Day 38, Stanley Idaho to Stanley Idaho 291 MilesFor Carl's Cycles, go to www.carlscycles.com. Great place! And thanks for everyone's prayers today. Got there safely.
"Everyone has a fair turn to be as great as he pleases."
A Tale of Two Rides
Up at 5:30, load a few things and head to Boise, the bike like a wounded horse. It shakes at low speed, but by 20 mph or so smooths out. I checked the temperature. 39.
This morning I must ride slow and careful. Slow for the tire's sake and careful as it is time for the deer to be active. Sure enough I spotted fifteen total, a few in the road.
The tire felt mushy and I took the turns slow and easy, steering the bike rather than leaning it. And if you're familiar with NASCAR the bike acted tight- that is, with the sloppy rear tire it wanted to go straight, a very disconcerting feeling.
Compounding the grief was the debris on the road. Rotten trees have fallen in various spots, and I must weave through them. I also watched for potholes or dips, cracks, anything and picked my way through them too. Soon my shoulders ached from tension. Fortunately no rain or snow.
The road started fast and straight, but soon developed a serpentine attitude, winding down- and up again- making the trip slow and tedious.
Skip the repair, we'll get to it.
The trip back? Oh my. After a few dozen miles the tire was scuffed in and I felt the dramatic difference in the handling of the bike. Power on the straight, brake into a turn, downshift two gears, lean, coast, power on out of the turn. Oh, yeah, this was fun! Do it again, fifty, seventy times, who knows? Rain spattered the windshield and I adjusted for wet pavement, but still, what fun. The river beside the road roars, swollen from both snowmelt and rainfall.
The temperature continued downward with the elevation gain. Now, in a counterintuitive way, I hustled up the mountain to get there before the snow flew. Soon the rain pounded the windshield and my visor. Thank God for good gear, I was warm and dry.
And the bike is like a new machine.
The Bike Shop.
"We are four days backed up, so we should have your bike done by Friday," the friendly service writer said to the lady in front of me. Youch. This is one busy shop. I got my turn and explained my dilemma, traveling, no other means of transport, wife stuck in Stanley 135 miles away, tire is done... everything but bring out the tissue. He said they could get right on it. Hats off to Carl's Cycles in Boise!
This place rocks. I asked the writer if they were just getting into the busy season. He said no, it's like this year round, with snowmobiles, quads, Jet Skis, lawnmowers, bikes and those new stupid side by sides, the Razors or Rhinos. They service all that stuff too.
They took the bike. Today no one cared about the '50 States' thing. Funny that way. I went across the street for a bit of breakfast then slobbered at the other fine bikes in the shop. They sell (Super PP!) Honda, Suzuki, Kawasaki, Victory and KTM.
Four hours later, the bike had new tires (2), an oil change, drained and replenished the brake and clutch fluids, and a recall check-over thingy.
My business model has been, 'Speed, service, price, pick any two.' In other words, if price is your driving factor, you may have to wait, or you may sacrifice quality. If quality is what you're after, you may sacrifice speed or price.
Guess which one I didn't get?
Great speed. I reiterated that. Thank you. Quality, very good. They clearly told me what they would do and when they expected to finish, and they delivered.
Price? Wow. $780 or so bucks. Just the oil was $28. I could get it changed in my truck for that price. And the tires? I could've bought truck tires for that price.
Their prices probably weren't out of line, but bikes... wow.
Besides the price, Carl's Cycles did a super job.