Two Steps Forward…

I had a week off work due to that bump. I had to go out with the driver trainer and now I’m back at work. One thing from it : the trainer pointed out there is no way I could have caused that tiny bit of damage. If I’d have been coming in at an angle the leading edge of the trailer would have hit the other side of the shutter door. I’d have had to have run right over the guide bars and my trailer would have missed the bay by about 7 feet to have hit on that side. They heard me reversing and making a clatter, came out, and blamed me for the damage they saw. I didn’t think to question it so went along with it. Work have said they can’t call the company liars, but basically they are writing the incident off as ‘no driver fault’. Cool. Way better than I was hoping for. It does explain why I was stood at the back of my truck, unable to understand how I could have hit the shutter. I didn’t. That might prove a valuable judgement call from the management. The trainer said they will be advertising more full time jobs shortly. Fingers crossed.

Other mixed blessing good news; I was obsessing over bikes again. Doing dozens of searches every day looking for the donor VFR750 bike (with a stainless steel exhaust and a whole bike of spares). Then I noticed an advert for a complete stainless exhaust system for £160. They only gave the model letter, I emailed for confirmation it was my year, they said “it’s in the text what it is”. Less than helpful. It is my model letter (Vfr750 F-R, -it’s the final letter that changes with each year model-) so if they are right I’ve got a cheap exhaust system. The downside is the only way I’m going to know if they are right about the letter is by fitting it. I want to keep the standard system on until it starts blowing, so I’m going to have to take off the standard, fit the stainless, remove the stainless and refit the standard.

It’s a bit of a beast of a job. Made worse by the fact everything (I ordered the new gaskets I’m going to need as well) should have been arriving today, my day off. But as it’s a bank holiday (which I totally didn’t realise) it will all be coming tomorrow, when we are both working. Super.

I started to do some preparation. Cleaning the bolts and spraying penetrating oil on them to hopefully loosen them. Then I tried to remove the centre stand. It’s got to come off, so it’s one less job. That turned into a nightmare. The workshop manual was useless on this one, probably thought it was too obvious to mention. Like all riddles it’s simple when you know the answer. I spent ages freeing a bolt and getting pushing it through the frame only to realise that had nothing to do with it. By logic I worked out one piece had to move. There was no way to work around it. When I sussed that I noticed a bolt hidden behind the piece. It’s as simple and complicated as removing that single bolt. It was a nightmare to access and then I snapped the bolt trying to force it. Joy. At least I was free to remove the centre stand. Nope. You can’t get it past the exhaust system. *blubs*

That was yesterday. I’ve spent hours today trying to drill the snapped bolt out. I’ve drilled a good way into it and I can get a serious bite on the extractor when I put it in the hole, but because it’s so difficult to get at I can’t get any leverage to turn the extractor. I kept trying. Nothing happening. Back to drilling. Very slow work. On my next days off, Sunday/ Monday I’ll strip the exhaust. That should give a bit more access. At least I can remove the centre stand with the exhaust off, so I can take as long as I need to extract the bolt.

I got down to 10 stone and tried eating. That didn’t go well for me. I gorged. It culminated in a birthday Chinese and all the chocolate. I shot back up to 10st 7lbs. I got past my birthday and started my diet and running (had a slack couple of days) again. I seem to have lost about 4lbs in a day, so if that sticks it shouldn’t take me too long.

The only other thing is Microsoft have announced they are rolling out massively intrusive spyware on their computers (taking constant screenshots of everything on your computer and logging all your searches and key strokes). That gave me the push I needed. I’ve installed a different operating system (Linux Mint Cinnamon). It took me a bit to get it installed (and I accidentally wiped all my Windows doing it, so I was pretty determined to make it work) but now it’s up and running I’m really liking it. It does everything Windows does, but without all the annoyance.

Now to rest. Fast-ish 14 mile run, stretch, shower, walked to the shop, diet rations, all afternoon fighting with my bike, lay on my back trying to press the drill over my head, I am aching.