I’ve been winding my way through Denmark with a hop over to Sweden visiting former work colleagues. Imagine any multi-national portfolio management corporation taking two competitors and having a shotgun wedding. Picture that, and you’ll understand how we came to know each other from opposite sides of the aisle.
A colleague named Casper happened to see my social media posts and checked with the others that I be included on this survivor’s sail. Our skipper, “the last man standing”, was a gracious host providing a natural close on this chapter.
These notes are about motorcycling, so here’s the update (gearheads enjoy – everyone else – people magazine time!).
Today saw ferocious crosswinds as I headed south toward Germany. My little KLR650 Steel Mule showed up. Last week the new tires were squirrely on the way North due to a mold release wax present on all new rubber. Days in the dirt around the campground and aggressive riding without gear brought out the true Metzeler profile. I was rock-solid, throttle locked, draped finger grip tension, 110km/h all day long.
I’ll tell you about one more technical improvement I was particularly happy with. The very good German mechanic who changed the tires noticed my clutch cable too loose and set the tension properly. Good, or so I thought. Upon arrival in Denmark, maneuvering to park in an underground garage – safe storage while sailing – I felt a distinct ‘clunk’ in the front end while executing a tight radius turn. This caused the bike to lurch. The clunk made me immediately think of steering head bearings. After all the machine had been submerged and dropped many times in muddy Mongolian water crossings. No time to debug, I was off to sailing.
After sailing and with nothing but time at the campground, I determined that the clutch cable was misrouted and when tensioned correctly resulted in binding during severe handlebar turns – loosen the cable – out of spec – and problem solved. I’ve been carrying a spare for 7,000 miles and replaced the old, routing the new cable properly (the old was indeed packed with crud between the sheath and cable). The resulting crisp clutch response, regardless of steering angle, is sweet.
Well, I’ve reached my, and likely surpassed your, limit for rambling today. I’ve had several encounters with other adventure riders that I have to get down on paper. Each with a different story. All sharing the common element of people in tune with their surroundings and at ease with themselves. Jackie Gleeson said it best sipping from a simple white coffee cup on a thin fine china saucer, “Oh how sweet it is…”.