“The waiting is the hardest part”

It’s been two weeks of the nicest riding weather we’ve had all year, and I still have no bike. The shop did call me after looking at it, with an estimate and to get my authorization to do the work. That’s a nice bonus over my last shop experience. All spark plug wires and caps are getting replaced. Hopefully that does it. If not, back to the diagnosis drawing board. I feel dumb not being able to do this work myself – I’ve changed plugs and wires on cars a zillion times. But I’ve already made the problem worse by tinkering with it. It’s probably best for me to bite the bullet and throw money at it instead.

Elana and I had planned an overnight trip to Lake George last weekend. Since the tent and sleeping bag go where she sits, we got a hotel room instead, and we’re really looking forward to the bike trip. But with no bike, the nature of the trip changed. We still went, but we took my Subaru BRZ instead of the bike. It was still fun and relaxing, but in a very different way. That car is a blast on the back roads of NY and VT, but it was a very different experience than it would’ve been on the bike. The loop around Lake George was tedious with traffic rather than a fun ride. There was more emphasis on destinations – dinner at Davidson Brothers Restaurant and Brewery based on a local friend’s recommendation, a visit to the Saratoga Auto Museum which has a Mustang exhibit rather than the BMWs of last year, lunch stops old and new, the hotel with no tent to set up or air mattress to inflate… It was a very pleasant trip for both of us, don’t get me wrong. But it wasn’t the same. And I practically shed a year every time a bike went by, which was often.

It’s almost the end of June and I still haven’t even managed a decent day trip yet. Plus I wouldn’t have touched the car for a week of perfect weather for commuting. And there’s no definitive end in sight. I just can’t seem to win.

Times like this, I’ve often started thinking about replacing bikes that acted up on me and kept me from riding. When my GS1100L kept me off the road for a year, I swapped it and some cash for my Silverwing, which led me to my road tripping career. And I have had second thoughts about attempting a cross country trip on the PC800. Not only does it have a small gas tank compared to larger sport tourers, I’m seeing that its rarity can be a problem for finding parts for repairs. That could force an abort of a cross country trip if I break down halfway and run out of time while waiting for parts. I’ve even questioned whether I can even pull off my cross country bucket list trip at all. But I’m not giving up yet. It may be true that the PC800 isn’t the best choice. It may not be. But it will be at least a year before I have the vacation time saved up to use for such a trip, and possibly longer depending on logistics and life in general. I’m not throwing the dream away.

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