January 20, 2005

The sky is falling!

Posted by DaveSmith

You betcha. I get up in a few hours, ride an hour and my lap of Australia is done. Hopefully the oil leaks will be fixed and I'll make it to the motorbike museum.

I'm at Phil Aynley's house. I was at Mark Plummer's house but moved to the north part of Sydney for a spell.

I didn't get this posted last night and I finished the lap today. The oil leaks are still there, and the gear box still can't find 2nd. Phil Hitchcock, his son, and the banjo playing staff guy who's name I can't remember right now, put on a new rear tire, the original tank, cleaned off some of the oil leaks (I hope the way the degreaser stained the engine cleans off too), and replaced a faulty wheel bearing. Phil was going to let it slide, but the blue grass staff guy gave him grief so it got fixed. I picked up some more o-rings from Phil so I'll yank the head off for the 3rd time and fix that oil leak when I get down to Ian Gowanloch's house so he can fix the gearbox. 2nd gear is a handy gear.

Oh yeah, Phil replaced a gasket so one oil leak will hopefully stop. He adjusted the clutch but 2nd still hides. Oh, and after I left, the fuel tap lever fell off. I didn't notice until I got fuel. I have to shut it off with pliers on my Leatherman tool because the carb is screwed up so it floods and fuel pours out onto the ground. I think that's after it floods the cylinder. Which is to say, I think I'll be changing the oil tomorrow because I think it's oil and fuel now.

I'll clean the bike up on Saturday. Want to make a guess where the first oil leak will return? A tappet adjustment cover? The clutch cover? The gasket by the rear sprocket? The bevel shaft? Above or below? So many spots it leaks from. Everybody has a chance!

Instead of reading my Xmas gifts of "The Incredible Lightness of Being" or "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance", I read the John Britten biography (motorcycle guy) which is good and interesting. He had an interesting life, but you probably won't care if you don't like bikes or architecture. I'd seen one of the documentaries on Britten where it seemed like he did all the work and design, but the book really shows that Britten is a broadstroke genius. Some great ideas that sometimes needs refinement.

I'll spend another week or so in Sydney before the Phillip Island Classics (vintage motorcycle races) where hopefully I can meet some people I read about in the Britten book. I've got high hopes for Incredible Lightness, but Motorcycle Maintenance has bored me twice so I haven't finished it in the past. I'll save it for Japan.

It's crazy how many offers I've had for places to stay in Sydney. I'm up to two! No, wait. There's Jordan and probably Carlos' house to stay at. That Kyle guy who makes comments doesn't answer my email, so he's lucky -- I won't drink all his beers. He's probably mad because I let the secret out: Yes, Australia is 10 miles wide by 10 miles long. The exact size of Rhode Island. But don't let anyone else know, it's a secret. It took me the better part of an afternoon to do a Lap Round Oz and I've been faking it since.

I'm very behind in my journal. I've posted 2 bits of how I got to Darwin. Mark said something like, "Did you think your dirty face might have influenced people?" Which is true. My constant 5 o'clock shadow, plus a few days worth of bugs and dirt makes me look dark. I think he's got something there. The bugs, the dirt, and walking around in my underwear makes the Aussies think I'm Italian. Then they notice that I don't have nice shoes and realize I'm from that other peninsula -- the Iberian one. Just another Portuguese on an Italian bike.

But since I'll be done with this lap soon, I need to start applying for jobs in Japan and finish writing this nonsense that you skim over at work. I've got a 500 word essay on "Why I would like to live and work in Japan" to do, and I need to talk about the ride from Darwin to the end of Australia. Did I talk about the "I'm not a brutal rapist" guy in here yet? I can't remember if I posted that story or if I just mentioned it in email to people.

Just some hints at what's coming up next: Death defying Pilbarra drinking. The incredibly friendly Porky. A merry Christmas with a friendly family. Looking away from a cute 15 year old girl's high beams. Almost hit by lightening twice while drinking beer with Canadians in a storm. Near death on a dirt road. Oiled up tent. Biting ants. Dying bike while riding at night to meet up with a kinky girl. Junkies in Adelaide. The incredibly friendly Bob Brown. The friendly Georgia and Ian Gowanloch. Talking to my hand while crossing the Nullabor. Last night's crazy dream about an ex-girlfriend that woke me up thinking, "What the hell was that dream about? I'm not the one who spent our 1st anniversary kissing and sleeping on the couch with a boy". Actually, I'll probably leave that one as that. That's a true story and I don't want to hear another well deserved lecture from Doug about my love for girls. Or as he put it, my "co-dependancy" and "self pity". "About the ladies" is what he left out. Oh, and Aussies beating the hell out of the Korean Deaflympics Team (including the 77 year old coach). Plus, Aussie kids trying to kick a kitten to death! One step closer to becoming our 51st State.

