Postscript Redding Tech and Adventure Weekend
Redding tech and Adventure Weekend
Suppose you gave a tech day and everyone came?
The Dali Lama believes one of the precepts of a happy life is to go somewhere you haven?t been before at least once a year. I found myself repeating this to a bunch of strangers standing in my shop as I droned on about rules, riding techniques and weekend retreats. By the end of the weekend I realized I had many new friends and bonds that only unique shared experiences make. As a senior Techie told me,,,, we had great karma. My trepidation of opening my shop up to many hands melted away. I have just touched the surface and there are so many stories and deeds I haven?t written about here. I want each of you to know if I left anyone out of the postscript it was inadvertent on my part ,,,PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE add to the thread with your memories of the weekend so that I might share in all the goodness.
Two days earlier riders had already begun to show up for the weekend and I began to scramble to be a good host showing them the typical local sites, Shasta Dam, The Sundial Bridge, Russel seat company, hotel row, Motel 6,, a favored 4 star accommodation for KLR riders, and finally the requisite eateries. There was a rumor that while Hometown Buffet was having a biker breakfast this weekend for $4.99 KLR riders were prohibited from attending.. Something about us having endless saddlebags to store food stuffed in cargo pocketed AAGATT gear. Friday night we all headed out to Casa Ramos, the best Mexican food 800 miles north of the border. It was great, other than the waiters singing happy birthday, ?aeiiii, yieee, yippy?, style every 10 minutes or so to celebrants, whom all seem to be seated next to our table. Off to bed for sleepy KLR riders who dreamed of the ?Long Way ?Round? songs in their heads? or tents. Tents?. When I left Friday morning my place was empty and when I returned I found an empty tent marked.. ?Larryboy was here?? never did see Rob until tech day? someone said he was off looking for the local woman without teeth.. A Redding special attraction.
Our Tech day started with the mandatory prayer service, i.e. checking out everyone else?s bike for that secret one-off modification that would make the KLR fly. After a special gastronomic delightfully orgasmic meal of KLR health food, a.k.a. coffee, doughnuts, and killer chocolate chip cookies we got started.
Being a host finds one?s self getting pretty busy answering questions and getting little things. Fortunately old tech heads, Mike Cowlishaw, (Eaglemike)and Tim Olmstead ,(tomatocity) knew this and counseled me on working on my own bike before the weekend started. While I had planned to do this the week leading up to the tech day I got too busy with preparations. Mike and Tim stepped in and worked on my bike for me on Friday doing all kinds of neat mods while I watched and handled them tools. It was like having my own pit crew, only better.. I didn?t have to pay them.
Early Saturday began with the remainder of the riders showing up. Of particular note was Graham Davis, (gdavis), the youngest rider of our group at 17. He is ?hardcore KLR? having ridden about 6 hours from Marina, California. He got up at 3 a.m. to make tech day. When he arrived and took off his helmet one couldn?t help but to be struck by his huge smile and mop of red curly long hair. Post weekend his new name will be ?rooster tail?,,, which not only matches his riding style, but his locks as well. Graham got his new nickname after he adjusted his valves and started his bike. Unaware of his new found power he moved off and twisted the go button leaving a shower of my gravel road behind him. He was reminded by other members that there was a gravel rake with his name on it? permanently located in the shop.
I had prepared a briefing and handed out copies of the MSF T-CLOCS pre-ride checklist. We all talked about safety in all aspects from the environment, recycling, to gear for our bodies. Area maps were posted on the shop wall, as was the schedule of Big Bike Weekend, ( a harley is a harley is a harley). (once a year the city is closed for motorcyclists and cycling events).Everyone got Left Coast KLR ID?s with accompanying discount coupons for being a ?real? cycle club to CYCLEGEAR. I went over what was available in my shop for everyone and pointed at my welding table where I had laid out 40 years of accumulated tools. I also pointed out the rented porta-potty. I learned about port potties after being visited by two KLR riders who had just come back from Mexico, As they stated their trip was ?The short, cheap way ?round?. I made the mistake of extending my house bathroom to people who had just eaten a months worth of Mexican food?. And my wife reminded me that if I liked being married in the future I had better find some way for 20 people NOT to use our bathroom.. I donned my NBC mask to clean the bathroom and realized, point well taken!!!
More importantly in events was the ?loot? that went with the weekend. It was only fair to be a good host to people who had ridden hundreds of miles for the weekend. What I didn?t know would happen is that the ?stash? would be added to by everyone who came.
Participants received aluminum led mini- flashlights, parts bowls, micro-soft face shield clothes, tire gauges, oil and filters, knives, SAS survival manual, baseball hats (good for Big Joe who lost his out of his gear bag courtesy of the wind).The list goes on. It seemed like everyone brought something. Ill do my best to acknowledge contributions but if I forget someone it is only because there were so many donations and gifts by others.
