Getting Home – OBX Part 6

oops ball bearings popping out

So Diana’s 2008 Dyna Super Glide blew a wheel bearing a few yards from Katie and Alan’s house after we safely navigated over a dozen major bridges with sometimes no railings and crossed the mother of all bridges: the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel (23 miles long). You can see in the above picture the sealed maintenace free ball bearing is no longer sealed and the ball bearings are popping out. I rode Diana’s motorcycle slowly the rest of the way to the driveway while Diana went inside to defrost. Thank God for Alan who restocked the fridge again with ice cold Yuengling for us! We needed it! I also thank God for making sure Diana got safely across the bridges before her wheel bearings decided to all pop out the right side.

Alan served up an awesome dinner as usual! Tilapia seasoned with fresh rosemary accompanied by wild rice. We discussed some of our options on what to do about the broktified Harley-Davidson Super Glide. Diana took a hot shower and we went to sleep. I weighed our options in my mind and decided I would like to stay with Alan and Katie two extra days until Alan could trailer us the rest of the way home. We were still 4.5 hours from home.

Unfortunately Diana did not want to wait two days to take action. She had commitments back home and papers to grade. A teacher’s work is never done, not even on spring break! Alan’s schedule changed and he would not be able to trailer us on Saturday so I had to review our options again.

I called the Virginia Beach Harley Dealership and was put on hold. Then I was told the service manager would call me back. He did not. I was told that they did not have their own towing service. Although they are the closest dealership it would be back across the 23 mile bridge and tunnel with expensive tolls to go back there. The next dealership north was in our home state 130 miles away and they didn’t have any tow service available either. If either dealership had told me “no problem, we’ll pick you up and fix your motorcycle right away” I would have been all for it. My HOG and Progressive roadside assistance would take me to the closest dealership and I didn’t want to go back across the bridge and tunnel not knowing if the motorcycle would be fixed right away or in several days. To have them tow me 130 miles would be very expensive.

Diana had mentioned looking into U-Haul the night before and it started to sound like a good option. It was the only option that didn’t involve us riding home two up on my motorcycle and we currently had too much luggage on the two motorcycles to get it all home on one. It was the only option that got everything to our house including us, the two motorcycles and all our luggage. It was the only option that gave us full control, kept us on schedule and together. Our only option was a 17′ 48 hour rental for $250 that would get us all the way home and we could have the truck for two days and return it to the gas station in our neighborhood. We could get home, sleep and then drop off the broken motorcycle at the repair facility of our choice.

U-haul tot he rescure witha big pink squid

I called Derek at Turner Tech in Bear, DE at 302-222-7673 and told him what had happened and that we would be renting the U-Haul and dropping off Diana’s bike the following morning. Katie took us to Cape Charles to pick up the U-Haul. They rented the same truck to us that Katie and Alan used to move there three years earlier from Arizona! Crazy coincidence isn’t it!

Two Dyna’s loaded in the U-Haul

jay and the Arizona pink squid u-haul truck

We got the motorcycles into the truck. Alan had three monster industrial size tie downs we used to secure the motorcycles in place. I think we left at 3:00pm, stopped for dinner at Ruby Tuesday’s in Salisbury and were home by 8:00pm. We got one car from the house, drove the truck and car to my work. Unloaded my motorcycle with some help from my coworkers on the nightshift. Unloaded all luggage and gear into the car. Only left Diana’s motorcycle in the truck and locked it and left the U-Haul in the work parking lot overnight. I rode my motorcycle home and Diana drove the car. We went to bed. Home sweet home! Our cat was pissed, but she would have been more pissed if we stayed in Cape Charles for two more days!

The next day Diana drove me to the truck and I drove the truck to Turner Tech. Derek had a hard time getting the bearing out of the wheel but he did it. he put new bearings and new brake pads in but had me order a brake disk rotor, rotor bolts and a spacer. At the time of this writing we are waiting for the stupid spacer to come from Harley-Davidson. Hopefully by the time this is published we will be back to having two motorcycles in the garage.

Considering the “what ifs” I am very happy how this turned out. It was a fantastic vacation and in the overall scheme of things $250 for the truck rental is not bad in comparison to what tow companies charge. I’m glad we didn’t get hurt, we stayed together and had the luxury of deciding what to do at Katie and Alan’s house. It would have really sucked to have the motorcycle towed back across the bridge and tunnel to find out we had to wait a week for a stupid spacer! The cost and headaches that would have resulted in far exceed $250 for a U-Haul rental. So that’s the six part OBX story that has been three years in the making and ends with our first mechanical breakdown on the road. I think this puts us up another notch on the experienced biker scale for having survived mechanical failure on the road and handling it 100% on our own and not having to call friends to come get us.

