Sheldon's 1998 Ural Deco - Week Four
"God Does Have a Sense of Humor"
Day 14, Sunday February 7, 1999... Didn't even get out of the house today. What a shame as it was in the 20's and seemed like a reasonably nice day. I started working on web sites at 6:00 and worked until 10:00 p.m. with just a break for a nap about 11:00. Even ate me meals at the desk while I worked. One could look on it as a wasted Sunday, but this day's work should make at least three motorcycle payments. Not a whole lot to report today motorcycle wise though.
Day 15, Monday February 8, 1999... I think I am going to have to take some vacation and get away. It is now 8:00 p.m. and I am still at work. I had two jobs to do tonight but had to re-schedule both of them. It has turned into a 15 hour day at the office, and I have a feeling I am going to be too beat when I get home to even think about touching a computer. It will probably be after 9:00 when I do make it home. And it was a spectacular day outside. I worked through lunch but about 2:00 I had to run out to the post office to mail out some NARMA T-shirts. It must have been in the 50's!!! The snow was melting incredibly fast and a couple more days like this and there will be no snow on the ground at all. The nice thing about all this warm weather is that we will have little spring run off as it should all be in the ground by then. The bad thing is, that I am still at work!!!! This has been a very challenging Monday, and no riding to make me feel better. Soon...
Day 16, Tuesday February 9, 1999... Just another day of working. No chance to ride, or enjoy the warm weather. I did hear through unusual channels that customer service at Ural America has no record of Marlow's order for a new alternator for the Sportsman. Tried calling Marlow all day but no answer. I want to tell him about the Deco's speedometer also.
Day 17, Wednesday February 10, 1999... Tried calling Marlow again all day today. Also tried to e-mail him and got my message back with "No know user by this name". Oh my. Hope he didn't give up his internet account. I e-mailed Gerry Gardner at UA also to ask if he had a record of the order. Waiting to hear from him, or anyone. Marlow is very hard to catch this time of year, but wait until boating season is on the horizon. He will be working 24 hour days by then.
The Sportsman has been out of commission for 13 weeks now. I think that should be plenty of time to walk the darn alternator from Siberia. There is "being patient" and there is being patient. And my patience is starting to wear a bit thin. If I don't hear something, from anyone, by Friday I am going to call UA. I have never called there yet, but it is almost time. Hey, maybe Marlow is just riding his new Ural BC 65 all over, all the time, and that is why he isn't around???
Day 18, Thursday February 11, 1999... It was raining this morning when I went to work, about 32 degrees f. according to my thermometer. Shortly after I arrived at work the temp started to drop. The rain turned to freezing rain, and the roads became ice covered. That is fairly rare here. By noon it had turned to snow and the winds picked up. By the time I went home at 5:00 it was a full blown blizzard with white-out conditions. Another one of those times when I was more than happy that I had four wheel drive in the truck.
Just re-read what I wrote last night. Sorry that it sounded so strong. I am not really as upset as that sounded. I had my tongue in my cheek somewhat, but it didn't come across that way on the posting. One of the troubles with the internet is that tonal inflection just doesn't translate through the keyboard. I should have put a <tongue in cheek alert> at the front of it. I am a bit distressed that it has been out of commission all this time, and it even more distresses me that no one has tried to contact me to tell me why, or answered any of my inquiries. That does distress me, but then we are sitting here in the middle of a blizzard and I would not be riding today anyway. And I have to guess that few people really expect me to be riding in Duluth in the winter.
By Saturday the weather is supposed to be in the 40's f. here. So Saturday might be a Deco riding day. I still have to see if I can figure out what is wrong with the speedometer. It is supposed, by others, that the unit needs replacing, but as I can't seem to find my dealer, I can't even ask for a replacement. But that certainly isn't going to stop me from riding, but I will check it out before I do ride. Saturday night I have a date for dinner and the symphony, then Sunday morning it is off to Minneapolis for the International Cycle Show. I have really been looking forward to going down there for the show and checking out the Enfields. They intrigue me and who knows, one might be in my future....
Day 19, Friday February 12, 1999... Gosh I sure wish winter would get over with. It is quite cold today. I did take off from work at noon today. Decided I would go home, take a motorcycle ride and begin my weekend on a relaxing note. I had no jobs lined up for the weekend and this should be a good relaxing one, except.... The phone ran ten minutes after I got home. A customer was having a problem. Talked her through it over the phone but burned an hour. Then a couple of minutes after hanging up from talking to her the phone rang again. It was Dave Allison, a nationally recognized motivational speaker. His computer was acting weird and he couldn't access it. Turned out his hard disk went South for the winter. He ended up taking it to the local Compaq service center, they replaced the drive and he came out to my house with it to re-install his software. Finished up at 11:00 p.m. but there were still problems with it. Even spent an hour on the phone with Compaq tech support without resolving all the issues. Well, there went my relaxing, bike riding, take the afternoon off day..
Day 20, Saturday February 13, 1999... Dave was back here at 9:00 a.m. and I spent a good portion of the day trying to get the computer going again. Turned out that there was a problem with Compaq's installation disk, and the new hard drive and they have to order a second drive.
Big day on the Sportsman front. Called Marlow, and found him in the shop. We had a nice chat. He has a speedometer in stock and he is sure that it needs to be replaced. Says it is somewhat common and he will ship it to me and I should be able to install it quite easily. Then checked my email and the was a message from Jerry Gardner, customer service at Ural America. He said the alternator was still on backorder but he would like to send me the regular 14 amp to use until the 35 amp comes in. Jerry also said the windshield for the Deco was in stock. I called Marlow back and told him that and he said he would have UA drop ship it right to me. They seem to be quite easy to install and I am sure I won't have any problems. We chatted about the alternator and I wrote Jerry back asking if they had any idea of approximately how long it would be. If it is going to be several months then they should put the 14 amp on until then, if was going to be a couple of weeks then we will just wait. I'm feeling a lot better about things now, and it looks like it won't be too long before everything is together. Marlow even has the second tractor seat for the Sportsman in stock. Things are looking pretty sweet tonight.
Went to dinner and the Symphony tonight with my friend Judith (not to be confused with Judy). Judith wants to learn to drive the hacks this summer and actually sounded disappointed when she found out I was picking her up in the truck instead of the Deco. If it had been a little better weather I may have considered it. We set out for dinner before I realized that it was Valentine's Day weekend. Every restaurant in Duluth was booked solid. Most of them normally don't even accept reservations so that was a bit of a bummer. But we ended up at a trendy pub called the Brewhause at Fitger's Brewery, a former brewery turned into a shopping center. It actually turned out to be a very nice place to eat and they have a great menu and root beer on tap. Then off to the Symphony for Opera night and a wonderful program. Had a very nice evening and life is wonderful now because I finally feel a bit better about my great bikes.
It is midnight as I write this and I plan on being on the road to Minneapolis by 7:00 a.m. tomorrow morning. The weather is supposed to be quite nice but it is winter here so I will be taking the truck. Can't wait to see the Enfield's and I am hoping there will be some other really unusual bikes there. I am bringing the digital camera, so hopefully, there will be photos here tomorrow night.
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