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October 26th, 2009 - Coast to Desert

If you are enjoying these updates, please support the cause by making a donation. As I have mentioned before, I will pitch in $2000 out of my personal travel funds if the collected donations surpass the $1500 goal for the month of October. All donations for this month will go to the “Centro de Recuperacion Nutricional Infantil Bethania” in Jocotán, Guatemala. It is a private medical center that treats about 400 malnourished children each year. They are desperately underfunded and your help is a matter of life and death.

I’ve been in need of a set of practical riding gear which would be waterproof, light weight, comfortable, not too flashy and most importantly 4 season. San Luis Motorsports had just the thing and after 5 hours of trying on different gear, I narrowed it down to Tourmaster jacket and riding pants. Steve Myrack, the owner of San Luis Motorsports, was generous enough to provide the gear for a deeply discounted price. If in San Luis Obispo, don’t miss this shop, they have a great selection.

The weather is changing as I travel further south, it is getting dryer, warmer and the population seems to grow by the mile. Now I know why so many people move to California. You can’t find nicer weather anywhere else.

I left SLO for Bakersfield on Friday and rode the Hwy 58 west. In 3 hours, I went from deep blue waters of the Pacific to the barren outskirts of the Mojave Desert. It reminded me of my beloved birth place Shiraz. There is something about the solitude in the desert that is hard to describe; the sunsets, the wind, the ever-changing sky line… I’m in love with it all over again.

I met Bill Rea, another GSer in Bakersfield, and stayed with him for two days. For the last 4000 miles, I’ve been trying to find a place where I could do my valve adjustment. I was getting more concerned every day, and I turned out to be right.

Out of 8 valves, 5 were so tight we couldn’t get a feeler gauge in to measure the valve lash (i.e. gap) and the other 3 were out of spec as well. We measured the shims a few times and got 6 of the valves to spec with what we had but we needed two more shims. After calling around and a look around the city, all we found was one shim and were out of luck on the second one.

It might sound horrifying to some “By the Book” mechanics but we had no choice other than to grind one shim down, fractions of millimeters at a time, to get the perfect clearance on the #2 Exhaust valve.

A Dremmel, a cutting disk, and patience like Bills did the job as he made the meticulous cuts and fixed the problem. We also fixed my wandering speedometer, tightened the steering, fixed the kickstand switch, and re-routed the throttle cable behind the forks. Bill also is a great cook – hence his username “Chef1366”. It was an honor to be their guest and I appreciate their hospitality.

I have a lecture in Barstow so I will be heading South/East for a while, stay tuned…

There are One Comment

  1. Bill
    October 29, 2009 at 10:49 am

    It was a pleasure having you. Please feel free to stop by anytime.
    I’m glad I could help you and the cause.

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