Day 16 – June 3, 2010


After a good visit with my brother and nephew Jesse, I slept on the couch downstairs.  I got up at 4:30 when Brion got up.  I was on the road at 5:00 a.m. on a cool and overcast day.  I rode west on I-90 to Gillette, Wyoming, and headed South from there.  I got gas at another intersection of small roads and followed another rider back on the road. When I saw a sign that said Gillette 59 miles, I soon realized that I had already been there, done that!  A quick U-turn to erase the mile or so that I went the wrong way and I was back on track again.

After a number of small highway changes, I finally found myself on I-80 at Rawlings and headed in the opposite direction of our journey out a couple of weeks ago.  I experienced a few small showers now and then, but it was not bad.  Three riders slowly caught up to me and I joined them for a while until it was time for me to take off on I-84, just before Salt Lake City.  Everything was looking and feeling good, UNTIL about 20 miles before Twin Falls, Idaho, when my drive chain left the sprockets, while I was doing the normal 80 mph.  The engine revved up and I had nothing but coasting power.  I shut the engine off and didn't worry about finding neutral due to nothing transferring power to the ground.  I was able to coast to the end of an on ramp so I had a little more working room instead of two feet off I-84.  My broken chain was still hanging on the swing arm. Both of the side plates of one link were ripped in half in the middle.  The master link was still intact.  I don't know why the 'weakest' link decided to break, but I found the 'weakest link'.  I think that when I bored out the new sprocket just before I left, I didn't get it perfect.  I have a 2002 mag wheel on the back and a sprocket for a chain drive is not made to fit, just belt drive pulleys.  The sprocket has to have the inside hole enlarged from 2" to about 2 3/16".  I will do a better job on my next sprocket in a couple of days before going to the Redwood Run next weekend.  

I put the last chain on new in Colorado at Noel and Yvette's home on my way back from the 2009 NVAR D.C. trip exactly a year ago.  I figured it only had about 13 or 15 thousand miles on it.  I was going to change it when I got back, before going to the Redwood Run next weekend.  When I checked it in D.C. last week, it showed no signs of pulling away from the sprocket teeth.  Oh well, stuff happens... I pulled all of my stuff off the back and took the saddle bag off the chain side and got my tools out.  I had a new chain with me, but it was six links too long.  I always carry a chain breaker with me, so it was no problem to get-r-done!  I noticed that one of the teeth on the rear sprocket was half broken off and hoped that it would be ok to get me home.  Did I mention that I was right at 900 miles of an Iron Butt 1,000 mile day when the chain broke? Don't worry-be happy!

I was on the road 30 minutes later and rolling along just fine.  When I got to Boise, it was 9:30 and still light out.  1,040 miles in 16 1/2 hours, including the chain fix.  Timing is everything.  As I was checking into a motel, a guy walked into the lobby and said, "Milo"?  I said, “Of course”.  He said, “It's Ted.  I met you on the Lighthouse Run and I have been to both of your stores”.  He was a good friend of the late Bob Kennett, a very good tool rep for me.  He said he is meeting a new rep for Bob Kennett and Assoc., Randy.  I said, “Of course I know Randy,” as he was walking to the front of the motel. We talked for a while and I asked him if he had dinner yet and that I am very hungry.  He said he already ate but would buy me dinner.  Very cool! I got in his car and we drove to dinner and had a good conversation.  I will see tomorrow how the chipped rear sprocket holds up for the last leg of 550 miles home.  The local news says 100% chance of rain tomorrow.  It is what it is!