Getting There - Aneel's Travelogue

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Gray Great Falls, MT, Wednesday, 31 August 2011 8:53pm

The service guys at Lethbridge Honda had a look at my bike promptly when they opened at 8:30am. They confirmed what I was hoping: the noise was the chain. Some of the links were not meshing properly with the sprocket. When they took the wheel off, they discovered why: a broken bearing in the wheel hub was subjecting the chain to weird stresses. Luckily, they had both a new chain and the necessary bearing. They finished work on the bike around noon.

Riding the repaired bike was a revelation, like an ache that you don't notice until it suddenly goes away. I didn't realize it at the time, but I'd had a nagging feeling that there was something wrong with the bike for a while, even before I noticed the sound yesterday. Now the ride is smooth and steady.

I made a side trip back up to Fort Macleod to thank the guys at Scougall Motors and to give them a case of beer in appreciation for their help yesterday.

I spent the rest of the day riding south through gray, rainy weather. It was significantly less cold than yesterday, but I still had to stop several times to warm up with some hot chocolate or a bowl of chili.

The border crossing was uneventful. The border guard, like everyone else I talked to today, commented on what a bad day it was to be riding a motorcycle. After assuring him that I had picked up no guns or fruits in Canada, he let me back in to the US.

I'm now in Great Falls, MT. I was hoping to make it to Missoula, where I would meet up with a friend of a friend, but it was already getting late by the time I arrived here, and I'd rather not ride the pass over there in the evening.

253mi in 5:47. Ione to Great Falls: 1243mi in 6 days. SF to Great Falls: 3772mi in 15 (riding) days. Map of progress to date