As tech day started people jumped into what they came for, valve adjustments, fork mods, t rain mods , Percival mod, custom fuse blocks, stuebel horn mounts, carb mods, Bigfoot installs. Custom aluminum bracket building, right side ground wire mod, (where it gets pinched by the tank), Decalifornication, oil/lube changes, bolt upgrades, drill through mods? and oh yes.. How could I forget? do the DOO.. IIRC? and Eagle Mike will correct me.. I think of the 5 or so bikes that were converted all were bad in some way? including 2 brand new bikes.. We had broken springs, deformed doo?s, doos that wouldn?t adjust or had been over tightened. If you doubt the doo mod.. don?t.. trust me, now that I have seen it even new bikes need it. Eaglemike?s craftsmanship is fabulous and his products ARE first rate. It really helped having someone who has done several hundred doo?s..I think he did one in 20 minutes,,, I would have taken all day and the neighborhood would have learned all the words in an Irishman?s dictionary.
I had originally planed to try to get a ride in for everyone on Saturday but the old heads told me to forget it.. They were right.. Everyone was seriously into wrenching. Since my bike was done and needed a test ride I asked Dave, (djen223), and Rob, (Larry boy), to go with me for a short jaunt to the lake. Rob rode his Buell.. His bike is beautiful and trust me.. even though I was in the lead there was never any question as to the Buell?s superiority as a motorcycle. They sound fantastic,,, a throaty rumble that makes a bikers brain heady.
We couldn?t have asked for better weather? sunny.. Low 80?s.
As the sun began to set everyone gathered around for KLR trivia, prizes, and a group photo. Prior to starting the gals in the group received some pre-trivia loot . Elizabeth ,(trasks (aka trasko) girlfriend) rode in on her BMW 650.. Since I don?t know her moniker Ill just all her ?Berkley Beam? and Geneva (Eaglemikes girlfriend).. Ill just call her ?One Bad Momma? received ?Barbie Boxes?. In the Barbie Boxes, ( a small plastic toolbox), were emergency rain jackets, some juice, and some hand cleaner.. All the requisites necessary for a KLR babe!!! They also were given wooden KLR models to assemble.. You know.. To tap into the creative left brain.
I could tell people were on the edge of their seats to win the loot..so using the KLR facts manual I began to ask the questions..The rules? The first correct answer wins? after somebody won they had to wait until everyone in the group won before they could jump in again. Tim,(tomato city), isn?t good at directions and answered every question,(correctly), eventually winning a MVP ribbon just to keep him quiet. I think as a child Tim probably smiled, devilishly, during dodge ball. The loot given out was everything imaginable. Welding rod holders (tool tubes), lots of different knives, hats, torque wrenches, welding manuals, motoboy sunglasses, magnetic grabbing tools (doo part fishing), mini extendable mirrors (looking under the gas tank for pinched wires),, the list goes on. Everyone eventually won something. Also passed out were bottles of water and cliff bars.. official food of KLR riders. Remember TIM?. Listen to the directions Oh.. By the way.. don?t even consider playing cards with Craig (motophoto).. Trust me he will win every time.. He won some marked cards!
The day ended with Tim (tomato city) starting his bike after a valve adjustment and having it sound like a Russian Zil? and that ?ain?t? good. A quick diagnosis by wrenches Rob,(Larry boy), and Joe(The other big Joe) and the bike was already back into teardown phase. We decide to put it to down for an hour to head off to dinner.
Dinner was Chinese, Chu?s at the Airport, Redding?s best. We had so many people they had to put multiple tables together. Food was flying fast and furious and we closed the doors to the place having such a good time talking and eating. Mike Brockman (Phoneguy) watched out for our youngest member Graham ,(henceforth known as ?rooster tail?), by buying him dinner? hey Mike.. Next year?I?ll be 17.. and have ID to prove it!!!
Some of the group headed off to well deserved sleep but many of them came back to the shop to put Tim?s bike in order. WOW,, that?s all I can say.. People drove all day.. wrenched all day.. and then helped all night..just to get a fellow rider?s bike back together. This is exactly what the weekend was all about. I bet Tim will never make a valve adjustment mistake again! The bike started and sounded fine,,, hope its not an oil burner.. Time will tell if anything got bent.
Sunday morning came around? it was a site seeing Rob (Larryboy) and Joe (the other big joe) climbing out of a one man tent? how did you bunk buddies do that. Speaking of bunk buddies rumor has it that Tim (tomato city/Captain Sacto) left his special white hand cr?me here?. No worries Tim.. I think it will follow you.
