San Francisco to Montara, California – 6th July 2021
I am just totally gutted… I seem to have lost my Harley Las Vegas baseball hat… I think I left it at Alice’s. I obviously got that in Las Vegas on my 60th birthday tour back in 2016, it is irreplaceable as far as I am concerned, just so angry at myself.. GRRRRR!!
Anyway, before I went to sleep last night I texted Lisha and asked if it was still ok for me to bring the bike to her tomorrow, (today)? She said yes its’s fine and I am welcome to stay overnight. I have checked online and there is a Honda parts shop near me in Berkeley so I plan to go there and pick up some spark plugs, air filter, a battery and hopefully they will have a replacement petcock switch or lever in stock. I’m hoping to get that done and be over to Lisha in Montara by 2ish, (we rode through Montara yesterday, it’s just up the coast from Half Moon Bay, so back on the PCH, which is good).
Of course nothing goes to plan, first of all they have the spark plugs, but no air filter or petcock switch. The guy prints of the petcock schematic for me so I have the part number and in the meantime finds the correct size bolt and a couple of nuts to use as a temporary toggle… no charge for that, really very kind of him. I also take the opportunity of writing on the chromey cover the positions of the lever.
He advises me to go to Cycle Gear, a massive motorcycle parts and accessories chain, for the air filter. I forgot to ask about a battery, but never mind hopefully I can get one in Cycle Gear, which I find is just over the Bay Bridge in downtown San Francisco so kind of on the way to Montara. Of course I have to suffer the traffic on the way so by the time I get to Cycle Gear it is already 1.30… I text Lisha to let her know I am probably not going to be there until about 3.30pm just to be on the safe side. She has to go out, but not to worry the door will be open. She advises me that there is a big dog, his name is Barry, he is super friendly and she will be back around 8pm so I am to just make myself at home and her tools are in the garage. Ok that’s just super kind of her.
With that in mind I do spend some time looking around the Cycle Gear Aladdins cave.. I manage to pick up a battery and spark plug socket as I don’t have one the right size with me; but no air filter so I get a filter cleaning kit, that will have to do for now. I also pick up a few other bits n’ bobs… I had forgotten how cold it can get here in SF and the gloves I have brought are either too thin or too thick so a small pair of mid season gloves for just $35 are in my basket along with a pair of ROK straps that were on special to tie the battery on to the bike securely, (I lost a brand new battery off the back of my Harley a few years ago.. I mean seriously, what am I like???).
Out to the bike and I get it all packed away and am off to Montara. I arrive around 3, but Lisha has already gone. I pull up onto the drive which is on a massive hill, so a very steep slope; when I am ready to get the bike out onto the road, that is going to take some planning I can tell you. I park the bike up by the garage door and make my way up to the side entrance way. There is a glass enclosed entrance and an enormous dog, Barry is not just big he is humungous and barking his head off at me… I tentatively try the door, it is open, but Barry is now seriously guarding and barking even louder. When I was about 14/15 I entered a friends house and was bitten by their dog, I have never run so fast in my life and had an huge bruise on my left hip, also, when I was in the WRAF I offered to take one of the officers’ dog for a walk, can’t remember why, it was an Alsatian and while I was walking it, it turned on me and grabbed my right arm in its mouth and wouldn’t let go; luckily it was only the sleeve of my jacket but even so I was terrified. Luckily I was on camp so someone came to my rescue. I later discovered this was an ex RAF police dog!! So, naturally, I am extremely nervous of upsetting Barry so I gently close the door and go back to the bike. I have my own tools so I can just start fiddling out here until Lisha gets back. I unpack the bike.. above my head is a set of very large floor to ceiling windows, Barry is looking out of them at me, watching every move and barking of course. After a while he gets tired and stops, which is good. Once I have everything off the bike I realise that I really need the loo.. it’s no good I’m going to have to be brave, after all Lisha said he is a big softy really. I go back to the door and Barry is already there, he does start barking but it seems a little less aggressive so I gingerly open the door and am talking away to him trying to keep him calm. As I enter he backs away slightly so I think it is going to be ok. There are some stairs leading down to a lower floor and as I can only see a kitchen diner and lounge area on this level, I assume the bathroom is down there so I scurry down. Barry doesn’t follow me and has actually stopped barking.. whew! I also find the garage door down here, inside is enormous and empty. I see the switch to open the door and then am able to wheel my bike in and drag all my luggage in too. I immediately start to get the new battery on to the bike, now I have my tools out I can easily get the seat off and, with a little bit of fiddling, am able to get the old battery out and the new one fitted ok.
While I have the seat off I also want to do a couple of other wee jobs. First of all James has fitted the GPS and phone mounts direct to the battery, I don’t really like that as if I leave one of them connected then there is potential for the battery to be drained flat.. oh no thank you. I re-wire them into the ignition switch so that they will only operate when the key is on. The spark plugs are another fish kettle… the bike has loads of plastic chrome covers, not really my taste, but they do make the bike look very cool, however the spark plug covers appear to be attached under the fuel tank and I am not about to take that off, I really don’t want to have to do it even though it is relatively simple to do. Next I dismantle the air filter housing and remove the filters… they are filthy, so I am very hopeful that a good clean and re-oil will improve performance.
I think that is about all I want to do for now as I have to work from 7.30 to 9pm so have commandeered the lounge. I do however text to let Lisha know and offer to get pizza delivered for us both, but she has had some bike trouble and has decided to stay in SF overnight, so I won’t see her until tomorrow.. Oh.. Ok… so guess I’m dog sitting then. Luckily Bazza and I have become friends by now and I am chatting away and singing to him so he is well chilled. I see he has food in his bowl, and have tried several times to get him to go outside but to no avail, he just walks away! I text Lisha and offer to take B out for a walk, I ask her about this but she says he will go out when he needs to.. ok.
I have looked around downstairs and can only find one bedroom, so I plan to sleep on the sofa in the lounge.. then I see another door off of the dining area, a quick look confirms that this is the main bedroom, so I guess I am in the one downstairs. L has said to help myself from the fridge, there is plenty of food left over from the 4th July celebrations and I can help myself to that as, apparently, there are no fast food deliveries in the area.
I then watch a little bit of television and off to bed. I’m not sure of my plans for tomorrow, the air filter needs to dry thoroughly before I can oil it and put it back on the bike so that will be the first order of business. I also have a tracker unit that I brought from the UK, this needs wiring into the battery and there is a perfect place to hide it on the bike so I’ll also do that.
Here is the gorgeous Barry aka Bazza… a Burmese Mountain Dog, and indeed he is a mountain of a dog, but sooooo gentle.