Click here to see all the vacation pictures.

I think we’ll be returning Alan’s tie downs in person, visiting Karen and possibly saying goodbye to Virginia’s Eastern Shore one final time after Diana’s motorcycle is back on two good wheels. That place is bad luck for us, it’s like the Bermuda Triangle! Hopefully in the fall we’ll be telling you about a road trip to visit Katie and Alan at Skyline Drive aka Shanadoah National Park! Cheers!

Thanks for reading,

Jay Green

PS – it was scarey as crap trying to roll my motorcycle backwards down that skinny U-Haul ramp. I could do it on a bicycle but not an 800 lb motorcycle that is as wide as the ramp with it’s saddlebags on. I had to get 4 guys to spot me.

PSS – I knew from watching Fix My Hog DVD’s that the bolts have to be replaced when you replace a disk brake rotor and I told our mechanic that before he had a chance to tell me. From reading my service manual over the winter months I understood exactly what was broken. Good thing I learned what I did when I did. Don’t ya think?

Fix My Hog Banner 4

10 Responses to “Getting Home – OBX Part 6”

  1. I always wonder how HOG can still promote their towing and get away with it. Its happened to me a couple of times where I needed to be rescued. As a woman on the road, having a HOG pick up would ease my mind. But seems that every time I called a local dealer or the HOG it failed me. My local Anaheim HD was great with all that til they were bought out by Los Angeles HD and they shut all that down. AAA is what I go by now, They were the ones who came and got me in S.F. even though I had 3 dealers close by. They towed my bike to my house then got it in the a.m. when the dealership opened.

    Just glad Diana is safe and sound and lucky to have you all.

  2. As a leader in the HOG organization I have toned down my criticism of Harley and HOG on my blog but my perception of HOG Tow is that it is inconsistant and you might get lucky and have a positive experience. I am a die hard AAA fan and always have it for my car. The automobile plan does not cover your motorcycle. That would be the RV plan and I had it for awhile. I’m sure it works as great as the automotive plan.
    Good luck with your new Vance & Hines short shots on your Nightster and keep up that positive attitude. Maybe it will rub off on me and someday cagers will actually look out for motorcycles and begin to care about other people’s safety.

  3. On a more practical note this experience has reinforced the thought that maybe a set of tie downs in the saddlebag for emergencies might be a good idea for either being towed by a faltbed, renting a U-Haul or being rescued by a good samaritan with a truck or trailer. Also, the reason I keep using “U-Haul” rather than saying “truck rental” in general is they advertise that they have lower deck heights than other truck rental companies. In my mind that makes loading a motorcycle easier. I just wish they made the ramps super wide.

  4. yorktown/hamptons roads is a slight bit fiurther but a) you might have gotten further there and b) straight up US 17 to US 301 is an awesome ride in spring. flower smell is awesome-oops, sorry jay. allergies, right? but this is how i do my peninsula ride, cutting across to avoid la plata and waldorf to rte. 2/4 and up to 301 at annapolis. great ride and no monster tolls. or you could’ve rolled up 2 to charm city and did 40 to 1 and no tolls. just sayin’. riding is riding.

  5. Riding is riding, except when you come home in a U-Haul. Then it seems more like Hauling. Glad to have you back with us.

  6. One thing i personally have found with most H-D dealers, is their willingness to accommodate travelers on the road. when a member of my niagara falls ride had a flat, we did a temp. fix and finally had to call for a tow. dubois h-d stay open late and kept a service tech there for us. i, as the road captain, stayed with the people and sent the rest to our destination with a 2nd in command. i was very grateful and always tell others how good dubois is as far as travelers go. i am sure either va. beach or yorktown/hamton roads would’ve bent over backwards for you. jmho. 😉 same for centre hall with a bad battery on the way up to niagara. super service.

  7. I guess since I wasn’t stranded on the side of the road VA Beach HD didn’t bend over backwards for me, but the U-Haul lady in Cape Charles helped me out a great deal.
    DuBois is a really cool dealership with a great staff. If anyone out there has a chance to stop in, it’s really cool.

  8. […] Our next road trip is to the eastern shore of Virginia which we have been to and blogged about many times. Chance keeps bringing us back to the area where we lost our friend Karen on a road trip back in 2009. My brother’s in laws moved to that area shortly after the accident. We have been back on a number of road trips and the last one ended in mechanical failure for Diana’s Harley-Davidson Super Glide. We came home in a U-Haul […]

  9. […] and Allen’s new home. You might remember we had to load our motorcycles into a 16′ U-Haul back in April at Katie and Allen’s house in order to finish the last leg of our Spring Break Outer Banks […]

  10. As a rider, we need to check the condition of our ride every now and then. Its better to be sure and safe than to ride with uncertainty.

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