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How I spent my Labor Day weekend.

Well, that was fun, I guess. Three day weekend does a feller some good. I had some work backed up that I needed to get done, but I chose not to even check work e-mail at all this weekend. I am wise and stupid at the same time.

Friday night after work, vespaden found himself temporarily without companionship, as his special lady friend had taken off to Santa Cruz or some such exotic location. He came over for an inebriated movie night, during which we enjoyed a screening of Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle. Good times.

Saturday we got going in the morning and started work on various scootery projects that needed to take place. I just bought a new '74 Rally 200, but it was having problems staying running and it needed some other stuff done before I could call it my own. By the time Paul arrived, I'd swapped the top end of the carb with the one on Eris and it was running like a champ. When Paul showed up, we headed over to First Kick for the rest of the stuff that we needed. We dawdled there for quite a while, got some lunch, headed down to San Bruno and Colma to check out tool sales at Sears and car stereos for Paul's Alfa. By the time we got back and started working on bikes, it was about 5pm. Yikes. We dug in with all four of our hands. By the end of the day we'd replaced the front shock and center stand, fixed the seat, swapped the speedo with Eris' and gotten it working, swapped the taillight with Eris' (the one that was on it as ugly as... yo mama), and taken care of a couple of other little things. We also put Eris back together in to a running state so Paul could ride her on Sunday at the Los Gatos rally. I must say, it's quite a thrill to have two running '74 Rallys in your garage. Too bad Eris will be going up on the block pretty soon to finance the new bike. The cool thing is, I got a hell of a deal on the new bike, so even with a couple hundred bucks worth of parts that I bought this weekend, it'll be no problem to get that money back when I sell Eris, and then some. Plus, new bike has some advantages over Eris. Namely, the oil injector works (no more pre-mixing), and the glovebox isn't mangled, so it actually functions and locks. The bike was converted to a non-battery setup, too... So that's nice, even though it kind of freaks me out when I step on the brake and the headlight dims.

After working on bikes forever, Susie hooked us up with some dinner, which we were in dire need of. More inebriated movie time followed and Susie made BROWNIES, which was the best thing ever.

Sunday, Paul and I headed down to Los Gatos for the September Shindig Santa Cruz mountains ride. It was freaking awesome down there. We rode about 90 miles and the new bike held up quite well, with the exception of one flat tire. While changing the tire, we noticed that a) the dude who owned the bike before me had put smallframe tires on it and b) the frame was dented slightly, which changing tires a royal bitch. Ugh. We finally got it changed and rode out the rest of the day, ending up at the Scooter House for barbecue and relaxin'. Saw some people I don't see often and that was nice. We headed out before long, though, and got ourselves home so that Paul could make a prior social engagement. On the way home, we argued the merits of tourist attractions like the Winchester Mystery House. I'm for it, and Paul is a crank. That's alright, though... he's still my brother... from another mother.

I spent the rest of the evening chillin' with Susie and the animals. All this scootery goodness had taken its toll on me, so I crashed early.

Yesterday, I was back in the garage, to correct some issues I'd noted with the new bike. I swapped the tires with Eris', but when trying to put the rear tire on, I discovered that the studs on the rear hub were in such bad shape that it was pretty difficult to get the nuts on. I decided to swap the hub with Eris' (poor girl is getting stripped like nobody's business. I fully intend to replace all the parts with new stuff though..). This turned in to a huge project, as I spent somewhere in the neighborhood of two hours removing the cotter pin that retains the rear hub nut from Eris. I guess when I put it in, I used one that was a little big and I wedged it in there pretty good. Man... I was ready to burn that mother fucker down.

I finally got the hubs swapped and all the wheels back together, and I also swapped Eris' locking purse hook on to the new bike so I'd have that added convenience. You know, when you look at all the things I pillaged from Eris, it's all stuff that I've put on her since I bought her, so I guess I don't feel so bad. Anyway... with that I was finished for the night. The new bike (needs a name) is at full capacity (mostly... I just need to adjust the clutch and rear brake) and I rode it all the way to work today in an attempt to flip the bird to gas prices. I figure I'm getting around 55 mpg on it, and if I were to ride it every day, my monthly commute gas cost would go from around $200 to about $60. Plus, I get to ride my scooter a lot. It took me an hour to get here though, so that kind of blows. I might need to search for a replacement for the route I'm taking between 380 and 92, because there are lights every few blocks and they seem to be timed in such a way that you never can hit a green. Pisser. I really don't like the idea of doing that many miles on 101, but there might not be a better way.

Where was I? Oh yeah... I finished up with the new bike and I left Eris jacked up on the work table, waiting for a new hub and new tire so that it will be in a sellable state. Afterwards, Susie and I rode the new bike down to Daly City and had dinner at the Boulevard Cafe (mediocre) and then saw 40 Year Old Virgin. I wish we'd thought of the idea earlier in the day so we could see it at the Metro, but we didn't, so we were relegated to the theater in Daly City which super duper sucks. The seating is nice, but in general it's a shitty theater with bad sound and tons of people who won't shut the fuck up and won't shut their toddlers up. I demand silence.

The movie itself was freaking hilarious. It was way funnier than I expected it to be. There were some sappy moments, but most of it was good Steve Carell wackiness. The director was one of the directors of Freaks and Geeks, and it stayed true to his style.

I'm exhausted and sore today. Torquing the rear hub nut on a Vespa requires 70 foot-pounds of pressure, and that is a full-body workout if you don't have air tools. I also had the bike fall completely over on me at one point, the clutch lever stabbing my leg. This labor day weekend was all about labor. It's good to be back in my desk chair, easing in to my short work week, and looking forward to a long scooter ride home this evening, followed by OK Go live at Cafe Du Nord. Awwww yeah!

Hope you all had a good time... especially you Seattle people who went to Bumbershoot.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
molotrash
Sep. 6th, 2005 06:26 pm (UTC)
Man, all this sounds so fun!

So, does the Rally have an electronic ignition? Just wondering. The electronic ignition on my Lammy GP was spot-on. Also, does it have a tool box behind the legshield? I love that look on the Vespa.

I used to have GL cowels on my Sprint, chromed. Nice looking. Anyway, glad to hear all worked out for you.
vespa59
Sep. 6th, 2005 06:59 pm (UTC)
Yep... The Rally has electronic ignition. '74 is a notoriously bittersweet year for the Rally though. It was the last year of the best motor they ever built, but also a transitional year, electrical-wise. Eris is a '74 as well, and I never had electrical problems with her, beyond a corroded wire or two, so hopefully this bike will be solid too. Someone went through it recently and updated the electrical system and got rid of the battery setup. I kinda like it.

Yep, it's got a big ol' Rally glovebox behind the legshield. Eris has one too, but a certain mail order scooter parts shop owner who shall remain nameless slammed it shut too many times whilst borrowing it and severely hampered its functionality, and also rendered it quite rattley.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )