Friday, January 13, 2012

Graduation, Recall Work, Pretty Good Ride, by Doug Schafer

Devon, Marge’s and my grandson, was graduating from Job Corps near Nemo in the Black Hills on Tuesday, August 30th. He had spent 500 days there and we had seen him maybe 4-5 times during that stay. This was a big day for him. He was receiving his GED and graduating with certificates in welding. He had accepted a job in Watertown. We would be proud to be there for him. And I had some BMW recall things that needed attention on my F650GS twin at Black Hills BMW at Sturgis. The two sounded like a good combination. I headed out on the bike. Marge and our daughter Shelly (Dev’s Mom) headed out later.

Now, my riding suit has been a faithful companion for 22 years and being frugal (I just read where BMW riders are not cheap they are frugal) I was trying to get another year out of it. I had washed it and dutifully sprayed it with Scotchguard, therefore good for another year. About Kadoka it started to mist but the suit kept me dry, until it started to mist even heavier. Now I was starting to get wet - cool wet - about 62 degrees cool wet. Now I know what the “snow flakes” were that were floating in the air after I shook the suit out before I spayed it. They were 22 year old deceased Goretex flakes. Oh well, now instead of a riding, abrasion, wind and wetproof suit, I now have a riding, abrasion, and wind suit. Honey, can I buy a new Aeorstitch? Please?

I dropped the bike off at Black Hills BMW in Sturgis for the recall work and a leaky fork tube seal. The girls picked me up and up Vanocker Canyon in a Subaru to get to the Job Corps site. It was a beautiful day, only a rare cloud in the sky, a gentle breeze. A proud day! Grandson graduated with honors! Lots of stories of accomplishment! Yeah!!

Packed all of his stuff in the Suby and off to Prairie Berry Winery. Devin chose the Great Wall for his Graduation Supper. Always a good eat. Next morning it’s up and back to Sturgis to pick up the bike. “You really need a new rear tire.” “Great, how much?” “$175 unmounted.” “Sir, are you all right? Breath for me please.” Maybe I’ll try to make it home and order one. The recall work - they replaced the air filter and removed a flanged bolt and replaced it with a Phillips screw in the front brake caliper. Who’d a thunk?

Devin, Shelly and the Mad Norwegian are going to do their own thing. I’m just going to run the interstate back home. When its time to leave Sturgis it’s already 77 degrees and the wind is starting to blow pretty strong out of the south. I’m wearing shorts under the Aerostitch but the t-shirt I selected was long sleeved. Not a good choice. As I’m headed East the wind is coming straight from the South at a solid 35-40 MPH gusts to 50 MPH. I’m leaned over far enough that I’m not concerned with wearing out the center of the tire before I get home. I’m running on an area of the tread that hasn’t seen much use since I bought the bike. All on the right side though. Passing semis is not for the faint of heart. I stop for gas in Belvader, shed the long sleeved t-shirt and head east again. I saw wind damage to grain bins that were OK 48 hrs ago. I only get 125 miles on this tank. That gets me to White Lake. Time to rehydrate and rest the butt. Temps were never less than 92 degrees and high was 97.7. Sometimes the temperature gage isn’t appreciated. I take along a bottle of water and get moving again. However, pouring water inside the Aerostitch without a t-shirt on to soak it up is not recommended. Depends may have made things more comfortable. Oh well, never too old to do stupid things. I’m dry before I get safely home before 5. And I have a tire ordered by 8PM. All in all a pretty good 2 ½ days.

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