So what happened? I was zipping down to the front field with a load of chicken feed when the gear shift pedal didn't seem to work right. It moved but nothing happened. Didn't change gears. The pedal seemed to be hitching, then it would again move a bit. Next try it completely slipped, then disengaged from the gear shift shaft. Dang.
Getting off to take a closer look, I saw that I could physically get the shifting pedal back onto the shaft and shift gears as long as I physically held it in place. So the bolt holding it on must be loose, I thought. Getting the right socket wrench, I tried to tighten the bolt, but it didn't seem to want to grip. Possibly something striped? Fearing that I'd ruin the gear shifter, which I know would be a major repair, I opted to take the ATV to the dealer.
I'm usually a DIY kind of gal. But I've learned from the school of "you've really messed it up this time, sister" that when I'm over my head it may be wiser to seek somebody with more expertise. It turned out that I was indeed wise to take my own advice this time. A mechanic's inspection revealed not only a striped bolt but also damage to the teeth on the pedal. Luckily the gear shifting shaft did not also need replacing.
All told, it was a trip to Kona. Since it's a long drive, after dropping off the ATV I took the opportunity to stock up on supplies. To my surprise the ATV was fixed within the hour. Wow. That was service! I had planned on leaving it and returning in 2 weeks to retrieve it. But the people there know that I come a long way and were really super considerate, trying to get it done while I shopped. I couldn't be happier with the place. By the way, they deserve a plug......Kaiser Motorcycles, Kona, Hawaii.