Joel & Linda – San Antonio

121 miles
3:09 Moving time

I left Austin after some catch-up on business (will it ever end?!? will I ever feel “caught up” enough to leave the country?!?) around noon, and decided to do some last minute errangs / shopping along the way. while it was only ~120 miles, once again I ended up arriving in the dark. The devil in the GPS sent me in loops around Joel and Linda’s neighborhood, but eventually I rolled into the right driveway. Luckily I’d been there before and recognized the place once I got on the right street.

Joel and Linda have a great adobe home, and they’ve traveled extensively in Mexico, and have some pretty awesome and unusual decorations. They have a great screened sitting porch on the back of the house, and a fancy outdoor kitchen which IMHO is the cat’s meow. Linda cooked up some delicious burgers on the monster grill/smoker apparatus, and we settled in for a nice visit. Joel went over some maps with me, Linda gave me lots of ideas of their favorite places to visit, and I waas quite happy. I’d come here to pick their brains and I got the major download. Joel had also recommended “The People’s Guide to Mexico”, which I did buy and is a great reource for my trip. I highly recomment this book to anyone considdering travel to Mexico.

The next morning, the serious work began. I set to changing the rear tire–something I’d been putting off because it scared me. I’d changed 3 front tires by myself, but I’d never monkeyed with a chain, the chain tensioner, etc., so I was a bit nervous about it.

Twisted Throttle installed a center stand for me, shich made the jo MUCH easier!!! without Joel, I surely wold have forgotten to tie off the center stand to the front wheel (this keeps you from pushing the bike off the center stand as you work on the bike–an added precaution). I had great trouble breaking the bead on the back tire so I could remove the rubber, and I would have tipped the bike over for sure.

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It took me over an hour to break the bead (thanks Joel for letting me suffer alone–I needed to do it myself and he didnt let me sissy out).

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Next thing I worked on was replacing the quarter turn quick locks on my SW Motech brackets.

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These 1/4 turn screw are SO handy when you want to take the luggage off, yet I was worried with 3 quick 1/4 turns someone could remove my panniers, with the brrackets attached, and get my goods. So Twisted shipped me locks.

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voila! Now I feel pprotected.

Next task: oil change

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First one on this bike, and it was overdue.

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My mechanically minded friend will laugh when I tell you these things took ALL DAY. I started at 7 am and did not finish until dark.

Joel took me to parts stores, shopping, etc. 3 separate trips, to get all the tools I needed, parts I needed, etc. It was an excellent dry run of doing things on the road, as I discovered there were a few things I needed (such as a 17mm socket to get the oil drain plug undone). Had I not done this before crossing the border, I would not be self sufficientt now.

I have to give a HUGE thanks to Joel for all his help and insights. I cannot tell you how many times he walked by my bike and said “do you have this”? And gave me something for my trip, gaave me an idea for the trip, etc. Joel even saved the Mexico portiuon of my trip by giving me his copy of the BICI maps. THANKS JOel! oh! Joel also gave me a fleece, which is saving my derrierre, an extra MSR 1.5 liter fuel bottle, and a 3/8 drive wrench so I can do my own oil changes from now on. How do I keep finding such gracious an generous people? I’m telling you, so far this trip has really been about the people. I hope it continues to be that way — as I conceived this trip it was as much abbout seeing all these great places and riding the motorcycle, as well as getting off the beaten path and getting to know the local people.

After my day of steep learning, Linda and Joel took me out for a yummy Persian food dinner. I’m so grateful to both of them for being so generous and getting me off to a really good start.

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