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Archive for July 17th, 2009

Day 221 – 17th July 09

Posted by TravellingStrom on July 17, 2009

Friday – Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

I had a restless night, not sleeping very well at all. I am not sure why, maybe I should have worn ear plugs, but they were in the shed, not the tent. Never mind, the shops were open at 8.30 so after some breakfast Mike did some phoning around to a few of the dealers and in the end I picked one of the local shops to get the stuff I needed. First off though before breaky, I had found the dealer mode plug and shorted out the two pins that put it into check mode and left it in there as there was no fault code showing now, because I had powered the bike down. Hopefully it will never return, but if it does I have its number, but while in dealer mode I have no clock, so I had to add the clock function to the GPS dashboard to compensate.

I had also stripped down the bike to get to the air filter, it has never been looked at since I bought it, but I had not been in too much dust and I had screened the intake very well. Even though it did not look too dirty, it was hard to see through, so a new one of these was needed as well.

So, about 9.30 Mike drove us down to Alberta Cycles about 10 minutes or so away where I scored a full kit of two OEM sprockets, a DID525 chain and an OEM air filter with gasket for the measly sum of $215CA. Now, I know that back home for me to buy that same combo, it would be up near the $400AU mark, but I have not seen these kits at home, maybe they are a new thing.

So, back at the shed, it was out with the grinder and off with the old chain, these tools make short work of it I can say 🙂

Now, this was the funny thing, this kit has a chain designed specifically for the DL650, so the chain was the correct length, but it had been pre- joined and was an endless chain type which meant removing the swing arm. Luckily for me they included another rivet type master link so we could cut one link out and install the chain as normal.

So a short while later after removing a link, installing the chain on the bike and riveting a new master link into place the bike was back on the road. While Mike was grinding and riveting, I was installing the new air filter etc, but one thing I forgot to buy was new spark plugs, I shall have to buy a few and replace them on the road one day.

A quick strap around the block told me the noise had gone, the bike was back to normal 🙂 Thanks must go to Mike who helped so much, I really do appreciate it 🙂 🙂 So, for the next few hours we both sat around updating forums and getting mail etc. There was going to be a ride this afternoon with a group of the Edmonton Vstrom group for the placing of a GeoCache, more about that later.

One of the things I had not been able to get my hands on were some heated socks, Gerbing do not make them anymore, they now make a heated insole, which to my mind is as useless as tits on a bull! I mean, why heat up the part of the foot that faces away from the wind and cold? I want the front and tops of my feet to be warm, they cop the brunt of the weather! Anyway, Mike had found a website that sells Gerbing stuff, factory seconds, but still good gear, all new with slight blemishes maybe, well they had a special on heated socks 🙂 Here is the link . I immediately placed an order for a pair, to be shipped to Anchorage, hopefully they will arrive by the time I get there in a week or so 🙂 They only cost $35 with shipping and will plug straight into the pants I just bought, you little ripper 🙂 8)

So, it is now 4.30pm and we suited up to go to the meeting place where the ride will leave from, I just followed blindly 🙂 There was a bit of a discussion between the kids as to who could go with dad, Victoria won this round 🙂

Over a half hour period the numbers grew until we had about 7 riders able to go on the cache stashing. That is Kathy, the only girl rider of the day, her steed is the burnt orange coloured bike.

Most of the bikes were Vstroms, except for this green Vulcan owned by Smurf the nude nut in the middle, he was allowed to ride because he had bought a Vstrom and was picking it up tomorrow 🙂 That is Dave with the white hair to the left, he had also been to Rapid City, but I never saw him there, apparently I was still asleep when he left 🙂

Now, the GeoCache is basically a fun little game where a small waterproof box is left somewhere and the GPS coordinates of its location are posted on the VSRI forum, in whatever local forum is doing it, in this case the Canadian forum. Whomever so wishes can go and find it, then take it somewhere else and post the new location, generally it is a fun thing, but you normally leave a little something inside. It is just an excuse for a ride, but it seems to be very popular up here. Anyway, Whitey Jr had picked up the cache this afternoon from its previous location and now we were going on a group ride to settle it somewhere else he had in mind. So, off we go threading through town to the north east.

The road soon turned to dirt for a short section, this was a short cut but it soon turned into twisties, great 🙂

So, we had arrived and the cache was soon stashed in a tree by Dan, he is 6’9” and at full stretch up on the fence post this was a long way up that tree 🙂

Then, job done with coordinates recorded we headed back to Mikes place for more wobbly pops, we passed what looked like a Hindu place on the way back, humungous it was 🙂


We had a great evening chatting, although not everyone stayed late of course, Smurf did some damage to himself, apparently caught his finger in the gate and drew blood badly, she’ll be right mate, give it a quick bath under the tap!

That is Matt with his back to me, he did not ride as he had a work commitment, but would ride tomorrow and in the next one is CJ, Mikes wife who had been badly sunburnt yesterday on the feet, so she had stayed in the aircon when she could. Apparently the sun and her do not get on 🙂

After a great spag bol for a very late supper we called it quits around midnight. Tomorrow I was on the road and heading south to Banff National Park, my starting point for Alaska. It would be a late start for me, but Mike was taking his family out early for the day anyway. I would be meeting up with Matt and Dan for a ride down to Calgary where Smurf was picking up his new bike. We were also planning on nicking the Calgary riders cache and moving it, it seems it had been stationary for too long 🙂

Day 79 miles and 127 km
Trip – 25,252 miles and 40,639 km


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