Friday, June 24, 2011

A Picture's Worth a Thousand Words

Drum roll, please...

*Choirs of angels break out in song*

A bike that works!!!

Nothing about getting this bike has been easy.  I said as much to Greg, the seller, on one of our many phone calls and he said he'd been thinking the same thing.  We were both wondering if it was a sign not to go through with it.  Even since we ironed out our sticking points, getting it home, inspected, titled with plates has been a challenge! 

The ride was great.  Three hours of PA roads to a shop in Bel Air where I had called ahead to arrange my appointment for inspection.  Computer is down, therefore they cannot, will not do an inspection.  We'd passed a HD place near the dam that could have taken us, but they said it would be a bit of a wait.  Now I was regretting that.  The Bel Air shop is less than a mile from the MVA, but now there's no point in stopping there. Stop for food and make a bunch of phone calls.  No one is available or close enough.  So, fine, head home and deal with it tomorrow.

but, wait.

There's another shop near my place.  I called Bryan and he said he could fit me in.  We hustled there and waited an hour or so only for Bryan to call me over and tell me it failed due to muffler bearings.

"Oooh, Stop it, Bryan.  It did not!"  Bryan thought it was cute.  And, ok, maybe it was a little cute, but only because he and I have a history of multiple bikes with multiple problems and because there's no such thing as muffler bearings and it didn't fail.  So, 6pm go home for the day and figure things out.

(Wednesday) Before work go to a notary.  My notary is kind and efficient and I comment that I hadn't seen a rubber stamp for a notary seal before like the PA notary had done.  She took my form back and made noises I didn't like.  She tried to look the notary up for me, but no luck.  I email Greg and give him a heads up that I might need another form, but I'm going to the MVA anyway to see what they say.

So, lunchtime today go to MVA. I hold C28.  They are on C17.  I fill out my forms and get everything in order.  I even stand in the looong information line again to talk with the info woman about a section I misunderstood.  Luckily, I don't need the claim number for the Kawi that the plate is coming off of.  Shew!  Go back and sit down.  Watch the clock.

Tick Tick Tick...

30 minutes later: "C18."  No book, no music, tv, friend for company... no lunch, either.  My apple is hot from the saddle bags, so I don't eat it.  I wait.  For another 30 minutes.  No more C's called.  Time to go.  I can't be late for a 1pm meeting.  I do take time to fill out a customer satisfaction survey on the way out though...

"More staff during peak times, please."

As I'm filling it out the computer voice calls "C19"... 

Greg replies to my email that he called the notary and PA hasn't required the embosser for 3 years, but that they can do that if I need it.  Good.  I should be fine.  So, I'm going to run back over there on the way home.  Hopefully, 15 minutes before close it won't be so busy and all my forms are filled out and I can get in and out in time to eat before my night gig.  If not, there's a place walkable from work that will do it for a mere $45 fee, plus whatever the MVA wants from me.

Me and Teej
 Arrive at the MVA at 415.  They close at 4:30, but there are plenty of us still around.  No problem with the paperwork, get a new tag because Mitch told me the old one was too ugly to keep for the new bike, write out a check (how many zeros in a million?), run like the devil before someone finds a reason to stop me.  Woot!  The bike is officially mine.   Sorry if I don't answer the phone for a while, I'll probably be out...

Thank you , Greg,  for taking care of my bike for me till I found it. ;)  I can't wait to see photos of you on the Tiger with a big grin.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Rally Report-Facebook Version

A serious lack of free time is hampering my blogging, so here's a shorthand facebook version of my first rally.   Hopefully, I'll get to fill in the blanks another time!  I did get to add some pictures, though...
I posted to Ron P. that I'd come in in the bottom 5 of the Mason Dixon 2020 and, with the other bottom 4, gotten an entry into Smoke Chasers '11.  Rick was the Rally Master of the event and pointed out that I'd tied for 6th, which, after my debacle, was an accomplishment.  I tied with about 45 other riders, but still...  Ron asked if I'd done poorly because I left my rally towel somewhere, so I sent him several posts to explain.  This was my summary:

