Monday, 30 July 2012

Lemurs and Tourists

When I woke up this morning the headache was still with me and I groaned out loud. I am so fed up with it all I'm feeling like it's my body out to get me. I'm sick of lazing round the house nursing my head, so I decided to hell with it all ... I'm not going to let it stop me! I had a leisurely breakfast and planned what I was going to do on my day off. Wash the bikes was top of the agenda, I've been waiting for Terry to do it (it was his turn) but that was looking like it might happen when some little piggys grew wings. So I figured if I could handle that kinda physical activity then I'd see how I felt this afternoon and maybe hop on the bike for a ride. Just needed Terry to be ready to come with me just in case.

By the time the bikes were spotless, even had a bit of polish on Terry's baby to get the baked on bugs off, my headache was gone. I'd had a couple of dizzy spells when I was getting up earlier in the day so I was watching for that while bending and stuff while washing and polishing. No problems, I wonder if my determination not the let anything stop me having a normal day helped me here.

So we hoped on the bikes and as I pulled out of the driveway I was nervous to tell the truth. For the first 500 meters I was almost waiting for the aura's to start again. They didn't and after that first bit of riding the thrill took over like it always does. Yay it felt so good to be on Roxy I think my grin was nearly as big as it used to be when I first got her.

We didn't really have any plans, we thought we'd just head out towards the Western Plains Zoo which is at the edge of town and see if we could grab a coffee. They opened up a new coffee shop out there bout a year ago and my workmates took me there for my 40th birthday not long afterwards. I haven't been there since so it seemed like a nice place to go that wasn't too far from home. The cafe was closed, but there's a nice sitting area outside the cafe that looks out over the Spider Monkey and Lemur islands.

The Lemurs were huddled together on the least windy side of their little hut.
Lemurs are some of my favourite animals and I have enjoyed watching these guys playing on their little island in the past. Today it was getting late and it was cold, not to mention a bit of a cold breeze. I was half expecting they would be inside their little hut out of the wind but I guess they were warm enough all huddled up together and there was a lot of grooming and snuggling happening.

Begging for more grooming.
There is another island behind this one that has black and white Ruffed Lemurs. I've never seen them before so I was enthralled watching these guys out and about playing with each other, poking about in an old log, and generally running amok, unlike their smaller cousins.

Black and white Ruffed Lemurs poking about in a log.
I like Western Plains Zoo, it bills itself as an open range zoo, and it was one of the first that didn't keep animals in cages way back when that was the norm for  zoos. I love that the animals have more than enough room to move around, though they do have some rhinos there who's enclosure always seemed a bit small for such a huge creature. I have heard that they do have other, larger areas for the animals to wander around that is not part of the public display. There are a lot of native animals on the grounds that just wander in to take advantage of the amenities and as we were sitting next to the man made lake that houses the Lemur and Monkey islands I spotted some little creature slipping off the rocks into the water. I have no idea what it was, my first thought was water rat, I've seen plenty of those on the breakwalls at Newcastle's harbour so I know what they look like at a glance. It wasn't one of those and if I didn't think it was silly I'd have said it was an otter.

We sat there for a bit and watched the Lemurs and birds in the trees on the islands.

Sulfer-Crested Cockatoos. I could watch these guys playing for hours.
The Cockatoos are everywhere out here, at the zoo and along the river. They are a playful bird and always look like they are just having a ball, you cant help smiling when you are watching them.

We took off from the Zoo after about a half hour, interesting carpark, loose gravel all over the bitumen and some tight turns for me to manoeuvre through. I'm pretty happy with myself that I did it all without making too many mistakes and none of them were noticeable. Except the round about I went around the wrong way to get out. The sign posts aren't terribly clear and I could see a sign that said exit, so I headed for it. The only thing was I was supposed to go around the round about to get to it, which I didn't notice til I got half way round the wrong way. Lucky it was late on a Monday evening so there were no other people around!

