Thursday, June 7, 2012

Big Stone Gap, VA to Home

6/5/2012  Well, it's good to be home again!  There's nothing like sleeping in your own bed after more than a week on the road.

The ride home began with a short ride into town (Big Stone Gap) to see what the town looked like.  On the road into town, we found a gas station with non-ethanol gas.  So, for $3.67 a gallon, I filled the tank with premium unleaded non-ethanol gas!  It may be the only tank of that kind of gas the bike has ever gotten.

The weather was perfect.  Coolish (63 degrees or so) but crystal clear and no wind to speak of.  It was one of the few times when the weather was perfect for riding.

Town was neat--it was a typical small town atmosphere, with a combination of vacant buildings and buildings occupied by various local businesses.  Town was clean and neat, and the houses were really nice there.  Not a bad place to be.

Leaving town, we decided to do some riding in the mountains for half a day or so, just to enjoy the twisties and the scenery.  So, we did that until about lunchtime.  I had been on some of the roads on other trips, but we covered several new to me roads in the south west corner of Virginia.  It was fun and easy riding.

We stopped for lunch at a small diner in Volney, VA.  It was familiar to me because it was the same place where I dropped my Vstrom in the parking lot several years earlier.  I was trying to make a U turn to get gas, got off-balance, and dropped it right there in the parking lot.  Broke a front turn signal and left some scratches on the topcase, but otherwise nothing damaged but my pride.  Stupid things happen sometimes.  Anyway, lunch  was good.

Leaving Volney, we started working our way east and south, towards Gary's home.  We took some great roads that neither of us had ever been on--twisty and fun.  A very good ride to Pfafftown.

Got to Gary's house about 3:30pm.  I looked at a windshield that he was selling to see if it would fit me and the bike, but it was too large for me--I would not have been able to see over it even at the lowest height.  So, I passed over the windshield and hit the road to home.

Along the way, in a construction zone near Winston Salem, the engine quit.  It stumbled a couple of times and just quit.  I pulled in the clutch, coasted a little, and keyed the starter.  It started up and ran, although it would not idle on its own.  That scared and bothered me, not knowing why it quit, and whether or not it would do it again, and if it did, would it restart again?   Well, I found out when the engine stopped again on the way home.  So, I've got to find out what's causing that and get it fixed.  While breaking down in Winston would not have been so bad, I've been in many, many places where a dead bike could be big trouble.  I'm taking the bike for service on Tuesday, so hopefully they can find what's causing it and fix it.

Got home about 6:30, tired and glad to walk into my place.  I did 340 miles today.

I'll write one more post in this blog, to summarize the ride.  It should be posted by the weekend.

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