I’m in Chicago on the 13th day of my Epic Ride in my brother’s basement watching a commercial laden version of The Rock. It reminds me why I absolutely hate cable TV. How do normal people do this shit? Ads every 5 minutes. It’s fucking maddening. Thankfully I have an Apex Predator and my iPad to help recollect the events of July 20th.
This KOA kinda sucked. They pack you in a bit too tight, people traipsing through your site on the way to the shitter, power sport bro bags backing their oversized trailers into their campsite at 3am and then drinking and talking til the wee hours. Not sure why I always give these jokers my money when every other KOA is such a dump. Oh, right, laundry and power. Gadgets need to be recharged and this vile road stink needs to be cleansed from my four rotating outfits!
The route to Durango looks to be a short one. This is my 5th day on the road and my body is starting to reject me. Right shoulder muscles getting stiff, throttle wrist is getting fatigued, and my bike’s chain is getting more and more hurky jerky.
I stopped at this joint. Something about it called out to me, strange, it’s so low key. For some reason I’m fascinated by these tacky shops carved into the rocks. Seems like more effort than it’s worth.
All throughout this trip I’ve meant to do a bit of hiking and check out the national parks, but my time frames have all been jacked. Each day taking longer than expected. By god, this time I was gonna stomp all over Wilson Arch in Monticello, UT. Sometimes you need to take that 15 or 20 minutes to be a tourist.
An hour later I’m sinking to the level of eating this crap. Dry bullshit. Don’t do it. I only put his on here as a warning to others. These donut holes are dry and sweaty at the same time. The glaze seeps to the bottom of the cup forming a soupy sugary mess. Not good.
The next part of this interstate drama is me trying to find a motorcycle shop in Durango, Colorado that can fix my damn chain. Traffic into the town is absolutely abysmal. Clearly it’s a touristy town or maybe just a choke point for traffic trying to get through town. The main drag is jam packed. I’m hot as hell. I need to look up some bike shops on the iPhone, so I pull into a grocery store parking lot. A guy walks by and I just take the chance to ask him. Sure enough he recommends a joint called Handlebars, or some such, 5 miles down the the road. It’s always a pleasant surprise when a local gives you the time of day instead of just spitting at your feet and tightening their grip on their open carry .38 special.
I head out there to the shop. The bike really is lurching every time I shift gears and my earbuds are sweating right out of my ears. Traffic and stoplights are killing me. I pull into this insanely busy shop. Dirt bikes, ATVs, sport bikes, and cruisers are everywhere on there lot. It’s almost as if they’re the only game in town. I get a guy to check out my situation. He says my chain’s tension is as far as it can go and that its kinked up in places. He can’t believe I rode as far as I did on it. He also says my sprockets are really worn, or as they say, saw toothed. Unfortunately, they don’t have any chains or sprockets for the KLR650. Son of a bitch. The guy tells me there’s a Kawasaki dealer further down the road.
I trek on over there.
Like so many times I when I have to communicate with people and try to get help, they look at me like I’m a bug. I explain myself to the only guy sitting at the counter. He lets me go on explaining my situation then says “so what are you asking me?” I stare at him like the apparent moron that he is “I’d like to get it fixed!” He points over to the service window “go talk to those guys.”
I walk over to the window…no one there. I lean in and say hello! Two guys enter the little room from the garage area. I explain my situation. One guy says that they’re booked solid for the next 2 and a half weeks! I continue to press my point. I need to get out of town tomorrow and if there’s anything they can do for me? The other guy says “I can sell you a new bike!” I shoot the asshole a dirty look, turn around and walk off, saying “yeah, that’s real funny!” As I walk out, the sales guy sitting by the door asks if everything’s ok. I tell him it seems like I’m kinda fucked and need to find some other shop to work on my goddamned Kawasaki.
As I’m about to get on my bike and leave, the service guy comes out. He says they can check it out, if they have the parts they can work on it for an expedited rate, like $75 an hour. Gee thanks.
An hour later he brings the bike out. He installed a cheap chain, but there were no sprockets in stock. Says I’ll need to lube up the chain at the start of every ride until I get to a shop that can do the full repair. Ugh. Final bill $191. What a shit show day this is ending up to be.
At least for now, I can get on with my regularly scheduled vacation. On to the Rochester Hotel!