Saturday, July 18, 2009

Busy Day

An early start to the day. I loaded my 15 year old Specialized Stumpjumper mountain bike into the FJ and attempted to ride a dirt path up the Col de Tourmalet... as the first real ride I've done on that bike in a decade. Accompanying me on the ride was Dave, with his new Specialized Hardrock Sport. After running out of O2 two thirds of the way up, and with legs that where undeservingly scratched, poked, and abused by weeds and scrub encroaching on the path, I relented, and gave the win to the mountain, and turned around for a more enjoyable decent. ...Except the weeds scrub still wanted to get a taste of my blood.

After a safe return trip to the car, and a refuel at le Peep, I returned home and started working on mounting the door to the shed that I (with plenty of help from friends) built a
couple years ago. Yeah, things get done real fast around here. 8P

After taking several measurements, and getting a few supplies from Home Depot, It came time to cut some wood. After clearing off the radial arm saw (it's not my fault it attracts any object that can fit on it's wide, level surface), I still needed to move another object sitting next to the saw, so that I could have the room needed to rip one of the boards.

That object, happened to be an 18 year old FJ1200 - nice of me to have a Toyota FJ Cruiser and a Yamaha FJ1200, and refer to both as "the FJ", huh? I had not ridden it in a couple of years - for one reason or another: dead battery, flat tire, rain. Since I had to move it, I figured I may as well try to get it running again (I had checked the battery a week ago, and although it was low, it was still good, so I stuck it on the charger). It started right away, but had serious carburetion issues, and would sputter and die when I twisted the throttle. I let it idle, hoping that it would clear out some gunk from the jets, while I ripped the board. Once done with the saw, I returned to the bike and fiddled with it enough that I could get some RPMs out of it by setting the choke just right, while I twisted the throttle, just right. Not perfect, but it looked usable. I donned my riding gear, added air to the tires, and tried to take off. Hmmm when I put it in gear, and put a load on the engine, it didn't have enough power, and died. Repeatedly. More fiddling and coaxing, and I barely managed to get the thing moving. Then, slowly, accelerating. My biggest concern now was stopping at a light, and being unable to get started again before the drivers behind me lost all patience and ran me over. So, I decided to use the roads at Red Rocks Community College. It was close, and there were no lights. And little traffic. It did have roundabouts, and all I was trying to do was run more fuel through the carbs to clear out the jets, so I pulled a Bill Murray (The Man Who Knew to Little), and stayed in the roundabout for a few circles. I know it's stupid, but I smiled. There was tar sealer on the pavement cracks (lots of cracks), and it was a warm day, so, although the tar surface was solid and dry, the inside of the tar was like jello. Kinda nerve wracking for a rider that has not ridden in a couple of years, who is riding a bike that stutters, and wants to quit. I put up with it for the duration of a loop around the campus, then, with the engine working better, headed for the open road. I took a trip up Golden Gate Canyon and back. The trip did the bike (and me!) wonders. It ran a lot smoother, and had good throttle response - if not the horsepower that it should have, and it knocked a lot with the throttle twisted more than half way. Fresh fuel should help that.

Hey, what happened to the shed door? Oh. Yeah. I got side tracked. After the ride, instead of working on the door, I completed a smaller shed task. I put in the threshold. You can (sorta) see it in the shed pic.

/sigh. Yeah, I know. Who cares about my silly biking stories. Maybe they will get better...

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