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Monday, 2 September 2013

Waterfalls, hydraulic leaks, stress and missing home.

You know that feeling when you operate something mechanical, like a motorcycle, and you go to do something simple like say, pull in a clutch lever, and it just doesn't feel right, and you get that sick feeling in your stomach because you are in the middle of f'ing nowhere. Well today was one of those moments. 

I knew the clutch fluid level was kinda low, but not that low, not low enough to operate my clutch anyway. It worked fine the day before but overnight something went wrong. Pete ran off, or biked off to the gas station in search of brake fluid, and returned triumphantly. So in a few minutes the reservoir was topped off and we were mobile again.

Of course this just added stress to my day, I'm in Labrador on the long weekend, tomorrow I have 600kms of riding thru practically nothing to get to Baie Comeau. Not an ideal situation with a bike that is leaking 

I know a little about bike maintenance and the way things work, but not enough to diagnosis or fix a major problem. Hence the reason for bike mechanics. At one point I thought I may have an oil leak as well. The underside of the bike was such a dirty mess it was hard to tell what was what and what leaked where. With a little cleaning and the help from some friendly Wabush locals, which I will let Pete explain, it was determined I have a small leak from the clutch master slave cylinder. Also after some internet research, discovered that this is a common problem with Vstroms.

Ya, I know, I should have learned more about the bike, and been better prepared, one guy on Advrider gave me shit for it, and as fragile as my ego is......he's right. I figured I can do an oil change, repair a tire, etc, etc. but the other stuff I don't know a whole lot about. I wish someone offered a course, Advrider maintenance training 101 or for dummies.

Before we departed Churchill Falls we ran into Askek and Alex, a young couple from BC, who quit their jobs and are touring around North America in an old Land Rover. Super nice folks, with some great stories.
Check out their blog www.goenjoytheride.blogspot.com

The best part of the day was visiting Churchill Falls, or Hamilton Falls, or whats's left of them, anyway. Truely spectacular, but makes you wonder what it would look like if they didn't dam and reroute the water for hydro-electricity.

The ride to Wabush was all pavement, beautiful smooth pavement. Quite boring really. There was a good nip in the air, and the chill just never went away all day. 

I was pretty stressed, grumpy and tired when we rolled into the Wabush Hotel. It's amazing how a small problem can seem so catastrophic when so far from home.

The last day has been tough for me, stressed about the bike, there's weather moving in and I have suddenly developed a bad case of missing my family.

Tomorrow is a long day, 600kms, of which 160km is twisty, dusty gravel, with big trucks causing whiteout conditions, and a race to get a ferry. We also say goodbye to our friend and riding partner Oliver.

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