Friday, August 26, 2011


After bashing my luggage this morning I got lost a couple times and decided since I was already pushing into the day I would head down to mammoth cave national park take in the sites and maybe camp again heading to Berra tomorrow. But on a steep down hill grade in the park I came to a ferry crossing the green river which reminded me of that song paradise. When I shut the bike off it seized. I figured it was the engine but as I pushed the bike off the ferry it came on with a handful of throttle it drug me Along till I figured out what was happening. After rearing down the transmission as far as I could with tools at hand and consultation with Shaun at myrons moped we decided the first gear freewheel bearing that allows the transmission to shift into second had locked up. I had had problems with the pedals not engaging when the bike was new and a stutter sometimes wen pulling from a stop when the bike was new but these had moderated. Somewhere in Kansas I thought that the transmissiom noise and cibrations had increased but I chalked that up to nerves. But after topping the tranmission up in Missouri the whine from the transmission had increased. I messed that up when I added sae30 oil to 10w30. After a hundred more miles I had stopped in st Louis and emptied the old oil and replaced it with type f transmission fluid. This quoted the transmission and really improved the shifts but type fis deffinately thinner than 10 w 30 and maybe having broke the bearings in with heavyweight oil the lightweight oil could have left too much play in the bearings. It's anyone's guess if it was the oil a manufacturers defect or the ten to twelve hour days bashing along in second gear causing the first gear bearing to constantly freewheel that killed it. Anyway you slice it I was stranded in mammoth park after the last tour. With a bike that was good for 12 mph tops. My support crew helped get me a rental car in bowling green and found the number for the tomos dealer in Louisville ky. So headed the 26 miles down there. A funny thing about the way the transmission seized is that second gear was constantly trying to engage. This resulted in enormous heat in the transmission and completely burning through the the clutch ling on the second gear. The smell of burnt cork made me sad for the first two or three miles but they were nothing in comparison to the gut wrenching sound of metal on metal after the lining wore away. I can just imagine the metal shavings working their way into ecry bearing in the transmission. Worse still is the heat undoubtedly ruined second gears clutch drum. The clutches had looked fine after the first few minutes of problems and the preceding 3000 + miles but the half mile drive had already blues the clutch drum and I can only imagine what it looks like now 30 miles later. I missed a mammoth cave tour but ate a half of a fried chicken and had a few conversations in the parking lot of mammoth cave hotel. A bunch of bikers who had trailered in their bikes talked about there old bikes and trips none knew what to make of my trip. But all offered help and condolences. The fates willing I can get the part I need in Louisville and be back aboard by tomorrow evening. I used to think that things like this that foiled my established plans would herald some great life event or change but. The more I grow the less I believe that The only way to change your life is to make changes not go searching for random happenstance.

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