Friday, October 15, 2010

Oct 15th - Not much of a blog update today...

Before i forget, Any of you anonymous ones out there reading that don't know me, ship me off an email if you want :)

Today was going to suck, i knew that before hand, but still...

I got up early and ate breakfast before i had to drop the bike off at the shop for 9.
The breakfast at the hotel
eggs, sausage, covered in salsa, a banana and frosted flakes. meh.  free breakfast, not half bad.  I'm not into toast or bagels in the morning... neither making my own waffles.  

I took the cases off the bike and brought them up to the room, and brought the bike to the shop at 9.

Back to the room to wait for my FedEx package... I really didn't want to miss this.
Got really hungry (probably because i didn't eat last night) and went out and about in search for food nearby.  I told the front desk to hold a package if it comes.

I walked over to the bike shop and it seems they got the chain, but no sprockets.. it was on the truck, but wasn't delivered.
A lot of car customizing shops in this corner.  check out this guy

The Pie Wagon
awesome... ain't it?  classy.

I went across the highway and saw a bunch of restaurants.
I picked the restaurant that had a patio so i could smoke.  Not the best way to choose things, but it turned out ok.  The place was called Montana Restaurant.  Not associated with the chain we have back home.

While in Texas... got the Ribeye...

It was good... the mashed with white gravy was really good, peas cold, but still good and the salad.. well, it's a salad.  The Texas toast on the other hand i don't get.  Like, put some garlic or something on it.  Soggy bread and butter just doesn't cut it with me.  

saw this sign at the restaurant.  funny
it says
"take life with a grain of salt...
a wedge of lime,
and a shot of telquila"
I think i'm going to follow that advice tonight...

After much writing, and sitting in the partial sun drinking coffee, i went back to my room. The front desk called and lo and behold, my package was here. 15 bucks for less that 24 hours delivery... pretty good.  actually, pretty awesome.
I'd order from GPScity again, for certain.  I got my new cradle and the gift i gave myself.   happy birthday/merry christmas. 

Now i had nothing to do but wait on the bike.  I decided to go to Starbucks (2.5 miles away).  On the way there i stopped in at the shop and they had received the parts.  phew.  a load off my mind.  Now i hope they put beast back into shape.

Went to starbucks and had my coffee.  Wifi didn't work, so i sat and thought... and wrote... and thought some more.   Sometimes i think it's not healthy to do so...

I understand the need for people to live vicariously through others, through their stories, their lives.  It enriches their lives a little. but today, i had to live vicariously through you.  it sucked.  it does suck.   I need to hit the road badly. i need to be on the move. Am i running away from things? running towards something? hell if i know, i just gotta move.

Anyhow, on the way back i stopped into a little shop and bought myself some medicine.  Not the same kind of medicine i have at home, but it'll do in a pinch.
The grape tasting one is pretty awesome... cheap too.  haven't tried the other yet, but i certainly will.

Cheers / Fisehatak / A votre sante / Sláinte / Kampai / Salud 

Never asked questions that you never cared to ask, and didn't want to know anyhow

I'm sitting in the hotel room, bored out of my tree.
I figured i'd do something a little different.
It's kinda like a faq, cept no one asked me, and no one really cares.  i'm that bored. stuck near an industrial park with nothing nearby, not even coffee.  this sucks.  might turn to Mr Mist earlier than i thought.

Q) do you get bored travelling alone?
A) no, there's always a stranger that approaches me to chat for a little while.  It's amazing how friendly people are when you look like chewbacca and have big stickers on a overloaded yet strange looking bike.  I feel like a curiosity, a freak show, sometimes.  Not that there's anything wrong with that.  I keep a journal, and i write my thoughts.

Q) are you afraid travelling alone?
A) afraid of what? spiders?  Travel smart... don't flash money, don't go to bad neighbourhoods, etc.

Q) how do you cope with being alone all the time?
A) it's pretty simple. first you go insane and hide that fact from everyone.  luckily i've been doing it for years.

Q) after all that riding in a day, do you get sore?
A) you sit on a vibrator for 10 hours in a day, and tell me how you feel.

Q) any injuries so far on this trip?
A) numerous cuts on the hands, fingers, scrapes on the lets, bruises on forearms and a bump on the head from when the bike fell on me.

Q) what else do you do when you ride?
A) look at scenery and listen to music mostly.  I make animal sounds when i pass that type of animal.

Q) what kind of music do you listen to?
A) all kinds of music.  It depends on my mood and the road at that time.  Slow paced music for long stretches of road, to fast paced when i'm in the twisties...

Q) don't you get tired riding the bike?
A) yes, a few times i almost fell asleep.  If you mean tired as in "sick and tired" then no, i could live on it.

Q)What's pissed you off on this trip?
A) i bought beef jerky in Michigan, and a few states over, i noticed something had nibbled through the plastic.  Don't know when it was, or what it was and how it got in my bags, but it did. Another thing is that my horn has stopped working on day 2 of the trip.

Q) any breakdowns with the bike?
A) the KLR is a tank.  my last mechanic screwed me over, and have had problems with the chain and sprockets.  Getting that corrected now i hope (if they can find the parts.

Q) What on the bike have stopped working?
A) Stock parts? headlight.  aftermarket? horn.

Q) Any damage to the bike?
A) it's was put down slowly (dropped) 2 times on day 1.  it was fully pushed over twice (once wind, once by the pressure washer) and the handguard was cracked.  The cage and side cases took all the abuse and it pushed in the rack a little on the right side.  no major damage.  A third time the bike slipped off the center stand and hit me on the head on the way down.  That wasn't fun.  Again, the cage and cases took the abuse.

Q) any regrets on this trip?
A) who doesn't have regrets?? I regret not going to monument valley due to weather.  I regret spending too much time going down route 66, and regret not doing proper maintenance on the bike.  Main reason why i'm stuck in the hotel right now.

Q) How much planning do you do before each day's ride?
A) I don't.  I don't even look at the weather anymore.  I look outside.  If it's cold, i put liners in.  If it's wet, i put liners in and put on a rain coat. no use checking the weather as i'm heading in a direction anyhow.

Q) How's your health?
A) Physically,besides bronchitis at the moment and dizzy spells for the last 4 days, i feel just fine.  I do have boot feet though, so that's not good. Mentally is another story altogether :)

Q) what do you do when you ride?
A) i ride, listen to music, sing to myself and i think.  I think introspectively, retrospectively and prospectively. When i stop writing and i can remember what i was thinking about, it goes in the journal.

Q)Why did you write this NAQ?
A) i'm bored and an attention whore.

Now i'm off to go get coffee.  Seems that the nearest AND ONLY starbucks or any sort of coffee is 2.5 miles away. GPS says it'll take me 30 mins to walk there.  I think it'll take me an hour. i'm that slow.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Oct 14th -- Stuck in Granbury Texas.

The 14th... already?  I've been on the road now for 25 days, and I've totally lost track of time.  Travelling, the way I do, really does mess with you in certain respects.

For one,  no normalcy.  You wake up in a strange bed one morning, and fall asleep in another that night.  To some of you, this may be normal. If you did that, you'd be a whore. hah.

I've been begining to wonder why I do this, why I subject myself to this.  The answer still isn't clear what drives me to this borderline insanity. Fear of normalcy? Am I running away from things?  Is this just easier than a normal life?

People have told me, "you're living a dream" ... not just one or two, but many, so many.
The funny thing is, this is the easiest thing in the world to do for me. Pack light, spend money like you have it, and just live a fantasy life for a while.
I've been wondering if this fantasy life is truly living a dream.  I think it isn't.  It's easy for me in one sense, but so very hard in another.  In reality, it isn't a dream, but an experience. A most wonderful, harsh, grim, exciting experience.

before i forget... Morely, Texas sucks.. .you want to go to New Mexico.. that's where it's pretty awesome..
so far, New Mexico, California and Nevada are my favourites... for the scenery alone... the people are nice everywhere... awesome driving in LA (fast paced, but you get used to it) and horrible drivers in Arizona.  F'ing old people.  Texas drivers are 50-50... most will go on the shoulder to let you pass... they are that nice.

I've been honked at ONCE during my entire trip, and that was in LA... from some out of state moron. heh.

Enough with that...
I know I look like hell, but I feel like hell.  Besides all the aches and pains from riding, numb/sore hands, numerous cuts all over, and a big bump on the top of my head where my bike fell on me, I have viral bronchitis. yay.
The good news is, the pedo-beard is coming along nicely for Halloween. All I'm missing is the pedo-glasses and a pervert-coat and i'm all set.  Anyone have a white van I could borrow?

I headed southeast and found the bike didn't wobble as much, but still did a bit.  I decided to go to the next town over called Hamilton for breakfast, surely they'd have a ma & pa diner around.  If there was, I couldn't find it.  I settled for Donut shop.  Seemed like the only thing around to get food.
I asked what their specialty was and was told two choices.  Here they are.
A giant cinnamon bun and a pig in a blanket.  don't let the photo fool you, that cinnamon bun was easily 8 inches across and 3 inches thick.  I got a large coffee as well. I ate the pig in a blanket first.  It was ok.  What do you expect from a hot dog in a pastry?  I will say the pastry was very good.
The cinnamon bun on the other hand was something else. Glazed, not frosted ( i like frosted better) but it was awesome.  Sweet, but not overly so, and so fresh... The pastry was quite soft and spongy.  Probably the best cinnamon bun I've ever had. The coffee?  it was a complete disgrace.  disgusting.  It so weak you could see into the coffee a few inches, and of course, no cream... Damn "non-dairy creamer" is disgusting.

While i was eating, i kept looking at the map, and that if i should keep following my current trajectory to hit Beaumont, TX, i would be going through a lot of back country roads...  I may not hear banjos on those roads, but roads i wouldn't want to get stuck at any rate.  That, plus the lure of starbucks north of me, prompted me to go into that direction, towards Fort Worth.  The GPS came through for once and found a Kawasaki Shop in Granbury, TX.
While riding to Granbury, my Speedo quit.  CRAP.  now i don't know how far i've gone, or have use of my Odometer for use as a fuel gauge.  I got to the shop and they will see what they can do.  They've ordered some parts and hopefully they will come in on time.  there's a rash of things to be done on it, and i hope they will get it all done in time and done properly.  I know this is going to set me back quite a bit financially.  remember friends, an ounce of prevention is more than a pound of cure.

Luckily for me, there were two hotels right beside the shop.  I got a room at the first one as it had everything I needed.  Wifi, smoking room.  It helps that there is breakfast in the morning, laundry machines right near my room, a pool and a hot tub.  I think Mr. Mastercard is liking me already.  I'm not sure myself as i haven't checked my bill, due to fear of having a heart attack.

They will start working on it tomorrow.  Until then, not much to do but hurry up and wait.  I went to the home depot, and picked up a few items to see if i could fix my GPS cradle.  Small screwdriver set, a torch, you know... useful stuff.

By this time i was getting quite hungry and looked for a local looking place.  It's hard to find one with all the Jack in the boxes and the likes.

I found one place called The Big Cup Eatery. It was dead in there, but then again it was only 2:30pm. I decided on getting a good breakfast.

2 eggs, Chicken fried steak and hash browns.  It was really good, and the chicken fried steak was probably some of the best I've ever had... Definately the best i've had on this trip.

The server asked if I wanted pie for desert... I declined as I was too full. Turns out I got PI somehow.

get it? yes, lame humour.

Back at the hotel, i decided to play operation with my GPS.  No music and sound on the GPS make it for a dull ride indeed.  I need the distraction, and need it to concentrate. go figure.

I took it apart easily enough, but the sound portion is under a glob of silicone.  I tried to get at it, but no go as I was breaking it more by digging in there.  once I get back home, I'll rip that portion out and get a cheap replacement part from radio shack/circuit city.

It's in there and won't budge.  As I still need the GPS to be able to charge in the cradle, i put it back together.  It still charges, so that's good.  I was really annoyed at not having sounds and looked stuff up on the internet.  GPS City says that they can ship one next day. O RLY?
I called them and bought one.  I also got myself a gift, which I hope I'll enjoy.  No, it's not a mail order bride.

Tomorrow will be a sit in the hotel room all day kind of event.  It should be here by 3pm they say.  I hope to god it is because i'll have to leave without it (and my gift to myself).

Not many pictures today because i think i travelled a whole... 93 miles? yippie :-/
I didn't plan my trip up to this point to give me flexibility in where i wanted to go.  I am really far behind and wanted to be halfway up the east coast by now.
Tonight and tomorrow, not much blogging/pictures to be done.  I'll be planning and plotting a course.  There are a few stops I absolutely must do, and some that aren't crucial.

Must do stops:
Best fried chicken at "The Old Country Store" near Natchez.
Ride through New Orleans.
Hit up Tim in Florida
Hit the keys in Florida / swim in the ocean somewhere in florida (my southeast corner)
Hit up Dan in Louisiana (probably my first stop)

That's really all i have on my ToDo right now...  everything else is not on the agenda yet.

I would like to:
Ride the Natchez-Trace Parkway
Ride the tail of the dragon
Ride the Cherohala Skyway
Ride the Blue Ridge Parkway
hit up some friends in Georgia/carolinas
hit boston (my north east corner) and see a friend there
see Donna in Toronto (unless I'm late and she's back home)

That's about it for tonight.  I cleaned out my pockets. You might think i have too much stuff on me, but seriously everything is essential.

oct 13th- Texas sucks.

I realized today that all my little trials and tribulations are quite insignificant compared to what others are going through in their lives.  you see, worse case scenario (apart from dying or being in a wheelchair, which could happen when i'm at home anyhow) is that i get back home a little poorer.  that's about it.

meanwhile, people around me are fighting for their lives, and their loved ones.  I wish them all well on their own journeys.  may your paths be filled with love and not sorrow or regret.

back to "a day in the life of Al"
not many pictures today.  Bike is acting up so much i couldn't take many pictures while riding... also, there's not a whole lot to see in Texas... Texas sucks. (not the people, the landscape)

the moose and I at the cross eyed moose cafe.  The moose is originally from newfoundland
before i forget, here's the heater in the motel i was talking about

i was so hungry i forgot to take a picture before eating.  it was good and breakfast came with the room. sweet.
it gets cold up there.  srsly.  thankfully i had on long underwear and i used my new winter gloves i bought yesterday.  it was cold.  real cold.thankfully no frost or snow yet.

of to texas i went, and was chilled to the bone.  even with the winter gloves my hands were starting to get cold after about 30 miles.  cold, but not to the point of pain yet. i would have liked to have taken some pictures while riding, but it was too cold and cumbersome with big gloves.  The scenery was nice in the mountains with the sunrise coming through the trees, etc.

I finally got out of the mountains and got some speed going.  This is when i first noticed that the wobbling was getting worse.  every time i would shift in the seat, the bike would do an uncontrollable wobble.

i dealt with it and went to a gas station in Artesia for some cold and sinus pills and some allergy pills.  i took them both. i don't know what i have, but i don't feel well.  From there on out, all you cold see is oil derricks in action. i thought a few hundred at first... but i'll assume a few thousand at least.  i saw a few hundred all by the highway... there are more.. so many more.

Texas is boring to ride through.

a lot of cotton fields everywhere
i'm shooting laser beams.  pew pew
got to Comanche, TX just as the sun was fading from twilight to night.  Got a cheap room, and proceeded to get some food.  hadn't eaten since, i only rode.

club, tater tots and coffee.  no creamer, only whitener. damn.  food was good.  I ate at some little local hangout instead of  Sonic or Wendy's.  not much choice in a town with a population of 4000
I hit this too

The bike was making odd sounds, lacked power and was wobbling like a Mofo.

i decided to see if i could do anything about it.
The power... well, i'll assume it's because there's too much oil. bastard mechanic.
wobbling and sounds.... well, who knows, i'm not a mechanic...

i put the bike on the center stand and tried to adjust the chain. The problem is that the wheel has to be off the ground.  after fiddling with it for a while, i took the front wheel off and the back end came off the ground. sweet.

I adjusted the chain as best i could as it may have been most of the bad sounds coming from underneath me.  could be the reason the bike is wobbling.  i don't know.

just when i'm almost done and giving it one last pull on the axle bolt, the bike lurches forward, off the center stand and on it's right side, hitting my head on the way down.  I'm lucky it didn't fall on me i guess.
what a pain.  Too heavy to lift it to put on the center stand again, i was discouraged.  I went to the motel manager i was talking to earlier about bikes (he used to ride all the time and customize bikes in India) but he was gone.  The father came out and helped me lift it back up.

took the bike for a little spin and all seemed ok.  I think my chain is finished though.  quite a few rings are gone. not good. all i did was ride today and i only managed to cover about 450 miles.  that blows.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

oct 12th- today was bittersweet and disappointed in myself as well.

No mark, not my first salad... but they have been far and few in between. lol

Today was a series of misfortunate events.  I woke up in a bad mood, cranky, down, fatigued and with body aches but after a quick call from someone, I felt better. heh.  odd how that happens.  I was sneezing all last night and coughing a lot.  I feel sick.  Either a cold or bronchitis, i don't know, but my head hasn't stopped pounding and i haven't stopped sneezing.

My choice of clothing is next to nil, and i knew there was a laundromat nearby.  In haste i went!  It was open and they had a soap dispenser.  Now for the change machine.  No luck there.  DAMMIT  I guess from now on I'll have to keep about $5 of quarters on me for that, or cleaning the bike (which i haven't done since the last tip over in what... Oklahoma? eons ago).

I reuse clothing on the road.  Why the hell not? i know i stink, but i don't care. heh.
I look like hell anyways with the dirty smelly adventure suit, the nasty beard i haven't shaved since i left home, and the bad hair from the helmet.  Did i mention boot feet?  heh.  That's what happens when you wear wool socks in the desert.

I wanted to make up some miles today, so off on the interstate i went, hoping to be well within the Texas border by nightfall.
riding into the sunrise
"Blue Steel"
I got to Las Cruces and started looking at the GPS for starbucks locations.  I love how the GPS brings you to a location that doesn't exist... i mean, a big empty lot of weeds... not even a building? arg.  2nd annoyance of the day.
See the white car in the middle of the picture? i know the picture is small (even if you click on it) but take a look at the tires sticking out a good 4-5 inches from the body.  I bet when he honks, it's "La Cucaracha".

after a few more false positives on the GPS, i went finally found a starbucks.  Yes i like coffee, no it's not the only reason.  I needed to find a cycle shop to see if they had a tire.

I really didn't like the looks of the tire.  The tread was still ok, but i was worried it would chunk out, and then i'd be screwed.

I went online and found a shop about 6 miles away.  Off i went to find the store was closed.  crap.  annoyance number 4? 5?
I rode around and found a small shop.  He didn't have anything but directed me to a big shop that would have it for sure.
I went to Las Cruces Motorsports and they seemed to have everything in there.  Suzuki, Kawi, Yamaha, Big Dawg choppers, Honda, Quads, etc.  Jesse at the parts counter tried in vain to find one, but he said most stores don't hold inventory.  He called another store, and that store had a dunlop D607 in stock.  The other store was way south in Santa Teresa, on the border of El Paso Texas.  My aim to to head north as i had "planned" to visit something very important up there.

While i was waiting for Jesse, i picked up some very sweet, but very expensive gloves ($120).  pictures later.

Oh well, the tire was more important, so i headed south, not knowing the exact location of the store.  The address he gave me didn't exist as per the GPS, but i figured a local would know.

Driving through Texas, i stopped at the visitor information and picked up some info and maps

I wasted a lot of time looking for it, driving around Santa Teresa. Locals didn't know the street i was given.  I called the number Jesse gave me, and the parts guy at the Santa Teresa motorsports gave me directions.
I was really annoyed by now. I hate wasting time more than anything.
I found the shop and they started right away on the tire  It was about 1pm.  It was going to take some time and i hadn't eaten all day so i headed out to find a restaurant.
I saw this local Mexican joint called "Ramon's" and it was filled with Mexicans.  Worth a shot.

the usual basket of chips, with a really hot sauce.  it was burning my mouth.  Maybe they were playing a joke on me and saying "haha, look at the gringo".  She did keep speaking spanish to me and then switch over to english.  I guess when you're about 10 miles from the mexican border, at the border town, people speak spanish.  I ordered and she dropped something else off at the table.

a little bowl of chicken soup? odd.  my order didn't come with soup, nor did i ask for it.  I was a nice home made soup though... wish the bowl was bigger the way i felt.

My food arrived.  Shredded beef tacos with beans and rice.

This was bland compared to mexican food i had in southern california.  oh well, maybe they were gringo tacos.  Maybe because my head is stuffed up i couldn't taste much.  who knows... it was still good though.

I got back to the shop and the mechanic said i was really low on oil. damn... i know i was running it hard... i should check it more often.
I asked for an oil change and filter, and that was done.

Went to get gas, put the bike on the stand and left the helmet on the back of the bike.  dammit.  helmet bounced a few times off the ground.

price tag for oil change and rear tire. ~250. ouch.  I still had time to go visit my important point of interest.  The White Sands national monument.  I won't go into a geography/history lesson, so go here

The monument is actually surrounded by the white sands missle range.  This is where the first atomic bomb was ever fired.  Hence the reason i think it's important to visit.

On the way there, the bike was acting really strange.  If i moved around a little, the whole bike started going into a wobble.  This was scary.  also, it seems that i lost a bunch of power. crap!
I was getting pissed off at this point.  another sore point is that my GPS sound was starting to not function at all.  I knew this was a risk because it was failing two years ago, and was replaced under warranty last year.  Because i was leaving on my trip last year and they didn't have the part in stock, they shipped me back the old one, and i got it working well enough for the duration of that trip.  I figured i'd risk the old  part again so i'll have a new one to put on when i get back home.  too many annoyances... AHHHHHHHHHHHH1!!!

Here's a pano of a small part of the bomb range.

I pulled over and figured that because it was a new tire, i should have lower air in it.  I lowered the pressure which seemed to help.  I checked the oil and i was way above the fill line.  WTF is wrong with you mechanics.  there's a fill line for a reason.  Kawasaki engineers are smarter and get paid more than you, so do what they tell you. piss me off.  Now the air filter will be screwed again, and i'll gum up the engine and possibly the carb.

I got to White Sands (going through yet another Border patrol checkpoint.. .these guys are serious about illegals)...

Stunning scenery.  I'll let the pictures do the talking.
at 12x zoom.  that person was a spec to the naked eye

My attempt at some panoramic shots... not bad, not great... but i'm lazy.

as you can tell, i'm way up high on one of the dunes.  People sled and sand board on these all the time.  entry fee to the monument btw? $3.  wow. dirt cheap, and it's good for a week.  seriously.

Walking down the dune, it reminded me of walking down a snow slope and i almost caught myself being giddy.  heh.  It was bittersweet though.  Was i starting to become homesick?  was everything wearing me down? did it remind me how far i really was from home? where is home? what's at home for me? blah.

"I don't know, I don't care, it doesn't make any difference"~ albert einstien.

Quite fitting, as his work in the field helped develop the bomb that was tested in this missile range.

I got some souvenirs, and let the GPS plot a course for me.  The GPS sounds cutting out were bugging me.  There's a loose connection inside the base and the only way to get it working is to push on the audio cable a certain way and hold it there.  Zip ties to the rescue.  I used a few small ones, and so far so good.  I wonder if it will last a day, a week, or until i get home. heh.  If not, no more music or directions until then.

Next Stop, New Orleans.  Ambitious i know as it's over 1000 miles away. I didn't feel like thinking at this point.  I don't think there's much in Texas i want to see.  I'm here to see natural wonders, odd wonders and real human achievements.  Not big shopping malls. blah.

"Clouded judgement"

I passed through Alamgordo, and the GPS only had hits for the regular chains of motels.  I figured i'd keep going.
GPS says "over those mountains is what you seek"

Up i went... and up and up... I didn't realize it but i was going through Lincoln National forest. Neato.
it's a real twisty road actually, going through a tunnel so far... and up some more i went
last picture of that area.

and up we went.  The sun went down at an alarming rate and was twilight at this time and cold. real cold.

I looked around  for a room as it was getting dark, there are many animals, this is a very twisty/technical road, there are rocks all over the road and i just didn't feel like riding any more. I found a place called the Cross-eyed Moose and Alpine Motel in Cloudcroft.  that's a winner for sure.

It's a little cheesy , but i hope to get pics in the morning of the cross-eyed moose. heh.
the motel was a little on the expensive side, but it has good wifi (except i'm the furthest from it so it cuts out) a good shower, a nice soft bed, and best of all, heat on demand.  It's a retro court type, single story.  The neat thing is this old 60s toaster type heater in the washroom.  heh. step out of the shower and into the heat.  I hope they don't get mad i used all their facial tissues (on my nose)

I wouldn't be surprised if there's frost on the bike in the morning.
Thankfully i bought these bad boys today.
tourmaster winter gloves.  awesome.
comes with a rain liner so the leather doesn't get soaked.  the liner is in the zipper above (and it's attached to the glove on the inside so you won't lose it.

not sure if you can make it out, but check out the thumb... it has a wiper blade, and the liner has a slit for the blade to go through.  like i said, good gloves, worth the $$.

So why bittersweet and disappointed in myself?
I should have bought the tire and strapped it on the bike and change it a long time down the road.  I should have done my own oil. bittersweet in the sense that i have a new tire and fresh oil and filter.
The gps is crapping out, but i fixed it for now...
Hemlet fell about 4 feet to the ground.  a little scuff and no cracks... it didn't bounce so much as roll around.  maybe it hit the ground at the right angle.  doesn't matter, can't find a good replacement out here. (not many wear helmets)
Saw the white sands. bittersweet.

disappointed in myself... spent way too much money today... upwards of $600.  that's bad.  guess i'll just skip a meal or two... oh wait, already skipped supper. heh.

Time to go have a nice tall chat with my two new best friends Mr. Mist and Dr. Pepper.