Look at those shiny bikes!!
We stopped at McDonald's for an unhealthy, easy dinner. As we were leaving I noticed the older lady sitting in the car parked next to me with the SA number plates, before too long her husband came along and he came over to chat. He asked how much further we had to go, and Terry cheekily told him bout 5 k's up the road. He laughed, then told us he is a mad bike lover, he has a BSA that he rides now and he's fixing up a  Triumph Ariel (I think that was what he said), his favourite bike was a Vincent I think. He is a huge fan of British bikes, and I have to say after googling many bikes in the past few months I agree with him in looks anyway, I love them. I almost wanted to take all my gear off and offer this lovely couple a cuppa in maccas, but it was starting to get dark and I'm not really the type of person to do that kind of outgoing thing. Terry said the same thing to me just now though and I kinda wish we had stayed and chatted for longer.
Riding the bike again without the fear that my head was going to turn traitor was wonderful, chatting with a fellow bike enthusiast who had a lot of years of riding under his belt was fantastic. Two things I will never tire of .... riding my bike and chatting with complete strangers with just that love of riding in common, that makes it like you are chatting with someone you've known for years.

After the past couple of weeks of feeling so cruddy and bit sorry for myself, it was just the best thing in the world to get out on Roxy with my husband and suddenly I feel like a human being again. With all my old ambitions (get better at riding and do more of it) and hopes and dreams firmly back in my head and heart, it can only get better from here.

Sunday, 29 July 2012

What's Been Happening .. Nuthin' Much!

Well for the past two or three weeks I haven't done an awful lot of riding, or anything else for that matter. I've been suffering from migraines for the last couple of weeks so I've kept off the computer and off the bike for the most part. The migraines started with no warning and kept up with one every two days for about a week and a half until last weekend I had one a day for three days. My migraines usually last at least 24 hours and then I get what I call my Migraine hangover for at least a day or so after that. So it meant I felt like I was being put through a meat grinder all the time.

This isn't the first time I've suffered from Migraines, I usually get one every couple of months or so. I have even suffered with serial ones like this before, about 10 years ago when I was doing my nursing training. I put it down then, to a combination of stress and needing new glasses, I got the new glasses then finished my training and they went away.

The difference is that this time the migraines were so bad that they would put me in bed for the first couple of hours. I was sleeping so much I felt like I was in hibernation, only getting up to crawl around looking for food then sneaking back into to bed empty handed when it was all to much for me and hoping that Terry would take pity on me and bring me something. Then I'd start to feel better and I'd head off the work, only to start seeing the aura's again a couple of hours later and steel myself to driving home practically blind. It was getting so that I was dreading it when I started to feel better as I knew I'd end up with another one soon and those first few painful hours are always the worst. Along with the auras and blind spots I'd also have a shaky brain. No kidding my brain just wouldn't work and my boss said there were some interesting things entered into the computer I'd been working on a couple of times. Lucky she caught them.

Two weekends ago I got up on Saturday morning and felt great, yay! Terry and I decided to go for lunch and as I often do I wanted to ride the bike. It's not much of a ride but I don't get much experience riding in town really, so I grab what I can. Thank heavens it was only about a 6 minute ride because the minute I pulled out of the driveway, I started getting another damn migraine!! Yes I was getting really fed up with this, it's bad enough it interrupts my work but when it interrupts my rides as well then ... well enough's enough!! I rode to the cafe with auras and blind spots, guessing that the reason the taxi in front of my was slowing down was because he was turning and I just couldn't see his indicator. Kinda scary riding like that but I made it and I even managed to park the bike even though I had to back and forth about 50 times to get her in the right spot. That was the start of the evil weekend where I would get a migraine every day, no sooner would the pain start to subside and I'd get into that feeling of just being drained with a vague ache then the next one would start up.

Something needed to be done, I couldn't live like this. I tried to work out why I was getting them, migraines are normally brought on by a trigger, things like eyestrain, stress and caffeine (namely dark chocolate in my case) are things that I know are triggers for me. Months ago at work I had organised with my boss to go do a training course in workplace training, and the big day for that was a couple of weeks ago, the day before I was due to go for that course was the first big migraine. I didn't really connect that course with the migraine though, I didn't think it was that stressful. I was also working on the computer a lot that day, and one of the other ones I got later on was while I was working all day on the computers. So I put it down to eyestrain, asked not to be put on the computers for the next week and went to the optometrist with the hopes that he would say 'yep you need new glasses' and my problem would be fixed. He didn't find anything wrong with my eyes and my glasses are perfect for me. He even did a peripheral vision test that checks for neurological issues .. I passed with full marks. All this was done while I was on the tail end of a migraine. Not eyestrain. I started to stress more .... lo and behold I got another migraine.

