Thursday, December 01, 2005

New tire!

Not feeing too well today. Awoke with a sore throat. I must have been rattling the rafters last night!

Took my new tire over to the Honda shop and asked Orlando if they'd be able to change it for me. He said they were pretty busy, but I told him I'd help by removing the wheel. He then directed me to bring the bike into the shop, pointing out a spot to park it.

Since they were going to outsource the actual tire removal and installation, I ended up removing the front wheel, then carrying the wheel and new tire around the block to the tire shop Orlando uses. I was anxious as the mechanic, who is accustomed to fitting automobile tires, threw my wheel on the tire machine. "Watch out for the discs!" I warned.

But the machine easily accommodated the motorcycle tire, and within ten minutes, he had the new one mounted (but not balanced.) "No necessario", he said when I asked if he were going to balance it.

Enjoyed getting my hands dirty and learning a little more about the machine that I've relied upon for the last six months. Re-mounted the wheel, borrowing a torque wrench to properly tighten the axle, axle retaining bolt and brake caliper bolts.

Orlando charged a few dollars for use of the shop, supplies and some assistance from his mechanics. Fair enough.

It felt great to be riding on "new rubber". That's one thing I won't have to worry about for a long time. The old front tire had lasted 16,000 miles, and probably could have gone a few thousand more (though not safely!) That's good life for a motorcycle tire.

Afterwards, (a little backwards as usual), I stopped by a car wash and had the bike cleaned.

At dinner last night, some of us talked of meeting for lunch at "Pasteleria y Panaderia San Antonio" on Ave. Balboa. Another of Ibett's favorites. Well, it sounded good to me!

Found my way over there, but no one else showed up. Their loss! What a great spot (if you like fantastic desserts, excellent coffee, and great sandwiches - in that order.)

Founded in 1959 by Otto Kunz, this is clearly where all the beautiful people go, so I naturally felt right at home! I ordered a chicken Caesar salad, and for dessert a strawberry tart and "Illy" coffee. Extavagant and indulgent, but SO good. Took another tart (dessert, that is) back to "El Carmelo" for Carolina.

Returned to the hotel with my old tire strapped on the back of the bike. I think I'll keep it as a spare, given the grief I endured finding a replacement.

Out with Marc, his Aussie friend and girlfriend tonight. Met them at the "Canadian Club." Fortunately, we didn't stay there long. With a number of young Peruvian women writhing around the dance floor, it seemed they were into more than just providing drinks and music.

Re-visited a Cuban bar Marc and I stopped at a few days ago, but except for two heavy smokers tending the bar, the place was dead. So, I of course suggested "Flying Dog". Anne spotted me going in and joined us.

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