After not finishing in 2014 because of a lack of spare parts and mechanical skills, I vowed to fix that for 2016. In that one, I started with a Cannonball ready scooter, less than 10,000 miles on Vanessa instead of 57,800 on Rocket in Hyder for the start of 2014.
Rocket had a variator that Boris had put in it many miles before. Not a new one, but one he had taken out of another scooter. They only cost $60.00, so starting with that thing was a bad decision.
Of course it broke...while leading...on the next to the last day....and I didn't have a spare.
So in 2016, I carried two variators while starting with a new one. It didn't break.
This year I am even more prepared than last time. I made a box of spare parts to take to Ken's house in St. Petersburg. In it are parts I have been collecting for a while. Two variators, three drive pulleys with their "O" ring. Several one use variator nuts. Several sets of rollers and variator slides (no sliders, they are crap). I also have fuses, a starter relay, two coils, three spark plugs and caps. A headlight, air filter, oil filter, hoses, three drive belts and spare nuts and bolts, enough to take care of anything but the biggest catastrophe. I am also bringing new front and rear tires, mounted, and a five gallon gas tank, so on long days, I won't have to find gas stations. If the worst happens, blown engine or something terrible like that, I will buy a scooter along the way and ride it home.
On this weekend, while preparations and keeping up with what everyone is doing, I had to get the stuff to St. Petersburg.
I fit it into my Miata. Mostly in the trunk but the small dry bag had to go in the front seat. The air pump went there too.
I wanted to drive the entire route with the top down and succeeded until getting to the I-275 turnoff just north of Tampa. I could see a black band of clouds ahead, so I got off the interstate to stop and put the top up. I got caught by a traffic light so simply did it there, but I stepped out with my bare feet (they were getting too hot inside the shoes without the air conditioning turned on).
Just my luck, I stepped onto a small, sharp piece of glass and poked a hole in the bottom of my foot. It bled for a few minutes, right on the clutch pedal and dead pedal left of that.
Once back on the highway, the rain was biblical. I went through at least ten miles where I could barely see in front of my. It was very dangerous as I was going as fast as I felt comfortable while others were doing the same. But some blasted by like it was a sunny day. Luckily, no accidents before the sky lightened and I could make it across the Howard Frankland Bridge to St. Petersburg.
I dropped everything in a neat pile in Ken's new garage, then spent twenty lovely minutes with his wife Vicki.
I should have contacted Walt about visiting Tampa Bay Watch, our cause for fundraising in team Squadra Lumaca this year, but instead got in the car and headed home.
7 hours on the road for the delivery.
Luckily I like driving the Miata.
The lift is Ken's. It is not coming with us. My stuff is in the neat piles.