Yeah, yeah, so I finally got around to posting this. Leave me alone or I'll send my bike over to beat you with it's stick. Sometimes my bike loves me. Sometimes my bike hates me. This weekend it hated me. Here's why. Reason Number 1: It all started on the trip out to OSCAR. Wayne and I were comfortably cruising through South Park (near Fairplay, CO) on some back roads when we came upon "the sludge". The sludge was about 70 feet deep of quicksand. As we surveyed possible crossings, I looked back to see gas pouring out of every the oriface of the Rally Twin. Oh, crap, this can't be good. And a storm was brewin' and heading right toward us. I figured it must be a little chunk of something in the float valve. So off came the seat, tank, and carbs for a little rebuild in the middle of no where. Here's Wayne checking float valve operation before reassembly. The gas pouring into the airbox (shown below) did a great job of un-oiling my air filter, so I had to stop in Salida to get some new air filter oil. This would prove to be a good thing, read on. The first time I hit the starter it hydraulic locked because there was a bunch of gas in the cylinders. So after cracking the spark plugs loose and pumping all the gas out, I finally got it started! Woo Hoo! Reason Number 2: So off we were again, and after a little delay on Marshall Pass (see Wayne's report), we hammered our way into Lake City and up Engineer Pass. At the top of Engineer my bike was smoking and clattering because apparently my radiator cap failed and I lost ALL my coolant. We took a break and packed snow all over the engine to cool it and added water to the radiator for the trip into Ouray. Reason Number 3: Just as we hit the pavement at the bottom of Engineer, I thought 'Whew, we're done, now just sit back and enjoy the .... holy crap where is the back end going!! Uh oh.. keep it in my lane... whew...' A quick look back at the rear tire, and then, 'AW CRAP YOU GOTTA BE KIDDING ME YOU @$#@?! BIKE! FLAT TIRE!' Hungry, tired, dirty, I was in no mood to do anything about it now. So I wobbled towards the KOA. On the way in Wayne and I stopped on the side of the road for a breather, just after I nearly rolled the tire. A really, really nice guy (not part of the ADVRider group) driving a landcriuser with a bike loaded on the back carrier. He offered to load my bike on his carrier and let me ride HIS BIKE to where I was going, and he'd haul mine. Wow, there are some awesome people in this world. As the KOA was only about 1 mile up, I delcined the offer and wobbbled on into camp. As it turns out, I picked up an Allen Wrench! Crimony. At least its metric. Wayne graciously ran into Ridgeway and russled up a new tube (at 7:30PM!) and returned with my favorite beer - Pilsner Urquell. That was enough to wash away any frustration of the day. Reason Number 4: Saturday started with a clang. The clang of Waynes Rally Twin smashing mine into the ground and breaking my kickstand clean off! Oh well. That thing was a piece of crap anyway. Good riddance I say! I nice stick replaced the POS kickstand. It worked really well. I'd just throw my woody in the saddlepack so I could always prop the bike on it. I had the biggest woody of anyone there. Photo by Ricky (Thanks!) With some excellent help from Neduro and Kevin, I got my flat tire changed in record time. Neduro offered long tire irons and a stand (for my now kickstandless bike), and Kevin offered an electric air pump. Thanks guys! Neduro also gave me some coolant to replace the stuff I left somewhere near Lake City. Reason Number 5: Saturday and Sunday's ride once again resulted in a total loss of coolant. I was trying to keep an eye on it, but, seeing that I hadn't actually fixed anything, my coolant continued to disappear. And so did my oil. Now my oil was a smelly, foamy green sludge that smelled worse than KatieM's butt on a bad day. It appears that my head gasket, water pump seal, or some other internal engine component had given me the ADVRider salute. But I am impressed that the EX motor kept running strong! It's an EXCELLENT motor. Anyone out there willing to run their KTM 950 without coolant? I didn't think so... Some say the lack of coolant had something to do with climing Poughskeepie gulch and ascending Imogene at 40 MPH. I think it's just because my bike hates me. If it loved me it'd find a way to keep that coolant in there. Stupid ungrateful bike. Reason Number 6: On the way back home, I noticed a little wobble on the way into Gunnison. After we had a nice lunch with KatieM and some people that say she belongs to them (yeah, like they could have a kid THAT good!), I wiggled both wheels and the front bearings seemed a little loose. The back was fine. As we wandered up towards Cottonwood Pass I noticed the wobbling was intermittently getting worse, so I kept looking at the front wheel to check it. I'd make it home. Then it got REALLY bad REALLY quick. But it was difinitely the BACK wheel - I thought, 'Not ANOTHER frickin flat tire!!' I pulled over. Tire was fine. I spun the wheel. Oh CRAP! The wheel moved sideways about 1.5 inches. Plus, when I spun it, it was eccentric. It would stretch my chain about 1/2 inch, then almost fall off the sprocket. Bad, bad news. Here's the bearing after we pulled it out. Now some others say this could have been caused by the 10,274 water crossings I did during the photo shoot with Baldy. Some also say that this could have been aggrivated when Arethustra and I decended Imogene at 47 MPH. I still say its just because my bike hates me. But my wife loves me. So I got out the Sat phone and called Janet, and had her start heading towards Buena Vista (about 2 hours from our home in Golden). I had 30 miles to go in 2 hours. How we gonna fix this thing? Some brain storming of the three of us led to the solution. I jokingly wished I had a piece of Delrin and my lathe to make a spacer in place of the bearing. Wayne suggesed some plastic on the bike, maybe zip-ties. JuanG had: Yes, the famous OSCAR cup! It was perfect. Hard plastic, not too brittle, seemed to resist galling. Excellent, AFekete! Thanks for saving my butt! Did you have a bearing replacement in mind when you picked out the mugs! I thought so, nice job! Wayne fabbed a split-ring spacer from the cup, and I fabbed another from my hand guard. After oiling this with my air filter oil from Failure Number 1, we had a low friction surface that should hold up well. I was able to ride 30mph for 30 miles on this. It probably could have gone longer and faster, but obviously I didn't want to push it. JuanG was gracious enough to follow behind with his hazard lights on to help keep everthing safe. Thanks, Juan. A big thanks to all who helped me out through the weekend. It was awesome.