Mike Brockman?s (phone guy) wife Adrian made some really killer Choco Chip cookies that were the hit of the weekend,, hmm could they have been Alice B Toklas cookies,,ok Im dating myself? no they were just damn good cookies. Joe (the other big joe) was last seen stuffing cookies in his cargo pants mumbling.. ?They?re all mine, Mike?, (Eaglemike)? as a matter of fact Joe snitched himself off and left Eaglemike a note telling him tough luck.. He?d been beaten to the punch. You snooze you loose Mike. Joe was also reportedly trying to strike up some familial relationship with our parrot Tango? Joe was teaching him new phrases like, ?wrench or die scallywag? Even at 7 a.m. in the morning Rob (Larry boy) looked pretty good in his Superman pajamas and slippers? the cape was a little much.
The morning progressed quickly with a couple of people staying behind to work on last minute things while half the group did a scenic road ride to the Round Mountain Burn Area and the other half (with me) did an off road ride over Backbone Ridge. We met up on the pavement about an hour and a half later and rode for another hour circling back to the shop. It was awesome. We got to see man?s carelessness and the huge areas decimated by multiple forest fires, some intentional, some accidental.. But all preventable.
Trask (Trasko) and Elizabeth (Lizzebee/aka Berkley Beam) had never ridden off road before and Elizabeth took a street tired BMW on the trek. Backbone Ridge fire road was in poor condition and hadn?t been graded this year and was heavily rutted in places. I was impressed as the two new riders made a good showing. I was taking the lead when at one point I looked back and didn?t see anyone. As I waited a beat up 4 x 4 GEO stopped and three toothless wonders, who looked like they were straight out of deliverance, gum smiled at me? which had me reaching for my gun,,, anyway they proclaimed someone had fallen behind me. I zoomed back expecting to see Elizabeth down but nooooooo it was Trask? he got his rear wheel stuck in a track and it caught the edge and threw him.. No harm no foul nobody hurt.. I couldn?t even see a scratch on the bike.. Phew..I had visions of an ?over the side? of the mountain accident. I would have to give top riding honors to Elizabeth for the weekend.. She wrenched and rode and did it all herself.. Of course BMW did provide mobile latte service with the requisite man mule servant,,, Trask!!! Matt (GPS adventurer) did a fabulous job being the last man, affectionately known as the ?road donkey?, making sure everyone moved forward. I told everyone the road guard/last man rider is just as Important as the ride boss or leader.. Matt was extra tough showing that he could ride without gloves,, even when offered some? I did notice that after an hour his hands were adorned with tree bark for protection,, remember Matt.. We all practice ATTGATT.
The weekend ended on a high note with sunshine and great friends
I ended up with some really cool stuff
A neat registration carrier and tmods from Tim
A doo and bolts and doughnuts and rags from Mike
A map case from Craig
Fork oil and cookies from Mike B
Enough CD?s to keep me busy for a month.. And hats from John Nunes
Blue paper towels from a bunch of people
Dan (tree farmer).. For keeping my Oregon dream alive and spending so much time talking to me and Teri, my wife
Graham reminded me of what its like to be 17 again
Heck I can?t remember everything there was so much? I send a thank you to one and all
Of note I want to mention several people for their efforts this weekend
Mike (Eaglemike)? without his guidance the tech part of the weekend would have been less fun? I mean it would have been the difference between trained techs and monkeys
Tim (tomato city) Every time I turned around he was working on my bike with Mike B or someone else.. Thanks guys
Rob (Larry boy) Joe (the other Big Joe) who drove all the way here just to wrench on other peoples bike.. These guys wrench and work hard for a living .. and have kids.. I was really impressed?
John Nunes (nooner818) drove up after flying (his job) for like 10 hours and traveling for another 6 or so? He brought gifts and acted as a safety.. Walking around checking everyone?s work out making sure it was done with aircraft precision
Honorable mention goes to Graham?s mom, Margaret,,, she let Graham go off on an adventure from which he was forever changed? and of course Geneva, Eaglemikes KLR babe, who rode all those miles slapping Mike on the head when the BMW vibromassage was putting him to sleep.. And Jane Ireland, Gene?s, (irelage), wife. She motored up in the nicest sprinter motor home I have ever seen,, some chase vehicle I would say. Gene had it equipped with a cool KLR rack on the back.
And finally, off course, my wife Teri? who made buckets of coffee,,, she actually had a .308 M60 machine gun trained on all of us for awhile.. Until she realized.. The porta potty works!!!
Forgive the slang and spelling errors.. My hands are still tired from applauding all of you
2007 Tech and Adventure Weekend will be better? This is my promise to all.
PS.. No trees were murdered making this post..only electrons