Ugh now I knew I'd have to visit the doctor. I'm a bit naughty bout the doctor, I know they can help and I really should just go but they make me nervous. Which is kinda funny considering what I do, yes I used to hate doing rounds with the doctors when I worked in the hospital and would do anything to get out of it, and I would page them with what I needed if I could, instead of phoning them, I worked out all those little things I could do just to not talk to them. Funny eh. Anyway enough of that little side track. I went to the doctor, I was thinking it might be my neck, that maybe I was straining it somehow. I remember when I got the migraine on the bike it started just when I was turning my head to look up the street, at an odd angle because of the crappy peripheral vision you get with a full face helmet on, and maybe I was sitting with my neck at an angle when I was working on the computer.

The other thing I wanted to rule out was blood pressure. I'd checked my blood pressure a couple of times at home while I was right in the middle of a migraine and it was fine, I wanted to rule that out because every time I go the doctors she insists on checking my blood pressure even though she and I both know it's going to be sky high. One of the side effects of not liking to visit the doctor, it's even got a name 'white coat syndrome'. My blood pressure was fine at home and yes amazingly high when she checked it. She went through a few things with me then gave me drugs. Now I don't like drugs either, I guess it's a sign of how bad this was all getting that I took the prescription and got it filled within an hour of seeing her. I couldn't start til that night, but if I could have taken one there and then I would have. It's an easy fix, she didn't really find out what was causing the headaches but she did ask a few times about stress. I insisted that, no I'm not under any stress, no more than usual anyway. Now that I think about it though .. there was the new role at work after the training course, hmm am I worrying too much about that? Then with each migraine I think I was just getting more and more stressed. I'm starting to wonder about it all and think that it's like a vicious circle that was just coming round and biting me harder each time I got a migraine, I would stress more and that would cause a new onset of pretty lights and pain.

I took the drugs gladly. I haven't had a migraine since the first tablet on Tuesday night. I have felt weird though. I put that down to being in my 'hangover' phase, I usually feel a bit weird afterwards for a couple of days, with headaches and a touch of nausea and just feeling drained. After a couple of days this didn't go away, and I also felt just weird. Like I was floating almost, kinda spaced out, I almost felt stoned sometimes and my brain still felt fuzzy. This isn't normal I thought, so I looked up the side effects of the drug. I know I shouldn't do that, I'm like a hypochondriac that gets a symptom just because I hear that it's the symptom I might get, but I was wondering if this weirdness is from the drug. Yep, headaches is one of the side effects, (thought that was funny for a preventative for migraines to cause headaches, but it's not uncommon for drugs to do interesting stuff like that), also dry mouth (yeah that's normal nearly every drug in the world causes dry mouth apparently), but here's an interesting one ... low blood pressure. Now every time I go to the doc's she tells me to check my blood pressure twice a day for two weeks and come back and see her with it all written down, so I have been religiously doing it night and day, my blood pressure has been a little high. Well it's not lowering my blood pressure. Two side effects did catch my attention though, dizziness and depression. That's my weirdness!! I'm sure of it I guess that fuzzy head was dizziness, it was just hard for me to work out because it's not something I've really had before. And the depression .. really after taking only four tablets, no way I hear you say ... yes. I went and sat in the toilet one day, after one of the girls at work said something to me that wasn't any different to anything she would normally say, and balled my eyes out. Came back out to work and didn't make eye contact with anyone for at least half an hour so they wouldn't see my red eyes. For the rest of last week I found myself battling tears a few times and I broke down a couple of times at home. Crazy. If I can have crying jags for no reason  after just a couple of days of taking this stuff, what am I going to be like after a couple of weeks?

Ok I like not having migraines, but that kind of side effect is just a bit too much. I haven't had a tablet for the last two days. And I haven't had a migraine. I also don't feel weird anymore. My blood pressure has gone down to normal today too. I'm kinda wondering if it's a combination of stress and high blood pressure that's been causing them. If the drug lowers blood pressure and it was still higher than normal on the drug, does that mean that there were times when my blood pressure was high enough to bring on a migraine? Self diagnosis here I come!!

Who knows? All I know is that now, today, I feel like a normal person for the first time in weeks. It feels so good!! I'm not going to take the drug for the rest of this week and when I go back to the doctor I'm going to see if there's a drug that I don't have to take all the time, just one for when I feel a migraine coming on. I kinda feel that she maybe over reacted a bit because I was getting them so often, but to tell the truth it's only been two weeks. I really think that if I can get stress levels under control maybe I can get the migraines to subside. I also have a feeling she may want to start me on medication for my blood pressure. It's something I've resisted for a while now, I know when I have high blood pressure, it goes up sometimes and I know a high BP headache when I have one. I haven't had one recently so I think it's been fine, looking at my numbers for the last week I'm starting to feel I might be wrong. But before I succumb to the drugs I will try one other thing. Give up smoking. I know that's a big cause of my high blood pressure, I've checked it after a smoke and wow, that's some awesome numbers.

Anyway that's what I've been doing, nuthin' much eh. Laying round wishing my head would feel normal then not doing anything any other time cause I'm scared my head will start doing weird things again. I did go for one ride before all this nonsense started, Terry and I headed to Wellington for lunch at a cafe I'd been told about, The Cactus Cafe. It's a lovely setting for a cafe with a history, I love old buildings with history. The site started life as a church in 1865 but then was turned into a school in 1929 and it seems to have had a redesign then in a Spanish Mission style, which it still has today. The school closed it's doors in 1995 and was turned into a cafe and gallery in 1998 by the Spanish ambassador Senor Rapheal Steger. Fascinating stuff and I was dying to see it. It was sadly disappointing. The building was as lovely as I thought it would be but the food in the cafe was ordinary to say the least (I've talked to others since and been told I'm being too nice about the food!). And the gallery .. well I didn't see a gallery, there was a lot of things for sale, local things like soaps and hand creams ... and handbags, the place is literally a handbag shop. Yes I love handbags and loved poking through them and the shoes!!! But it wasn't what I was expecting or hoping.

I didn't get any good pics of the place so I've linked a couple from their web site....

I think this is as it was as a school.
From Cactus Cafe and Gallery Website

And being transformed into a Cafe and Gallery.

From Cactus Cafe and Gallery Website
And how it is today.

It really does have some lovely architecture and I should have taken more photos of that, but I guess my disappointment showed in that I didn't bother.

I did get this cool pic of the school across the road with it's residents at home.

I've never seen so many pigeons in one place out here. They tend to prefer to gather in the bright lights of the city rather than the easy going country towns in outback Australia.
The ride out to Wellington was good, nothing new, nothing bad and nothing particularly great either. It was just a ride and as such I enjoyed it. But the ride home was something else. I hadn't realised that there was a wind, it must have been behind us when we went to Wellington, coming home it was a head wind. Ugh I'll never like riding in wind, and I'm very unhappy with BOM, they told me that there was only going to be a light breeze that day, it felt like a gale!!

We haven't really got any rides planned for the near future, I'm not even riding to work much (only when Terry needs the car) because of the fear of getting a migraine and not being able to get home. But I'm hoping that the weather and migraines will both ease enough that we will get a decent ride in the next month or so. The other thing that I'm planning is trying to organise a Charity Ride for work. Not to raise funds as such but to raise awareness of the importance and need for donated blood. That's all still very much in the planning stages though so I'm sure I'll write more about it as it gets closer to happening. It is very exciting though!!

