Tuesday Day 5 - Baby needs a new pair of shoes

First thing Tuesday morning we navigated down to the greyhound bus station to pick up the new tires. We trashed the box and stapped the tires to the bikes and headed down to the Kawasaki dealer. Little did we know they would need three and a half hours to change three tires. But they were reasonably priced and fit us in ahead of scheduled jobs and we are very appreciative.

Don mugged a bit in his athletic wear before helping the local moto shop with a customer's bike. They could not roll it into the shop because it was in gear. I'm not kidding.

I felt safer with a fresh Dunlop D604 on the rear and one on the front. The D604 is not nearly as knobby as the P-O-S Duro that had been removed but it holds up very well to high speed at high loads and has nice big tread separation channels to channel lots of water and even hook up a little in the dirt. They are not the offroad tires that Jeff was using on the Strom. The Continental TKC80's proved to be the tires to have, and even lasted a solid 4000 miles on the hiway with tread to spare.

After getting the new tires installed we headed out to find an auto parts store where we could change our oil and recycle the used oil. We stopped at an Advance auto parts store and I bought three quarts of Mobil 1 4 stroke motorcyle oil and prepared to change. Jeff had the foresight to ask, before buying his oil and oil pan, "Do you recycle oil?". "No, we are the only Advance in the area that doesn't." damn. After prying directions out of her ("you go down the street and make a left.") Jeff managed to navigate to Pep Boys where we were able to affect a first class oil change in the parking lot and recycle.

Several folks had recommmended good mexican restaurants and we wanted the best. So Don GPS'd us down to the place recommended by the auto parts store woman and we prepared to feast. It was there that Don had to wrapped electrical tape around his Happy Trails engine/tank gurads to quell the noise of the broken weld griding against itself. We ate decent but not great food and found a gas station on our way back to I-40.

After a wind blown ride to Grants, we decided to hole up in the Econolodge for the night and hit the trail at first light, eager to start our first dirt day. Given my inability to find the right interstate exit we though it best to ride the route until we hit dirt so we would know where the "trailhead" was so we could find it quickly and get going early in the morning. While laundering our meager stash of clothes we wandered into the bar for happy hour and had a few $2 import beers. While we were pouring over the dirt map trying to get a fix on where to get gas the next day and where the bailout roads might be if the arroyos were uncrossable, we were approached by Wayne, and lanky dart throwing local in a cowboy hat.

It seems Wane was a road grader, excuse me, a finishing blade operator, with 20 years of experience working on the interstate in the local area. He had friends who helped to maintain some of the dirt roads we would be riding the next day. After we turned down Waynes offer to compete at darts ("I don't play for free now ...") filled us in on what details he had about the maintence of the dirt roads. He impressed us with tales of 200mph water plumes shooting through the arroyos after hard rain in Cuba (our destination the next day) and warned us not the dally when crossing them. After many shots of Tequila with Wayne and Jimmy the native american bar tender Wayne gave us a ratchet type tie down strap he had in his truck in case we needed a tow strap the next day and bade us good night.