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……

8 Replies to “The ‘Odyssey’ Odyssey”

  1. What a day – nice to see all the helpful people. And I’m glad you didn’t get stuck on some remote road! Was a battery test not part of all the service they did on the bike recently? It seems like it would be.


    1. Hi Wine and history. Yes, it was very nice to meet such helpful people. We always find people in the USA are incredibly kind. The bike performed well up to this point and Jan thinks this happened after his 2,000 + miles in three days ride across the country and the battery just couldn’t go on 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Welcome back. It’s been a few years since you were last here. Glad the weather turned good for you but it’s a bit too hot for us locals. Hope you enjoy your stay and look forward to reading about our little piece of high desert through your eyes.


    1. Hi there Dahn and great to hear from you. It is good to be back! If it is too hot for you locals, then imagine how it feels to those of us from colder climates! We are in Ely now and the ride was sweltering with hot winds the whole way. We’re going to head to Lee Vining next week and up to the Tioga Pass for some ice and snow. Take care – we might just see you in town – we’re visiting the railway today 🙂


  3. Hopefully they understand it must be a sealed battery because it is installed on end in the bike!!!!!


      1. Hi Brian and Kim , we’ve just got into Ely, Nevada and are unpacking and showering. After all those thunderstorms, it’s great with some sunshine.

        This morning, Car Quest tried to send us way out of town, to a special store. The motel boss said, there is a Napa a bit of a walk from here, best try them before going out of town. Well, Napa had 2 that would do, so I took the larger one…

        Got it back to the bike, and it was just a couple of millimeters too big, so I had to trudge back and swop it for the smaller one, which fitted fine; the bracket keeps it in place. Again it is up-ended to fit, but not quite so tall as the odyssey.

        As Christine is flying out of Vegas again on the homeward leg, we will go see Snow Canyon, on the way back to St George.

        Did you find out about the Saddle ? Either way, email me so I know we have a clear slate.

        Lots of love and best wishes to you both.
        J and C


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