Friday, 13 July 2012

In the hands of a novice

I love doing things to my bike. Getting in and getting my hands dirty on her is one of the things about bike ownership that I've recently found the joys of. When I first started to get modifications for her it was a chore to put them on, the saddlebags became such an ongoing drama that took months to solve and I cant help feeling it just shouldn't have been that hard. Things started to get easier for me when I found someone with know-how to give me a hand or at least some hints. I have also been known to post threads with dubious titles like 'How do I undo the bolts holding my fender on?' Seriously I find everything so hard to do and I'm pretty sure it's because I've never done anything like this before. Oh I used to fiddle with cars way back when I was a youngster but it was so long ago that I think I've lost the knack of undoing bolts. So I muck about, doing things the hard way and ending a day having done a job that should have taken 15 minutes in about 6 hours. I normally have a huge sense of satisfaction about these jobs, and I normally stand back at the end nodding sagely and thinking to myself 'ahhh so that's how you do it'. But I am learning, sometimes a job that I dread ends up being pretty easy cause I've already done something similar, like when I moved the indicators the second time to a new bracket.

As you can probably guess, I put something new on my baby today. I bought two sets of second hand foot pegs from a bloke on the forums. I knew what kind of bike they came off, exactly the same as mine, so I knew they'd fit. Should be easy to put on. The first thing I did when they arrived was to look for an instruction manual for how to put them on. I like manuals they make my life easier, but I couldn't find one for the pegs that I had. I did find a generic one for Shadow Footpegs, so I would just follow that one. Looked easy. Friday was my first day off and to tell the truth I had a bit of a bad feeling about doing the footpegs, I wasn't confident that it would be as easy as it looked. I bit the bullet after lunch, deciding that if I didn't do it soon then I wouldn't get the chance to do it this weekend at all. I got tools together, and put a sheet down on the pavers so I wouldn't lose things .. see I am learning. After only a small amount of struggle I got the stock footpeg off. That was easy, I was a touch worried cause the little spring inside the peg had fallen out before I could see how it was in there. Ahh well there's only two ways it can fit so I'll work it out. Nope not this way, must be the other way. Hmmm I cant get the pin in that way either .... omg this is like a Chinese puzzle!!! I tried about 500 thousand different ways to put that spring in and get the pin to go all the way through the lot, it just wasn't working!! Much frustration and even going to Terry and ranting at him for a while, then snatching the stupid thing back from him to try to figure it out again ... aaargh I was going nuts. Why is this so hard!?!?!?

Terry made me a cuppa and pretty well forced me to sit down and have it with a smoke ( I swear that's the first time in my life Terry has told me to have a smoke), I didn't finish either before I went back to the bike to try to figure it out again ... fiddle, fiddle ... there has to be a secret to this ... fiddle, fiddle ... hmmm maybe this way .. then click ... the pin just went through the holes while I was fiddling. Ugh ... OK I was fiddling a lot and it was resisting the fiddling with the spring, but now I knew what I needed to do. I have to be under the peg looking up so I can see which way to fiddle so it can go through. Not that hard. Took a break and went to work on the other side. The other side was harder because it's the side the bike is leaning on, the stand is in the way for me to get my head under there and I cant get tools in comfortably cause they hit the ground. I remembered this time to look at which way the spring was in ... then dropped it and had to find it, lost the cotter pin for a while too .. by now I'd forgotten which way the spring was in ...... ugh another go at the Chinese puzzle. More frustration and this time I walked away from it myself and had another cup of coffee. So far this 15 minute job has taken me about 3 hours!! Terry came out to look at how I was going, and it was suggested that maybe we need to try to move the bike over on it's other side a bit so I could get under there to see what I needed to see. I didn't like that idea, it was inviting disaster I thought but after fiddling a bit more then another cup of coffee I got all the old soft blankets I could find and started to pile them up where my baby would fall if the worst thing happened. I decided to just have one more fiddle before I called Terry to come hold her up for me, fiddle ... click. OMG three hours ... three hours!!! I had been fiddling with this stupid thing to get it in this stupid hole for three hours, I touch it and it slips straight through.

