No Longer the Bionic Man

Yesterday I had the plate and the ten screws in my left tibia removed. I’m hoping that this results in less pain. Right now of course it’s the opposite.
Surgery is never fun but the staff at the Stanford Orthopedic Out Patient Surgery Center did an amazing job at making it as painless and comfortable as possible.

Some highlights from yesterday.

The surgery went really well, though the nausea from the going under from the anesthesia has been rough. Luckily the pain has been fairly manageable so far today.

I’m definitely missing the motorcycle already. I did get some good news on that front, sounds like I should only need two to three weeks before I’m walking and riding normally. Much faster than I was originally thinking.

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Another Sign that Spring is Here

There are a few things that always mean that spring as really arrived for motorcycling, one of the ones that I take an inordinate amount of pleasure from was checked off this week.

It’s strange the little things in life that give us pleasure.

What is this little thing that means spring is here?

My Helmet (which is new and will be getting it’s own post) and Visor with it’s protector.

It is now light enough when I leave the house at 6 AM that I don’t need to use a clear visor. Which means I don’t need to change visors everyday. Silly I know, but even with how easy it is on the Arai, it’s still a pain in the ass to get one out and put the other away. Plus it’s easier to keep just one clean, and with all the bugs that spring also brings that is a good thing.

Just a Note: I go in for surgery tomorrow morning, I really wanted to have a back log of posts to keep you entertained, but that did not happen. I’ll be writing about the Spring Trip as soon as I feel up to it. Hopefully very soon.

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Hope This Works: New Engine for the Suzuki SV650

I know most of you are aware that the engine on my brothers bike died just after we got back from the 2016 Spring Trip. He threw a piston and sat on the side of the freeway for four hours. With a dead engine there is really only a couple of things you can do. Get a new(er) engine or get a new bike. Since a new bike wasn’t really an option and engines from salvaged motorcycles fairly inexpensive we went with the later route.

I of course helped my brother weed through the many many Suzuki 650 engines on Ebay and found one that looked good at a good and fair price. It was then that we ran into problems. My brother’s Ebay account had been suspended for some reason and Ebay wasn’t going to fix that anytime soon. So we ended up having a friend order the engine with the intent of shipping it to the mechanic. Nope, they wouldn’t ship it to anywhere but the billing address…

Well at least he lives close to the mechanic.

So my brother and I drove to our friends house on Saturday to pick up the engine and get it to the mechanic. This went pretty well although not without some adventure of getting the huge box into my Honda Civic. We ended up cutting the top third of the box off to get it to fit into the back seat.

There was a screw for the exhaust that was being stubborn. Other wise looked good.

The guys at the shop were awesome as always and hope to have his bike done by Saturday. Which is great since I’ll need the car back by the following Monday to go to work. It’s going to be a long six or so weeks with no motorcycling for me while I heal up from my upcoming surgery.

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Going Under the Knife: Surgery on my Leg

There is no way you’ve been following my blog for very long and you don’t know about my horrible experience on a BMW F800S. If you are new however the short version is, bad crash lots of metal in my left leg.

Looks cooler than it feels.

Looks cooler than it feels.

I generally try not to talk too much about how all the metal in my lower left leg bugs me on a day to day basis. The nagging pain etc. is not really that interesting or that fun to talk about so I don’t feel the need to bore you unless it effects my being able to ride. Which thankfully it doesn’t much.

Not that it doesn’t bother me when riding, just not constantly. ┬áMy leg doesn’t support my weight as well as it used to, so when shifting from one side of the bike to the other when riding spiritedly it can give me a twinge. However, since it bugs me more on a daily basis and can be extremely painful in any hard jarring shock to my leg I’m going in for surgery next week to get it taken out.

I’m a little nervous about all of this and I am glad I got a good motorcycle trip in beforehand, but the weeks of healing during the nice spring weather is something I am not looking forward to at all. Hopefully it doesn’t drive me insane.

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Spring Trip 2016: First the Bad

I haven’t been writing enough lately. Life has been just not calm enough to find the time and I feel bad about this since I do want to share with everyone how the spring trip went.

