9.02.2006,5:18 PM
The Continuing Education of Whee: Due Parte. Whee's check up.
Pulling in front of the Suzuki dealer in Fort Worth, I was relieved to be the first one there. A blue-shirted young salesman unlocked a front door and the first bike was backed out by another blue-shirted salesman. Impressed as he navigated a large clunky shiny cruiser backwards out the door and over the narrow incline into the sloped parking lot, I jokingly remarked, "You make that look so easy!". He smiled without looking up; to do so would risk dropping the heavy chromed mechanical god. "Yeah, ya get used to it after doing it every day".

Walking up to the service desk, I dumped my list on the counter and looked the service boy in the eyes: "My DL650 V-strom is in front for it's first routine servicing. Here's what I want done...." and proceeded to point out the items on the list: oil, clutch, airbox, air filter, new clutch handle (brought with me), adjust headlights, check the brakes, oil and check the chain, adjust throttle freeplay (it's too sloppy), and synchronize the throttle bodies.

"I'm quite aware that all the SV-twins have jerky throttle, what we riders call 'throttle whattle' and it's a pain in my ass. Please deal with it and you will have me as a loyal customer."
{gulp} "Yes, mam!"
"And I'll be sitting in the shop waiting."

Then the question came: "How many miles?"
Since I always use the tripmeter, I haven't checked the odometer in....... way too long. I switched it this morning as the bike warmed up and exclaimed "Holy Shit!!"
3958 miles.

Finding a shiny round table, I unloaded my helmet, heavy sweaty Joe Rocket Ballistic jacket that kept me warm and dry, tank bag and set the left case lining from the side case on the floor next to the chair. I pulled out two giant books of maps, a pad of paper, ruler, and pencil and started to chart my route to Moab.

A Blue-shirt came up to me and set down a cup of coffee with creamer on the table. Thankful and charmed, I looked up to see a smiling face which I remembered from months ago.

"I see your ankle is healed and you got yourself a new bike."
"Yup, I did. I love it."
{nodding} "I love my Suzuki's, too."
"You still going on wild rides?"
"Of course; isn't that what it's all about?" he responded smirking.
I grinned, now able to empathize with the passion with which he relayed his stories to me months ago. "Sure is, indeed it is."

Asked about the maps, I explained my upcoming journey to Moab. Responses ranged from "You're insane", "Wow, cool!", "That's a long way", to "Where's 'Moab'?" The young Telephone Girl sat down and chatted with me about her trip to Colorado with her Dad, brother and sister. "Going through Texas was boring", a frequent comment by most anyone who has ridden across Texas. If I could move at light speed, I would be happy to drop down to reality speed when I reach the New Mexico/Texas border. But Whee hasn't quite mastered that feat.

I ran back to the service counter twice to add a few more items to the list. The young man working on my bike was courteous and gracious, but I suspect he already labeled me as "Pain in the Ass Customer". I deliberately smiled and thanked him every time to ease the pain.

Tired of sitting and bummed that Taos is 828 miles from me, I wandered outside and over to CycleGear next door to the shop. I needed a good rain suit, especially after last Sunday's adventure. Vocally grabbing a blue-shirted sales clerk (what is it with all the staff wearing blue?), I asked to see their rain gear.

I immediately shook my head to the Frogg Toggs. They work, but not for long distance riding. I wanted something with more substance. I liked the Motoboss red and black two-piece suits for several reasons: good construction, mesh lining, built-in storage bag in front, snap closure over front zipper, velcro sleeve cuffs, and elastic webbed and velcro waist belt and buckle. The pants flared at the bottoms, closing with velcro tabs so that they go over the boots. Elastic bottoms that ride up and don't cover the tops of boots don't make any sense. As usual, no smalls. No smalls anywhere in the computer. I was out of luck.

Or I could choose black.

No, I want some color other than all black. Commons sense: increased visibility is a good thing.

I thanked the staff for their help and attempts to locate a suit to fit me and left. But not after convincing the Blue-shirted clerk that the Wee-strom is a good choice for a dual sport bike. I think there will be another Assimilation soon.

Walking back to the shop, I saw Whee parked and ready. The two Blue-shirts behind the counter commented as I wrote a check:

"Your bike is really comfortable! I like it...a lot"
"Yeah, I think our trip to Galveston would have been less of a pain in the ass if we rode that thing."
"By the way, what do you call it?"
"No, W-h-e-e. As in Wheeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!"

{laughing} "Oh, now I get it! I'll back it out for you if you write 'Whee-strom' on the reference on your check."
"Its a deal",
writing "Wheeeeeeee!!!!!!" on the reference line at the bottom of my check.

An hour and a half later while eating lunch at a sandwich shop near downtown Fort Worth, I called CycleGear in Bedford and was passed on to Tim the Giant. I explained that I liked and wanted a red and black MotoBoss two-piece rainsuit, but no smalls existed anywhere.
"Yup, you're right. There are none anywhere according to the computer." he said after checking himself. "Wait a minute. Can you hold?"
Three bites of my sandwich later:
"I found one, in Sante Fe, New Mexico. I called and they're sending it here."
"Tim, you are the Magic Man!!! You rock!"

Every day can be an adventure. If you are willing to let it happen.
posted by Macrobe
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