Saturday, August 6, 2011
Above the clouds till tire service brought me down.
Time to get caught up. My friend Hilary met me in Colombia and has joined me for a leg of my journey (to Peru). Being a Spanish profesora (quit helpful on this trip) her schedule is much less flexible than mine and she flies from Lima on the 12th of August. With the setbacks along the way, there is now a long way to go and a short time to get there and the BMW maintenance department in Quito did little to alleviate this problem. I'd asked for tires when I dropped the bike for service but when I returned the following day they told me that if I wanted them that they would have to be ordered, perhaps taking till Monday to arrive(far too long). They did mention where the distributor was located though (roughly 350 miles to the south), and it was on our way. So in passing through we stopped in Cuenca and after a prolonged search found the Continental tire distributor. They said they had just the ones I needed (knobbies) for heading into Bolivia and told us to wait 15 minutes. 15 minutes turned to an hour and finally the tires arrived without the afore mentioned knobs. I found this disconcerting but decided, amid much persuasion, that these were the tires I really needed anyway, that there was little other choice and took the damn things. They then directed me to a motorcycle shop to mount the tires which due to the long wait was in the process of closing. I begged them to mount the tires for me, but to no avail. They sent me to to a small tire shop down the way 2 blocks. The rubber stained tire monkey running the establishment leaped into action and I watched as he swiftly changed and then mount the front tire. Having gained some confidence in the primate's abilities I left in search of a red bull to ready myself for another 200 or so miles. Upon returning, full of caffeine, I saw that the rapscallion was having some difficulty remounting the rear wheel. He was aggressively attacking the new $95 brake pads in the rear caliper with two screwdrivers and yet he couldn't get them around the disk. While he swung away for a moment I put on my headlamp, looked at the caliper and immediately saw the problem, one of the pads was slightly out of it's keeper. After fixing this the caliper slid right on, but unfortunately the damage done by the prying screwdrivers went beyond the substantial marring of the pads and once I started the bike I saw this
There are those times in life when something happens that leaves a sour and empty feeling inside of you. You know that things could have easily been different and yet then, through no serious fault of your own, you are powerless to change what has transpired and things will never be the same. Maybe it's finding yourself in jail on $22,000 bond for pissing off some asshole cop, or losing the favor of a lovely girl for being an embarrassment after the local paper publishes a fallacious story about you, but yesterday I had the same sort of hole etched into my soul by paying $8 to watch a scamp destroy my ABS.
In adding insult to injury, about 10 miles out of town, in the foggy night, my mudguard came loose(it was taken off for the tire change, then poorly replaced) and lodged itself in the rear caliper and I experienced complete rear brake failure(which has persisted).
No knobs, no rear brakes, Incan ruins here we come.