No, I succumbed to peer pressure when the RM said 'get your helmets and let's go', so I didn't stay in the room to read my rally pack before I left as I'd planned.  I heard the little voice in my head that said, 'ask if it's mandatory!' but ignored it. I succumbed a second time in the parking lot after the Le Mans start when I thought, 'Hell, everyone can leave and I'll go back in and read my damn rally pack", but there were at least 5 or 6 staff standing in the lot waiting to see us (well, me, now that I'm the last one there) off. So I asked Rick a questions about the photos, shoved all my stuff in a saddle bag and took off.
I immediately turned the wrong way out of the parking lot... got myself righted and ran off to Arlington. Read the instructions: take photo of Iwo Jima statue with the Washington monument behind. 

Got it. Left. Went to New York. "Take photo of WTC globe." 

Got it. Left. Ran to PA, double bonus at a BBQ place. Got there in time for both bonuses.  Bonuses are: Eat BBQ, photo with Jim Owen. Rider taking my photo says 'go get your towel'. Good idea, thinks me, the rally master had said "it can never hurt to have your towel in the picture."  I had been thinking "What a bummer that the towel isn't in more of the photos. I guess I haven't hit any of the bonuses that require the flag." I stand with Jim for the photo and say 'this is the first time I've had my flag out all day'. 'That's not good', says Jim. And yet, my interpretation of his comment is 'aw, yeah, that sucks that you haven't been to many of the bonuses that require you to use this nifty flag.'  

I ate BBQ and look at my rally pack FINALLY.  I find out the fuel bonus is all wonky. (Rally Bastard! Now I get it!) Jim asks me something as I leave and I jokingly say something about 'who it is I'm supposed to be pissed at?'...he says, 'Rick', but I don't think Jim realizes that I'm only talking about the Fuel log directions. Run to Mandatory site. Raining. Two bikes follow me in. They park too far away, I wave them to the right section. Get camera, read bonus instructions, walk to spot. Luckily 3rd biker is already in right place. Take 3 photos.  
Awesome.  As I walk to the bike the 2nd biker passes me, says, 'you gotta get your flag'. 'No', says me, who grabs her rally pack off the bike and reads aloud the bonus instructions. Rider Two kindly, sans mockery, points to the top of the page where it says, 'unless otherwise indicated, flags must be in all photos.'  Joanne is mildly disturbed, but this cannot be detected under the facade of shock, disappointment and confusion. Grab flag, camera, go back to site. No biker standing to mark the spot. CRAP. Find marker, 1 photo.
I had planned on heading back to HQ for the big potential bonuses there. But, no, now back to ask the RM if there are do-overs. 'Yes.' Ok, skip big bonus there, because GPS says if I leave immediately,  I can get back to the Iwo Jima site with 15 minutes to spare before time window closes. Bust it to Arlington, 17 photos at dusk to make sure the damn flag is see-able. 
Back on the bike.  GPS is broken. Luckily (?) I'd run this same route 13 hours earlier and find my way out without it.  Run to Baltimore for rest stop in own bed on way to NY-again. UGH! computer says I won't get back to Rally HQ in time if I go to NY AND to the final site of a combo bonus. Depression sets in. Wailing and sobbing. Decide to skip NY and go to the final combo site that I haven't been to.  (Fight 93 memorial site)
I have nothing printable to say about the Holland Tunnel.
So, get last site from my ride plan and then mosey back picking up a couple more bonuses on the way back...including what I believe to be the least significant bonus site EVER, which Rick found amusing.

It was a hell of a time and I accomplished 3 of the 4 things I set out to do.
1: Do not DNF. (Did not finish.)
2: Hit the mandatory site and the 3 sites of the combo bonus.  Pick up additional bonuses as desired.
3: Do not be late to finish line. (Penalty: 1pt/minute late.)
4: Have fun.
And now that I've done my stupid stuff, I'm prepared to kick some ass in the BiTE. This all hinges on whether I have a working bike or not. Grrr. So, Ron, when are we going for BBQ. lol.