Saturday, July 24, 2021

Day 42 - Nightmare Scenario

It was a memorable day in many ways.  As I write this I am sitting in a Home 2 hotel room in DeKalb IL.  Yes I am aware I'm supposed to be in an RV Park.  Why you ask?  Its a long story that you'll just have to read to find out.

The day could not have started out any better.  Kyle and Casey took to Cheryl and my daily routine like a fish to water.  We wanted to get to a Cubs game at Wrigley so we needed to get up and att'em early so we were ready to roll by 7:15 am.  Kyle and Casey surprised me with a new jersey (yellow to match the Tour de France leader of course) and Lindsey's friend who works at Smith noticed my "well worn" helmet and hooked me up with a new one.  Boy, looking good and feeling good.  Let's roll!

The bike gods must have been happy to see Kyle and Casey as they welcomed them with some of the best conditions seen so far.  Cool temperatures, awesome roads and NO traffic.  We road side by side for a large portion of the ride.  We even met up with Bob, a local who was getting a ride in before his 50th High School Reunion.  An absolutely amazing ride.  Kyle and Casey showed their strong legs and made it difficult for me to keep up but I'm hoping old, callused butt, beats youthful legs later in the week.  After 56 miles, we arrived at camp at 11:30 am excited to head into Chicago for a afternoon of fun. 

From there, things went south in a hurry.  On the way into Chicago, Cheryl and I noticed that the RV was "surging" but didn't think too much about it.  Probably needs new plugs or fuel filter.  We'll get to that in a few days.  Suddenly the check engine light FLASHED.  I've never see that before.  Cheryl, look that up!  "Engine misfiring, stop immediately" she warned.  Yikes!!  We found a Chevy dealership within 3 miles and took a chance and drove there.  They were not helpful.  "Can't fit you in until Wednesday of next week."  Now it was all hands on deck (or on phones as the case may be) frantically trying to find a shop to help us out.  We called literally 20 shops including visited 2 (so much for not driving). Long story short is we couldn't find any of the "normal" auto repair shops to clearly diagnose the issue and recommended a truck repair shop.  Of course by now it is Friday late afternoon and we are pretty much screwed because it's the weekend.  Oh, and all strongly recommended not driving the RV.  Perfect.  I have a spare bike but we don't have a spare RV.  Having this happen to start the weekend is truly the nightmare scenario.

Think team, think, think.....We knew we needed a vehicle to at least get around so we have to rent a car.  Oh and it needs a hitch too which means a truck.  We found an Enterprise outlet that had one and they close at 5 pm.  By now it is 4:30 and the shop is 30 minutes away.  We begged the manager to stay

and we took another chance and drove some more to get the RV there. (Yes we tried Uber).  One bright spot was that this truck is awesome.  A RAM 2500 Hemi crew cab, brand new!  It's a monster.  

After many conversations throughout the day with Cary, the service manager at Coffman's Truck Sales, he graciously agreed to fit us in Monday.  That's still two days away though.  So here's the plan.  We will leave the RV there and continue riding for a couple days and stay in hotels and return Monday evening to hopefully pick up the RV.  So we dropped off the RV, grabbed all of our gear, loaded up the bikes and headed to the hotel.  We tried to keep a positive attitude and put together a nice dinner in the room (by now it's 9:00 pm and no one wanted to go out) plus we wanted to clear out the fridge as much as possible.  

There are a million things that still need to go right for this plan to work, but at least we have a plan. 

That's what this trip is all about, being flexible.  Kyle and Casey have been awesome members of the team!  Bummed that this happened on their leg.  This is definitely the biggest challenge yet and there were tough moments today but I know we'll get through it. 

It is on to Hammond tomorrow.  Cheryl has a new SAG wagon and I look forward to seeing/hearing her roll up in that 6.4 L Hemi.  Here we goooo!

Until then.... 


  1. Oh, no! I like the stories better about meeting the owner of the cafe, not ones about the manager of the truck repair shop. Sure hope the RV is back up and running on Monday. Even with the horrible news, not surprised the Winklers are still smiling in all the pictures.

    1. I agree John. I love stories but not with auto repair managers. Especially ones that can’t fix our rig!

  2. Sheesh. Nail biter. Good backup plan.

    1. Fingers crossed. Time is t normally an issue but we need to get Kyle and Casey to Detroit!

  3. Dang!! But, think you've got a great plan and a big girl truck for Cheryl!!AND . . .everybody looks sooo happy. Fun to have riding buddies again. Hang in there. You are really making incredible progress and priceless memories.

  4. Thanks Vickiy. Love memories but prefer visions of barns and not auto repair shop waiting rooms. Haha still love being with Cheryl Kyle and Casey!