Sunday, November 5

The bike shops in town are all closed today, so I'll have to wait til tomorrow to get it fixed.

Catching Up

I last wrote after returning from the hookah bar in New Orleans. The next morning I slept late and rode out to the Lower Ninth Ward, an area hard-hit by Katrina, to see what it looks like now. I was told there are still whole blocks of abandoned homes, but I just saw a lot of demolition and construction. A city being rebuilt. I got some pizza at a place that was under ten feet of water a year ago; you wouldn't know it now. The refinery is back up and running, the train tracks are intact, the roads are either badly potholed or newly paved. There were many mobile homes. Not much to take pictures of, but maybe I was just in the wrong neighborhood. Anyway, I went to New Orleans to see the city as it lives, not the relics of the past that was destroyed, so it's probably good that I spent most of the time in the French Quarter.
(Note: The first photo above is the Superdome, where thousands of people were living on the brink for a week as Bush and Brownie did their wonderful heckuva job. It's fitting to see New Orleans a few days before this election.)

From New Orleans I got on I-10 and rode around 400 miles to Tallahassee, Florida, to visit my old friend Yonit. "Old" in that our parents knew each other in their 20's, we knew each other growing up, our families moved to Israel around the same time, we moved back to the states around the same time, and we generally have very similar backgrounds. So there was a lot to catch up on and talk about. We went to Ruby Tuesdays (very good) in the evening and Whataburger (not so good) in the morning. After a late start, I left Tallahassee around 1pm, back to I-10, east then south to the Florida Turnpike, (which was very expensive so I'll avoid it on the way back north), 450 miles to Delray Beach, to visit my grandparents. I arrived around 10pm and in good Jewish-grandma fashion was promptly fed more than I could eat.

The bike has been having problems all day. There's been some kind of mechanical issue for a while now (mostly since the tuneup in Arizona, which I suspect was a better job on the outside than the inside) - but it wasn't affecting my riding at all so I was ignoring it. Today it became a big problem, though - the bike would suddenly lose power and refuse to go over 65, getting jumpy and slowing down the more gas I gave it - and the knocking sound which was previously only in low gears at low speeds is now loud at all speeds. Whether those are the same problem or two separate ones I don't know, but I was barely getting 20 MPG today. I initially thought the knocking was in the transmission, but now I suspect it's in the engine; maybe a clogged fuel line, or a bad spark plug, or a clogged air filter, or any of a hundred other things that my non-mechanic's mind can speculate. The bottom line is I can't ride it back north until it's fixed, so I'm taking it into a shop tomorrow. (Unless the shops in the area are closed on Sundays.) I'm hoping it won't be too hard or expensive to fix.