We didn’t get out to ride this past weekend as we spent Saturday getting ready to host about 36 guests for a holiday gathering at the house on Saturday evening and then cold weather intervened on Sunday.
As for Saturday, we had a nice time with a great turn-out of my co-workers and food was plentiful. We typically buck the holiday fare by serving-up BBQ Pork, Chicken, Ribs and ask folks to bring a dish to fill-out the menu and that typically yields tons of great food. This year was no exception… and the desserts are in the dining room out of view. Most folks showed up a little after 6:30 and I think most folks heading home around 9:30, so it was a nice evening that ended early enough for us to get most of the clean-up taken care of before we headed to bed.
Sunday morning was spent knocking down the plastic sheeting I installed yesterday to weather-in the breezeway and veranda for the party and putting all that stuff and the coolers back in theshed, while being befriended by a stray kitty who was looking for something to eat and, well, a new home. It was really great having the extra room afforded by the new “veranda”, as it gave us a 3rd table and plenty of space for the four coolers and the Kerosene heater.
Of course, as is typical, the weather failed to cooperate on Saturday with lots of wind, rain and cold… so the plastic-enclosed breezeway and veranda preserved our extra room for the event. I did a similar thing last year when we only had the breezeway by closing off the front & back of the opening between the house and the garage below our Master Suite’s sitting room and it worked out really well. So, this year it was just a matter of figuring out how to secure the plastic to the larger space so that it would hold up and stay put if and when the winds kicked-up, which they did. I opted to staple the 3.5 mil plastic to some 1″x2″ furring strips that were screwed into the porch trim with 2″x4″ scrap wood attached at the bottom of the openings and screwed into the porch columns. It worked pretty well and only took about an hour to put up and take down.
Any hope of getting out on the tandem on Sunday was doomed by the temperatures hovering in the “Debbie don’t ride” range throughout the day, as the temps barely got above 40F. I thought about heading out on my single bike, but remembered that I needed to clean the hardwood’s in the house, clean-out the gutters outside the house, pick up kerosene for my heater and install a new battery in my motorcycle…
Cleaning out the gutters didn’t take as long as I remember, so that was nice and I didn’t fall off the roof which was a plus… but cleaning up all the leaves now that they were all over the shrubs, porch and yard added another hour to the chore. Cleaning the hardwoods in the kitchen, hall and powder room shouldn’t haven taken long, but our 5-year-old Hoover floor cleaner — which was never all that great — finally gave-up-the-ghost. So, given that riding wasn’t looking all that promising when some snow flurries started to fall as I finished up the gutter cleaning, I decided to get a haircut, pick-up some Kerosene for our portable heater ($4.99 a gal!; Yikes) and pick-up a hard floor steam-cleaner. Once I got home I fired-up the heater in the garage while I gave the new floor cleaner a spin around the hardwoods: nice! I like gadgets, and this was a pretty slick gadget that left the floors looking spectacular. After that, it was out to the garage to change the battery in the motorcycle.
While putting a battery in a motorcycle doesn’t sound like a big deal, putting one in an R-Series BMW requires quite a bit of work. I didn’t even think to take any photos while I had it torn apart, but just to give you an idea I found a photo of a 2000 R1100RS which has the battery in a similar place that you can see at right. Yup, it’s buried. To get to the one in my R1100S required: (1) removing the saddle cowl, (2) removing the saddle, (3 & 4) removing the left & right cowlings held in place by 14 screws, (5) unbolting and lifting the gas tank, (6) making sure the throttle cables don’t get fowled, and then (7) removing the air intake. Yeah, you don’t want to have a dead battery on one of these UNLESS you’ve installed some special accommodations for hooking up booster cables. So, knowing that my current battery was installed in May of 2006 and because the engine cranked over a bit slowly after sitting at work all day when the temps were in the 30’s and 40’s, no sense in tempting fate during the week ahead (see below for outlook). Yeah, I’ve got the one-piece suit out for this week’s commute and my Gerbing’s heated gear will be working overtime.