Friday, June 29, 2007

Cross Country 2007 - End of the Line: Hartford, CT.?

197 miles + 88 miles
After a late night we both enjoyed being able to sleep in. As we drove south it became very lush forest. All very pretty but that means it also contains something very dangerous to any motorcyclist, deer. It might total a car to hit one but a motorcyclist will be decapitated because of where their body is, and the sound of a motorcycle will startle them into their random jumping dance. We had seen a few the last night while looking for a hotel, but it was nothing compared to what we were seeing now. Deer off the freeway, dead deer on the side of the road. They were everywhere. As we were riding through in a blind corner I saw what I thought was a dead deer on the side of the freeway. Right at the apex of the turn it popped its head up and started right at me. It freaked me straight out. At the next stop I asked D. and no I hadn't been seeing things it freaked him out too.
The further rode the more I had the feeling sick symptoms building inside me. I just knew I had ate some bad french food at the Canadian border. When we stopped to get gas I couldn't take it anymore I needed a brake. We took a nice long lunch and I drank lots of water until I was feeling a little better.
We got back on the road and I was trying to keep up again with D. when suddenly when I twisted the accelerator it didn't do anything. I twisted the throttle again and the engine revved but no power. There is nothing like engine problems to snap you out the sick haze feeling. Great, I was stuck in between the car-pool lane on one side and 4 lanes of traffic on the other. Luckily, I had about the width of one lane with orange barrel cones every 100 feet. I looked down and saw the chain had come off the sprocket, crap. I didn't have enough space to get off and really work on the motorcycle so I pulled my cell phone out, stuffed it under my helmet and called AAA. The 800 number routed me through to New York AAA. They referred me to Connecticut AAA. They transfered me to the local AAA, who put me on hold while checking if my policy covered motorcycle towing. Finally after what felt like hours but was probably closer to 10 minutes of me yelling over the din of traffic a tow truck was on its way. I backed up my bike to a group of 4 barrels that were covering a drain to give me a little more protection from the cars flying by on both sides of me. A little while later an construction/emergency freeway truck pulled up and he lowered his crash barrier in the back for more protection. D. still wasn't answering his phone but soon showed up after he had noticed I was no longer following him.
The tow truck showed up and I had the choice to be towed off the freeway and put my chain back on or just be towed the 88 miles home. Either way it would be the same cost as one tow. Since I didn't know what caused the chain to come off I figured it best to get towed all the way, with D. following on his motorcycle.
I had set up getting the new apartment through my new job. I had never seen the place and didn't officially live there for a few days on July 1st. But I had no choice so when he unloaded the motorcycle we pushed it into one of the out of the way parking spots. Then I hopped on the back of D.'s motorcycle and he dropped me off at the train station to make it the rest of the way into NYC to his apartment. (His bike was pretty unstable with a passenger and all his gear.)
What a way to end the trip.

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