Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Today's Post

     Posting today was much delayed by an early start occasioned by my car going into the shop, followed by what I am embarrassed to admit was my first motor scooter commute of the year.

     A slightly scary commute, too, headed to the North Campus in gusty winds: three bridges and one overpass, not including the canal, and doesn't the wind just howl at every crossing!  But I made it, with a very heavily-laden scooter: purse, briefcase, lunch box plus some parts for the too-often-ignored machinery at that site.

     An hour shy of lunchtime, the garage called.  My car was done.  Took it in for routine service plus what sounded like a hole in the exhaust system, possible brake issues and a sidelight that needs replaced (someone scraped it and broke it.  I have the new part but it's a mystery how to install it).  So, what was the verdict?  Brakes, a-okay.  Exhaust, just a little flex section that needed replaced.  Oil change, fine. Light, oh hells no, you have to pull the entire bumper cover; their advice was, "Have a body shop do it."  Cost of all that was reasonable.  But there was one more thing wrong: tires.

     The tires have been questionable for some time: deep cracks in the sidewalls.  Yeah, deep dry rot: they were dying of old age.  They also weren't very grippy, even for little-old-lady, city-driving values of "grippy."  It's an RX300, with big SUV-sized wheels, and that meant I dropped about six and a half C-notes on new shoes for baby.  Ouch. 

     Big ouch.  Beats the heck out of skidding sideways through an intersection saying bad words, or trying to change a tire by the side of the road with the delightful kit of tools found in most modern cars.  Gotta go back in Monday or Tuesday and have 'em check lug nut torque, just to be on the safe side.

     Anyway, I was happy to avoid evening rush hour on two wheels; I left most of the cargo at work, scootered home and Tam ran me to garage, where I picked up my now-quiet car and returned to work.  Wow, it's like driving a Lexus or something.


Anonymous said...

Yeah, dry-rot means replace *now*.

On the bright side, 'tis the start of the season for workers to call in sick making OT available to fortify bank accounts...

Roberta X said...

I get plenty of overtime (over 53 hours as of 22 October) and we've already had people out sick.

Blackwing1 said...

I'm curious as to the kind of tires you put on the vehicle. I know Indy gets a lot of slushy weather come winter (along with the occasional full-out blizzard) and I don't remember if you've got the front-wheel or 4-wheel version.

Did you put on some all-season stuff, or go with the more aggressive "designed for winter" tires?

Yeah, it's a pricy proposition. Last time I put tires on my truck it went 8 bills, but I put the best ones on I could find and was REALLY happy both on the road (less noise) and in the snow (great traction).

This has been the warmest October/November I can remember for decades. I'm still riding the GoldWing for my daily commute and haven't really had to go all-out on the layers yet.

Roberta X said...

You're not going to like my answer: I put the most-affordable decent tires on it. Hadn't planned on tires and hadn't shopped.

My RX300 is the front wheel drive version.

Blackwing1 said...

As long as they're round, revolve smoothly and aren't flat, they're better than the ones with the dry rot you had on there. And even in the front-wheel version you've got MUCH better-than-average odds of getting through the slippery skid stuff come winter. I'll bet just having new tread will make a big difference you'll notice in the rain, too.

I just got back from my city's impound lot where I paid the ransom for my truck that they kidnapped this morning. Apparently the city is sweeping the streets (even though most of the leaves haven't fallen yet) and put up "No Parking" signs on my block late yesterday afternoon. That was AFTER I got home from work. I never even looked out front this morning since the bike is parked in the garage on the alley, so I never saw the signs. My wife went to the dentist this morning, also out the alley, and never saw the signs. When she got back at 9:30 she walked down our street seeing it was both posted and empty, and was not terribly puzzled when she got to our house and saw the truck was missing.

Ah, the impound lot, a little slice of life in a REALLY bad neighborhood. Between the tow and the ticket it's going to run right up to around $200. Steep price for being stupid ("Life is hard. Being stupid makes it harder."). At least picking it up today meant I didn't have to pay for "storage". The whole system is basically for revenue-making, and it's much worse in the winter with unnecessary "snow emergencies" where the city and tow-truck drivers can mint money.

Merle said...

Will the missing light have an effect on inspections, or don't you have them?


Anonymous said...

Driving an old car, means that the $70 bucks a year (or whatever) for AAA is not an issue.

Changing tires at night? No thanks.

Unknown said...

With your life riding on four patches of rubber the size of the palms of your hands, I do not consider tire expense extravagant. I just spent $700 to make sure my son has the grip he needs for the Ohio winter to come. gz

Ritchie said...

The paperwork says I bought gnarly tires for the Blazer in 2011 for $700. Even though there's most of the tread left, they are edging into expiration time from high altitude UV and whatnot. Since I only use the Blazer for blizzards and the occasional weekend, no need to rush replacements. Even then, the tires were worth more than the truck.