Saturday, August 31, 2013


Where have I been? Wowzers, I looked at the date of my last post.... I'm a slacker, I apologize. Well, classes have started. I went to the last race of the Maxxis series, sold Moto-van and got a vehicle that's much better on gas. Whoa, what's that? You asked what happened to Moto-van? I'll tell ya in a minute. I have to go back to the race first not that it has anything to do with it but I have to keep my bearings straight (catch the bike pun?) so I don't forget anything.

Lets start with Short track and Maxxis first. Short track has been going great. Hit and miss on the turnout but never the less we're getting our workouts in. I feel like a slug out there in the grass... as usual. I scored a HUGE blow-up... No not doll! But an alligator for our short track moat for next weeks collegiate race at ETSU. Lol, this thing is over 6ft long and 3ft wide. I doubt it lives very long before one of the kids puts a hole in it...
Well onto North Wilkesboro. Cobra Commander (Dwayne, the cycling coach from Virginia Intermont) met me at my house bright and early Sunday and we rolled over to Wilkesboro for the last race of the Maxxis series. First, I would like to say thank you so much to everyone that hosted races and volunteered for all the races we mountain bikers attended. Maxxis is one of the best series out there the only thing they could do better is weed out all the SANDBAGGERS that won't move up. I still give them 5 Scooby stars for all they do though!
Not much to report on my race... I got 10th though I don't know how. I do remember flipping over the bars when a good size stick lodged in my der, chain and cassette stopping my cranks abruptly. That would have been a nice Kodak moment. I've rode more this summer than ever but I swear I don't see any major improvements in my fitness. For some reason I can't get my heart rate up over 174bpm. I used to get into the mid 180's at maximum effort but not for the last few months. Oh well...
Ok, so yes Moto-van has found a new home I Boone NC. I put it up on Craigslist and my phone started blowing up. You get the usual crazies from Craigs but a few of the contacts I received were a little spooky. Go figure.... it's what ya get when you're selling a blacked out van, huh? A nice artist ended up with it in Boone NC so I hope it helps them haul their art around to shows as good as it's treated me over the last 3 years. See that new Ford van above? That's the new 2014 transit. Ford has finally ditched the E-series body and updated them big time. Although I've replaced Moto-van with something I've been wanting for a long time I still have my eye on this new van...

Now, what did I get to drive that's easy on gas and pretty dam awesome in my book? An Element!!

Sky-Lar and I rented the smallest thing that enterprise had on the lot (Toyota Yaris) and headed for Ohio to retrieve this little blue element. The Toyota Yaris has no power, flies on top end, gets 40+ MPG and handles like a broken go-cart. Oh, you can fill it up for $30 bucks too!!!! The element is in pretty good shape for an '03 and the mileage is tad high but it's waaaaaaayyyyyyy below Moto-van's mileage of 240K. Weather was awesome and it was good to get out of town doing something non-bike related.

 make it rain, Yo!
So with a big wad of cash we rolled up to Ohio, test drove it, paid the man, stopped at Buffalo Wild Wings in Ironton, Oh. for dinner and then proceeded to haul ass home. Everything was going great until....

Yea, you're waiting for it huh? We almost hit the Virginia state line when the thing dies, yes DIES! It just shut off. I hit the shoulder, raised the hood (That's what everyone does ain't it?) just looking for the magic thing to get back on our way. I said a small prayer standing there, got back in.... it started and we were back at it. Thanks God!!! Now it started spitting and sputtering when we hit a hill but after I realized how to drive it in limp mode we managed to get to an Advance Auto to get a scanner on it.

This is what we found. The young sales guy was on top of it. He called it right and told me what the top fixes were for it. So, I went to check the oil and the dipstick would not come out of the cover. WTH??? We even tried pliers but eventually broke it off. After we got home I googled the code and got onto the Honda tuners website. Those guys are the bomb diggity! I swung by Johnson City Honda, Johnson City (if you live around here you'll know why I typed it that way) and picked up a screen/gasket for the V-Tec spool valve and a new dipstick ($21.67). BAM! solved the problem, she runs like a top now. I still had to remove the gosh vice-grips did the job! It looked like the plastic was swollen in the hole, really weird...

Next was to go through it mechanically, top to bottom and dress it up a tad. Full tune-up, Brake pads (had about 30% left) replaced anyway, new serpentine belt and all new filters should get us off to a better start on this new relationship since it didn't start out so well the first day.

I started with the stock wheels cosmetically... I can't leave anything stock, sorry.

Sorry this is mostly a 'new to me' car posting by the way with not much about bikes.

I saw somewhere someone had painted their wheels with this rubber paint called plasti-dip?

Ive used this stuff on wrenches before but never as a spray. I watched MANY youtube videos before I tried this but it was relatively easy as easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy. You just have to cut the stuff before you remove your masking material or you'll peel it up and have to redo it. So what I started with what's in the pics above. I took this picture for reference half way through.... Hmmmm how's this gonna look?????

While I was in those wheels wells I noticed that the ABS wires were venerable so I fixed that then I thought.... "All those Hondas I have been looking at and reading about online had the brake calipers painted and I think that looks cool" so I painted the calipers with cherry red heat paint while I had the wheels off. I'm really digging the blacked out wheels but I'm curious to how long this plasti-dip stuff lasts. I'm already looking at KMC Rockstar wheels for it now. After all this work there was only one more thing to do... fix the stock stereo, it supposedly goes off and on when you hit bumps the old owner said!
I ended up with a Pioneer CD with Aux. Since I listen to mainly the iPod and CDs this was all I needed and the choice I had was between this and a Kenwood deck. The Kenwood was $55 more and I wanted speakers also so I went with the cheaper Pioneer tuner. They both had the multi-color illumination and the blue really matches the 'ment really well. With the stock speakers I'm pretty impressed with this little deck. I've still got to add a few LED's to the interior, install the hitch I bought, install the speakers when they get here, build a interior bike mount and remove the rear seats.

Oh riding? yea... I mentioned school started this week but I did get in an easy spin Monday and short track Wed. Sky-Lar and I got drowned on our Thursday night road ride out of campus. It seemed we got all the water at once and it lasted about 2 miles. We had to ride the last 10 miles home drenched and squishing when we pedaled, arghhh!

Thanks for listening to me ramble. I guess I need a name for my new ride now? ( 'ment ) wants to stick in my head but I'll see if I can come up with something better later on.

LAter G.............................

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