Friday, July 25, 2008

The Tiger brings on a sudden change of plans

We’re very glad that Jim let us stay another week with him because Mike’s bike was due for an oil change and a back tire this week. At the beginning of this week Mike ordered a new back tire and had it shipped to Jim’s house. We had a phone number and e-mail of someone in this area that did tire mounting and balancing out of their garage for cheap, but when the tire arrived we couldn’t get in contact with the tire guy. We later found out he was out of town this week.

Mike called all the dealer’s in Fort Collins and Loveland but none of them would mount and balance his tire. They only mounted and balanced tires that were purchased from them. After a few phone calls Mike was ready to ship the new tire back home and buy another new tire from one of the dealerships in town and have them mount and balance it. That seemed to be the only solution, but after calling Ray’s Cycle in Fort Collins there was hope. A few hours and $40 later, the new tire was mounted and balanced.

With a new back tire on we were getting ready to do another big weekend ride. Since next week we were staying in Colorado Springs, this weekend we were planning on riding to New Mexico.

The Tiger gets a new rear tire this week

But our plans got scraped the following day when Mike realized one of the Tiger’s forks was leaking really bad. After searching the internet he found out that his Tiger wasn’t the only Tiger with a blown fork seal, that seemed to be a common problem. The bike was still covered under warranty so the next step was getting it in to a dealer. We were in luck since we were leaving Fort Collins this Friday and staying in Colorado Springs all next week. There were three Triumph dealers in Colorado, one in Colorado Springs, one outside of Denver in Lakewood and one in Denver.

Mike called all three. Unfortunately the dealer in Colorado Springs would not be able to fix his fork under warranty, although they could squeeze him in and get it done by next week. To bad since we were going to be staying in town and it would have been very convenient to have the bike fixed there. The winner was Foothills Triumph and BMW in Lakewood. From the beginning, they got down to business, took down the bikes vin and info, acknowledged the problem and said it could be fixed under warranty and would squeeze the bike in to be finished by the end of next week. Mike made an appointment to bring the bike in next Tuesday, since the dealership was closed on Monday.

But what about the weekend? We still wanted to go somewhere and camp and still had to make it to Colorado Springs by Sunday night. The route for this weekend got shortened. Instead of riding out to New Mexico which would be around 800-900 miles we would camp at Rocky Mountain National Park on Friday night, ride to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park on Saturday and to Colorado Springs, which was only 500 miles.

But as the weekend got closer and Mike kept watching his fork oozing badly, he decided that even 500 miles would be too much to be riding on a blown fork seal, so Friday morning the plan was to ride out to Rocky Mountain National Park which was only 50 miles from here. Spend Friday and Saturday night camping at the park and instead of riding we’d do some hiking instead, then Sunday morning we’d ride the 120 miles to Colorado Springs.

So Friday we packed up, said our farewells to Jim and headed out to the park, but we only got 16 miles out of Fort Collins before Mike had to stop. With one of the fork seals blown and all the weight Mike had on the bike, the forks were constantly collapsing when braking and the weight on the back of the bike wanted to slide foreward and was pressing against Mike’s back, and his arms. He couldn’t ride like that and he didn’t want to damage the other fork, which was still good. We had no choice but to turn around and head back to Fort Collins. We called Jim and made arrangement to stay with him another night.

Heading back to Fort Collins on 38E

Since it was Mike’s birthday today, the three of us went out for a bite to eat. We grabbed some burritos at the Big City Burrito in Fort Collins then we went down town to eat them. In the down town area there are a few tables near the fountains where once can sit and watch people. The burritos were great. After dinner we walked around down town but it started raining and we headed back to the house.

Jim and Mike at the Big City Burrito in Fort Collins

Burritos were huge, Mike and I split one of the super burritos

No comments: