Well we are way overdue for an update - but with one notable exception, we have really not done much of interest (which is to say I swear I've not been holding out on you!).
So, here's the interesting thing:
and since we didn't happen to be in path of totality up here in upstate NY, we thought it would be a good time to get back on the road...
But, before heading out, finally swapped on the rear tire we'd picked up on the Outer Banks,
...and as long as we were doing that, figured it was time to replace the clutch. I considered pulling it all apart in our cousin's garage but the idea of doing that on my own with only the tools we were carrying "inspired" me to chicken out and take the bike to Max BMW. The shop up here near Albany didn't have time, but one of the Connecticut shops did, so I turned the rig over to them:
They were nice enough to offer me this to ride back and forth between CT and NY, which was a pretty good time
I even had a chance to do a little shopping for Bud while I was waiting for the work to be done ... (but he ended up buying something else, I think - maybe a couple somethings else...)
Eventually (and by eventually, I want to be clear that I mean, on exactly the day they said it would be ready) the bike was all re-clutched and I happily rode the XR back down to pick it up. The clutch felt great, though their ability to rehang the sidecar was not inspiring (no complaints there - I should have checked more thoroughly before setting out - it's not like they are a sidecar shop).
With the bike back from the shop, we had a few days to get from NY to TN, but decided to stick to the interstate and make it two long (for us) days. We woke in Cleveland to a beautiful sunrise
which unfortunately had turned to a thundershower by the time we'd finished breakfast and loaded up...
After a brief rain delay and a full day of riding, we found these folks -
(looks like Nicol has an idea...)
Mike and Nicol were once again great hosts, and since we'd pushed the miles on the way there we were rewarded with a day to just hang out, before the big show in honor of my birthday:
We had a great time watching the event, and I think even it's-not-going-to-be-that-great-Mike was duly impressed.
Eventually though it was over -
and despite being saddened by the end of the spectacle, Nicol pulled herself together long enough to bake me a birthday cake
The next morning the Greiffs had to go to something they called "work" - that sounded pretty scary, so we took off to make one more visit in Tennessee - after a very hot and humid day of riding, followed by a welcome dip in the pool, we were treated to a fantastic rain shower,
which was fine as it was a good excuse to eat, drink, chat, play games and hang out with some of our ADV friends.
As much as we'd have liked to stay and play or just ride around for a while (it's weird waking up in the same place for this many days in a row...) we opted to get back to Albany for a meeting with some bankers. On the way, in a parking lot near a gas station just outside of Pittsburgh, this happened
which led to this
(you know when you're loading your broken down bike onto a trailer and you're thinking, well at least it's not raining?)
You'd think with a big old truck (and by old I mean brand new - the thing had less than 2500 miles on it when I picked it up) you'd have MORE room for four than on a bike...but it was a little crowded...
We got to stay and see some cousins in Pittsburgh that night, and then had a rather enjoyable for those of us not crammed into the center of the cab between the seats (hey - I offered to let her drive) ride back to Albany.
Where Jeremiah and I built a little coffin er, crate, for the FD which turned out to have been shimmed just fine in the first place last time...you know, before I was told it was undershimmed, took it apart, added some shim stock....sigh.
Maybe because of that, I did a little birthday shopping for myself....
We had what seemed to be a really great meeting with a banker and some SBA folks, and celebrated with gin and juice and tiny pies
...and then it was time to wait.