Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I'm in Spokane

After picking up the bike from Lake City, I headed over to Cycle Barn in Lynnwood for the vest. It's a bit snug, but it fit. Of course, it did NOT have an SAE connector, but rather its own set of leads to wire to the battery. So after the fine folks at Lake City put the Battery Tender lead on there, it had to come off and put this new set of leads on. Alex, the service writer had me roll the bike in and he swapped the cables right then and there. After a short while, I was out of the Barn and headed to a gas station to fill up the tank and make tracks for Spokane.

After filling up, I attempt to connect the vest up. If you've been following this trip, it should come as no surprise to you that the plug did not reach, too much of the cord was stuffed inside the frame to make it up to the vest plug. I will fix this tomorrow morning, but I wanted to make it to Spokane before sundown, so I just headed out.

I5 was a little backed up, but I waded through that and got to I90. And stared off at the snow-covered Cascades and hoped for the best. The ride through the pass was some very beautiful scenery, but a little cold and wet with snow on the sides of the road and all around. I made it over the summit without incident, and what was waiting for me over the mountains? Blue skies. FINALLY. Ahhh... Oh damn, here come the brutal crosswinds! The Concours is considerably heavier than the KLR, which helped me from getting blown around like a leaf on the wind. Still, I had some serious lean going to stay in a straight line. But the blue skies and sun on my back were such a welcome change, that the wind didn't bother me that much.

I pulled off at Vantage, for some food for both me and the bike and a much needed break from the saddle. 45 mins later with a full tank and some food in me, I headed back out to the interstate and was determined to make it to Spokane.

I didn't make it before sundown, but did not want to stop anywhere before, so I can head out from here in the morning. The sun eventually set, and the temperature dropped. I bet that electric vest is nice and warm, but I'll have to find out tomorrow. I pulled in at the Holiday Inn by the Spokane Airport, checked in, and now I'm posting this from the lounge and enjoying a beer.

The plan for tomorrow, after a good night's sleep, is to head to Coeur D'Alene in the morning, find a coffee shop with some wireless access, and figure out what to do next. I am uncertain about Glacier for now, but we'll see what happens.

Some notes on the bike so far: It's quite comfortable overall, and the seat is great. Much better for long rides than the KLR. The peg position still hurts my knees after a long day (over 400 miles today), so I just need to stop a bit more and stretch. Power is not lacking AT ALL, even during break-in. But now with 775 miles on the clock, I can start working it out some more. I managed to hit a new high-score on the GPS today with it. It's averaging around 38 MPG, which really is not much worse than the KLR was getting, being loaded down the way it was and me pushing it over mountain passes at full throttle (and still only doing about 70 mph). The Concours will gobble up miles faster than a stoner attacking a bag of Funyons, if you're up to it. I knew someday I'd want a sport-tourer. Circumstances accelerated that purchase, but I don't regret it for a minute.

Logan, Maddie, and Rex from Lake City Kawasaki. Thanks a ton for outstanding service and going out of your way to keep this trip on schedule.

The split pea soup at the restaurant in Vantage was properly thick enough to plant the spoon right in the middle and keep it there.


Unknown said...

How did you like the Columbia River Gorge?

Chuff said...

Oh... always say "Spokane" as "Spo Can" and not "Spo Caine". Yeah, I was ridiculed once.

Stephanie said...

Maybe instead of Glacier, you could go to Yellowstone? That might be warmer at this time of year. :)

It was good to see you!

djv2360 said...

Go to Yellowstone, I've been there 3 times now. It's a great place to visit. Take care and glad to hear things are going better, well except for the vest. Who needs a heated vest anyway. That's only for wimps.