Copenhagen Denmark – Fagerhult Sweden
I was going to title this post ‘Making frineds the Guzzi way’ but a better title would be ‘Better living through incompetence’.
I went to pay my respects to the Little Mermaid only to find about a dozen tour buses had beat me to it. I tried to get a picture of her in the brief lapses between groups of tourists crawling all over her.
Then I made my way across the Oresund bridge to Sweden. Various Germans, Danes, and Norwegians had told me that Sweden was flat and boring but we must not have been talking about the same Sweden (Or maybe I’m easily amused).
Anyway I was riding down a nice country road when my EFI light came on for about 5 seconds. I’m thinking damn it what’s wrong with my bike now! Well the light went out and didn’t come back on so I hoped for the best.
A bit later I spotted a group of sportbikes turn down a side road. It was actually the road my GPS had wanted me to go down but I had missed my turn and so had to make a u-turn to get back on track. It was a really nice twisty road and I thought I should stop and take a few pictures but on the other hand there was a group of sportbikes with a 30 second lead that needed catching. No pictures were taken and the unsuspecting quary was caught in short order. After that bit of fun the sportbikes and I went our seperate ways.
About 30 miles later I passed a little cafe with a classic American car parked out front and flying an American flag. A hundred yards or so down the road I spotted a nice church and stopped to take a picture. When I tried to restart the bike it started and immediately died. Again I hit the starter and the same thing occurred. After that the bike would just turn over and gave no hint of wanting to start. So I pushed the bike back to the little cafe and started unpacking the bike to see if I could find the problem. Checked the fuses, checked that the plugs were firing, checked for fuel and a vacuum
in the tank. No luck.
At this point the owner of the Cafe and his neighbor Peter come out to see what the problem is. There is a bike shop in this small town but the owner has just left on vacation for a week so they start making calls to the local gear heads and the local motorcycle racer shows up in his fancy BMW with his pretty girlfriend. He hits the starter button cranks open the throttle and gets the bike fired up to the growing crowds amusement. Anyways after shutting it down and trying to get it fired up again
there’s obviously a problem since the young racer can’t get it fired back up without lots coaxing and clouds of black smoke. When the bike does start up it seems to run fine. So the suggestion is made that bad fuel was probably the culprit. That struck me as unlikely but what the heck any idea is better than no idea. The young racer then heads off and Peter takes me the local gas station to purchase some high test. I come back and with much coaxing get the bike fired up. I ride it about 10 miles up and down the local road and the bike is running great so I head to the local gas station to fill up the tank. Once again the bike refuses to start even with the help of some kindly strangers trying to bump start it. At this point I’m trying to decide if I should trade the bike in for a scooter or just set it on fire. After futzing with the bike for about 20 minutes I finally get it started and head back to the cafe. Since the EFI light isn’t on I’m thinking it must be the sparkplugs so I plan on purchasing some the next morning and get a room at the cafe. Which you got to admit is pretty convenient. I then start futzing with the bike some more and I disconnect the wires for my USB port and heated gear from the battery which the young racer had pointed out were coming loose from the crimp and don’t you know it the bike starts up immediately! Wooot! I take back all the horrible things I was thinking about the fine engineers at Lake Como.
Since I had already payed for the room and it was very cheap and very nice I decided to stay. The little Cafe is also chock full of 1950s Americana. I then had dinner with the Cafe owner and Peter’s family which Peter graciously payed for. We swapped traveling stories and Peter told me about his charity work in the Ukraine and that the Russians had just shot down an airliner bound for Australia. I’ve been blissfully unaware of any happenings in the world for the last two weeks.
Later Peter, his youngest son, their dog Cognac and I all went down to the lake for a swim and I got a guided tour of a small town in Sweden.
So the moral of this story is that I may be a dumb-ass but I’m having a good time.