Then on Saturday I decided to ride to visit whotheheckami's.. about 20 miles out of Cheltenham in the middle of nowhere the bike dies on me. This was not entirely unexpected as it's been dying on me on the way to/from work. However I didn't think it was serious because it started up again fine after leaving it for a minute or two. So I wait, and start it up again. I get about 1/2 a mile further only for it to die on me again. Hrm. And then it starts to rain. Rinse and repeat a further 5 times (during which time a fellow biker asks if I'm OK. I explain that it's just water in the carbs - he shrugs and realising there's nothing he can do and I have a phone, he goes on his own way).
Eventually I get to a services and speak to a charity collector who informs me what's happening is because the carbs work by vacuum, as the air/petrol mix that gets sucked into the carbs expands, it cools down. This is normally fine, but when there's also water vapour in there it can be cooled sufficiently to ice up.. when the bike dies and stops it thaws, and then you can carry on.
He points me towards a local garage where I ended up emptying the freshly-refilled tank of petrol and draining the carbs, before waddling to the local petrol station with the tank and putting some petrol in to get the bike going before I filled the rest of it up. I should point out this was all done in full leathers, with the waterproofs on over the top, in the rain. However, I was very pleased because with the garage's small mole grips I managed to get out the third and final drain grub screw which was seized and had been rounded off by the previous owner. I'd previously tried and failed to remove it, and had been having visions of taking a drill to the thing which filled me with a sense of dread.
I now have a black bin liner folded into eight and electrical-taped to the tank to stop more water getting in. Not pretty but at least it works and stays on, and is resealable, and doesn't appear to be damaging the paintwork. While I was in Melton I managed to get hold of a replacement grub screw which I was very impressed with.
The guy at the garage was able to give me a few pointers with the leaky cap too, which I shall be persuing.
So the upshot of all this is I have a broken car, but after a rather tiring ordeal my bike is now working rather well thank you :)
I had a lovely time this weekend chilling out with whotheheckami, crag_du and the kids. Played some more with my new toy, the only shot of which I was reasonably happy with was this one of the fish tank:
Played "Talisman", very enjoyable. Tried to get it or Munchkin from Toys'R'Us earlier today but failed dismally. Came back with Lord of the Rings game which I vaguely remember playing with chocojon at Area 51. Was too tired to make much sense of it and gave up.