mercoledì 30 aprile 2008

Destination Anywhere

Oh, destination anywhere
East or west, I don't care

[Niamh Kavanagh - The Commitments]

Si parte! Per questi quattro giorni di festa l'Insetto Scoppiettante e' diretto tra le Alpi Apuane e l'Appennino, nel Parco dell'Orecchiella, dove abbiamo trascorso lo scorso capodanno tra la neve e i cervi. Stavolta pero', complici il tempo sereno, le temperature piu' miti, la fioritura primaverile e qualche giorno festivo in piu', abbiamo deciso di andare in Vespa. Il prossimo 5 maggio compie un anno, e solo per raggiungere la Versilia oltrepassera' abbondantemente la soglia dei 16000 chilometri; ho controllato lo stato generale del mezzo, il livello dell'olio, la regolazione del minimo. Ho una tanica addizionale per il carburante da un litro, ottenuta utilizzando un contenitore vuoto per olio motore; non e' una pratica consigliabile, poiche' non si tratta di un recipiente certificato per trasporto carburanti, ma per brevi periodi e con le dovute accortezze, serve egregiamente alo scopo. non l'ho portata neanche in Sardegna, dove forse avrebbe avuto piu' ragione di servire, ma la questione e' tutta riguardo alla temperatura: in Sardegna d'agosto non e' come sull'Appennino a inizio maggio... i problemi di una tanica carburante sono essenzialmente tre: la robustezza in caso di caduta, la tenuta alla pressione in caso di surriscaldamento e l'usura per invecchiamento. Al primo problema si pone rimedio trovando una sistemazione che minimizzi il rischi di urti. Al secondo cercando di schermare il sole ed evitando di riempirla troppo o troppo poco; se e' troppo piena, infatti, non ha modo di bilanciare le variazioni di volume e richia di lasciar fuoriuscire benzina e se e' troppo vuota i vapori che riempono la parte vuota possono raggiungere pressioni troppo elevate facendola scoppiare. Il terzo problema e' soltanto dovuto all'eta', e visto che c'e' gente che usa per anni taniche a uso alimentare senza problemi non c'e' da preoccuparsi poi troppo. Per un viaggio corto va benissimo, al prossimo giro vedro' di procurarmene una specifica, magari in metallo.
Non ho molte foto per questo post, ma si tratta anche di una scelta: le foto le vedrete dopo! Speriamo di trovare tempo buono e un'ottima luce. A presto!
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Let's go! For these four bank holidays the Insetto Scoppiettante is heading to a place between the Apuane Alps and Apennines, into the Orecchiella Park, where we spent last New Year's Eve between snow and deers. This time, though, thanks to warm weather, mild temperatures, the blossoming spring and a few more free days than in an usual weekend, we decided to go by Vespa. Next May 5th i'll be one year old, and just when I reach Versilia it will have ridden more than 16,000 kilometers; I checked the bike, the oil level, the setting of the engine. I have a 1l additional fuel tank obtained reusing an empty tank for engine oil; it's not a recommended practice, because it is not a certified tank for fuel transportation, but for short trips and with all the necessary care, it's pretty good for this task. I did not even bring one in Sardinia, where perhaps I would have needed it much more, but it's all about temperatures: Sardinia in August is way hotter than Appennino in early May... The problems of a fuel tank are essentially three: the strength in the event of a fall, keeping the pressure in the event of overheating and wear because of aging. The first problem is solved by finding a location which minimize the risk of collision. The second by trying to shade direct sun and filling it neither too much nor too little; if it's too full, actually, it has no way to balance the changes in volume and this may lead to gas leaks and if it's too empty vapors that fill the empty volume can reach too high pressures making it burst. The third problem is just an ageing problem, and since there are people who use for years common wine tanks without problems there is nothing to worry about. For a short trip it's ok. Next time I'm gonna get a proper one, maybe made of metal.
I ain't got many photos for this post, but it's also a choice: you'll see them later! We hope to find good weather and nice light. See you soon!

4 commenti:

  1. Teos da Malta2 maggio 2008 19:19

    OK - you can now say that your blog has a reader/fan in Malta!

    What we really need now is a close-up photo of the red sticker on the back of your bike so that we can all see what it reads.

    PS: My front rack will arrive next week. :)

    PPS: In August we'll be two Maltese LXVs driving up Italy from Pozzallo to how-ever-far-we-can-get.

    RispondiElimina
  2. that's great!
    the red sticker is almost exactly the red rectangle you see as a header in this blog! the one on my Vespa also says "Arkansas Chuggabug" and the web address below.

    nice to hear that you are getting the front rack, it's a useful tool.

    and have a great time in Italy, man, you gotta ride in a very hot weather, so be prepared!

    ciao

    Ale-

    RispondiElimina
  3. Are you saying that you are carrying extra fuel with you on the Vespa? That sounds like a dangerous situation to us. Be careful as we don't want anything to happen to you...Since we don't ride in Italy, we are not up on the criteria. Are there no places to get fuel when you are running low?

    RispondiElimina
  4. well, I actually haven't got any extra fuel with me. I carry a tank when I ride through wild places, as the mountains, where you might be forced to ride many kms in the wrong direction just because it's the only direction where to find a gas station... and if it's a holiday, it's damn closed and the only way to refuel is to use the automatic machine. Now, it only accepts bills of 5 or 10 euros, and I can put in my Vespa 5 euros of gasoline but not ten. So the exceeding fuel must be kept in a tank, if you don't want to waste it, that's why a small tank can save you...
    and yes, it's not orthodox but for a short trip an empty oil can can suffice nicely.
    I don't live in the States, we pay a lot our fuel and we can't afford to waste it (though many stupids buy SUV's as a status symbol, but that's another story...!)

    RispondiElimina