It’s that time of the year again where I roll out the Spyder for a trip around the country. The siren call of ultimate geekdom, the Comic Con. This time around, I’m not making a big production out of it. This is a straight in and straight out kind of thing. it was slapped together at the last minute, and yet, I’m already thousands of dollars in the hole. Haven’t even strapped bags to the bike and I’m already setting myself up for financial ruin!!!
First off, ComicCon’s ticket purchase process is a friggin nightmare. You get an email saying when and where to go on line to sit in a queue for the possibility of buying a ticket. When that fails, as it did with my friend Bill and I, you just go about your normal lives. Then, months later, you get another email saying that there were ticket returns and cancellations and that YES you are a loyal customer and you are eligible to wait in a digital queue for some kind of random draw for the privilege of buying tickets! Yay, I guess. I ignored my email just because I don’t have time for that kind of shit in my life. But, Bill, my friend in Iowa who organized last year’s trip, has more time and patience than I do, he scores us two sets of four day passes! Fuck yeah! $168…
But this of course means I need to get my Spyder’s yearly maintenance done. The damn bike has been giving me grief this year. Transmission errors that randomly cause the bike to not start, it also needs an oil change, and then, out of the blue, I get the dreaded “brake failure” warning flashing across my console. An animated message that comes with its own bright red light, that nags you constantly, causing all kinds of anxiety. This one’s a particular bastard since I’ve had this problem fixed four or five times over the last four years. Long story short, it’s the master cylinder. A major repair. The shop doesn’t have the parts, but they say they can cannibalize a non-functioning Spyder they have in the shop and charge me nothing for the part. Why not? Well, this was right before the 4th of July, they’re closed on Mondays, and it turns out I need a $125 part ordered from Canada or some shit to fix the transmission! Nothing’s easy in my life. All told, $825 in repairs and maintenance.
Next up is room and board in San Diego three weeks ahead of their biggest convention of the year. To say the hotels and motels are in gouging mode is unnecessary. It’s to be expected. Nothing is available in the city within reasonable distance for leas than $300 a night. A motel 6 charging $300 a nighht? Really? And of course, my helpful friends, that aren’t going, try to give me their opinion on the matter “well, you can’t really have expected it would be easy on such short notice. You should have made reservations a month ago.” Fuck you right in your ugly face mister helpypants! Anyway, I told Bill I’d take care of the lodging arrangements. Lets just say that was stressful.
I decided hotels were out and I didn’t want to drive 30 minutes in and out of San Diego everyday, looking for parking and dealing with traffic. I made the stupid decision to use AirBnB. An app and website that lists bed and breakfasts all around the world. Seems really cool and easy. Lots of options running in all price ranges. You find one, you send a message to the host to see about dates, and you hope someone responds. Well, that was an exercise in futility. Twelve messages sent, 4 responses, all unavailable. I went through a long nerve racking week of this until finally, a positive hit! A basement apartment, 30 minutes walk from the convention center! Only caveat is that the ceiling is only 6 feet! Ha! No problem for me. Bill might have issues, but we don’t plan on making this a romantic stay’ his wife wouldn’t approve. We’re not getting this room at bargain prices, but could be worse. So there’s another $900 or so. Good thing we’re splitting the costs.
I’ve spent too much time typing and not riding. Here’s some obligatory gear photos…
Packed with more efficient use of space than previous trips. I must be getting better at this…famous last words before an organizational failure of some kind? Wallet, phone, chargers, toothbrush, address to BnB…CHECK. And away we go. Next stop, Starbucks!