Here's some more random pics, minus the eating at Lees Point in Darwin, and the Eating of the Pie for Curt which hasn't been taken yet. I've been given plenty of veggies from Phil Aynsley and his mom. Phil, being a professional photographer, has tried his best at getting me to take a ton of pictures. Hopefully it'll sink in, but I'll probably still end up at taking one picture a week. He showed me today why I shouldn't use digital zoom on my camera while he Photoshopped the pics to make them look better. I didn't say "make the pics look good", that's asking too much.

They're in thumbnail form again, so click on 'em and they'll get bigger. I should fix this so they'll all open in another window but it's late and I'm going to go to bed. They're low quality, just like the others, so they'll load fast. While they load, think of smart ass comments you can make to some goofy guy who rode a 40 year old 250cc round OZ. Feel free to post anonymously.

I spotted this sign of a Koala drinking coke and rum.

So I looked for a koala. I spotted this one in a tree, so I pulled over. It's the only wild koala I've seen, so I was excited. I hollered, "Hey Koala bear, yes, koala bear. We say that in the US and you drugged up bastard can't do anything about it. I'd like to apologize for this antique joke, but I'm on an antique bike. What does Yoda say after he has sex? Next!"

And that, sadly enough, is a true story. The koala also didn't like me yelling, "watcha talkin' 'bout Willis" when he didn't answer. Or maybe he did like it. They're a drugged up species and I didn't have any junkies around to test my monologue on. I started to ask it, "What's brown and sticky?" but it ended up as a mumbled "how do you get a moron to say 'what' " type question. It didn't answer.

The Opera House vs. My Head. Photo by Phil Aynsley (on my beat up camera).

So many bat puns, I don't know where to start. Lucky you. Also in Sydney.

From Esperance to the Nullabor a very long dirt road runs. Riding on a dirt road at night with no lights wasn't a good idea, but it was a lot of fun. More later.

The mighty C-clamp that held my carb float bowl together. The zip tie wasn't enough.

The start of the Nullabor where, to relieve boredom, I had an ongoing conversation with my hand. Are you talking to me? I don't see anyone else.

(this entry is closed for comments)

Posted by DaveSmith at January 20, 2005 08:11 PM

More about the Canadians, the beer, and the lightning. Which beckons the query: will you be travelling through Western Canada? There is a house here with your name on it. (Seriously.)

Posted by: Cwrw at January 20, 2005 08:25 PM

More on the Canucks later. I met them after Perth. I'll be in Western Canada at some point. If not on this trip, then the one from Alaska to Argentina. Are you going to make a guess at which oil leak will start first? I think you posted before I had that bit added.

Posted by: Dave at January 20, 2005 08:37 PM

No, it was posted. Any oil leak is a bad oil leak.
Well, I suppose it all depends upon what is leaking, and what is considered oil. And what is bad. (PS. I have some cellared Unibroue "La Terrible" beers from Quebec here for you. 10.5% and tasty.)

Posted by: Cwrw at January 20, 2005 09:12 PM

what's all this "dark complexion" crap? in the pic of your self w/the opera house, you don't look overly dark. aussies must be a strange bunch. good on ya for completing yer lap o Oz. kudos also to the bike and all those who kept it running. put me down for the clutch cover to start weeping first. when/if ya remove the head would be a good time to drill some small holes in the fins near the exhaust port for springs. so what do you guesstimate for your total mileage so far?

Posted by: bob b at January 20, 2005 10:26 PM

Nah, I don't think I'm dark either but I do get bug splattered. I've done a little over 12,000 miles. Phil Aynsley took me to Bathhurst today. It's a great racetrack. I was surprised that there's houses on the edge and a winery in the middle.

Posted by: Dave at January 21, 2005 06:07 PM

Hey Skippy,

Sounds as though er still alive. Congrats !!! I thought driving all the way around Australia would take longer, or has it been longer already?

You need to start an oil leak map. So, as you travel, we can see what and where in the world your bike is leaking. Like a road map.
What if you just added really thick oil, like my cool van? That slows the leaks ...

Posted by: Dr. Biggles at January 22, 2005 05:30 AM

Finally, someone else who admits to being bored and unable to finish Motorcycle Maintenance! I've been trying off and on for the past 18 (ouch!) years.

I'm nicking your pic of the koala sign to be an LJ icon. :P

Posted by: Judi at January 27, 2005 02:34 AM