that we replaced with oem...

Larry made a little guard out of a 2 liter soda bottle to keep oil from getting everywhere when he took the filter off. 

Then it was time to undress Gigolo so off came the tupperware.

Next we changed the spark plugs. They were supposed to be replaced at the 16000 mile service but they looked like the ones from the factory. One was just sitting in there loose not quite finger tight... Perhaps they took them out and looked at them at the 16000 mile service and did not properly tighten them?

The last big task on the list was changing the coolant and checking the clamps. The coolant bottle was totally dry and when we drained the radiator we only got a little over 2 quarts of coolant out of it. We didn't find any leaks so I am left to wonder about where the coolant went... At least it is full now.

After that Larry helped me adjust the idle, adjust the headlights, and do some of the small checks on the service list and then we put the tupperware back on, replacing damaged fasteners with nice new ones that I bought in advance.

I have to say that Gigolo is running much better now. Hopefully the new air filter will get the gas mileage back up to where it used to be - I had noticed a slight drop but blamed it on the ethanol in the winter blends. Time will tell.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Occidental RTE 05/15/11 - Howard's Cafe

We've been having a lot of interesting weather the last couple of days - sun, wind, rain, even some hail. I thought about not going to the RTE for about a second and then decided weather wasn't going to keep me home. It turned out to be a good decision. I only caught a minute or two of light sprinkles while I was on the road.

I arrived in Occidental almost 45 minutes early and wandered into Howard's Cafe to let them know our group would be arriving at around 11:30am. The place was already hopping with people waiting outside for tables to free up.

Instead of standing around I went on a little walk around town to see what I could find. Almost immediately I ran into a local throwback to the 60's... I wish I had asked to take his picture he was a character indeed. He was very friendly and I spent about 10 or 15 minutes talking to him about motorcycles and things to see in Occidental. After saying goodbye and wishing him a good day I got out the camera.

Just up the hill from Howard's Cafe is this nice old church. It was not easy to get a good photo because of the power pole and lines right in the way, but I did my best and this will have to do...

I found a mural with a directory of the town on the side of the market building:

Where else would you expect to find the Bohemian Market but on the Bohemian Highway?

The other church in Occidental...

The Union Hotel...

A closer view of the clock...

A couple of shops...

Soon the others started to arrive. Howard from Nevada was first, he left at midnight and rode over 600 miles to join us. He really wanted to get a Howard's Cafe t-shirt but they were out!

Breakfast was delicious and we a good time visiting.

And we got to meed Dave's new riding companion...

Too soon it was time to say goodbye and head home to plan the next RTE. On the way home I stopped in Sebastopol to take one more picture...

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Weekend ride to Eureka & NorCal tag run 05/07/11-05/08/11

Lately I've been wanting to get back up to Eureka and hit the Samoa Cookhouse for breakfast. There are plenty of places to have breakfast around home but when you have an itch to ride, no distance is too far. And there's just something about the North Coast that calls to me!

After work Saturday morning I zipped home to sneak in a 2 hour nap and then went to meet up with Rudy at Hwy 280 & Hwy 92 at around 10:30am. The plan was to head up 280 to San Francisco then take 101 up to Eureka, arriving ~4:30pm. After a quick stop in Petaluma for some lunch we decided that we had time to cut over to the coast and head up Hwy 1 to Leggett and Hwy 101 instead. 

We stopped in Gualala and filled up... The most expensive gas we saw the whole trip...

We stopped for a little break further up north before heading inland to Hwy 101

Another little break along Hwy 101 where we got to stretch our legs and act like tourists! We won't talk about what Rudy is doing to that bear...

We arrived at the hotel in Eureka at about 6:45pm. After checking in we took a little walk over to the Lost Coast Brewery where we had dinner and I had a beer sampler to wash it down. Good stuff!

In the morning we packed up, checked out, and headed to the Samoa Cookhouse for breakfast. Scrambled eggs, biscuits and gravy, french toast, sausage, OJ, and coffee... And they keep bringing it to you until you are full.

With our bellies full we headed for Hwy 299 to Redding where the NorCal Tag was located. It was raining as we left Eureka but after a few miles we left the rain behind. It is around 130 miles from Eureka to Redding and it is just a beautiful ride with many photo ops along the way. 

I decided to set the new NorCal Tag in Willow Creek:

Rudy at one of the scenic overlooks:

A nice view at a rest stop along the way:

 The Lagrange Mine historic marker:

Big bear sighting in Weaverville:

Looks like Whiskeytown is dry, dry, dry...

Shasta State Historic Park:

I could have taken 2 days to stop and explore everything cool that I saw... I need to go back sometime soon and take a little more time to be a tourist.

We made it to Redding around 2:00pm where I grabbed the NorCal Tag at the Sundial Bridge in Turtle Bay.

After a little side trip to Starbucks to use their wireless internet to upload the tag pictures, we were on the road headed for home. I arrived safe and sound at my door at 6:30pm.