Day 61

Catastrophe in Lebanon

The DR650 being put on a flatbed tow truck when the chain broke at Stoever's dam, Lebanon, Pennsylvania, USA
The DR650 being put on a flatbed tow truck when the chain broke at Stoever's dam, Lebanon, Pennsylvania, USA

Stoever’s Dam Park to Lebanon Valley Cycles


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Day 61 - Catastrophe in Lebanon. I was rudely awoken at 7am by a low booming voice, “good morning”. I could only assume was the park ranger. I exchanged sleepy pleasantries, feeling vulnerable in my tent as he stood over me. “I tried to wave you down yesterday”, I recalled, “sorry mate, I didn’t know who you were”. He was plain clothed, “ah, I had my badge” he replied like I’d notice it. He let me go back to sleep but I was forced up by the excruciating noises of passing trains. I packed and got ready to move on the nearby mountain range, excited for them after weeks of straight roads. I got the bike started and let it rip on the loose gravel. I twisted again and the engine roared, but the wheels didn’t turn. I stopped. I knew instantly the bike was done. Thankfully, it was only a chain. I’d be here for days, I thought. I called the local shops and found Lebanon Valley Cycles, a Suzuki Dealer. Sheldon in parts told me we’d get new parts shipped in a day and offered a towie to get me there. I couldn’t push it. The truck was there in 45 minutes and at the shop in 15. I explained the predicament and we all stood scrunched faced at how the chain failed. Was it too tight? Out of alignment? It only had 6000 miles on it. I contemplated accommodation and sat. Josh offered a ride to town, then a burger, then put on Long Way Round. Surprised my his hospitality I also met Dick, the owner (unbeknown to me). I told him my story and he listened intently. We chatted and he treated me with kindness and respect, one motorcyclist to another, understanding my situation on the road, unlike the other shops. He offered for me to sleep by the store to save money and organised to clear space undercover from the rain. Josh grabbed beers as the shop closed and we sat out front reminiscing his and Dick’s time in the Marines. I was escorted with Dick’s lovely wife Debra to a nearby restaurant to my surprise. They treated myself to ‘Liver and Onions’ and Pie. I learned about their family and their son Kyle whose incredible amount of motor-cross trophies can be seen in photos. We trundled back and I felt completely at home out the back of Lebanon Valley Motorcycles 🏍

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