Yesterday my new friend Merlin Bianco and I rode about 120 miles, over the Kancamagus Highway to Conway, NH, and down US 302 to Raymond, Maine.
|Merlin, Duncan and Dan, with Rocio, Suzi, and Whitehorse Gear in the background.|
|Note that the bikes have crossed the border, completing "48 in 24" for Duke and Merlin!|
As I searched for the first restaurant advertising fresh lobster, I noticed that my oil filler plug was missing, and had an "Aw, shit!" moment. The Irving station where I bought a quart of 10-40 oil had offered me a paper funnel, which I'd accepted and used. Hence, I had set the threaded filler plug on the right side cover of the Suzuki's engine, where "I couldn't forget it," in order to hold the funnel with my left hand while pouring with my right. Then, in removing the funnel and discarding it and the empty oil jar, causing me to walk away from the bike, I did forget it. My crankcase was open to the air, and a fine mist of oil was coating my right boot.
|Two old codgers in Raymond, Maine|
I rode back to Fryeburg with a wishful eye on the opposite shoulder of the highway, hoping against hope to see a small oil filler-cap. At the Irving station near the border in Fryeburg, I figured I had my best and last chance to reunite the bike with its missing part. I parked at the edge of the drive, dismounted, and started toward the convenience store, then saw two women wearing Irving uniforms. I asked one, "Did anyone turn in an oil plug?" "No," she said somewhat curiously, leaving me with a faint hope. "But I found one!" She retrieved it from a window sill, and accepted a "Thank you!" hug. "I knew someone would be looking for that," she said, "'cause I'm a biker, myself."
On the way home, I stopped and treated Suzi to a new "Cortech by Tourmaster" tank bag at Whitehorse Gear.
Alaska trip status update: I am presently leaning toward taking my 1983 Suzuki GS1100e on the Alaska trip. Suzi is an amazingly capable tourer, and a delight to ride in the mountains. Of course, the new tank bag would also come along if I were to ride my '82 Honda Silver Wing Interstate.