Bumpy Ride to LA

Since I have the forced time off work, and my LA friends have the zombie week between Christmas and New Year’s off too, I decided this was the perfect time to go visit. There are enough people in camp to keep an eye on my KLR, so I packed up, put the V-Strom in the trailer, and hit the highway.

The four-hour drive was closer to five, with a break at a suboptimal Del Taco in the middle. California limits vehicles with trailers to 55 mph, with a 70 mph speed limit for everyone else on I-10. But I had other reasons to keep my speed down. There’s a new vibration in the back of the van at highway speeds. It gets worse the faster I go. I suspect a wheel might be out of balance. It’s also possible that the one remaining overtorqued lug nut might be throwing things out of balance, since I’ve torqued the remaining ones to spec. It wasn’t a showstopper problem, but it’s one I had to manage, walking a fine line between going slow enough so the vibration wasn’t too bad, and fast enough so that I wouldn’t get mowed down by California traffic. That 55 mph towing speed limit actually helped, since people could at least expect me to take it easy, even if literally nobody else obeyed it.

I arrived safely at Carolyn’s, got Lister set up inside the house like we did last year, and we talked for a while. I showed off my new bike and trailer, and we admired a beautiful sunset. I rave about Arizona’s sunsets a lot, but I have to give LA credit for this one.

I hopped into the van to bring more stuff inside, flipped a light switch, and the light didn’t turn on. I tried a few other things, and nothing worked. The vibration must have rattled some wiring loose in my house electrical system. It was now dark, which made troubleshooting difficult. Instead, I kicked the can down the road until morning. I brought my refrigerator inside the house, plugged it in, and ended up not losing any food. The rest, I left until the next day, because I could. There isn’t much that can cause a complete failure like this, and I know my batteries are good, so it should be easy to troubleshoot and fix.

Now it seems I need to find a tire shop to balance my wheels. This will also solve my problem of the one remaining stuck lug nut. While I’m perfectly capable of rotating my own tires, I’ll have the tire shop do it, since they’ll have them all off the van anyway. If this had to happen, now is actually a good time for it. Lister is all set up in the house, so I don’t need to bring him along to the shop. Unlike my shock absorber replacement, this really should be an in-and-out one-day job.

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