Monday, June 25, 2007

Debauchery On The Horizon

The annual ABATE Freedom Rally starts this Friday in Algona. If you're not familiar with this event, it's a small version of what Sturgis used to be before it got huge and PG rated. Granted, this means being subjected to the occasional 300 lb (NSFW)naked guy riding by your tent, but it's worth it for the (NSFW)other benefits.

Since The Wife will be camping with me over this weekend, it means carrying more creature comforts. Last year it was just me and a co-worker's husband, which meant carrying a tent, cot (I'm too damn old to sleep straight on the ground anymore, especially if it rains), sleeping bag, and a bottle of Jack Daniel's, all of which got strapped to the back of the bike. This year, the mini-trailer is going behind the bike, as there'll be all that plus blankets, pillows, towels, coolers for ice, extra clean clothes, etc, (and a bottle of Jack Daniel's). Since I've got the big bike, I get to do the hauling. TW gets to ride her bike w/o crap hanging all over it. Unfortunately, this meant reinstalling the hitch and mount on the back of my bike. That requires dropping the saddle bags and mounting frames, for a total of 16 various sizes of metric bolts, several of which are a pain in the ass to reach. Even better is when you find one stripped, with the receiving threads completely buggered. Dug out the tap and die set; recut the threads on the bike, but the bolt was shot, requiring a run at the last minute to the hardware store to get a replacement. Back home to the 90 degree garage to start installing everything. At which point I was reminded that this is a lot easier with two people, one to keep the hitch frame and bag mounts aligned with the bike, and one person to start the bolt and tighten it. This is also the point where you remember why it's nicer to work on a bike that hasn't had the engine running for a half an hour before your hand slips and you plant a forearm on the exhaust pipe.

Three hours after starting, the hitch system is on, the bags are reattached, I'm filthy, and I've got three inch long welt on one arm. I hope this isn't an indication of how the weekend is going to be.

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