No kidding by now my frustration levels are as high as they have ever been in my life!! I do have a bit of a short fuse at times when things aren't going the way I want them too, and I did notice by now that Terry and the dog were keeping their distance. At least now tis over. The pegs are on and they are there to stay. They look good, they'd better look good!! So I snapped some proud pics of the new pegs and went inside to grab the pillion pegs. These have to be easy, no springs. Put the first one on and it just kinda flapped there. Hmm that's not right. I did notice a little hole at the end of it that looked like it probably holds some important screw. Oh I remembered the guy I bought them from said he didn't have any of the screws or fitting stuff with them, that I'd have to get my own, I'd said no problems, I'm becoming expert at getting screws and bolts. I knew I must need some extra stuff and went straight online to see if I could figure out what I need. Found the instruction manual for the rear adaptors first thing and yep I need some other stuff ... then I had a thought, I wonder if I can link back from this instruction manual to find the one for the front adaptors. It was a silly thought really, all too late I've done the job now and I'm just going to be upset when they tell me the easy 15 minute method of doing it. But like some kind of masochist I continued to search. I found the instruction manual which cheerfully stated in step two to 'throw away the spring' ... what?? Ahh I see the other stuff the guy didn't have, a you beaut easy method of putting the new pegs on, no spring you use a D washer. Now I have no idea what that washer is supposed to do, or how it supplants the spring, but if it had have saved me three hours of Chinese puzzle torture with the spring I'd have been all for it!! Unfortunately it didn't, I didn't have one and I have struggled and strained and put these things on using the springs. They work and they are not coming off until the bike falls apart around them! No doubt in a few weeks time when the dust from this little excursion into fiddling has settled I will decide to do it the right way, find the bits I need and do it. But for now I'm too over it all to even think about it, I've bookmarked the instructions and I'll leave it at that for now.

One interesting thing that I looked at while mucking about with my footpegs is the bolts on the stock ones I took off. Those babies took a beating when I first got the bike and dropped it, I don't know how many times, trying to learn to do u-turns. The pegs were one of the first bits to hit the ground and I could feel where I'd sheared the bolts underneath them. So I looked at them when I got them off the bike and yep they are well and truly sheared. Lucky I don't need to undo those bolts, they just hold the bit of chrome flavoured plastic on the ends of them.

Tomorrow the Bureau of Meteorology has promised me no rain, so I'm hoping to talk Terry into a ride. Maybe to Yeoval and maybe we'll get to try a cafe in Wellington that I've been wanting to get to.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Road Presence

One of the reasons I wanted the highway bar was to help protect myself and my baby in the case of a fall. I haven't dropped her in ages now but I still feel there's the possibility it will happen and I also am aware that I'm at the mercy of the cagers around me. I'm feeling impressed with myself lately in that I think I'm pretty aware of whats going on around me and I know when there's a car that has the potential to do something to put me in danger. I also have taken on board a lot of the things I've read about making life safer for myself by putting myself in a safe position on the road, and generally trying to make myself visible. So this is, I hope, just an extra bonus, just-in-case measure.

The other reason I like the look of the highway bar is that I thought it might make my profile on the road larger. Besides it being wider than my bike, making it bigger looking, there was also the fact that there's just a little bit more shiny stuff there now to attract attention.

We went for a quick ride round town today, went for lunch at my favourite cafe, then a quick ride round the outskirts of town. Yep you can ride round the whole town in bout 15 minutes! Terry didn't take his bike, his reason ... he wanted to get some pics of me on the bike. Again with the excuse that he doesn't have many pics of me on Roxy. Well he's certainly starting to get a collection now.

Can you see me?

Getting closer and I start to have presence.

Terry took a ton of pics, this is my favourite.

It was nice day for a ride today, so even though I didn't go anywhere I still enjoyed myself. I'm finding myself amazed at the things I find easy to do now, like U-turns, yes I feel a lot better with those finally, I don't avoid them anymore but actually like to challenge myself to do them. Don't get me wrong I'm still not graceful at them, but I am doing them and I think I'm getting better each time I succeed. I've also nearly mastered keeping a foot up while stopped, that actually hasn't been as hard a habit to break as I thought it would be, I do it automatically now. Wow!!

There was one other thing that happened today that I just have to tell. It's got nothing to do with bikes so if you are only here for the bike talk you don't need to scroll down :) Yesterday I bought the amazing Staffy, Gizmo, a new toy. She gets bored so I get her something new as often as I think of it, the other thing she's been doing since we got home from the holiday is standing in the kitchen when ever we are there begging for snacks. We probably encourage that a bit cause the snacks are in the kitchen. Well I thought I'd kill two birds by getting her a toy that makes her work for a snack. The Kong Wobbler is just the thing. You put snacks in this thing and she has to knock it a certain way to get them out a hole in the side of it. I didn't think at first that she would get it, we showed her how it worked then she just sat in front of it waiting for one of us to tip it up to dispense a snack for her. Then only bout an hour after giving it to her I told her to go get her toy, and she bounded at it knocking a snack out. You could almost hear things click in her head as she worked out how to do it. Today she had the time of her life knocking this thing around the lounge room and had it emptied in bout 10 minutes flat! So I took a video. It's the first video I've done so will be interesting to see how it turns out.

