Friday, May 22, 2009

Three days in: Pittsburgh, PA

Day 1:

I met Scott and Mike at the Chelsea Royal Diner for my last breakfast in Brattleboro. Couldn't decide between eggs and a Belgian waffle, so I got both.

We started out route 9 toward Bennington, and stopped at one of my favorite spots, Hogback Mountain.

Then on to NY 7, to 87, to rt. 20 West. 20 is a beautiful, wide, long, straight empty old divided 4 lane highway that should have a 90mph speed limit. We stopped here in Skaneateles, NY, where I was told the Clintons lived while Hillary was Senator. how exciting.

We stopped because my speedometer and odometer stopped working. we gave it a few whacks and when we started up again it worked a-ok. Alright.

We stayed the first night in mecklenburg, NY, in the finger lakes region near Ithaca. It was pretty.

I'd been sick the past couple days and after this ride I was a total zombie. My throat was killing me, my head hurt, I was disoriented and exhausted. which was weird because on the ride I felt pretty focused but as soon as I was off the bike, bam, dude, you're sick, remember?

Day 2:

Felt much better waking up, went to breakfast with Mike and Scott and then continued onward solo as they both had to turn back toward Vermont today. Took some very scenic roads toward route 17 west. The speedometer/odometer started acting up again, coming on and off. Very frustrating, as I'm a total geek about logging trip data on road trips. Miles and hours and gallons and MPGs and such. Also, it's nice to know how fast you're going on the highway. Also, the odometer helps keep track of when to fill the gas tank. Also, I had just paid a bunch of money to get the bike checked out. Then the speedometer died entirely.

On these roads, though, it was hard to care about anything. 949 S from Ridgeway, PA toward pittsburgh was by far the best road I've ever ridden. Boy howdy. long sweeping curves around river bends under a forest canopy? Then opening up into enormous farmlands with barns and silos off into the horizons? then back into the woods? I'll take it.

I pulled into Pittsburgh after ten hours of riding, including stops for lunch and messing with the speedometer.

Day 3: Pittsburgh.

I like this town, and my friends in it. There's lots of fun things to do here, so I guess it's not all bad that I'm stuck here for four days.

I brought my bike into a shop. These guys are awesome, and if you're ever in the Pittsburgh area and need some help with your motorcycle, go to Bentleys in muraysville. for real. they got me in on no notice and checked the speedometer out. At the front hub there's a unit called the wheel speed sensor that has something in it called a speedometer rotor. The speedometer rotor is like a little cylinder that latches onto a part inside the hub by a couple grooved teethy type things, spins around, and measures your speed and distance. The guy showed me what was wrong by pulling the speedometer rotor out and it pretty much crumbled to pieces in his hand. They ordered me a part, had it shipped overnight and I was supposed to get fixed up and on the road today, but the whole overnight shipping thing apparently means "it'll be there on tuesday" to the people at the parts distributor.

So, with a choice to hang with friends in Pittsburgh for the weekend or continue my trip without knowing how fast or far I'm going, I decided to hang around, get the bike all buttoned up and continue on early next week. Sure, it definitely throws a wrench into my timing and trip planning, but I'll make it out to portland in time, no sweat.

Until next time....

1 comment:

  1. I'd have to agree with you about those roads in PA. Josh and I were going from Cleveland down to Philly and it definitely had some of the most beautiful views from the road I've ever seen in all of my travels. Just nicely untouched in a lot of places. Really cool. Doing it on a bike has to be completely awesome. Good luck with the bike!