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jackie

Ridin' 'n wrenchin' on Easter

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jackie

The new tires had been put on yesterday and needed to be scrubbed in. The sun was shining. It was Easter morning and we needed to get to church. I needed to scrub in those tires. I needed to warm up the engine for an oil change. I needed to face it - I had some wrenching to do and I needed a ride.

 

After an energizing church service, we headed over to a local coffee shop to sit in the sun, sip our favorite beverage and discuss various topics. It's always a good place to people watch, too. Due to the nice weather and Easter holiday there were a lot of people out. I was torn between putting some miles on my RT and getting some much needed maintenance work done. A compromise was in order. We decided to ride up in the national forest to hopefully get into some cooler air and less people.

 

I lead the way up back roads along the Clackamas River from Oregon City to Estacada, taking Hwy 224 east once we got near Estacada. We passed the sign that said "no gas for next 70 miles". We passed those that brought to mind, "unless you're the lead dog, the view never changes", and slowly climbed the elevation along the winding river. It was beautiful - not a cloud in the sky, the river was clear, and the trees seemed to be celebrating spring. This is where I cut my teeth when I first learned to ride four years ago, and it still holds a special place in my heart.

 

Our original plan was to just ride to the Ripplebrook Ranger Station. Once I got to that point I knew I wanted to take Leon further out. Hwy 224 turns into USFS Road 46 which continues to wind along the Clackamas River. If you continue up Road 46, it will drop you down into Detroit on Hwy 22. Right now, that road is impassable due to snow. We headed south on 46, then took a right on USFS 63 which twists along the Collawash River. After a couple miles a right turn on USFS 70 took us up another twisty road to the Hot Springs Fork and Pegleg Falls towards Bagby Hot Springs.

 

I was thrilled to be here again. I used to ride up here by myself to sit and commune with nature. It was easy to pull to the side of the road and sit and watch the river and wildlife. On the downside of this great place are the visitors that come up here and spoil it. I know well the reputation for some of the people this attracts, and am always leery. As beautiful as it is to visit, I don't stay long.

 

We went as far as the parking lot to Bagby Hot Springs which was full of broken glass from vehicle windows that had been busted out. We turned around and headed back down towards Pegleg Falls for a quick break. I breathed deeply, the air was warm and pine scented. Always too soon, time to mount up and head back down the mountain.

 

I was more confident on my new tires making the ride down a little more spirited. There seemed to be more traffic, and a large group of cruisers had gathered at the ranger station. We slipped by them to have an unobstructed route down the mountain. We made it back to Estacada without running over any kayakers, nor did we witness any other casualties. We fueled up in Estacada paying $2.11 per gallon for premium gas. It was time to get to the wrenchin' part of my day.

 

Once home I let GG cool a bit and then got out the tools for an oil change. I pulled the drain plug and let her drain, then took care of all the oil business. While sitting there on the garage floor I decided it would be time to look at those brake pads that needed replacing. Leon and I discussed how brave we were feeling. Were we brave? I got out the Clymer and Haynes manuals eek.gif and the packages of brake pads. I was feeling very intimidated by all the photos of instructions, then I thought of the mechanic who last September told me I was 1,000 miles away from needing new ones. That was a few thousand miles ago.

 

We got out a few more tools and I put duct tape on the wheel right behind the caliper. We then followed instructions using both books as a guide. I had no problem removing the bolts that hold the caliper on, and removing the caliper was pretty easy too. We knocked the pin out and the pads came out as the manual said they would. I greased up the new pads appropriately and followed instructions for cleaning and pushing back the pistons. The new pads went in quite easily and I put the caliper back on the disc. The other side went more quickly and it was completed in no time at all.

 

We decided the moment of truth would come in a test ride, so I donned some gear and tested her first in the garage before getting on. I then got GG going out on the street. Slowly at first, I eased her out onto the road. Yes, of course they worked. clap.gif I felt a great sense of satisfaction for our having done the work ourselves.

 

The sun was starting to go down, and I parked GG back in her spot in the garage. The tires were appropriately scrubbed in she had new oil and front brake pads. A pretty good Easter by our standards.

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Kathy R

Thanks for sharing that one. It's amazing to me to listen to folks say they can ride from "too hot" to "snow in the passes" in one day.

 

On the downside of this great place are the visitors that come up here and spoil it. I know well the reputation for some of the people this attracts, and am always leery. As beautiful as it is to visit, I don't stay long.

 

What's the deal here? Is it a scenic area frequented by thugs or what?

 

We went as far as the parking lot to Bagby Hot Springs which was full of broken glass from vehicle windows that had been busted out.

 

Somehow, in my silly Midwest mind I think of your area of the country as pristine? It sounds like parts of the West side of Chicago for heavens sake!

 

Yes, of course they worked. I felt a great sense of satisfaction for our having done the work ourselves.

 

Bravo! I've never changed out my own brake pads..and after reading your post I can't imagine why not? Thanks for the confidence builder.

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John Moylan

Jackie..........great to get the 'renchin and riding in on the same day, killing two birds and all that.

 

Q: whats the idea of [q]..I put duct tape on the wheel right behind the caliper.

......?

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jackie

Bagby Hot Springs is an area that has kinda been taken over by gangsta types and various other thugs. The hot springs are about a mile trek from the parking lot leaving cars vulnerable. Plus being in the woods and desolate, opens it up to other kinds of illegal activities... frown.gif

 

One of the books suggested putting duct tape on the wheel to keep from scratching it. The caliper did come in contact with the wheel and marked up the tape, so I was glad I went to the trouble. Would it actually *scratch* the wheel? Not sure.

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