Day 49 – Cough, Cough, Pop, Bang

As I said, I spend the morning in Starbucks.. the internet connection is great and I get quite a lot done including some work stuff.

Have decided to aim for Cape Canaveral today, I think it will be an interesting stopping point although I would hope to stay overnight beyond there.

I am riding on the A1A and along the route, for quite a few miles at certain intervals is this sign

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Isn’t it great that they support the turtle breeding season this way.  This is another sign that features along the roads throughout Florida…

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As I ride along the A1A it becomes increasingly residential

and wealthy.

There are some really beautiful properties and as I get closer to Palm Beach the homes start to be serious money.. jealous or what.  I begin to see palatial homes and it’s interesting to note the number of, what appear to be, Latino gardeners who are out caring fo the immaculate gardens.  I also notice that the vast majority of the traffic is tradespeople; landscapers, pool maintenance, builders, etc.  The lawns are pristine, even out on the pavements.  I don’t like to take photos of people’s homes, I feel it is invasive but I do take a little bit of video of the Atlantic.  I did try to get more, including a leafy enclave that I passed through just after this, but the memory ran out on my iphone so I was only able to get this very short clip.

But I did stop to get this one photo, which shows the manicured green walls behind which hide some of these extraordinary properties.

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Since leaving this morning the bike has been playing up… it is really running very rough with lots of coughing, wheezing and popping.. mmm that’s a fuel problem methinks.  I wonder if I have put the wrong grade in.

I am looking for a petrol station, but this area is just 100% residential, I expect the businesses are on the mainland just across the channel, however I decide to stay on the A1A to see if something comes along.

The road turns left and across a bridge onto the mainland and as I turn right I am in South Palm Beach..

and then into Palm Beach itself,

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On this side of the channel it seems to be mainly condominiums and huge apartment complexes..

again immaculately cared for and no doubt expensive.

Hidden away just along the road from this is…

and across the water

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I soon come across a petrol station so fill the bike up,

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but it doesn’t cure the problem so now I think there is something wrong with the bike.  I stop to check out the nearest dealers and there is one back in Palm Beach or I can continue on to ‘Treasure Coast’ in Stuart or ‘Space Coast’ in Palm Bay or Cocoa Beach just before Cape Canaveral.  I have a look on google  – Treasure Coast and Cocoa Beach get terrible reviews, so I don’t want to go there.  I don’t really want to sit on the bike in mid Palm Beach traffic so I decide to head for Palm Bay.

The iPhone gps won’t find the exact address for the dealership so I just head for Palm Bay and when I get there will check out the address on google maps.

The bike is getting worse and cuts out a couple of times at traffic lights so I hope they can look at it for me.  They close at 7pm so am doing my best to get there asap, but even thought I am now on Highway 1 there are loads of traffic lights so going is slow in places.

I arrive in Palm Bay and check out the address…. I passed it 7 miles ago, damn!  I turn around and head back turning into central Palm Bay.  Just as I am on a bridge crossing the interstate I spot the dealer on my left, but behind me so have to turn around again.

I arrive at 6.35pm and immediately go in to the service department.  I explain the problem and the guy says, let me see who I’ve got available.  I expected to have to bring it back in the morning but no, he comes back and says the workshop foreman is going to have a look at my bike now.  I meet the foreman outside and we have a chat about the problem.  He then takes the bike for a short ride and when he returns he says he is going to take it in and check the fuel pressure.

Even though it is now almost 7pm he takes the bike in and puts it up on a bench to check it out… I just cannot believe it, I really thought it was going to be ‘bring it back’ but they cannot be more helpful.

Eventually, he tells me the problem is a hole in the fuel pipe inside the fuel tank.  He checks and they do have the new parts and he says great we’ll just fit that for you now, at 7.30!!  At just gone 8pm he finishes and it is all done… WOW!  I have to say this is just beyond service, the UK would not ever take a bike in at closing time.  Ok so it wasn’t cheap, the parts aren’t too bad but the labour… ouch!

While I am waiting I book a hotel for tonight in Melbourne, just past where I turned around earlier in the evening, back on Highway 1.

The bike runs beautifully, I wonder if it has been getting progressively worse while I’ve been blaming the poor grade fuel… mmm wait and see how she runs tomorrow.

Will continue the last 25 miles to Cape Canaveral tomorrow for a look at the Space Centre.

P.S. On the way today I notice I have exceeded 8000 miles, another ‘milestone’ on my grande voyage.

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