Rain, rain, and more rain keep us stuck inside Bertha today as we write you for the third week in a row from beautiful (and wet) Redding, this week being extra appreciative of Bertha’s new awning we had installed last week. Week 43 wasn’t all rain, but enough of it was and the forecast ahead for week 44 has us preparing for much more indoor entertainment than we are typically accustomed to. Even though it’s had some slight negative impact on our ability to get out of this RV Park, the areas surrounding Redding are getting nailed much worse with blankets of unprecedented snow. Because Redding is situated in the valley below these huge California mountain ranges, the freezing precipitous conditions surrounding us actually brought us some surprise hail on Saturday. We happened to be out on the motorcycle making a quick grocery run between the day’s on and off rain showers when all of the sudden we realized we were being pelted by hail! Fortunately, the hail came just as we were pulling into the parking lot and we were able to quickly get Eeyore safely parked under the storefront’s covered walkway (legal in California) next to some bored-looking girl scouts selling cookies and two other motorcycles that had been seeking cover as well.
Hail aside, the week’s weather did permit some nice outdoor conditions, most fortunately on Friday, the day Jim had to ride 140 miles to the city of Chico in order to get Eeyore a tune-up. We love our little blue BMW motorcycle, but it has been chocked full of some minor issues since the day we bought him and he’s just never ran like a good BMW is supposed to (hence, the name Eeyore, because he just seems to be so sad and depressed all the time).
The ride down to Chico was beautiful, with sun-filled blue skies and a perfect, cool temperature. Even with Eeyore’s inability to run perfectly, Jim still enjoys the feeling of rolling down the interstate on two wheels, particularly on these longer touring trips. The trip down took about 20 minutes longer than it was supposed to, after a tree removal crew had to block the highway off while giant trucks and dozens of workers took their sweet time removing some hazardous foliage just off the shoulder. No worries, though, as Jim was stoked to finally get Eeyore taken in for a long overdue tune-up.
Jim pulled into Ozzie’s BMW Center just after 10 AM and was greeted warmly by every employee that he saw. We’d heard great things about this place, the lone BMW shop between Sacramento and Medford, Oregon, and were very happy to learn that the rumors were true. They got Eeyore in and started taking him apart to diagnose the problems right away, setting up Jim in the back showroom with their WiFi and a desk to work at while he was there waiting. They happened to have a same-year, same-model, exact same bike as Eeyore there that had been babied and meticulously taken care of by its original owner which they offered Jim to take for a spin through the windy mountain roads around Chico. Naturally, he jumped at the opportunity and couldn’t believe how night and day different the bikes were! The bike had power to spare and moved and handled as if connected and hard-wired directly to Jim’s brain.
6 hours, one magical ride, a taco truck lunch, and more money than we had hoped to spend later, Eeyore was rockin’ a brand new set of tires, new spark plugs, new coils, and a finely tuned electronic ignition system. Jim hit the road and was amazed at how much better he ran! Trixie (the name he gave the silver dream machine he test-drove – what is it with us and names?) had a suspension upgrade that made a huge difference in handling, but all in all Eeyore ran almost as well now. Jim zipped back to Redding (observing the speed limit of course, moms), elated to have a like-new bike beneath him. This is a double bonus for us now, as Eeyore was never meant to be a long-term part of the Burho clan, and his resale value has now gone up more than double what our repair costs were. So now we have an awesome “new” bike for the rest of our trip that will be able to fetch a much higher sale price when it comes time to sell him later this year. Win-win!
Training took a backseat this week, unfortunately, as the rain didn’t provide as many training opportunities as we’d hoped (and, perhaps, minimized our motivation to get out in the cold, wet rain). We did manage to train a bit on the days we could, which included another ride with local buddy and former professional cyclist, Carson, as well as some RV Park driveway trainer rides. We managed to run a bit, but still haven’t made it to the YMCA to swim yet – a feature we loved about Redding (and part of the reason we chose this town to stay at for a month). Today’s the day, though, so next week’s update should include some swimming updates.
Heather continues to do her yoga daily, though, and is going to be quite the superstar instructor once she gets her teaching certification this summer. With the cold, rainy weather it sometimes calls for some creativity; watching her contort into various poses in Bertha’s hallway is always entertaining.
Aside from working, some training, yoga, reading, and enjoying quality time together, we continue to feast on home cooked meals and enjoy a movie night together here and there (Captain Fantastic and The Magnificent Seven topped the recent list).
Even as we’ve slowed down our pace and schedule, we can’t believe how quickly time is passing! We’ve been here for three weeks and have another 11 days to go before we’ll head to Portland. We hope to get some sunshine that will allow us to do some more exploring – more hiking, more running, more cycling, and more seeing of all the sights Redding as to offer!
Total RV Trip Miles: 14,810.1