Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Local Economy Thriving

Midnight

Rain falling as a front passes eastward. Hopefully, it will clear by morning and Jeff and I will be off to the Maritimes on our bikes.

Jeff actually began packing today. It took me over 6 months to figure out what would be needed and to gather it all together. Yesterday, he asked me what I thought he should take along.

This afternoon, I finally retrieved my motorcycle after eight days in "Frank's Motorcycle" shop (Essex Center, VT). When they took it in last Monday, they made no promises, but I was surprised and disappointed at their apparent lack of urgency. They started working on it late in the week. There is just a different sense of time here in Vermont!

Today's bill came to $1,155.

They performed a "major service" (the first one), replaced the front tire, replaced both front brake rotors and all front brake pads, replaced transmission output shaft seals and repaired the leaking drive shaft boot (which was due to strap left un-tensioned during a previous repair.) They were unable to locate a single rear mudguard in the entire U.S., so that remains outstanding (though Jeff has offered to give the guard off his bike, which “Frank’s” would then replace under warranty.) Only the guard and transmission seal replacement are covered by warranty.

I remain fairly neutral about all the problems I've encountered with this bike thus far. To me, it's a test – of the equipment and the person. But I must say, so far, the repair record on this particular machine is abysmal. Eventually, I will make a full report of this experience to BMW and to groups such as "Adventure Rider" and "Horizons Unlimited". If these issues are widespread, BMW will soon be well aware of them.

When we returned to the house, Jeff insisted that I wash the bike, though I preferred the "veteran traveler look." We spent the next several hours washing, polishing and generally fussing over it. I must admit that, in the end, it looked better than it has since leaving Santa Rosa in May.

Other business today included additional actions in support of the local economy: a visit to “Starbuck’s”, two visits to “Eastern Mountain Sports” and a “last supper” at the “Longhorn Steak House.”

Maintaining the blog has become remarkably difficult and frustrating in the East. Among relatives, it is for some reason considered anti-social for one to disappear into an internet café for eight hours at a time (every other day.) Such bizarre behavior has made me the brunt of jokes. But I’m undeterred in this noble undertaking, even when suffering the “slings and arrows”, etc., etc.

The program I’ve used for posting photos over the past month (Picasa2/Hello) is no longer cooperating and I’ve had to resort to an alternative program, which is rather “hit and miss.” I’m trying to resolve the problems through Customer Support (my personal therapy group.)

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