Not a wonderful day today. Since Syndia had a day off (apparently interns actually get some days off when they're doing night-shift in emergency), we decided to go for a short ride up to the Sunshine Coast, over Mt Mee, then probably back via the Glasshouse Mountains. That was the plan, anyway.

The bike had been running beautifully since its last service, and full credit to the Midtown Kawasaki guys for it. I had told them that there was a problem with the jetting and that it was fouling spark plugs, and they actually pulled the carbs apart and then refused to charge me for it because they couldn't find anything wrong. Apparently they hooked it up to an O2 sensor in their workshop and it said that the mixture was fine, so they made arrangements for me to have the bike dynoed (to happen shortly).

Well, of course, what should happen but that the bike should foul another set of spark plugs and die (luckily) at the BP Service Centre in Caboolture. (Northbound on the highway, if it makes a difference; there are two.) After tweaking what I could with the tools I had on hand, we decided that the bike wasn't going anywhere and that we should catch a train back to Brisbane, pick up a full tool kit and persuade the bike that way. On the train on the way back, I called Fadge to ask him to make my apologies for not appearing at Chevaliers that night, as things were starting to look doubtful. More on that later.

When in Brisbane, do as the Brisbanites do. Do not call Yellow Cabs. Call Black and White. Trust me. The only reason I called Yellow was that B&W don't service that far out. As we discovered, neither really do Yellow Cabs. After being given an ETA of "up to 20 minutes," we were still waiting an hour and twenty minutes after the call. Finally giving up on them, we hitchhiked to the local train station and from there caught a train back to Brisbane. I did do the right thing and phoned to cancel the booking, and was met with an irritatingly rude operator who didn't see anything at all wrong with a customer's having had to wait over an hour past the ETA provided. I'm sure there's a black mark against my name with them now

We grabbed Syndia's Impreza and after a quick trip to Midtown for new spark plugs (and a not-so-quick trip home for an elusive spark-plug tube spanner) we were on our way back to Caboolture to exercise a slightly stronger form of persuasion on the bike.

From starting out at roughly 10:30am, we were back in Caboolture at about 8pm; I had the bike working again at around 8:30pm and we were back in Brisbane, cold, tired and surprisingly not grumpy at around 9:30pm.

If that wasn't the end of it, I received an SMS from Paul shortly after returning to Brisbane, saying that Chevaliers had had a record number of attendees, and that it would have been nice to have another coach around. ARGH! Sorry, Paul!

A big thank-you to (a different) Paul, Michelle and the crowd at BP Caboolture for letting me leave the bike there, and then letting me work on it in their car park