Over all it went great, but afterwards I wasn’t feeling that glow I typically feel after a good motorcycling trip and it took me a while to pin down why.

There are lots of little reasons why I think I did not enjoy this trip as much as previous ones, but the biggest one is pretty obvious. I spent the entire trip worrying about everyone else having fun and being safe that I was drained at the end. So drained that I snapped at one of my closest friends at a time when we should have been celebrating an amazing several days doing the most fun thing ever.

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My constant worrying was made worse by the fact that two of the riders are still pretty new, one of them is my brother and the other a close friend. I spent a lot of time looking in my mirrors waiting anxiously to see lights behind me. This isn’t the recipe for a relaxing day.

The second thing that marred the trip was the constant compromising I had to do. I’m so used to riding by myself or just one other rider that I felt that I was never riding my own ride I was doing some lesser version of the ride. Most of the fault here lies in my expectations. I expected to have a ride like I did a couple of years ago and that didn’t happen. In hindsight that was a completely unrealistic ideal to have, that spring ride was some of the best motorcycling I’ve ever had.

Not to say that there wasn’t good motorcycling, there was a lot of it. There was also some amazing meals with great people. Over all the trip was a success and I’m pretty sure that everyone wants to do another.

I did learn somethings, mostly about me and who I am as a planner, leader and a rider. There will be changes for the next trip.

Most of them in my head.

 

Posted in Life, Motocycling, New Rider, Riding, Travel | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Stuck on the Side of the Road: For Four Hours

My brother lived out one of my nightmares on Tuesday and I couldn’t think of a way to help him in time. Making it a nightmare of my own.

The Suzuki SV650 went kerplunk. Looks like he threw a piston, it’s been burning oil a lot since he got it and he was bad at checking it on the trip. Of course they why doesn’t matter, he was on the side of the freeway stuck. So of course he calls the only person he can be sure will help him in this time of need, my wife.

Yes my wife. At first I wondered why, and I don’t know for sure why my brother called her instead of me, but I can’t say I blame him. She’s probably better at answering her phone than I am.

I sadly don’t have a truck so we couldn’t go get him, I had him call USAA (our insurance provider) for a tow, thinking that they would take care of him. I was sadly very wrong. They let him sit on the side of the road for over four hours, before they finally got him a tow. We’re all pretty pissed about this as you can imagine. Luckily he was on a wide shoulder, but still he was left there until way after dark with his battery nearly dead because of having his emergency lights on.

I can’t imagine being stuck on the side of the road that long, and I’m upset that I didn’t join him. Every time I thought about going though it seemed like it wouldn’t be worth the drive in traffic since help was “on it’s way”. We did learn our lesson though. The trailer that can tow a motorcycle will be purchased very soon. I’m not leaving my fate or the fate of my brother in anyone else’s hands if I can help it.

My Brother on the side of a different road at a better time.

My Brother on the side of a different road at a better time.

 

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Spring Ride: Rough Ride Home

There I was after three and a half amazing days with some of my closest friends and I was miserable. I was riding in the rain on the freeway in a straight line. None of that is ever good.

This is how the Spring Trip ended, in the rain on the freeway. Not the best way to end an epic 1400 mile adventure through the best highways of Northern California. However, if it had to rain I couldn’t have picked a better time. We were “only” a couple of hours from home when it started and it never was that heavy to completely over come the “waterproofness” of my Aerostich suit.

Cloudy skies along Highway 36 in the early morning. The grey skies followed us all day long, finally resulting in rain about 130 miles from San Francisco.

Riding for a couple of hours in the rain isn’t fun and games though, one of my friends had never ridden in the rain so I was a bit worried about him. I’ve also never been out on the motorcycle in the rain for that long (2 hours of off and on rain). The experience was a sharp reminder that I need to put a fog inserts in all my visors, and that the rubber wiper thing for my glove is gold.

There was on definite positive about riding the last bit in the rain. The rain did a good job of cleaning the dead bugs off my suit and bike.

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