Friday 18th September – Sun 20th September
The owners Julie and Scott kindly set us up in a Teepee for the night, but unfortunately it wasn’t a good nights sleep for either of us. I froze my tits off in my summer bag with the lack of combined body heat in such a big space, and Ed likes to sleep with his leg out so his back doesn’t ache but being in a shaped cot he wasn’t able to.
Thankfully I acquired some extra blankets and set Ed up on the floor on my Exped, and the rest of our nights were very comfortable. We’d only intended to stay the one night, but as Scott had a big workshop with every tool we could need, we decided to fix our bikes there instead of in Moab. My head gasket needed fixing as I’d started using a lot of oil again, and Ed had managed to sheer his exhaust off; it sounded horrendous.
Scott, Julie and a few others even rallied together after our first night and said that our stay there was on the house, and gave us some money towards the travel fund. It was so kind and thoughtful of them, although I ended up giving the money back to them as we ended up staying four nights in total, and also paid some more towards our stay. Scott wouldn’t let us but I gave some to Julie anyway, it felt a bit awkward not doing so. I also really loved it there. It was the perfect setting and everyone who came and went were lovely.
I enjoyed the bike and travel chat, not to mention the extremely delicious food. Breakfast was cooked by the lovely Scott and dinner was taken care of by Julie, and both of them did a fantastic job.
Luckily Scott had a welder so Ed managed to successfully fix his exhaust, and a great guy called Ron supplied me with some instant gasket so I could fix my engine. All was going well until… We’d put in a new inlet valve as the other one was worn, and while I had it semi apart Ed suggested that I clear out the clutch mounted oil spinner. To do that I had to remove the foot pegs and stand, and while undoing the bolts I’d got a bit confused and undid the cam chain tensioner instead. I didn’t realise until a load of oil came out followed by a spring, so Ed helped me put it back in and did it back up. I continued on and cleaned the spinner out, before putting it all back together, doing the timing and finally the valve clearances.
I then turned it on, kicked it over, and there was a horrible noise. I quickly turned it off and we went investigating. It turned out that the oil hadn’t got back in to the cam chain tensioner, so there was no damping. This in turn lead to the cam chain slipping a tooth, which then lead to the new inlet valve we’d just fitted hitting the piston and getting bent. Joy. So we had to put the old inlet valve back in, turned the bike upside down and squirted oil in to the cam chain tensioner chamber using a syringe, then I had to put it all back together again. Thankfully it worked after that. While I was happy for the extra practice of fixing my own engine, I really didn’t fancy rebuilding it again, at least not so soon.
The whole process took much longer than anticipated because of the problems, but I really enjoyed my time at 3 Step. I got to work on my bike, chat to interesting people, eat delicious food and hang out round the campfire with a beer or two under the stars. What more could a girl want? It was great.
Needless to say that it was very hard to leave, but in fear of outstaying our welcome and needing to get a move on we finally tried to depart after the third night. I say tried as we failed and ended up staying another night. That always happens, we’re useless.