Thursday, March 25, 2010

What a Difference a Day Makes.....

Yesterday, sunny - nice. 41 degrees for ride to work, chilly, but felt great. Saw one bike commuter down for the count, appeared to play tag with a car at one of the street crossings on the Burke-Gilman Trail. Van stopped, fire trucks, bike laying on the ground, woman being loaded onto backboard - don't know what happened - hope she's okay.

Ride home, 65+ degrees - awesome weather. I stopped at REI and test rode a 2010 Scott Scale 29er. Medium frame fit me okay, would need to tweak it with a longer stem. Pretty good deal for $1500. Only obvious cheap-o parts are the Deore level crank and shifters - but they work just fine. Bike felt light on it's feet, steered nice and I could even wheelie it a bit - a good sign that a bike works for me. I left seriously considering buying one. It's on my list anyway.

I continued my ride home and felt pretty good. No rain means the Ibis carbon bike comes out to play. Been many weeks since I've ridden the carbon Ibis and it felt incredibly light and fast - though my spring legs do not. Still a great ride home.

Today, woke up to pouring rain, so drove in. My car has been running like crap for a few days. Missing at low revs, like it's only running on three cylinders - especially when cold. Then when warm, low on power and still not right. I threw some new plugs in the other night, hoping for a simple fix - didn't work. Next on the list was new plug wires, then after that a trip to the shop if needed. While picking up the spark plugs, also ordered new drive shaft assemblies to replace the incredibly clanking CV joints. I planned to waste a weekend soon replacing those.

Well, none of that will be needed. Driving home tonight, really running bad. Once the motor was hot, would idle - but rough. Low on power, but made it home okay. Once in my driveway, revved the motor to 7000 rpm (redline) and held it for a few seconds at a time - partly because I was annoyed at the situation, and partly looking for a magic cure of clearing out a fouled plug - dreaming I know. Hey, a boy can dream, can't he?

During one of the 7000 rpm bursts of stupidity, something toasted - complete with death metal thrashing sound. Add in flickering oil pressure light and burning smell. Game over. Motor done. Just what I need - excellent....

1992 Nissan Sentra SE-R with 117,000 miles now toast. I've owned it since new, a pretty long run, but not many miles. Add in the wasted CV joints, occasional slipping clutch, cracked windshield and faded paint - not worth fixing. Adios amigo.

Later, I popped the hood to check the oil level - just curious. I recently had the oil changed at my usual quick oil change joint. When I pulled the dipstick - there was no dipstick. The handle was there, but the dipstick itself appeared to be broken off. Sweet. Snapped off and discarded at oil change place? Or snapped off and drifted into motor? Only Santa knows for sure. He does watch everything you know.

My good neighbor Kim wandered over to inspect the carnage. We attempted to see if the dipstick was buried in the motor using a long magnet. Mission impossible. Even if the broken off dipstick drifted down, don't see how that would hit anything. No way that could get sucked in the crank - don't think so. Until my x-ray vision glasses are back from the shop, I'll never know.

With hood open, I started the motor to give Kim a taste of Death Metal. He ran for cover as I pegged it off redline hoping to give it a full spectacular death - maybe even with a burst of flame. With the thought of putting a rod through the block and coating my driveway with oil - I shut it down - to much all around laughter.

Hey, gotta see the humor in every situation. And what's funnier then trying to blow a motor up? Being a recovering gear head - that is included on my list stupid funny items.

Bike Hauler 1992 - 2010. R.I.P.

With my current project of building Ian up a bike, and/or me scoring a new one - not a great time to be looking for a car. Lovely wife said to go ahead with bike plan if needed - so I plan to. How cool is that? What a wife, eh?

I'll start looking for a decent used car in the $3000 - $5000 range. I don't really need anything super nice, since I ride more then drive. Still, with carting kids around - we need two cars at times.

Looks like I'll be riding to work everyday now - no choice - until the car situation is worked out. Good excuse to get those spring base miles in. Yeah, I hope.

Stay tuned for more details as they unfold.....


  1. Sorry about the Car, but as they say, Shiiit happens. I enjoyed reading about your experience, it reminded me of the time I burnt up a motor in a 50 chevy pickup.

  2. 'Captain!, Captain! its all she can take! 'Shut up Scottie! Rev it past 7,000 a few more times.'
    Brings new meaning to the term 'warp speed' Dan.

  3. The only thing happening at "warp speed"s is the Sentra heading to the crusher.