Thursday, August 9, 2012

A Taste of Summer

My summer so far has consisted of trying to ride my motorcycle as much as I can. This has been slowed down somewhat my record heat waves in our area. I thought it was hot here (100 to 101 degrees when you are this close to the coast is pretty darn hot), until I texted my brother who is on a motorcycle trip from Texas to the California coast. Well, actually from there he will go to Seattle then up to the Sturgis Ralley, in whatever hedonistic state that might be.

 He traded his bike for another Honda (not being a hater...but gee) and added a sidecar for his new wife, who is not yet an enthusiastic rider. He got a portable air conditioner for the sidecar, and a smoked top to cut the sun down a little. The air conditioner requires ice in it and is powered from the bike battery (which as I understand it pretty much requires that the bike be running). So far so good, right? He put extra fuel cells in with an electric pumping system so he doesn't run out of gas in the desert or some equally deserted area.  So far, so good, right? What he didn't expect...118 degrees in Arizona.  What he didn't expect....the gas in his tank boiling and causing vapor lock. Boiling???? He insists that when you take the cap off the gas is boiling! Three. P.M. Arizona. 118 degrees. Guess what....the sidecar air conditioner is not working. Finally after about an hour he pumps more fuel from the fuel cell, which is technically cooler (or the gases vapored off relieving the vapor lock...but then who knows) and was able to crank the bike. He told me that his wife walked around holding an umbrella over him while he worked, as there was of course no shade. 

Lucky Jack...taking an umbrella to the desert in the middle of a heat wave. Guess who suggested that? Could it have been his marvelous sister? Of course it was...but Jack doesn't remember it that way. I just know that I had seen that idea for keeping the dogs out of the sun when there wasn't a tree to park your bike, and I thought it was a great idea. Jack did too...and since it was his worked.

They are back on their trip. They did not camp in their pull-behind pop-up tent-trailer last night. They opted for a hotel with a full blast air conditioner and I don't blame them. They have been meeting the most interesting people, like the truck driver (biker too) who helped them find a bike shop, and whose wife took my sister-in-law somewhere to cool off. You meet new friends on the road.

So, taste of's not so hot at 101 degrees when you compare it to a gas boiling 118 degrees.