The ‘Odyssey’ Odyssey

Today was not going to go well! But it could have been worse – much worse.

This morning we decided we would ride out to Snow Canyon late in the afternoon so that the light would be better for photography and also to try and avoid the highest temperatures; it was well into the ’40s before 11am.

So we had a lazy breakfast, charged phones (3) and cameras (4 including the GoPro) and we sorted out the bags and decided on a route for tomorrow. Ely, Nevada was the place so we found and booked a room for Friday, Sat, Sun.

At 4pm we got into our bike gear – horribly stifling in this heat and, for me, it all felt so restrictive; it has been two years since I wore motorcycle gear.

Jan went out to warm up the bike; click, click, click……

He came in for tools, took the seat off and had a go at jump starting her using a pair of insulated pliers across the solenoid – nada. a flat battery, maybe? Fortunately, the very helpful motel manager had a battery charger which he brought that out; Jan put the crocodile clips on and, WUMF, the bike started.

We came back into our room to put jackets and helmets back on. Now for unwanted surprise number 2; I couldn’t get on the bike! I simply could not raise my legs high enough to get on the high back seat. OH NO! Jan rode the bike around to one of the kerb things they have here that are used to prevent drivers driving into the doors and, with a little bit of grunting, I managed to get on the bike (feeling, I have to admit, horribly useless) but, as Jan prepared to set off – the bike cut out. Once again there was no starting her up.

We got off again and came inside to remove our bike gear yet again and then went out to strip a side panel off and take another look at the battery.

This time, as we left the room, we were surprised to see a police car parked next to the bike. A very pleasant police officer was standing outside his vehicle and smiled when, seeing me with the camera, the other motel guests who had gathered began prompting him to put handcuffs on Jan for a photo op! I wish he would’ve 🙂

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Our neighbour from the next room came out with a voltmeter to test the battery; as soon as that was connected, his meter began to smoke and there was the pungent smell of burning plastic – so that was removed promptly.


Jan was pretty sure the battery had come to the end of its life. He removed the battery and we made a dash to the O’Reilly’s motor parts store over the road – by now it was 5pm and we were sure we wouldn’t have much time before the store closed.

It was at this point, as Jan removed the battery from the carrier bags, that I spotted the terrible state it actually was in; back at the motel, the sun was so blinding that we couldn’t really see any details when we removed the battery, but in the darkness of the store – it was obvious this battery was a very dead battery!

The man behind the counter took one look at it and said, ‘Well, gee, you need a new battery. But we don’t have anything with those kind of terminals on’. He suggested a place out of town called, Dixie Batteries but said it wasn’t a walkable distance and, anyhow, they’d be closing right about now. ‘But’, he said, ‘I doubt he will have anything but you could try Car Quest Autoparts just across the street’

Again, on removing the battery from the carrier bags, the man in Car Quest, said, ‘Gee, I think you need a new battery, son’.


Again, he did not have one that would do – ‘in my store at the moment’. But, he could get us one for 8am tomorrow.


OK, so why, ‘the Odyssey, Odyssey’ title. The battery make is ‘Odyssey’ and they are guaranteed to last for 5 years; it has been 5 years and one week!

And, why could the day have been worse? well after starting the bike with the battery charger, had I not struggled to get on and, in the process, given the bike chance to stall again, we could well have stopped on a remote road to take a photo and……

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