The way she kept looking at me to get approval was just too cute. That tail didnt stop wagging!!

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Something was easy to do!!

I did it!!! Yep I did something to my bike and it didn't turn into a three week marathon of finding bits and making them fit. I'm so excited!!

I got my highway bar from Hong Kong on Tuesday and I've been waiting patiently all week til the weekend to put it on Roxy. Terry had asked me nearly every afternoon if I was going to put it on, but going by previous experience, I realised that it was probably going to take longer than the ten minutes I expected it to. And I was right.

I got up early in the morning (9:30am is early for a weekend) and wasted a bit of time waking up. Then I got Terry to move my bike to the side of the house where I have more room to work. First thing was to take off the cover. I have had the new disc lock on her for the last week and Terry said it made a few little peeps yesterday, but he said only once. I figured maybe the wind had moved the cover and made the lock move a bit, just enough to do the little warning peeps it gives when first moved. So when I started taking the cover off the bike it did those warning peeps again, alright, that's OK, I kept going with the cover. Maybe I shouldn't have, cause it started the full on, high pitched screaming that means get the hell away from me I'm alarmed to the hilt. Wow I wasn't even near it and it went off, I like it, to me that means if anyone breaths near my baby they're gonna get deaf fast! After quickly putting the key in to stop the alarm (it does stop after 10 seconds then wont go off again unless it's moved again, but I couldn't have stood there and listened to that for 10 whole seconds), I took the cover off the rest of the way and unlocked all the other locks I have on my baby for Terry to move her. I reckon I'm going to have to take the disc lock off before removing the cover from now on.

Here's Roxy in the make do work space waiting for her new bit of bling.
Before I did anything I wanted to check out the bolts that are on the bike first, making sure they would be long enough to take the bar and seeing if I thought I would need a bit of rubber between the bar and the bike anywhere.

Somehow Terry got hold of the camera while I was doing stuff with spanners.
I decided that I'd need a slightly longer bolt at the brake side and where it bolts to the top of the radiator, I also decided on a rubber washer up there too. Right, off to the local bolt shop.

There's a guy that works there who comes in every two weeks to donate blood, and I'd stuck a needle in him just three days ago, I reckon that's why he's so nice to me when I go into his shop. If he's good to me, I'll be gentle with him :) He gave me the bolts I needed but he didn't have the rubber washers I wanted, he gave me some other ones ... poly-something .... but he told me he didn't think they would do the job. Ah well I left with my bolts and picked up coffee from the drive thru coffee place next door to take home.

After coffee it was off to Bunnings to get the washers. Plumbing section had a pack of assorted with just one in it that would do what I wanted it to do. Home I go. I was thinking to myself that 'yes this is turning out like every other job I do with the bike, a lot of running around to get what I needed.' I had a feeling I'd get home and start to put it together and find that I needed something else, that's the way it has always seemed to go in the past.

So I got home, put the bar in place with Terry helping to hold and do up bolts. First time I did up the bolts at the footpegs first and then when I tried to put the one in at the radiator it just wouldn't go in the hole. Undid the footpeg ones and put in the one at the radiator first, yep that worked and I was admiring my handiwork when Terry mentioned I probably needed to put the rubber washer between the bar and the radiator. Ooops, take it apart and put the washer where it will do some good. Yay, the other bolts did up in a jiffy. No problems at all, I'm so happy! It all took about 10 minutes once I had the bolts and washers I needed.

All the bolts where they belong.

And here she is, all ready to go riding !!

A happy woman and her bike with new bling.
One thing that I have been interested in getting for the bike is highway pegs. Now that I had the bar on I stretched my legs out to see if that would be feasible ... nope I wouldn't reach pegs out there.